Viewpoint. While health care personnel must have received at least one dose of vaccine by September 15, 2021, under penalty of sanctions, and the health pass has been mandatory since August 9, Dr. Christophe Grangeon, an emergency physician and forensic scientist in New Caledonia, explains why these measures have a political rather than a health justification.
By Christophe Grangeon
The control of the coronavirus pandemic has not been possible with the long isolation and containment measures. Its intrinsic characteristics are the cause of a loss of control on a global scale. (Unlike SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV or even Ebola).
Update on strategies
Generally speaking, all protection strategies, containment measures and eradication strategies (Zero-Covid) are proving more and more every day their inefficiency and their deleterious effects in the long term (even if they have a justification in the emergency to reduce the pressure on the health system): on the economy first (impoverishment of a large part of the population), on the mental health of children, adolescents (age of extra-familial relational constructions par excellence) and adults, on the mortality by delay of semi-urgent care and by the absence of prevention, on the increase of intra-family violence.
The vaccine is presented as the only scientifically viable alternative to protect against infection and its consequences… (The alpha and omega if we consider the ineffectiveness of social measures.) However, we note that mass vaccination at a moment T is illusory to put out of harm’s way a virus like this one. Israel is a proof of it, the vaccinated of January end up in resuscitation for lack of sufficient immunity or potential side effects (ADE) occurring during a viral infection in a context of vaccine immune decline.
What is the health pass?
The health pass is just another social measure in this context. But not just any measure, it goes far beyond a simple attempt to get out of the crisis or to reduce the pressure on the health system.
It is the obligation to justify an element of health specific to the coronavirus to travel outside of metropolitan France or to access certain institutions or events involving large gatherings of people. This health element can be justified by a vaccine, a negative PCR test or a certificate of recovery.
The health pass thus becomes a health equivalent of the reversal of the burden of proof that takes place in civil law. In the triad: test-trace-isolate, it emphasizes the aspect of tracing no longer on sick people, but on healthy people.
From a scientific and medical point of view
- SARS-CoV-2 is contagious (with an R0 of 2 to 4 which increases with new variants), which explains its ubiquitous dissemination in the human population and in animal reservoirs. The disease is massive, because the current population has no natural defense against it.
- Being vaccinated does not prevent being contagious.
- The escape of variants (false negatives) to PCR and antigenic tests is known.
- The appearance of variants induced by vaccine pressure is a viable scientific postulate in the infectious diseases community, although not yet proven.
- The contagiousness preceding the symptoms makes it factually impossible to control the epidemic and all restrictive measures that can be imagined.
- The unpredictable lethality and sudden large-scale measures have created a sense of fear in all populations.
The scientific evidence shows that the health pass has no clear justification. The health pass does not exempt from contagiousness and therefore from viral transmission. It therefore does not fulfill the function for which it was put in place.
Once the scientific postulate is swept away, it becomes clear that we are moving from science to politics. The health pass can only be seen as a political measure whose real effects on the expected viral dissemination will be close to zero. On the other hand, the psychological effects on the population, with a feeling of intensive surveillance and intrusion into private life, will be major and can only lead to mistrust of our already fragile public health policy and our public authorities. A health democracy is no longer a democracy as soon as an adjective restricting it is added. There are many examples of this in our recent history. “Popular” is the adjective that immediately springs to mind.
The erosion of our freedoms
A question then arises: Should the illusion of good health justify all measures to restrict democracy and especially should it justify the reduction of freedoms in the long run? Can we live with a flagrant erosion of our freedoms as long as we are healthy? The effect on health is also measured directly on the people whose fundamental freedoms are restricted. If it is only temporary, the health pass is a medium-term threat to our democracies since it erodes (momentarily) the angles, but leaves traces in the minds and in the texts.
The health pass divides society, even within families, between good and bad citizens, between pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine, between conditional freedom and restriction of movement, between fear and deliverance. As an object of division, it becomes (unintentionally, but we can ask ourselves the question) a weapon of power that consists in dividing in order to better rule, and this, even in the intimacy of the homes and the hearts of the citizens.
It is important not to mistake the target. It is not the virus that leads to restrictions, but the political decisions that are put on its back.
The health passport is not an effective measure against the spread of viruses, nor is it a guarantee of good health since one can be vaccinated, sick and contagious at the same time. This measure is liberticidal and creates a precedent for population control.
A policy better adapted to validated scientific knowledge and not based on fear would improve health strategies and public support.
The disastrous economic consequences are already leading to the relaxation of the health pass in France and its abolition in the UK.