On Monday, March 29, 2021 Alberta’s Multidisciplinary Team of David Redman, Dr. Roger Hodkinson, Dr. Dennis Modry and David Dickson extended an invitation to Premier Kenney, the COVID-19 response team, including Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw, and Minister of Health Tyler Shandro, to participate in a public forum, an academic debate, to discuss the Alberta Government’s response to the pandemic. Not sure what the outcome of that invitation was.
Later, they held this press conference, at which Dr. Modry & Dr. Hodkinson spoke :
Alberta’s Medical Experts Speak! April 12th, 2021 – Edmonton
NOTE: This is an UNOFFICIAL transcript of it. There will be inevitable errors and mispelling. Also, the order is reversed here, with Dr Hodkinson’s talk first.
All citing, kibbitzing or kudos should refer to the source at The Angry Albertan
——————DR. ROGER HODKINSON
My name is Dr. Roger Hodkinson and my presentation to you today is about the most grave injustice our society has ever experienced. I’m here because this is a defining moment in my medical career and indeed my entire life. It is the fight of a generation.
Let me tell you why I feel qualified to address you. I’m a medical specialist in pathology and graduate of Cambridge University, UK. I’ve had many leadership roles in medicine, both true provincially and nationally, including those as a university teacher, board examiner, and laboratory accreditation inspector. I was previously the president of the Alberta Society of laboratory physicians, otherwise known as pathologists, and have been an assistant professor in the faculty of medicine at the U of A.
I have also been active in public health advocacy for many years as honorary chairman of Ash action on smoking and health. ASH is the leading nonprofit organization tackling the predatory marketing practices of big tobacco. I’m not an anti-vaxxer, conspiracy theorist, or great resetter. I spent my entire career in evidence-based medicine.
No one is that is an expert in all the fields involved here,
but what is desperately needed is for the general public to hear Common Sense from a qualified person, and I’d like to think that’s me. So that’s why I’m here.
I believe the most important duty of anyone involved in public health is to protect the public from health risks that they cannot effectively manage themselves. In my opinion, during the Covid pandemic, there has been a gross intrusion of government into health matters that could have been perfectly well managed by individual adults, as was the case with all recent pandemics. The degree of this government overreach has resulted in the most profound fear and utterly unwarranted loss of personal freedoms ever witnessed in Alberta in its entire history.
In essence, public health is the practice of medicine at a societal level. And it should follow standard medical ethics where every act is performed for good reason. That is no different from the obligation of an individual physician to his or her patient. Society is, in fact, the patient of the chief medical officer of health. In medicine, the primary ethic is the Hippocratic Oath, first do no harm, but that concept appears to have been totally ignored, as the harmful consequences are by any measure grotesquely disproportional to any of the purported benefits. The cure is far worse than the disease.
The mandated interventions should have been supported at the very least by consensus in evidence-based medicine that they would be successful. However, all the measures being currently undertaken, including masks —these things I’m sure you’re familiar with [disdainfully holds up a blue face mask],
social distancing, and closures of all kinds have no consensus for effectiveness in the medical literature. In fact, the weight of evidence is against these measures.
Masks are, you might say, the very face of this issue —very visible evidence of compliance.
The various mandates can only be perceived as arbitrary, knee-jerk reactions for politicians to convince the general public that they are doing something, but politics playing medicine is a very dangerous game. As it is being played out in this province, it shows no signs of abating.
Politicians must get their heads around the fact that in 2021, medicine is impotent at control the spread of the covid-19 pandemic in the general population. The genie is out of the bottle.
It’s everywhere. We must accept common-sense accommodation as per the Great Barrington Declaration as the only viable approach. Let me state the facts again, nothing works to control the spread of this virus.
In my opinion, and many more expert than me, the approach to this pandemic in Alberta was wrong headed from it’s very inception. As a Great Barrington declaration eloquently argues, there should have been no change in public policy compared to previous pandemics. Life should not have changed one iota, except for enhanced protection of the vulnerable. The Great Barrington Declaration called that approach Focused Protection, and the only public health intervention that was needed.
I firmly the support that conclusion.
