You may recall that in February Rev S de Marie’s article “Vaccinate against corona – yes or no?” was published on this site. This was followed in March by his response to some criticism.[i] Today, with the federal government about to introduce widespread vaccination, the secular media appear to be having a field day about this hot topic. There are people wholeheartedly supporting the vaccinations, others zealously oppose it even with street rallies, and then there are those who don’t know what to make of it all and are simply cautious. Even in ‘our’ churches there are those who are voicing opposition to vaccinations. Therefore I wrote to Dr John Eikelboom, a Canadian specialist in cardiometabolic health,[ii] about it as follows:
“I write in the interests of serving fellow church members who have become hesitant about vaccines against COVID because of conspiracy theories and other negative information in relation to the vaccines. Their scepticism surfaced as a result of a recently published article by Dr S de Marie who spoke favourably about the vaccines (see Vaccinate against corona – yes or no? – Defence of the Truth).”
In the letter to Dr J Eikelboom I also referred to an Instagram article by a “specialist” doctor, Steven Malthouse, which appeared to be widely read and which was being used to justify this scepticism.[iii]
Dr Eikelboom responded as follows:
“Sadly, conspiracy theories abound re COVID-19.
Even in our own circles, some suggest that COVID-19 is a hoax, that big business has somehow created COVID-19 to make money, and that vaccines are unproven and perhaps even dangerous.
At least one office bearer in my own congregation in Hamilton subscribes to some of these views.
Such opinions are not based on science, and stoke unrest, division and confusion. They also undermine our identity as Christians. Our neighbours hear us opposing authorities and challenging science and they question whether anything we say can be believed.
Stephen Malthouse is not a specialist.
Much of what he says is simply misinformed. His views suggest that he has not read the journal articles. In reality, his ideas are already long out of date based on the available evidence.
He claims that the COVID-19 vaccines are not vaccines. I am not sure what point he is trying to make.
The COVID-19 vaccines are effective. Not 100% effective but by way of comparison they are much more effective than the flu vaccine.
There are at least 6 vaccines approved around the world, some mRNA vaccines, some made using an adenovirus, and some using protein.
Proper trials were done involving 10s of thousands of people.
The vaccines both prevent infection and subsequent transmission. They also prevent hospitalization and death.
Of course, there are uncertainties. But we urgently need vaccines.
I am fully vaccinated.
And contrary to his claims, we have little else to treat, even though we are working hard on developing treatments.
I also very much appreciated the piece by Rev S de Marie.”
Dr Eikelboom followed this up with the following:
“For your interest: I have pasted below an open letter by Dr Stephen Malthouse to Dr Bonnie Henry, BC Provincial Health Officer, [Canada] dated October 15, 2020.
I have added a few comments. While he makes some good points, much of it is simply misinformed.
This is the same person who opposes vaccines based on incorrect information.”
What follows is the Open Letter to Dr. Bonnie Henry from Dr. Stephen Malthouse (Oct. 15 2020) with Dr Eikelboom’s comments in red.
Dear Dr. Henry,
I am a physician who has been in family medical practice in BC for more than 40 years and a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC since 1978.
I am writing this letter with the hope that you will be able to clarify the basis of your decision-making that has led our provincial government, health ministry, regional health officers, hospitals, medical staff, WorkSafe BC, businesses, and everyday citizens to follow pandemic policies that do not appear based on high-quality scientific research and, in fact, appear to be doing everyone a great deal of harm.1
The early intent of mitigation measures to “flatten the curve”, when we knew very little about SARS-CoV-2, its mode of transmission, and the severity of COVID-19, was reasonable. I believe that most physicians in Canada, myself included, whether active or retired, prepared themselves to take part on the front lines for the expected COVID-19 tsunami. Very soon it was apparent that the expected overwhelming of the hospital system was not going to occur, and now BC physicians have questions about the appropriateness of your public health policies.
**JE – we were less overwhelmed than the US but only because we implemented the lock downs. Parts of the US were truly overwhelmed because they followed Trump policies
The epidemiological evidence clearly shows that the “pandemic” is over and no second wave will follow. The evidence has been available for at least 4-5 months and is irrefutable.2-4 Yet, in spite of this substantial body of research, your office is perpetuating the narrative that a pandemic still exists and a second wave is expected. This false story is being used to justify public health policies that appear to have no health benefits, have already caused considerable harm, and threaten to create more harm in the future.
**JE – we have since experienced a major second wave in Canada and might yet see a third. The irrefutable evidence against a second wave has now been refuted…
As you are aware, Sweden took an entirely different approach and, as of mid-September, their infection rate reached an all-time low and Covid-19 related deaths were at zero; 22 of 31 European countries, most of which enacted strict lockdowns, had higher infection rates. Sweden has also largely escaped the financial ruin and catastrophic mental health problems experienced in other countries, including Canada and the U.S.A.
**JE –Sweden now acknowledges that they got it wrong. Their COVID-19 mortality rate is among the highest in the world (and much higher than Denmark and Norway)
Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, Montréal’s medical officer, has stated “this COVID virus is much like the seasonal flu”. A group of over 400 Belgian doctors have stated “COVID is not a killer virus, but a treatable condition”. Eighteen Canadian doctors wrote the Ontario Premier, Doug Ford, stating “your policies risk significantly harming our children with lifelong consequences”. The Ontario policies are very similar to those of British Columbia.
