Archive | COVID-19

UK Doctors question typical COVID-19 Pandemic policies

UK Doctors question typical COVID-19 Pandemic policies

Contribution 122/21 # 13)

What is the reasonable policy justification for a shift to lockdowns, draconian travel restrictions, masks, “jab everybody” etc?

BRADES, Montserrat, August 26, 2021 –  Last time, we saw how eminent Doctors in Jamaica challenged the Jamaican Government to permit the importation of Ivermectin and its use “off label” to treat COVID-19.[1] Similarly, in the UK, a circle of British Doctors has written the National Government and the “devolved” administrations to raise concerns regarding the policy response to the Pandemic. This allows us to see points of concern globally, as the UK’s response has been typical.

Some of the key concerns raised in their August 22nd letter[2] include:

[1, The novel, Lockdown approach:] “. . . lockdown policies were never part of any pandemic preparedness plans prior to 2020 . . . they were expressly not recommended in WHO documents, even for severe respiratory viral pathogens and for that matter neither were border closures, face coverings, and testing of asymptomatic individuals.”

[2, The unexplained change in policy:] “. . . the policies being pursued before mid-March 2020 (self-isolation of the ill and protection of the vulnerable, while otherwise, society continued close to normality) were balanced, sensible and reflected the approach established by consensus prior to 2020. No cogent reason was given then for the abrupt change of direction from mid-March 2020 and strikingly none has been put forward at any time since.

[3, Miscounting and exaggerating Covid-19 death tolls:] “By including all deaths within a time period after a positive test, incidental deaths, with but not due to COVID, were not excluded thereby exaggerating the nature of the threat.”

[5, Failing to focus on the elderly:] “The average age of a COVID-labelled death is 81 for men and 84 for women, higher than the average life expectancy when these people were born . . . It cannot be said that a disease primarily affecting the elderly is the same as one which affects all ages, and yet the government’s messaging appears designed to make the public think that everyone is at equal risk.”

[6, A distorted, alarmist picture of the death rate:]  “The fact that deaths due to non-COVID causes actually moved into a substantial deficit (compared to average) as COVID-labelled deaths rose (and this was reversed as COVID-labelled deaths fell) is striking evidence of over-attribution of deaths to COVID . . .   [D]ata from earlier years would have demonstrated that the 2020 mortality rate was exceeded in every year prior to 2003 and is unexceptional as a result.”

[7, Distorting evaluation of effective alternative treatments:][E]vidence on successful treatments has been ignored or even actively suppressed . . .  More than 24 randomised trials with 3,400 people have demonstrated a 79-91% reduction in infections and a 27-81% reduction in deaths with Ivermectin.[3]

[8, Ineffectiveness of masks:]  “ . . . there is no robust evidence showing that wearing a face-covering (particularly cloth or standard surgical masks) is effective against transmission of airborne respiratory pathogens such as SARS-Cov-2 . . . . Empirical data from many countries demonstrates that the rise and fall in infections is seasonal and not due to restrictions or face coverings.”

[9, Masks as a signal of blind conformity:] “[T]he use of face coverings is highly symbolic and thus counterproductive in making people feel safe.  Prolonged wearing risks becoming an ingrained safety behaviour, actually preventing people from getting back to normal because they erroneously attribute their safety to the act of mask-wearing rather than to the remote risk, for the vast majority of healthy people under 70 years old, of catching the virus and becoming seriously unwell with COVID.”

[10, Informed consent and experimental vaccines:] “Based merely on early “promising” vaccine data, it is clear that the Government decided in summer 2020 to pursue a policy of viral suppression within the entire population until vaccination was available (which was initially stated to be for the vulnerable only, then later changed – without proper debate or rigorous analysis – to the entire adult population) . . . . [A] number of principles of good medical practice and previously unimpeachable ethical standards have been breached in relation to the vaccination campaign[4] . . . . [For example, due to] omission of information permitting individuals to make a fully informed choice, especially in relation to the experimental nature of the vaccine agents, extremely low background COVID risk for most people, known occurrence of short-term side-effects and unknown long-term effects.”

[11, Fear of novel strains:] “The mutation of any novel virus into newer strains – especially when under selection pressure from abnormal restrictions on mixing and vaccination – is normal, unavoidable and not something to be concerned about. Hundreds of thousands of mutations of the original Wuhan strain have already been identified . . . [T]here is no convincing evidence that any newly identified variant is any more deadly than the original strain.[5]

[12, The PCR Test vs infectiousness:]The PCR test, widely used to determine the existence of ‘cases’, is now indisputably acknowledged to be unable reliably to detect infectiousness. The test cannot discriminate between those in whom the presence of fragments of genetic material partially matching the virus is either incidental (perhaps because of past infection), or is representative of active infection, or is indicative of infectiousness. Yet, it has been used almost universally without qualification or clinical diagnosis to justify lockdown policies and to quarantine millions of people needlessly ”

[13, Governance breakdown:] “You have failed to engage in dialogue and show no signs of doing so. You have removed from people fundamental rights and altered the fabric of society with little debate in Parliament. No minister responsible for policy has ever appeared in a proper debate with anyone with opposing views on any mainstream media channel.”

Such concerns (and the many further details in the letter) paint a quite familiar picture.  Given the manifest economic, social and personal harm, there had better be a very good health and safety reason for the drastic pandemic policy changes. What is it?

For example, right from the beginning, it was pointed out that deaths of despair due to suicides, etc. triggered by economic and social disruption could easily outnumber direct deaths due to Covid-19. It is also widely pointed out that actual deaths from Covid-19 are a small fraction of deaths with Covid-19.  The inconsistency in standards of evidence between what officialdom objected to (e.g. Ivermectin) and what it wanted to push (e.g. masks etc. or novel, now failed treatments such as Remdesivir) has been repeatedly noted. Then, there is the question, which masks work, which don’t, and is it wise to turn them into in effect a loyalty test. The concern that Covid-19 may become endemic with annual new strains also points to a need to restore more balanced, sustainable approaches. These include, that large-scale inflationary fiscal measures to cushion dislocations must be temporary if we are to avoid getting back into the stagnation with inflation trap we saw in the 1970s. Here in the Caribbean, we have to re-think Tourism.