Dr. Bhattacharya, an internationally esteemed epidemiologist from Stanford, has said that lockdowns are quote “the biggest mistake ever made in public health” close quotes. Trying to protect the working well with very low risk of death by shutting down the economy is obviously ridiculously naive.
Let’s consider the actual risk of death from Covid in Alberta for asymptomatic people who feel no different today from yesterday. Using the government’s own statistics for the working well, those under 65 the risk of death over a whole year was one in 15,000. I ask you does that warrant shutting down an economy that’s already tanking?
Remember that the strength of a healthcare system is only as good as the strength of the underlying economy to support it.
In my view, the fear and hysteria over Covid is being maintained by two principal drivers.
The first driver is brutal international silencing of all counter opinions, whether from politicians, journalists or physicians.
The second driver is asymptomatic testing, which is not only useless because of countless false positives, but counterproductive because it drives on-going public hysteria. Public hysteria in turn, is being used by politicians to double down on mandates known to be ineffective. You know, if one mask isn’t working today, we recommend two or maybe ten next week, who knows. I attribute the ongoing panic over covid to a litany of failures.
First of all, and most importantly,
—Failure at due diligence from the very getgo on the absurd computer modeling by Dr. Neil M. Ferguson at Imperial College London in the UK. That was the most singular failure, as it became the predicate for similarly exaggerated responses.
—Failure to inform the public that there was no consensus in the medical literature for any of the Draconian restrictions so arbitrarily introduced
—Failure to report to the general public, the cumulative adverse consequences of the interventions on general healthcare, dying relatives, funerals, weddings, church services, school closures, graduations, and thousands of small business bankruptcies.
On the way here today, I drove past Grace Life Church. The double steel cordon is still around that church.
—Failure to halt the testing of asymptomatic people. It should stop immediately. It has no purpose.
— Failure to produce detailed statistical reporting to inform the working well in lay terms about the actual degree of risk from Covid and that variants, as Dr. Modry indicated, are nothing to fear.
—Failure to classify deaths appropriately. The vulnerable population with many co-morbidities who happened to be covid positive at the time of their death are being classified as death directly due to Covid. That is statistical sleight-of-hand. Dying with Covid is not the same as dying of Covid.
—Failure to promote the life-saving potential of vitamin D, which is totally,safe cheap and has
evidence of protection from covid-19. What used to be called the season of coughs and colds is now being recognized as the season of vitamin D deficiency. In a month or so, the sun will come up again, and we will all start making vitamin D in our skin and guess what? The pandemic will disappear again, and they’ll say, see? We wrestled it to the ground.
To this, I say no such thing. It is the classic fallacy trap. Just because B follows A does not mean A caused B. Wake up!—Failure to communicate to the general public the inadequacies of PCR testing. There are no published statistics in Alberta regarding the percentage of false positive results by PCR based methods. False positives have a huge multiplier effect on contact tracing, resulting many times that number of people being taken out of the workforce.
The internationally renowned epidemiologists who authored the Great Barrington declaration have stated categorically that contact tracing is both useless, and counterproductive.
—Failure to inform the public that the vaccines are all strictly experimental,
lacking the customary two to four years adverse event trials and therefore, in my view, by any definition, unsafe. That is a failure, a spectacular failure of the second important medical ethic, that of informed consent.
There was no need for a rushed vaccine, given the scale of risk. And in my opinion, it’s use is profoundly reckless. Indeed, there are concerns already surfacing about its safety now for women under 50 and pregnant women, which proves the point in spades. The vaccine situation has the potential, of course, of getting infinitely worse if so-called vaccine passports come to play. Yes, they’ll say, you can refuse the vaccine if you want, if you think it’s unsafe, but you won’t be allowed to travel. How outrageous.
And finally,—Failure to balance loss of freedoms against the scale of threat. The art of government is in large part about balance. In my opinion, with Covid-19, the Alberta Government got the balance badly wrong, prioritizing the containment of covid over all else.