**JE – One of our ICUs is still full of COVID patients as of March 2021. In 30 years in medicine I have never seen anything like it.
In 2011, a review of the literature by the British Columbia Centres for Disease Control that sought to evaluate the effectiveness of social distancing measures such as school closures, travel restrictions, and limitations on mass gatherings as a means to address an influenza pandemic concluded that “such drastic restrictions are not economically feasible and are predicted to delay viral spread, but not impact overall mortality”.
Specifically, there appears to be no scientific or medical evidence for5-6
- Self-isolation of asymptomatic people
- social distancing
- arbitrary closure of businesses
- closure of schools, daycares, park amenities, and playgrounds
- the discontinuance of access to education, medical, dental, chiropractic, naturopathic, hearing, dietary, therapeutic, and other support for the physically and mentally disabled, particularly special needs children with neurological disorders
- the closing down of or restrictions on religious places of worship.
**JE – there is evidence that both distancing and masks work
According to the CDC Pandemic Severity Index, none of these measures have been warranted. The Great Barrington Declaration, signed by more than 30,000 health scientists and medical doctors from around the world, adds support for this statement.
Surprisingly, the recommendation for reducing COVID-19 morbidity and mortality by supplementing with vitamin D, a measure that is supported by high-quality research, has been absent from your frequent public broadcasts and professional bulletins.7 Optimizing nutrition is a convenient, inexpensive, and safe method of improving immune resistance and has been confirmed through numerous studies for both prevention and treatment of COVID-19. As far as I am aware, you have never mentioned something as simple as vitamin D supplements for our most vulnerable citizens. Yet, it was the promise to protect these same citizens that was used to justify the lockdown of a healthy population and the closure of businesses.
**JE – agree that vitamin D might work. Like everything else it is being tested
Why are you still using PCR testing? The Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Health in Ontario has publicly stated that the PCR test yields over 50% false positives. A New York Times investigative report found that PCR testing yields up to 90% false positives due to excessive amplification beyond the recommendations of the manufacturer. The PCR test was never designed, intended or validated to be used as a diagnostic tool. Even the Alberta Health Services COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Group has stated “clinical sensitivity and specificity values have not been determined for lab developed RT-PCR testing in Canada”.8 Despite expert consensus, you continue to use this inappropriate and inaccurate test to report so-called “cases” and justify your decisions.9-18
**JE – PCR is routinely used for diagnostics and is an incredibly valuable and powerful tool
The public health definition of a “case” is very broad. As all experienced doctors know, a “case” is a patient with significant symptoms who is often hospitalized. A “case” is not a person who simply has a questionably positive PCR test and presents with no symptoms or an unrelated diagnosis. Pictures of healthy young adults standing in line to get PCR tests, with a cell phone in one hand and a Starbucks coffee in the other, are everywhere in the media. These are not sick people and do not need testing.
**JE – It is not that young people die from the disease but they do transmit disease
Nevertheless, your public announcements repeatedly emphasize that the “case” counts are rising and we are in big trouble. Recently, “out-of-control” case counts were used to justify a second lockdown in Ontario and Quebec. Curfews have been put into place. People are being asked to risk their livelihoods to make sacrifices for the general good, based on Public Health’s misrepresentation of “cases” as sick people.
Meanwhile, hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths from COVID-19 have dropped to pre-pandemic levels. Where are all the patients?
Why not simply tell the public that
- the PCR testing is not reliable and is meaningless for diagnosing COVID-19 Not meaningless
- positive PCR test results do not represent sick patients, Agree
- rarely are people now becoming ill from SARS-CoV-2, No not true
- provincial hospitals are essentially empty of COVID-19 patients, If true in some places it is because lockdowns worked
- decisions should not be based on “cases” in the news, Agree
- the morbidity/mortality of COVID-19 has not exceeded seasonal influenza, Nonsense
- the median age of death from COVID-19 in Canada was 85 years, Even if true, what is the point he is making?
- the pandemic is over, and It is not over, even now in March 2021 (6 months later)
- no second wave is coming. It has come and gone”
Dr Mathuis’s letter is considerably longer but this gives you a taste of the views being promoted and Dr J Eikelboom’s responses. In Europe, Canada and elsewhere the severe lockdowns currently in place provide clear evidence that the Corona Virus is not a conspiracy and the seriousness of it should not be underestimated. It would seem that, on the basis of observations by Rev Dr S de Marie and Dr J Eikelboom, both highly respected as Christian medical experts it this area, that we need not be afraid of being vaccinated. Indeed, it would seem to be acting responsibly to be vaccinated.
As with all calamities, may this pandemic yet serve to turn the hearts of many people to the Lord. Love for, faith in and faithfulness toward Him are of paramount importance. They are obligatory and have value for eternity. May He also graciously bless the vaccinations and grant relief.
[ii] Dr. Eikelboom, MBBS, MSc, is Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, McMaster University, and haematologist in the Thrombosis Service, Hamilton General Hospital, Ontario, Canada.
[iii] For Dr Malthouse’s Instagram article: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CK2a9vfjW4c/?igshid=170d7xgxmxilq.