From Dr. Mercola:

March 7, 2022, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hosted a roundtable discussion about COVID
treatment, early treatment suppression, vaccine risks, the collateral damage from

school closures and lockdowns, and how to end the COVID theatre once and for all.

Panelists included physicians, scientists and academics from around the U.S., including:

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, a former National Institutes of Health-

funded researcher

Dr. Robert Malone, a molecular virologist, bioethicist, vaccine researcher and co-

developer of the mRNA vaccine platform

Dr. Tracy Hoeg, Ph.D., an epidemiologist

Dr. Jill Ackerman, a family physician

Dr. Christopher D’Adamo, Ph.D., an epidemiologist and integrative medicine


Dr. Shveta Raju, an internist

Dr. Harvey Risch, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology trained in mathematical modeling

of infectious diseases

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Ph.D., professor of health policy at Stanford, research

associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and co-author of the Great

Barrington Declaration, which calls for focused protection of the most vulnerable

Dr. Martin Kulldorff, Ph.D., former professor of medicine at Harvard University, now

senior scientic director of the Brownstone Institute, a biostatistician and

epidemiologist with expertise in vaccine safety evaluation, co-author of the Great

Barrington Declaration

Dr. Joseph Fraiman, a rural emergency physician and clinical scientist, specializing

in harm-benet analysis
Dr. Sunetra Gupta, Ph.D., Oxford University professor, an epidemiologist with

expertise in immunology, vaccine development and mathematical modeling of

infectious disease, co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration

We Must Hold Decision Makers to Account

As noted by Ladapo, one of the things we must remember and remain intent upon as we

move forward is to hold people accountable for their public health decisions. Two years

after the “two weeks to slow the spread,” we have ample evidence proving the decision

makers “didn’t know what they were talking about,” Ladapo says.

Their choices, that they made for everyone, were
the wrong choices that led to, basically, no appreciable

benefit. ~ Joseph Ladapo, Florida Surgeon General

They abused their power, they manipulated data, they lied, and they now want us all to

forget what they said and did. We cannot let them get away with it. Many errors were

made, and those responsible must be held to account.

“Their choices, that they made for everyone, were the wrong choices that led to,

basically, no appreciable benet,”
Ladapo says. “We cannot let them forget. We
have to hold them accountable. We have to let the country, the world, know what

the truth is — because it’s the right thing to do, and because it can happen again

if we don’t.”

Thousand-Fold Difference in Risk Was Ignored

Bhattacharya was one of the rst to investigate the prevalence of COVID-19 in 2020, and

he found that by April, the infection was already too prevalent for lockdowns to have any

possibility of stopping the spread.
He points out that one of the most egregious mistakes made was to ignore the fact that

there’s a thousand-fold difference in risk between the lowest and highest risk groups.

Children and teens are at virtually no risk of dying from COVID. Overall, the risk of COVID

is primarily relegated to the very old and those with multiple comorbidities.

Bhattacharya has called the COVID-19 lockdowns the “biggest public health mistake

ever made,”
stressing that the harms caused have been “absolutely catastrophically
devastating,” especially for children and the working class, worldwide.

In some areas of the world, children have not been in school for two years, and the

ramications of that will likely reverberate for decades. Public health has also been

negatively impacted by lockdowns and other measures — measures which Bhattacharya

states were based in fear, not fact.

Stunning Denials of Science

Kulldorff, in his opening remarks, points out what he believes is one of the most

stunning parts of this pandemic, and that is the denial of the basic science of natural

immunity. Even doctors and hospitals that “should know better have demanded vaccine

mandates for people who have already had COVID,” he says.

Perhaps even worse, hospitals have red staff who have had COVID and have natural

immunity, simply because they did not want to get the experimental jab. Those with

natural immunity are not just less likely to get COVID again, they’re also far less likely to

spread it to others. This makes them among the most valuable staff members a hospital

can have, yet they were routinely discarded.

“That goes against basic principles of public health,”
Kulldorff says. “And to
have a director of the CDC who questions natural immunity, which we have now,

is sort of like having a director of NASA who questions whether the earth is at

or round. It’s just mindboggling that we’ve come into a situation like that.”

Fraiman, whose clinical research expertise includes risk-benet analysis, also expresses
disbelief and frustration over the scientic censorship we’ve seen in the last two years.

He points out that many of his colleagues are simply too afraid of getting red to speak

the truth.