The government’s entire focus has been on one virus, ignoring all other measures of health and well-being. Furthermore, the profound loss of personal freedom resulting from the various mandates are an unforgivable assault on the very essence of our humanity, and totally unwarranted given the scale of threat. This is not Ebola. This is not SARS. In fact, Sweden and Florida clearly demonstrate that Draconian actions have little impact on the final toll from Covid. However, even to debate these questions is now stigmatized by government, the media, and professional colleges as irresponsible and to be resolutely suppressed.
The entire population has been intimidated into compliance, with a threat of outrageous fines and actual jail for disobedience The government’s encouragement of citizens to snitch on each other is utterly reprehensible. In summary, these numerous failures of the government of Alberta in the Covid pandemic have directly caused the most monstrous loss of freedoms, unwarranted fear, and horrendous personal consequences ever recorded in our province, and all without any justifiable cause. It must end now, and never be allowed to happen again. The general public must never again have their rights so trampled on while we are perfectly capable of managing this type of problem ourselves, independent of any government intervention, as we have done so effectively in years gone by.
So I repeat for effect. Nothing works to stop the spread of this virus through society. Nothing could work, nothing did work and nothing will work. This virus must just be allowed to run its course. Government must simply accommodate to medicine’s impotence, and allow the public to use its abundant ommon sense. Open up, Alberta.
Thank you for your attention. [Applause]
Dr. Dennis Modry
(Dr. Modry actually spoke first.)
Good day Premier, Dr. Henshaw, Minister Shandro, fellow Albertans and the 17 members of the UC P caucus who have found the courage to stand up against the lockdowns, heretofore the UCP Freedom Caucus 17.
So why am I here and what credentials do I have that gives me the cachet to speak out against government-mandated lockdowns? My purpose is to encourage the premier to follow the UCP Freedom Caucus 17, to rationally and with evidence, end the lockdowns and to inform and inspire the public to chart a new path forward.
Here are my credentials. I was fully trained and certified in Canada and the US to practice general surgery, cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, heart and lung transplantation, and intensive care, and I took special postgraduate graduate training in immunology. During my career at the University of Alberta Hospital and Mazankowski Heart Institute as a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon, transplant surgeon, and intensivist, my major focus was on high-risk cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, heart and lung transplantation and intensive care medicine. I started Western Canada’s first heart and lung transplantation program, which I directed for the majority of my 30 years in practice. I also directed the cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit during that same time frame.
To qualify, I also had to be knowledgeable both in immunology and in the unique challenges posed by immune compromised transplant recipients and other patients in the prevention and management of infectious diseases. I was fortunate, as well, to work with a brilliant team of infectious disease and immunology specialists at the University of Alberta.
Now, how many times have you heard that we must follow the evidence? So let’s do that. Let’s follow the evidence.
What were we led to believe about the epidemic early last year regarding the perceived danger posed to society by covid-19?
At that time, the World Health Organization publicized a very misleading 3.4% case fatality rate that panicked the world. For over a year now, similar ongoing misleading information has continued to be promulgated by the mainstream media while at the same time suppressing evidence that is counter to the government and industry controlled narrative.
Why has this happened?
To answer this. Let’s ask three questions.
First, why have many physicians, scientists, politicians, and the media sought to panic the public about covid-19 far beyond what the evidence warrants?
Second, why has the media so diligently shielded the public from the counter narrative that there is little to no convincing evidence justifying lockdowns?
The answer to both these questions is that incentives for lockdowns
are several, and include massive financial and corporate motives, the protection of professional reputations that are on the wrong side of the science, political goals. Possibly the proposed great reset of capitalism, as well as cognitive dissonance, that unique but all-too-common inability to accept new evidence, which is counter to what you have been brainwashed to believe.
The third question. Why have so many physicians, scientists, politicians, media professionals, and business professionals been silenced for speaking out against lockdowns?
It is because they know that they will be sanctioned and run the risk of losing their professional license, their research grant, their tenure, or their job. Many have fallen prey.
Fortunately, these people, and many others like myself and Dr. Hodkinson here with me today, have critically evaluated the science and are starting to speak out in support of ending lockdowns ― such as the UCP Freedom Caucus 17,
most eloquently and convincingly the Great Barrington declaration drafted by professorial luminaries from Stanford, Harvard and Oxford defined the evidence in support of a targeted approach to protect the elderly and vulnerable without creating the massive emotional, physical, mortal, and economic harm from lockdowns that we have witnessed, and that so many of us experienced. Nearly 60,000 medical practitioners and public health scientists have signed that the Barrington declaration in support of targeting the elderly and the vulnerable, while leaving the rest of society to function unfettered.