[2] See

[3] TMR note, see and also with key reference

[4] TMR note, see

[5] TMR note, see

Posted in Columns, COVID-19, De Ole Dawg, Health, International, Local, News, Regional, Science/Technology0 Comments


Jamaican Doctors stage an Ivermectin uprising

Contribution – Part 121/21 # 13)

Why are leading doctors in Jamaica rising up and challenging officialdom there to facilitate widespread use of Ivermectin to treat Covid-19?

Summary of stages of the Covid-19 disease: [I] catching an infection, [II] attacking the lungs, [III] extreme reaction by the immune system  (Adapted from Siddiqi, HK, and Mehra, MR. 2020​).

BRADES, Montserrat, August 25, 2021 –  Yes, many of Jamaica’s Medical Doctors have risen up to demand that Ivermectin be widely used in treating Covid-19. For example, on May 20th this year, a circle of leading Doctors – who claimed to “represent many other doctors in both public and private practice” – published[1] an open letter to Jamaica’s Minister of Health and Wellness, Hon. Christopher Tufton, which asserted that “[w]hile Ivermectin[‘s] efficacy has been demonstrated in the management of all stages of Covid, we draw particular attention to its use in the early stage of the disease.” They also argued that:

“In our carefully considered opinion, the available data on Ivermectin is quite adequate.[2] There is no need to await the outcome of further trials. Any call for local trials prior to approval is unnecessary, as neither time, resources, nor ethical approval would permit.[3]

We need not await WHO approval of the use of Ivermectin for treatment of Covid-19. The WHO, unfortunately, has been slow, and sometimes incorrect, in its assessment and advice on various aspects of the pandemic and specifically so in relation to its current stance on Ivermectin. Several medical jurisdictions in various countries are proceeding to include Ivermectin in their Covid-19 treatment strategies.[4]

Please note that Emergency Use Approval has been granted from health regulatory authorities, including WHO, and FDA, for the clinical use of other treatment regimes (Remdesivir, Convalescent Plasma, Monoclonal Antibodies, etc.) with far less research and data support compared with Ivermectin.”

 The group includes Dr. Michael Banbury, Chief Executive Officer, Medical Associates Hospital and Medical Center [a leading private Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica] and Trinidad-born Professor Brendan Bain, Consultant Physician and Infectious Disease Specialist, who pioneered the region’s fight against AIDS as well as several other consultant Doctors. 

As early as April 1st, a Gleaner report[5] indicated how:

“Doctors in private practice, with the support of pharmacists, continue to prescribe the antibacterial, antifungal drug Ivermectin for patients with adverse COVID-19 symptoms despite the Ministry of Health and Wellness not giving the drug its blessing to treat the illness . . . . the doctors . . . continue to swear by the drug, pointing out that they have been prescribing it to their patients for months with great results . . . . None of the doctors has lost patients who have taken the drug, they say.”

Of course, that was in the early days, and doubtless, some treated with Ivermectin have died since as numbers built up. There are no 100% effective treatments against Covid-19 and so we must recognise that there are several treatments to be evaluated on a case by case basis. Vaccination is clearly one, Ivermectin is another. Indeed, arguably, even the much derided Hydroxychloroquine, Azithromycin, and Zinc cocktail with vitamins D and C as yet another. (Yes, there is a continuing body of evidence that such a cocktail works in the early stage of Covid-19, but that is not our focus here.) 

The point is, in the face of a fast-moving pandemic that threatens to become a globally endemic disease – likely with a new Covid strain each year – we should balance our options and not bureaucratically lock out any reasonable treatments.

One of the co-signatories of the May 20th letter, Consultant Surgeon Mr. Charles Royes[6], went on to write, in a June 18th letter to the Gleaner[7] commenting on Minister Tufton’s answers to questions in Parliament:

“1. Safety – The minister stated that a conservative position is being taken to guard the Jamaican public against the possible dangers involved in the use of Ivermectin. The reality is that Ivermectin is a safe drug – safer than penicillin and the other antibiotics in common use, safer than aspirin and, the data suggest, safer even than Panadol. And, without doubt, safer than Remdesivir, which the ministry has approved. The safety issue should be put to bed.

2. Efficacy – Although there is a difference of opinion on this aspect, most of the studies to date show some degree of efficacy against COVID-19. Depending on the type of study, its size, limitations, and constraints, the power of its conclusions may vary. Some speak with a louder voice than others, but all point in the same direction – positive for efficacy. At the very least, the evidence indicates a possible significant benefit.”

He then went on to reveal how:

“Some months ago, the National Health Fund (NHF) arm of the ministry [of Health] imported a quantity of Ivermectin from a supplier in the United States and, in doing so, presumably succeeded in providing the necessary information to allow for its approval. However, following on the minister’s assurances, efforts by a private company to import the very same product, from the very same supplier, were denied by the Standards and Regulations Department. Instead, a long list of requirements was provided. Assuming that the NHF provided adequate data, why the insistence on further information? It should be noted that the product from this supplier has FDA and WHO approval.”

That’s bureaucratic obstructionism and such hypocrisy is without excuse in the face of a pandemic.

As regards disavowal of Ivermectin by Merk, Royes gave a fair comment observation:

“4. Reference to Merck – Merck Pharmaceuticals, the original manufacturer of Ivermectin, no longer has a patent on production. They can no longer compete with low-cost manufacturers and have no financial interest in the drug. Instead, Merck has committed millions of dollars towards the development of another drug, Molnupiravir, which it hopes to market as a treatment for COVID-19. Early in the pandemic, Japan requested Merck to conduct clinical trials with Ivermectin and they declined.”