DeSantis, similarly, highlights how incredibly dicult it has been to publish and nd

research that contradicted the ocial narrative, and even when available, the

mainstream media would refuse to acknowledge it, whereas they would endlessly

publicize speculation and statements of opinion that had no basis in fact or science, but

supported — however imsily — the ocial narrative.

I would add that so-called fact checkers have even gone so far as to “fact check”

scientic peer-reviewed publications,
labeling them as “misinformation” or outright
“false,” resulting in their being censored on social media!

That’s an astounding development. It does not bode well for science when

noncredentialed individuals with zero experience in the topic at hand are given the

authority to decide the “truthfulness” or accuracy of scientists’ work.

The Inversion of the Precautionary Principle

Gupta, who has some 30 years of expertise in mathematical modeling of infectious

disease, points out that what we’ve seen over the past two years is an “inversion of the

schedule of uncertainty.” In short, doubt was cast on things that were rather certain —

so-called “unknowns were not unknown,” Gupta says — while certainty was claimed for

things we had no clue about.

“The powers that be told us the measures and restrictions would work, but we didn’t

know they would work,” she says. Moreover, we didn’t know what their purpose actually

was. “It was a rather incoherent set of goals,” she says. One thing we knew for certain

was that lockdowns and other restrictions “would have enormous cost,” she says.

“That was the one thing we were certain about, yet that’s what we went ahead

and did. We inverted the precautionary principle of trying to minimize harm, by

doing the one thing we knew would cause harm.”
I would add that the scale of that harm was never calculated or addressed at any point

along the way. It’s as though it didn’t matter how great the harm was, as long as there

was the appearance that we were doing everything in our power to prevent COVID.

Plausibility Versus Science

Risch brings up a similar point, saying we’ve seen a lot of misdirection. What’s been

conveyed to the public have been things that are plausible, but not scientic. “There’s a

big difference between things that seem plausible and things that are scientic,” he


For example, lockdowns are a plausible countermeasure, but they’re not based in

science. In fact, all the science we have, show them to be harmful, with little or no

benet whatsoever. “The same has been true for medications,” Rish says.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration put out warnings saying that hydroxychloroquine

should not be used in outpatients, even though they had no data on outpatient use of the

drug. They only had data on in-hospital use, and the two situations are not comparable.

Early COVID symptoms are completely different from symptoms of later-stage, severe

infection and the two stages require completely different treatments.

Hydroxychloroquine only works well when used very early. It’s not useful in the later

stages, and frontline doctors were well aware of this.

No Justication for Mandating Vaccines for Children

Malone — speaking on behalf of the International Alliance of Physicians and Medical

which currently has some 17,000 members — stressed that, in terms of
COVID policies, the Alliance has “made a series of very clear, unambiguous statements.”

“There is no justication for mandating vaccines for children. Full stop,” he
“We’re of the strong opinion that if there is risk there must be choice. This
is fundamental bioethics 101.”

As noted in the second Physicians Declaration
by dated October 29, 2021, children’s
clinical risk from SARS-CoV-2 infection is negligible and long term safety of the shots

cannot be determined prior to the enactment of mandatory vaccination policies. Not

only are children at high risk for severe adverse events, but having healthy, unvaccinated

children in the population is crucial to achieving herd immunity. Malone continues:

“No. 2, as far as we’re concerned, there is no medical emergency now, and there

is therefore no justication for the declaration of medical emergency and the

suspension of rights …”

The Alliance also condemns “the hunting of physicians and the restriction of physicians’

ability to prescribe and treat with early treatment.” With regard to vaccines, Malone also

highlights the fact that while a Pzer/BioNTech COVID injection has been approved by

the FDA, that product is not available.

So, there is NO FDA approved COVID “vaccine” on the market in the U.S. The only

products available in the U.S., for children and adults alike, are emergency use

authorization (EUA) products, for which liability is waived.

Now, in order for the COVID injections to qualify for EUA, there could not be any other

treatments available, which appears to have been the driving factor behind the

suppression of early treatment with repurposed drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and


Mask Mandates Have Not Had Any Benet

Speaking to the issue of mask mandates, Hoeg has published several studies, looking at

the effects of universal mask wearing. One of them assessed compliance and outcomes

in the Wisconsin school system. On average, 92% of children complied with the mask

wearing, and only seven students out of 7,000 caught COVID during the 2021 school

This was used by media to proclaim that masks work. The problem is, there was no

control group, and the low infection rate could have been due to anything. Hoeg points

out we have studies from Scandinavia, where masks were not worn, and they too had

extremely low infection rates among children.

