More doctors condemn lockdowns: More harm than good
More doctors condemn lockdowns: More harm than good
While there are likely many Canadian doctors who quietly agree that lockdowns as a cure for stopping the spread of coronavirus may be worse in the long run than the virus, some doctors have risked their reputations by publicly warning policymakers just how damaging lockdowns may prove to be. The following three doctors are especially noteworthy in this regard.
Alberta retired heart surgeon Dennis L. Modry, BSc, MD, MSc, FRCS, FACCP, FACS, criticized Premier Jason Kenney in a Dec. 11 open letter for imposing lockdown measures that “severely limit and, in some cases, shut down entirely many social, family, friendship, spiritual, recreational and entertainment pursuits that Albertans rely on for their well-being.”
Modry, who is a clinical associate professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Alberta as well as the founder and director of the heart, lung and heart-lung transplant program, said the major tenet of the Hippocratic Oath that physicians adhere to of doing “no harm” is “ignored” by imposed lockdowns.
“I acknowledge with reverence those Albertans who have passed on from COVID-19, just as I acknowledge many others like Jerry Dunham who have died because lockdowns prevented their access to health care for very serious non-COVID-19 illnesses and conditions. I acknowledge the many with despair who have died from suicide and drug overdose.”
Modry said there is mounting evidence that “lockdowns are more lethal than COVID-19,” pointing to a December 2020 paper from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms making the case that delayed medical treatment, delayed or cancelled diagnosis, suicide, and drug overdose are causing a significant death toll. Academics from Harvard, Duke, and Johns Hopkins universities released a paper in December 2020 in which they claimed that COVID lockdowns would result in a “staggering” one million excess deaths over the next decade-and-a-half in the United States alone due to a spike of health-related issues caused by unemployment.
Modry recommended that the province reopen with “conventional pre-COVID-19 precautions.”
“Interventions such as total lockdowns, social distancing, and compulsory mask use are causing more harm than good. The genie (virus) is out of the bottle and the spread cannot realistically be controlled at all by the current interventions,” he said.
Ontario’s former top doctor told Premier Doug Ford in a Jan. 18 open letter that lockdowns are “misguided efforts to control COVID” and are “only compounding the tragedy.”
Dr. Richard Schabas, who served as Ontario’s chief medical officer of health from 1987 to 1997 and who was chief of staff at York Central Hospital during the SARS crisis in 2003, told Ford that lockdowns are not supported by “strong science” and were never part of the province’s “planned pandemic response.”
“Lockdown has been used by almost every developed country and, in the great majority of cases, the lack of response speaks for itself. Two recent studies on the effectiveness of lockdowns show that it has, at most, a small COVID mortality benefit compared to more moderate measures. Both studies warn about the excessive cost of lockdown,” Schabas wrote in his letter.
Schabas pointed out that there are “significant costs to lockdowns” that are often overlooked, such as “lost education, unemployment, social isolation, deteriorating mental health and compromised access to health care.”
“Lockdown is an affront to social justice because its burdens fall disproportionately on the young, the working poor and visible minorities. We will be paying for lockdown — in lives and dollars for decades to come,” the doctor wrote.
Dr. Roger Hodkinson, a medical specialist in pathology and virology, a former chairman of the examination committee in general pathology for the Royal College of Physicians of Canada, and current chairman of a biotechnology company in North Carolina selling COVID-19 tests, told the Edmonton City Council in a Nov. 13 meeting that “media and politicians” are responsible for “utterly unfounded public hysteria” over COVID-19.
“There is absolutely nothing that can be done to contain this virus, other than protecting older, more vulnerable people. It should be thought of as nothing more than a bad flu season,” he said.
“There is no action of any kind needed other than what happened last year when we felt unwell. We stayed home, we took chicken noodle soup, we didn’t visit granny, and we decided when we would return to work. We didn’t need anyone to tell us.”
Hodkinson criticized masks and social distancing to stop the spread of the virus as “useless,” pointing out that there is no real science to back up such protocols.
He pointed to the unintended consequences of the lockdowns.
“The scale of the response that you are undertaking with no evidence for it is utterly ridiculous given the consequences of acting in a way that you’re proposing. All kinds of suicides, business closures … It’s simply outrageous.”
“Everywhere should be opened tomorrow as was stated in the Great Barrington Declaration,” he said at one point during his talk.
Hodkinson said that politics playing medicine is a “very dangerous game.”
“You should be totally out of the business of medicine,” he told the politicians.