His conclusion is sobering:

“In a further discussion in Parliament, the minister said, “his side” of the House was unwilling to take the risk of endorsing Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19. This risk, as far as the safety of the drug is concerned, is, according to the data, minimal. However, the risk involved in failing to use or facilitate the use of possible effective treatment is being implicitly accepted by the Government. This should be recognised and remembered.”

Perhaps, as we who are in Montserrat begin our new conversation on Covid-19, we should consult with the Jamaican Doctors. Who, clearly, are not “armchair instigators.”

[1]See, Gleaner:

[2] TMR note, e.g. see  

[3] TMR note, that is, given the fast-spreading, deadly pandemic.

[4] TMR note, see

[5] See

[6] Strictly, Surgeons (yes, including our well-known “Dr. Lewis”) are “Mr.”

[7] See

Posted in Columns, COVID-19, De Ole Dawg, Featured, International, Local, News, Regional, Science/Technology0 Comments

COVID-19 pandemic - simple but effective terms of CARE

COVID-19 pandemic – simple but effective terms of CARE

Public Health Emergency

Center for Disease Control: Coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan,…

Disease: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID19)

Virus strain:
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)

Date: December 2019 – present

Index case: WuhanHubeiChina

Symptoms: Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID19: Cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.

Incubation period:
The median incubation period for COVID19 is four to five days. Most symptomatic people experience symptoms within two to seven days after exposure.

Mode of transmission:
Human-to-human transmission via respiratory droplets

Prevention tips:
Avoiding close contact with sick individuals; frequently washing hands with soap and water; not touching the eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands; and practicing good respiratory hygiene

Research: COVID19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19)

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Columns, COVID-19, Education, Featured, Features, Health, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments


COVID-19 Vaccine trends concerns and “misinformation”

Contribution – Part 120/21

Is “vaccine hesitancy” a mere matter of “misinformation” (perhaps spread by “armchair instigators”)?

BRADES, Montserrat, Aug 23, 2021 –  Recent talk about “vaccine hesitancy” by officials across the Caribbean region and here in Montserrat has highlighted claims of “misinformation” coming from “anti-vaxxers.” Locally, a natural health advocate who actually calls himself an “anti-vaxxer” has been censored by ZJB Radio in live call-ins several times and has now been reduced to speaking in poetic parables. Overseas, outright censorship and de-platforming have now become routine, a bad sign.  So, is the obvious concern about the rushed development (recall, “Operation Warp Speed” [1]) of still experimental, emergency/ conditional authorised vaccines simply misinformation, perhaps fed by conspiracy theories?

First, let us carefully observe what is cleverly NOT being said in an August 18th US White House tweet on proposed third jab booster shots.  Of course, the vaxxes are announced as “safe” and “highly effective,” but why is it that we are seeing a highly unusual fading in protective effects in six to eight months?

So much so, that the “fully vaccinated” are now expected to get another “booster” shot?  (Is that what we remember for typical vaccines, and is it not strange that we were not told about such boosters originally? Yes, some well known “vaxxes” require boosters several years later, but in six to eight months? C’mon.)

The point is quite clear, we are just now learning about longer and longer-term effects and concerns, here, that protection is waning just as new strains are spreading, so we need the third jab. Nor is this just in the US or Israel which also mainly uses mRNA vaccines such as Pfizer’s vaccine. In the UK it was recently announced that they are pushing for 32 million people to take the third jab. And, lost in the shadows, since February, there has been talk of possible booster shots in the Autumn and of annual or even six-monthly shots. That’s why here at TMR we previously spoke of the booster shot train. [2]

Clearly, researchers and officials are still monitoring and learning from a changing situation with the vaccines and with Covid-19.

That is, as “emergency” or “conditional” authorisation implies, these are still experimental vaccines.

Unfortunately, there is a tendency for some officials to deny that regulatory fact.  And no, the current push to prematurely declare the Pfizer vaccine fully approved does not change the underlying facts. For, it is impossible to put the emergence of long-term effects and trends on “warp speed.” Plainly, the future still arrives at the rate of 24 hours per new day, 365 ¼ days per new year. There is a reason why new drug development typically takes 4 – 7 years or even over ten years.

Speaking of trends, some tend to blame the emergence and spreading of highly contagious new strains on the “not-vaxxed”.  But, there is an issue of drugs resistance at work, similar to how so many bacteria are now resistant to antibiotics or how some insects seem to now shake off formerly highly effective insecticides. Because, of “adaptation to selection pressure.”  There are even problems with resistance to some antiseptics used in hospitals etc. (That’s part of what we are paying Doctors for, to know about and deal with such challenges.)

Did you notice that the “fully vaxxed” are still being told to keep on wearing face masks and to practice social distancing, etc.? Why is that? In part, because the vaccines are what some call “non-sterilising.” For, they typically don’t immediately stomp on a viral invasion General Rommel style and prevent forming a beachhead for Covid-19. Instead, they are said to reduce the intensity of the disease, and it is hoped they reduce the likelihood of death or serious damage to health. That is, it is quite possible for the “fully vaxxed” to catch Covid-19 and to spread it to others.  That’s why we are seeing a fair number of reports of just that happening. (And this is before we see “breakout” strains that are sufficiently different that the antibodies from vaccination have little effect. Some argue that the Delta strain is nearing that sort of breakout.)

Yes, all of this is complicated, and there are other more complex concerns. Especially, regarding adverse reactions.