In support of the Great Barrington declaration, a recent international study published January 5th, 2021 in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation comparing 10 countries found no significant benefit on cases growth of the more restrictive non-pharmaceutical interventions.
In other words, lockdowns have no significant benefit in limiting case growth. What is the legality of lockdowns? Well, lockdowns have been ruled unconstitutional by the courts in Germany. The Swiss are holding a referendum in June to prevent any Swiss government from imposing lockdowns in the future. Class action international lawsuits claiming that lockdowns are a crime against humanity are being launched against the World Health Organization. Certain individuals and countries with robust class action laws such as in Germany, Canada and the United States.
Sweden never locked down, along with several other countries. At least 14 US states have lifted all restrictions, some of which never locked down at all.
It is An Inconvenient truth that mortality rates from covid-19 are no worse and often are lower in regions that stayed open compared to areas that lockdown.
Let’s focus on Alberta and why our lockdown is not the answer to containing covid-19.
Last year at this time, we were all alarmed, about what we were led to believe by the World Health Organization ‒that covid-19 was a very dangerous virus with modeling that predicted case fatality rate of up to 3.4 percent of those infected or 340 of every 10,000 patients infected. Translated to mean the loss of 270 to 300 million lives given a world population of 7.8 billion.
Well what really happened? Deaths thus far attributed to covid-19 numbers are just under 2.8 million or 1.07 percent of predicted. Spectacularly wrong. In Alberta, if the model was correct, we should have lost a hundred and fifty three thousand people.
What really happened thus far, two thousand and twelve people have died purportedly from covid-19. That’s 1.3 percent of predicted. Again, spectacularly wrong. While I acknowledge with reverence the passing of 2,012 Albertans, these mortality numbers underlie an inconvenient truth. They are also spectacularly wrong. Many, if not the majority of the 2.9 million worldwide and the 2,012 in Alberta died of their underlying condition, not the coincidental errant diagnosis of covid-19 based on PCR cycle thresholds that are beyond credibility. There is irrefutable evidence that cycle threshold [in the PCR test] beyond 35 cannot be relied upon to confirm a diagnosis of covid-19. Cycle thresholds of 35 and greater have been used at the University of Alberta and elsewhere in the province.
Even Dr. Fauci stated that cycle threshold greater than 33 cannot be relied on. In essence, thousands upon thousands of deaths worldwide and in Alberta have been coded erroneously as having died from covid-19 as opposed to with-a-coincidental-finding-of covid-19, where it was actually the underlying disease that killed the patient.
Why is this happening? In Alberta, it is because Alberta Health Service does not record the cycle threshold for every patient that they claim died from covid-19. So their data is misleading. What does the evidence tell us about the lethality of covid-19?
We now know that it is the elderly and the vulnerable with co-morbid conditions who are at greatest risk, based on a meta-analysis of 61 studies from 51 different localities around the world recently reported. The overall infection survival rate from covid-19 infection is 99.77% and getting better. For those over 70 years of age, the infection death rate is about five percent. Meaning that senior still have a 95% survivability rate. For those under 70 years of age, the infection mortality rate is a minuscule 0.05%, meaning that those under 70 have an infection survival rate of 99.95%.
In other words, only five in every 10,000 infected covid-19 patients died who are under 70, and the majority of those have comorbid conditions. With improvements in patient management and new therapies such as the use of dexamethasone, prophylactic vitamin D and promising new treatments undergoing phase 3 trials, as well as vaccines, these mortality rates will fall even further. For children and those in their 20s and 30s the risk of dying is less than from the seasonal flu. Is it no wonder that they want to get out and about?
Therefore it is self-evident that the early projections of a 3.4 percent infection mortality rate based on flawed modeling was spectacular. WHO was spectacularly wrong and has caused untold physical and economic harm. In Alberta, the average age of death from all causes, excluding the covid-19, in the general population is 82. Remember 82 is the average death age, but the average death age in patients coded with covid-19 is 83.
