The COVID-19 virus has led nations around the world to take radical action to prevent its spread. In New Zealand, the Labour government has adopted an approach of eradication at any cost. That strategy has failed.
In the false hope of eradicating the virus, we now face Labour’s Second Wave of Lockdowns. There is no end in sight for the current lockdown or for ending COVID-19 restrictions at lower levels. Labour’s plan is for years of rolling lockdowns.
As new information is learned about COVID-19, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the fatality rate of the virus is considerably lower than first predicted. In the early stages of COVID-19 entering New Zealand, fear spread with many believing mass deaths would take place.
Initial predictions of death have not materialised around the world, and COVID-19’s case fatality rate is not unlike that of seasonal influenza. Flu or colds have never been eradicated, and attempts to do so have proved futile. The WHO and GAVI are predicting a similar situation for COVID-19, and it looks like we will have to learn to live with it and find ways to protect our most vulnerable without shutting down society. (https://www.gavi.org/vaccineswork/could-covid-19-ever-be-eradicated)
The reasonable question to ask now is – what long -term economic, social, and health costs will New Zealanders face in a futile effort to eradicate COVID-19 – a virus we now know we can manage as a nation without losing considerable freedoms?
New Zealanders deserve an approach that properly balances the need to support and protect the elderly and vulnerable without destroying the rights, liberties, financial stability, and hope of New Zealand as a whole.
Lockdowns create more devastation than solutions. Living in fear while people lose their jobs, their homes, and their livelihoods, whilst the elderly spend their last days alone is neither acceptable nor necessary.
Policy in brief:
- Abandon Labour’s strategy of lock- downs at any cost, and the predicted years of continued rolling lockdowns.
- Implement a risk-based approach where vulnerable citizens are protected and supported, but all others are free to continue daily life.
- Repeal the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act to remove powers that override the Bill of Rights.
- Require all documents relied on for ministerial decisions during a crisis or emergency to be released within 48 hours.
- Allow the option to use alternative treatments that have been trialled successfully, and found to be safe in France and the USA.
- Establish an advisory group of epidemiologists independent of the Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation, because MOH and WHO have too many obvious conflicts of interest.
- Conduct an urgent study into the long-term economic, social, and health impacts of lockdowns on NZ.
- Allow for prophylactic/preventative regimens to prevent infection, so our approach is not solely focussed on reactive medical treatments.
Advance NZ’s Plan
Abandon Labour’s Lockdown strategy
- The current Government’s strategy of lockdowns at any cost has failed and hurts New Zealanders in both the short- and long-term.
- Elimination of the virus is impossible, as it is impossible with colds & flus.
- Proposed rolling lockdowns for several years are devastating and bring us no closer to developing the desired long-term outcome of herd immunity.
Implement a risk-based approach
New Zealand’s response to-date has been out of all proportion to the risk.
- Our response to COVID-19 must not be worse than the virus itself.
- New Zealand must make decisions based on the most up-to-date information, which now shows the case fatality rate for COVID-19 is not as high as first predicted.The measurement methods have been changed, which alters the fatality rates. CDC has recently given a level of 0.0065 Infection fatality ratio. Note that this number contains asymptomatic patients as well. This means that some of the cases and deaths making up this number may have been labelled COVID without actually being symptomatic, eg. Died with cancer or a car accident but tested positive. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html
- A risk-based approach prioritises compassionate and financial support for the vulnerable, without limiting the freedoms of all New Zealanders.
- The elderly and immuno-compromised will be provided with access to greater support where they need it, and greater work-from-home options will be catered for.
- Once our new mitigation and support strategies are implemented, we will end border restrictions on asymptomatic visitors.
Repeal laws that override the Bill of Rights
The COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 contains wide-ranging and dangerous powers that remove individual rights and freedoms. This Act is dangerous and must be repealed.
- We will reinstate fundamental human rights of freedom of movement, freedom of association, freedom of expression, and freedom from unwanted medical procedures.
- We will remove the military from any role in carrying out health responses.
- We will remove warrantless home entry powers for Police that relate to the COVID-19 health response.
- We will make vaccinations optional; they will never be mandatory.
- We will make Medical procedures a matter of free choice; they will never be required by Government.
- We will make it unlawful to sanction medical staff who express views contrary to the narrative of the MOH.
Require maximum transparency of decision-making
The Government’s role is to serve the people. This must be an open and transparent process.
- We will release all documentation and information used in COVID-19 decision-making within 48 hours, in order to allow for public scrutiny.
- We will ensure that any tests used to identify infection are fit for purpose, and when they are only indicative, that the results be clear in their limitations.
Enabling alternative treatment options
- We will follow the growing body of international research showing early antiviral interventions exist that can mitigate the spread of COVID-19. https://mmportal.bnlanding.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2020/07/PressRelease.pdf
- We will require Medsafe to investigate—and enable the use of—potentially useful and proven prophylactic and alternative treatments. We will provide greater availability and access to these treatments.
- We will urgently conduct an independent investigation of the use of early, low-dose hydroxychloroquine plus zinc as both a prophylactic and treatment for COVID-19.
Ensuring robust and independent advice
- We will end the practice of pushing partisan information to the public that creates narratives of fear.
- We will recognise that the strategy of rolling lockdowns has been driven by a single, faulty, and now out-of-date model that grossly overestimated the death rates. To avoid such mistakes in the future, we will engage with a range of independent, expert voices covering all the aspects required for individual and national health outcomes
(https://judithcurry.com/2020/03/25/covid-19-updated-data-implies-that-uk-modelling-hugely-overestimates-the-expected-death-rates-from-infection/#_edn1) Even Neil Ferguson himself admits that his software was outdated and these alarming results were wrong. (https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01685-y) To avoid such mistakes in the future, we will engage with a range of independent expert voices covering all the pillars required for individual and national health outcomes.
- We will engage a COVID-19 Plan B group of epidemiologists and academics to carry out a thorough review of the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 decision-making models.
- We will recognise and respect the sovereignty and freedoms of all New Zealanders.