For example, some have pointed out how the US reporting system has seen a surge in bad reactions to vaccines once the Covid-19 vaccines were put on the table. There have been reports of blood clot formation, heart failures, and mysterious sudden deaths. There are similar reports from Australia. However, perhaps the most relevant report is from the European Union, where all four main vaccines are in use. Some have queried the databases and have compiled [3] figures that should indeed be of some concern, such as:

In more details as reported, up to July 31st for the 27 EU states:
Pfizer: 9,868 deaths and 767,225 injuries
Moderna: 5,460 deaths and 212,474 injuries
JANSSEN: 733 deaths and 57,159 injuries
AstraZeneca: 4,534 deaths and 923,749 injuries

Selecting the breakdown for AstraZeneca, and highlighting a few striking lines:
• 21,004   Blood and lymphatic system disorders incl. 126 deaths
• 19,717   Cardiac disorders incl. 1,489 deaths
• 33,642   Respiratory, thoracic, and mediastinal disorders incl. 1,168 deaths
• 137,631 Nervous system disorders incl. 1,081 deaths
• 205,214 General disorders and administration site conditions incl. 2,832 deaths

We do not need to endorse or certify these numbers (and there are doubtless overlaps etc) to understand why many will be concerned and why it is not good enough to simply dismiss concerns as “misinformation.” Yes, such figures are as usual hedged about with many disclaimers and debatable points, etc. On the whole, a common view is that voluntary reporting likely leads to underreporting, and it is always easy to throw up endless technical objections that boil down to correlation is not causation. However, let us remember that the cigarette manufacturers did just that for many decades, highly successfully, until in the end it was finally concluded, enough is enough.

On further fair comment,  these vaccines can clearly be regarded as ameliorative treatments administered before the fact of infection, which now seem to require onward boosters after 6 – 12 months. Possibly, on an ongoing basis as new strains emerge and as boosters also begin to fade out. Where cumulative risk obviously rises with repeated exposure.  Likewise the so-called “fully vaccinated” can catch and pass on Covid-19. If that is so, why is there pressure targetting the “unvaxxed” as the threat for new infections? Isn’t it the case that in Israel [4]:

“As of 15 August, 514 Israelis were hospitalized with severe or critical COVID-19 . . . 59% were fully vaccinated. Of the vaccinated, 87% were 60 or older. “There are so many breakthrough infections that they dominate and most of the hospitalized patients are actually vaccinated,”  says Uri Shalit, a bioinformatician at the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) . . . “One of the big stories from Israel [is]: ‘Vaccines work, but not well enough.’” [“A grim warning from Israel: Vaccination blunts, but does not defeat Delta” Science Mag dot Org, August 16, 2021.]

Fair comment, the Covid-19 vaccines were rushed through at “warp speed” and at the same time long since tested repurposed drugs showing clearly significant antiviral effects have been brushed aside by officials and the major media, especially now Ivermectin. [5] Part of that comment is that in accord with the Nuremberg Code [6] and similar ethical regulations, emergency authorisation and experimental treatments are permitted in cases where there is no established, well-accepted effective treatment.  There is obviously a lingering question of health and life risks and uncertainties. It should therefore give serious pause to vaccine advocates that a key inventor of mRNA technologies, Dr. Robert Malone, is giving cautions on safety issues. [7]

Some would observe that while repurposed drugs such as Ivermectin are not going to make a fortune for anyone now, Moderna just turned in a quarterly profit report in the billions. Others will mutter about big pharma.

Yet others will highlight Mr. Bill Gates’ TED Talk PR fiasco of saying on stage, on video, that he hoped to reduce an estimated global population trend to nine billion by 10- 15%, [8] naming vaccines as a means to do this.

Then, there is the sheer fact of global spread and linked onward mutations of the Covid-19 virus, where apparently animal reservoirs have come up. Such as, cats. This virus is not going away anytime soon and we have to find better strategies to adapt to it and treat it.

Perhaps, then, we need to have a new conversation, one that doesn’t start by stigmatising the concerned as being the ignorant misinformed misled by armchair instigators.

[1]See Note, In the well-known Sci-Fi Star Trek universe, space ships moving in imagined excess of the speed of light are moving at “warp speed.”

[2] TMR,

[3] See:

[4] See

[5] TMR

[6] TMR

[7] See

[8] See from 2:28 on.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Columns, COVID-19, De Ole Dawg, International, Local, News, Opinions, Regional, Science/Technology0 Comments


Ivermectin, some population level evidence

 Contribution: Part 119 – 2021 # 11)

Is there reason to believe that the “controversial” Covid-19 treatment, Ivermectin, might work?

BRADES, Montserrat, July 24, 2021 –  “Riddle me this, riddle me that, guess me this riddle and perhaps not”: what happened in Indonesia in June 2021? (If you guessed, effective withdrawal of Ivermectin from sale, go to the head of the class.)

The Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia, showing a “skyrocket takeoff” pattern in June 2021

This is yet another unplanned, population-scale experiment with treatments for Covid-19, this time in the world’s fourth most populous country, with 276 million people. It joins the Mexico, Peru, and India cases, as TMR has already discussed.  As Trial Site News reports[1]:

“With the findings at Australia’s University of Monash that ivermectin absolutely inhibited SARS-CoV-2 in a lab came a widespread interest in this drug as a possible repurposed drug candidate to target the coronavirus . . . .

A seasoned entrepreneur and philanthropist Mr. Haryoseno ran a company in Jakarta called Harsen Laboratories. By last summer, the shrewd businessman saw the potential with ivermectin and made the investments to essentially corner the market in Indonesia with Ivermax 12 . . . . Harsen Laboratories ivermectin-based Ivermax 12 product was available at local pharmacies at the price point of $18 for a strip of 10 tablets, and sales continued to soar . . . . With support from high-level contacts in government, he continued to receive support selling the product for COVID-19 off-label even though it was only indicated for the parasite-borne disease . . . .

In June of this year, BPOM, the drug regulatory agency there, announced that ivermectin would be used for COVID-19 and that the license would be redirected to the [state-owned] company TrialSite reported on recentlyPT Indofarma.”

So what? Stopping a borderline illegal operation is normal, isn’t it? Not quite; so, this:

“BPOM . . . ban[ned] any and all off-label distribution via this channel. The only thing that ivermectin would be used for is large planned clinical trials with tens of thousands of participants as needed. These, of course, would take time and effort, and hence any results would be half a year to a year away.