[Prof] Jay Bhattacharya in the US has stated that the overall mortality from covid-19 is comparable to the seasonal flu, and he is not wrong.
Many Albertans may know that on December the 11th, 2020. I sent an open letter to the premier with considerable new evidence that lockdowns don’t work. The premier imposed a lockdown anyway and stole Christmas―the Grinch. I wondered for quite some time if he had read my letter.
To my surprise, on March the 11th 2021, I received a reply from the premier which I responded to on March 31st. The purpose of my response was to once again provide the premier an off-ramp from the delusion and futility of lockdowns, with additional new evidence. I was sincerely hoping to encourage the premier to target and protect the elderly and vulnerable and fully open up Alberta to everyone else.
Shortly thereafter, I was advised that many caucus members wanted to hear a counter narrative from Dr. Hodkinson, Dr. Joffe, Colonel Redmond, and myself. I was encouraged that the premier had challenged Dr. Teresa Tam on March the 26th 2021, when he stated, and I quote,
“Dr. Tam’s office released modeling three weeks ago, which has been proven to be completely inaccurate. Constantly publishing models, which time after time proved to be spectacularly wrong is not a great way to instill public confidence.” unquote.
From that statement, I thought that the premier were starting to understand that lockdowns cause more harm, despair and death than covid-19, and would agree to caucus’s request to hear a counter narrative from other professionals.
Instead, here we are -lock down number three, the wall around Grace Life Church, and numerous small businesses shuttered for a third, and possibly last time, if they don’t survive. Well, what was the premier’s rationale for lock down number three? Because obviously the evidence doesn’t support it.
In his own words, to prevent covid-19 and its variants from overwhelming the healthcare system, was his response.
But what does the evidence tell us about overwhelming the health care system? As of today, there are 376 covid-19 patients and 8,500 beds. That’s 4.4% occupied. Does that sound like we’re being overwhelmed? and there are 90 patients in 272 beds. That’s 33%. The premier has acknowledged that the ICU capacity can be ramped up to 1,081 beds. Therefore, clearly the evidence tells us that we are nowhere close to overwhelming the healthcare system. Rather than shutdown Albertans for the third time, if the premier was really concerned about overwhelming the healthcare system, he could have simply increased the ICU capacity by 200 beds or so, which would have permitted the healthcare system to operate normally without canceling diagnostic studies and other life-saving therapeutic procedures & without causing more harm to spare and deaths from lockdowns.
In fact, he could have developed 200 or more new, fully staffed ICU beds if he had had the foresight several months ago. These beds could have served two purposes in perpetuity. One would be to accommodate Covid-19 type patients, or other pandemics that may occur in the future, without disrupting ICU requirements for non Covid-19 illnesses and surgical procedures. The second would be to shorten waiting lists, one of the greatest irritants of our inefficient Public Health Care System.
Well, what does the evidence tell us about viral variance? Viruses mutate all the time, which is why there is a new seasonal flu vaccine every year. Given that covid-19 mutations will occur in definitely, government logic would have us believe that we should acquiesce to lockdowns every time a new variant is identified. Albertans will not accept this illogic.
We are told that the variance may be more transmissible or lethal than covid-19 without any convincing hard evidence. But even if increased transmissibility were true, that would only speed up herd immunity, which is a good outcome, and if lethality of a variant were even twice that of Covid-19, that would still mean a greater than 99% probability of surviving.
Of course, this ignores the development of promising new therapies such as a aplidin or plitidepsin, which is a treatment for my multiple myeloma, which has been demonstrated to be 30 times more effective than remdesivir, an approved drug to treat covid-19 . Preliminary evidence also suggests that the covid-19 vaccines may also be effective against some, if not all, of the variety of the variants.
In closing, what should we do about lockdowns? Well, let’s follow the evidence and the evidence absolutely supports the elimination of lockdowns, but there are two other important strategies to deal with lockdowns, and I will be happy to share them with all Albertans at today’s noon rally.
Thank you very much. [Applause]