But what the state didn’t expect was the importance of that know-how, network, and wherewithal needed for a successful ivermectin production supply chain. From the sourcing of main inputs to supplies to manufacturing, the new company was out of its element. Hence the supply of ivermectin essentially dried up.”

Now, we have context for a skyrocketing surge in cases. And of course, the state is demanding the businessman/philanthropist’s stocks of raw materials and he faces threats of up to ten years in gaol and US$ 70,000 in fines.

But, correlation is not causation!

Impact of Ivermectin in Slovakia

True, but causes and effects tend to move together and there is reason to believe that Ivermectin helps to block the multiplication of the virus behind Covid-19 in the body. That is certainly the causal explanation to beat, given the patterns that have cropped up in several countries.

For instance, we can clearly see a related trend line for Slovakia.[2]

This is similar to what happened in several states of India, e.g. here, Dehli:

Impact of Ivermectin in Delhi, India

Other Indian cases – Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Uttarakhand – fit with the Dehli pattern:

There is a clear pattern that widespread availability and use of Ivermectin leads to a downturn of Covid-19. [3] It is also a Nobel Prize-winning, exceptionally safe drug.  Where, the actual protocols on the table,[4] contrary to certain objections, are similar to long established dosages. (No, medically unsupervised people foolishly trying to take horse-size doses don’t count.[5])

That sort of evidence begins to challenge dismissive arguments.  Of course, as a matter of logic, observed evidence does not by itself prove a candidate explanation, but it provides empirical support. Here, arguably convincingly.

So, once serious possible treatments are on the table, the seemingly reasonable basis to coerce or pressure or manipulate people into taking vaccines that have been showing signs of significant, serious [though yes, relatively “uncommon”] risks becomes far shakier.  Local officials, regional Governments, and the like would therefore be well advised to take due note, given the prohibitions in the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Article 7, “ no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.” 

This is backed up by the details in the Nuremberg Code issued by the Courts that tried Nazi war criminals including doctors who horribly abused prisoners and Concentration Camp inmates.[6]

(If you think the vaccines are not experimental, emergency/contingency authorised experimental treatments, ponder why it is only now that we are publicly hearing of the need for a third jab because antibody protection was found to be waning after several months. Israel seems to have just started, the UK is going for 32 million 3rd doses [so, AstraZeneca is involved], and Pfizer and Moderna have pushed for a 3rd dose.)

We need to have a fresh conversation.


[2] HT, Jonova

[3] See also and

[4] See, e.g. A 220 lb individual, under medical supervision, would perhaps take up to 20 – 40 mg/day for 5 days, along with various vitamin and mineral supplements etc as well as Fluvoxamine if there is low response to Ivermectin. Dosage is proportional to weight. See linked details. This is for information only given objections raised, self-dosing with medications is potentially dangerous.

[5] People usually weigh less than 250 lbs, a horse easily weighs 1,000 lbs, four times as much.

[6] TMR

Posted in Columns, COVID-19, De Ole Dawg, Featured, International, Local, News, Regional, Science/Technology0 Comments

Return to homepage

Lord Sumption made several errors about Covid on Today

Return to homepage

20 JULY 2021

No more than 100,000 people have died of Covid in the UK.

Incorrect. So far, 124,082 deaths have been recorded in England and Wales alone, where Covid itself was the underlying cause.


People who die of Covid would probably have died within a year.


This is not supported by the evidence. Research suggests people who die of Covid lose about a decade of life, on average.


Only hundreds, not thousands, of people, have died of Covid without any other pre-existing condition mentioned on their death certificate.


Incorrect. There were 15,883 deaths recorded with no pre-existing condition in England and Wales alone, up to the end of March 2021. Hide claims

The virus has not killed over 100,000 people. What has happened is that a very large number of people have died with Covid, but not necessarily of Covid. The definition is anybody who has died within 28 days of a positive test is treated as a Covid death.LORD SUMPTION, 20 JULY 2021 [1:18:38].

The former Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption made several mistakes with Covid-19 data when talking about the disease on the Today programme this morning.

More than 100,000 people have died “of” Covid

First of all, he said that the virus had not killed more than 100,000 people, because many of the deaths recorded may have been people who were infected with Covid, but died for other reasons.

This is not true. The daily data on the number of people who have died after a positive test does include some people who died for other reasons. However, we also have data from death certificates, which records whether or not Covid itself was the “underlying cause”.

This shows that up to 2 July this year, 124,082 people died with Covid as the underlying cause of death in England and Wales alone.

On average, people who die of Covid lose about a decade of life

Lord Sumption went on to say that the people who died of Covid would soon have died anyway. He said: “At the age which they had reached, they would probably have died within a year after, as even Professor Ferguson has I think admitted.”  [1.19.00]

This is not supported by the evidence.

The mention of Professor Ferguson seems to be a reference to the government’s former scientific advisor’s comments before the Science and Technology Select Committee on 25 March 2020, when he said that the proportion of people dying of Covid in 2020 who would have died that year anyway “might be as much as half to two-thirds of the deaths we are seeing from COVID-19”.

In other words, he was talking at a very early stage of the pandemic about what might be seen by the end of the year, not stating a fact, or predicting what the facts would be.

Research suggests that people dying of Covid lost far more than a year of life—about a decade on average. We have written about this in detail before. 

Thousands of people without comorbidities have died of Covid

Lord Sumption also said: “The number of people who have died who are not in highly vulnerable groups who have died without sufficiently serious comorbidity to appear on the death certificate is very small. It’s a matter of hundreds and not thousands.” [1.19.42]

This is not true either. It seems that Lord Sumption is talking about the number of death certificates that mention Covid as the underlying cause but do not mention any pre-existing medical condition.

There were 15,883 of these deaths in England and Wales alone, up to the end of March 2021. All of them had Covid as the underlying cause.

If you added all the deaths in Scotland and Northern Ireland too, the total would be higher.

  • By Leo Benedictus

Posted in COVID-19, Health, International, Local, News0 Comments


We need to know the true state of our economy

Contribution – Part 117 (DOD ‘21 # 11)

How can we make a proper, strongly supported case for economic relief unless we understand where our economy is?

BRADES, Montserrat, July 8, 2021 –  On June 17, 2021, Hon Premier Easton Taylor Farrell presented our annual budget, which had been delayed in part due to the need for a poverty assessment due for May.  However, during his speech, the Premier did not give us specific statistics on poverty. Indeed, while he gave us economic growth rate figures for the world and for the UK as well as the EC region, he did not do so for Montserrat. Such an omission is likely to be significant (as we have been battered by both a volcano crisis and now a pandemic), and there is a public need and right to know what the state of our economy is. It may be bad, but it is the base on which we must build to achieve a brighter future.

SOURCES, ECCB Reports, Labour survey; Budget speech and radio remarks

Accordingly, once we could find figures at ECCB and once we heard hints from the budget debate and on a subsequent Opposition programme on Tuesday, July 6, we think it is important to share what we found.

The figures, reflecting the pandemic riding on top of twenty-six years of volcano crisis, are – as expected – less than happy reading.

However, we must emphasise: it was the duty of the presenters of the budget, to be frank with the public about our economic performance. If that is not done consistently, astute investors will begin to “read between the lines,” drawing prudent conclusions from what is not said, and not to our advantage.  Others will take their cues from what the smart money players are doing – “signalling” – and business confidence, for cause, will collapse.

Instead, let us face the numbers, again recognising the impact of many years of volcano crisis and the added blow from the pandemic. Then, let us look at how the CIPREG projects approved in 2019 after years of effort to make the case are likely to help to turn the tide.  For, the UK’s confidence to invest in key growth-driving infrastructure is a very good long term signal for Montserrat. Yes, it’s been long, it’s been rough, but we are coming back, better than ever.

A point of surprise (given much talk of a “dead, dead, dead” economy) is that by 2019, the economy was already growing at a 6 – 7% clip. Where, yes, our local economic model runs about 1½% hotter than ECCB’s. But the two models agree that there was about a 14% adverse swing in growth due to the pandemic hit. For further example, low construction activity readily accounts for the high unemployment rate for men. We should note, though, that construction is not that much larger than the much bemoaned agricultural sector (usually pegged at 2 – 3% of GDP); that means, we should not write off agriculture’s potential to help make a difference to growth. Likewise, tourist arrivals, pre-pandemic, were well along the way to the sort of goals that were suggested by planners a decade or so ago. There is obvious room for growth, with tourism as a first growth driver. Close behind, are digitalisation and Geothermal Energy. But we should not overlook agriculture and other possibilities such as light manufacturing (bottled water for example) or even educational tourism.

The linked concern is, how hard the pandemic and lack of a sustained stimulus have hit struggling businesses, families facing income losses or gaps and our financial institutions with a one-two punch combo.  Let us see what we can do to help businesses and people who look to construction, tourism and the like. Of course, the cloud, that given a volcano crisis weakened economy the Civil Service is about half of employment, has the silver lining that the steady income probably cushioned some of the additional blows. But, we want growth, and growth led by the private sector.

That noted, the growth rate for 2019 also suggests that CIPREG should lay a basis for sustained, accelerated growth.  Is there need to mention, in a pandemic world, that a solid hospital is a key enabler for growth? That, in a digital age, solid education with good exposure to key technologies is another key enabler? That we will need training for the hospitality industry? That workers need somewhere to live? That public transport is important, as is access? Have we forgotten how many ways the ferry enabled the small business sector and facilitated travel for so many of us? That this last issue will be the subject of serious if not urgent review as to the motives and beneficial consequences for the disablement?

The high youth unemployment rate is of particular concern, and easily explains the problem of an annual emigration of graduates from our secondary school. We need growth sectors to draw in our youth and give hope for the future. That is in part, what CIPREG is about.

All of this, then draws attention to the missing stimulus.

Yes, missing. Montserrat is probably comparable to a small rural town in England or Wales. With something like £300 billion in pandemic stimulus on the cards, there was no good reason why we should not have had a much more significant intervention, given our pre-existing volcano-ravaged economy. Yes, CIPREG is important, but it is a medium-to-long-term measure. Bridging support is manifestly needed.

The UK acknowledges the legal force of the UN Charter, Article 73, so it should be feasible to negotiate for such a support package; those who tried to deride, dismiss and mock the relevance of this Charter have done us no favours. Let us now re-think and act on this key high card for negotiations. Yes, the UK is legally bound to promote constructive measures of development and to ensure our economic, educational, social and political advancement while respecting our culture.

For those negotiations, the UK’s own domestic support is an obvious yardstick, and social housing, road development and support to businesses and those facing hardships would be logical targets. Similarly, this is the time to make the point that we need to have a proper port development, with a breakwater. Not least, the UK’s domestic pandemic package shows that they know that in the face of a blow like this, failing to inject significant support would only enable a further economic down spiral. That holds for Montserrat, too, and so they must know that an inadequate aid intervention would predictably help to make matters worse. Especially, if it damages the capacity of our tourism sector. Our case for economic support is naturally quite strong. We must make it and we must show our capability and sound governance to build confidence that we can implement successfully.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Columns, COVID-19, De Ole Dawg, Environment, Featured, Features, Local, News, Opinions, Regional, Youth0 Comments


Pfizer vaccine: Four ‘troubling’ side effects that mainly follow second dose of Covid jab


by Adam Chapman – 

Pfizer vaccine: Four ‘troubling’ side effects that mainly follow second dose of Covid jab (

Today England is released from all remaining coronavirus restrictions – a momentous occasion that has been dubbed ‘Freedom Day’. The move has been made possible because within the space of one year of the pandemic due to the deployment of effective vaccines against COVID-19. Yet, the rollout has not been entirely smooth. One snag has been the side effects of the vaccines.

Despite sending a signal that the vaccines are stimulating a robust immune response, the potential side effects have made people apprehensive about getting jabbed.

“The mRNA-based vaccines of Pfizer and Moderna have received the most attention with regard to the side effects of vaccination,” noted an article published in the journal Science Immunology.

The article continues: “As with other vaccines, these effects can on rare occasion be the result of delayed-onset, local allergic reactions.”

It cites a “combination of fever, headache, myalgia and general malaise” as the main symptoms reported, which typically follow the second dose of the vaccines.

READ MORE: Covid vaccine rollout MAPPED: How Europe is LAGGING behind Britain – stats compared

Fever, headache, myalgia and general malaise are the main symptoms

© Getty ImagesFever, headache, myalgia, and general malaise are the main symptoms

“These symptoms can be troubling and have been the subject of comment in the press and in top scientific journals.”

However, as the journal article notes, the “actual cause of the side effects has received almost no attention”.

According to the article, “most of the symptoms can likely be attributed simply to, exuberant production of a cytokine that plays a vital role in potentiating early stages of the immune response”.

Cytokines are small proteins that help mount and coordinate an effective immune response.


Type 2 diabetes: Three skin conditions signal high blood sugar [INSIGHT]

How to live longer: Five lifestyle habits that can help [TIPS]

Bowel cancer symptoms: Sign after pooing [ADVICE]

Why it’s important to get vaccinated

Some of the side effects of the vaccines may be unpleasant, but current figures suggest vaccines are weakening the link between infection and hospitalisation.

The side effects of getting vaccinated are therefore negligible compared to the risks posed by COVID-19.

Vaccines offer strong protection, but that protection takes time to build, however.

“People must take all the required doses of a vaccine to build full immunity,” explains the World Health Organization (WHO).

It takes time before protection reaches its maximum level

© Getty ImagesIt takes time before protection reaches its maximum level

WHO continues: “For two-dose vaccines, vaccines only give partial protection after the first dose, and the second dose increases that protection.

“It takes time before protection reaches its maximum level a few weeks after the second dose.

“For a one-dose vaccine, people will have built maximum immunity against COVID-19 a few weeks after getting vaccinated.”

Am I eligible to receive a Covid jab?

All adults aged 18 or over can now get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Common flu jab side effects

© Getty ImagesCommon flu jab side effects

You do not need to wait to be contacted by the NHS.

If you were contacted but have not booked your appointments, you’re still eligible and can book your appointments anytime.

To get your vaccine you can:

  • Book your COVID-19 vaccination appointments online for an appointment at a vaccination centre or pharmacy
  • Find a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site to get vaccinated without needing an appointment

Wait to be contacted by your GP surgery and book your appointments with them.

If you cannot book appointments online, you can call 119 free of charge.

Posted in COVID-19, Health, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments


It is not different from forcing mandatory vaccination

UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid

Playing the game! But we can’t say that the BOT Montserrat understands it. That begs the question, “Do the Government continue to ‘mismanage’? The criticism from day one has been how poorly they have managed, criminalising guidelines, and the logistics surrounding them. A most recent press release claiming to have “expanded the categories of persons allowed to enter Montserrat, and have made provisions for the use of electronic monitoring devices under the new public health COVID-19 Suppression Order…, is no more than forcing people to take the vaccine.

The UK Daily Express carried that story today coming after the Government of Montserrat (GOM) announced that it was making laws in a similar fashion that has pressured in more ways than one, the people and visitors to Montserrat. The latest move in a hypocritical way appears to be opening up the island to ‘tourists’ and visitors and even to persons who own homes and others who are normally residents in Montserrat for periods during each year.

What is this thirst, this hang-up on ‘vaccination’ which as seen in the most recent of many stories and official announcements, that the vaccine does not guarantee one who has taken, the ‘jab’ or ‘jabs’ (more than one, three may even be required to improve efficacy, do not prevent the vaccinated from contracting or passing on the infection?

The Order requires that certain categories of persons visiting the island must be fully vaccinated in order to gain admission to the island. The previous rules such as testing when on the island may still be in place.

“The parent or sibling of a Montserratian…”

“The parent, sibling, husband, wife, child or dependant of a person who (i) holds a permit of permanent residence; (ii) ordinarily resides on Montserrat; or, (iii) who owns a habitable house or home in Montserrat.”  

“The parent, sibling, husband-wife, child or dependant of a professional person who has been engaged by an entity in the public or private sector.”

In each case these persons: “…must be fully vaccinated and intends to enter Montserrat no earlier than July 19, 2021 and leave Montserrat no later than September 30, 2021;”

They remind that the new Order also makes provisions for the use of an electronic monitoring device to better manage persons in self-quarantine. 

On the Daily Express website there is also an article which quotes a professor who is angry at PM Johnson for what is called “Freedom Day” when all COVID-19 restrictions are eased on Monday. “Professor Christina Pagel, professor of operational research at University College London (UCL), said: “I feel p****d off, sad and angry.

“We are having the wrong conversation. Opening up on Monday is madness. We should not be doing it.

“We should be talking about how do we get cases down now.”

TMR says they can ease the situation by offering those people who for one reason or another do access the vaccine advice and information on how to protect healthily against the virus and what treatment is available early should they contract or even suspect, infection.

The full referenced GoM press release may be found at:

Readers who wish to read more on the issues of mandatory vaccination and other reletative matters to how the COVID situation is handled, here and world-wide may find on this TMR site and at:

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, COVID-19, Health, International, Local, News, Regional, TOURISM, Travel0 Comments


Compulsory Jabs vs the Nuremberg Code

Contribution Part 115 – 2021 # 08)

Have our authorities overstepped their bounds by moving towards compulsory vaccinations? (What does the post-WWII Nuremberg Code have to say?)

BRADES, Montserrat, July 7, 2021 –  A recent Government of Montserrat Human Resources circular of June 30th entitled “Updated Guidance on Discretionary Leave Provisions” has come to our attention here at TMR. In key parts, it reads:

“Public officers who apply for and are awarded Government Scholarships to study at institutions  abroad  will,  from the academic  year  2021/2022  be  required  to  be vaccinated before traveling to take up these awards . . . . It will also be a requirement for public officers attending training courses abroad to be fully vaccinated.”

Of course, given the third jab proposed for Autumn this year and reports of a train of onward booster shots every year or even every six months (as TMR has already reported[1]), “fully vaccinated” is a meaningless, dead term.  No, given what officials and even BBC[2] have said, it’s not “two jabs plus two weeks and you’re good to go.” BBC: “[p]lans for a Covid booster jab programme in the autumn will be set out in the next few weeks, [now former UK Health Secretary] Matt Hancock has said.”

Now, given utterly unnecessary sharp polarisation and accusations such as “incitement,” a point of clarification: there is evidence that vaccines can be effective and fairly safe. However, as risk is not evenly distributed in the population, if one has a significant medical history, consult a physician before any serious medical intervention. Where, too, if a train of treatments is in view, overall risks obviously can rise with such repeated exposure.

However, the bigger question raised by the circular is compulsory treatment – “required,” “a requirement” –  in the context of rushed experimental vaccines that to date only have emergency or contingent authorisation, not full approval. Tests for long-term effects and risks cannot be rushed.

Where, this obviously means – never mind objections by officialdom – they are still experimental and of course, there are significant concerns about risks.  Also, after the horrific Nazi medical experiments,[3] the Nuremberg Courts that judged war criminals issued a code for experimental medical treatments, which was then embedded in international and national law as well as in ethical standards for medical and research practice. This Nuremberg Code reads, in key parts[4]:

“[C]ertain types of medical experiments on human beings, when kept within reasonably well-defined bounds, conform to the ethics of the medical profession generally . . . certain basic principles must be observed in order to satisfy moral, ethical and legal concepts . . . The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have the legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior[5] form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision.”

A statement by Frontline Doctors group on Ivermectin

This is already decisive.

For, this means, sing- off- the- same- hymn- sheet PR talking points that suppress or stigmatise significant alternative views held by qualified people or simple concerns raised by the public are unethical and create liability. This includes marginalising concerns on risks of treatments,[6] the manifest fact that we are dealing with an unprecedented rushed global vaccination experiment, and issues regarding unduly sidelined evidence[7] that treatments such as Ivermectin-based cocktails can be effective. 

In short, it is arguable that we have not been given a balanced briefing that includes a true and fair view of reasonable alternatives, concerns, and risks.

Even if one could argue that we are increasingly or already beyond “experimental” treatment, a fortiori logic applies.

That is, if coercion, manipulation, hidden motives, and suppression of reasonable alternatives and/or concerns are improper for medical experiments, for cause – “how much more”  or “just like that” – they are also equally unacceptable for treatments in general. So, denial of the experimental status of the rushed vaccines does not allow one to wriggle off the hook.

The Nuremberg Code continues:

“[B]efore the acceptance of an affirmative decision by the experimental subject there should be made known to him the nature, duration, and purpose of the experiment; the method and means by which it is to be conducted; all inconveniences and hazards reasonably to be expected; and the effects upon his health or person which may possibly come from his participation in the experiment . . .”

With a third jab and onward train of booster shots already being on the table, with emerging issues and concerns on risks (think, blood clots and heart issues for young men) and more,  it is simple fair comment to note that such informed consent has long since been undermined. Obviously, informed consent applies “just as much” to more or less established treatments.

Then, we see:

“The experiment should be such as to yield fruitful results for the good of society, unprocurable by other methods or means of study, and not random and unnecessary in nature . . .”

Dr. John Campbell of the UK summarises how the degree of use of Ivermectin across Peru’s 25 states [33 million population] is linked to a reduction in Covid-19 deaths, there are similar results in Mexico and India

So, if there is reasonable access to and evidence of plausibly effective, less risky treatments (such as Ivermectin), then that should be fairly investigated and frankly disclosed.

Similarly, naturally acquired immunity is known to be highly effective. Some even suggest that it can be superior to that from many vaccines. So, why aren’t we testing for natural immunity before vaccinations and insisting on vaccinating people who have had and recovered from Covid-19?

The other methods or means test is also significant.

For, why are we using “gold standard” criteria for “evidence” that block the voice of otherwise valid “real-world evidence” and rule out otherwise plausibly credible treatments?

This lends added force to our next snippet from the Nuremberg Code:

“Proper preparations should be made and adequate facilities provided to protect the experimental subject against even remote possibilities of injury, disability or death . . .”

That speaks for itself, especially when we see:

“During the course of the experiment, the human subject should be at liberty to bring the experiment to an end if he has reached the physical or mental state where continuation of the experiment seems to him to be impossible.”

Resort to compulsion cannot be justified. The circular above is ill-advised and the precedent it may set is dangerous.

Accordingly, we find a final duty of those in charge of medical interventions:

“During the course of the experiment the scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate the experiment at any stage, if he has probable cause to believe, in the exercise of the good faith, superior skill and careful judgment required of him, that a continuation of the experiment is likely to result in injury, disability, or death to the experimental subject. “

Where, for cause, the attempted defence: “We were following the orders of legitimate authorities” was rejected by the Courts at Nuremberg.

This you will find does have some bearing to the United Nations “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)”

[1] TMR, June 25, 2021:

[2] See BBC:  and

[3] See

[4] See,

[5] That is, hidden.

[6] TMR

[7] TMR,

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Columns, Court, COVID-19, De Ole Dawg, Education, Featured, Features, Health, International, Local, Regional, Science/Technology0 Comments

Please Support The Montserrat Reporter

This is bottom line for us! Unless we receive your support, our effort will not be able to continue. Whatever and however you can, please support The Montserrat Reporter in whatever amount you can (and whatever frequency) – and it only takes a minute.
Thank you

TMR print pages



CARICOM – Staff Vacancy

CXC HEADQUARTERS - Executive Search

A Moment with the Registrar of Lands