Again and again, we’ve seen that children just aren’t susceptible to COVID, especially not

severe infection. So, low incidence really says nothing about the effectiveness of


DeSantis also notes that neighboring schools — one that had a mask mandate and

another that did not — had no discernible difference in infection rates, which he believes

is rather compelling evidence that mask mandates have no benet. What’s more, of the

two largest randomized controlled trials, both showed that masks do not prevent the

spread of infection.

According to Hoeg, we’ve inverted the precautionary principle with respect to mask

wearing as well. Without any high-quality evidence of benet, we’ve chosen to mask

children even though we know there are harms. They interfere with communication,

impede learning, hinder breathing, promote bacterial infections and more.

The Collateral Damage Has Been Immense

As noted by Fraiman, any time you consider a public health measure, you have to

conduct a thorough risk-benet analysis. Who may benet and to what degree? What

are the harms, who will be harmed the most, what’s the extent of the collateral damage?

Do the benets outweigh all of the risks?

In the case of school closures, “the collateral damage has been immense,” Fraiman

says. Physical and mental health has been impacted. According to Fraiman, there’s been

a doubling of obesity and diabetes, for example, during the pandemic. There’s been a

dramatic increase in anxiety, depression and stress.

Recent statistics show a shocking spike in fentanyl overdose deaths among high
school-aged adolescents in the U.S. during 2020 and 2021. The following graph, from a

December 24, 2021, preprint article
posted on medRxiv and tweeted out by Dr. John
B., a scientist, illustrates the situation better than words.

According to the authors:

“Adolescent overdose mortality saw a sharp increase between 2019 and 2020,

from 2.35 per 100,000 to 4.58 per 100,000, representing a 94.3% increase, the

largest percent increase of any 5-year age group …

Trends were driven by fatalities involving IMFs [illicitly-manufactured-fentanyls],

which nearly tripled from 2019 to 2020, and represented 76.6% of adolescent

overdose deaths in 2021 … Our results should also be understood in the context

of rising rates of adolescent mental illness during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“I think it’s quite clear that the collateral damage outweighed any benet that was there,”

Fraiman says. “So, I think we need to take a more systems-level approach before

embarking on this kind of policy the next time.”

Was Harming Children Intentional?
Bhattacharya adds, “Almost from the very beginning of the pandemic, we adopted

policies that seem like they were tailor-made to harm children.” Lower-income children

were disproportionally harmed by lockdowns and school closures. “The effect on these

kids has been catastrophic,” he says.

He cites a study that calculated that, as a result of the school closures during the spring

of 2020, children in the U.S. will lose 5.5 million life years. Lost learning literally ripples

through the child’s entire lifetime. They lead less healthy and shorter lives and are more

likely to be steeped in poverty.

In some areas of the world, schools have been closed for nearly two years. As noted by

Bhattacharya, we’ve “robbed an entire generation of their birthright.” Mask mandates

have made the impact on children even worse.

He points out that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the only public

health agency in the world that still recommends masking toddlers, “with literally not a

single study showing it has any consequence on the spread of the disease.”

“The only reason they continue to mask [toddlers] is because [the toddlers] are

he says. “We’ve adopted this idea that children are the central
problem; children are the ones who should bear all the burden of infection


In fact, that’s not true. It has revealed the values we have as a society, and it’s

not a pretty picture. None of this has actually worked to protect the vulnerable.

Still, 80% of the deaths are in people over 65. What have these restrictions on

children bought? Not very much, if at all. And it’s caused tremendous harm that

we’re going to have to address for years to come.”

Florida Recommends Against COVID Shots for Healthy Children

In late February 2022, Ladapo and DeSantis also updated the state’s policy on masks,
formally discouraging mask wearing.
Toward the end of the roundtable, Ladapo
announced the Florida Department of Health would also formally recommend against

COVID shots for healthy children, aged 5 to 17,
as they “may not benet from receiving
the currently available COVID-19 vaccines.”

During the roundtable, risks such ass myocarditis were also discussed. Florida is the

rst state to go against the CDC’s vaccine recommendations. In a statement published

with the new guideline, March 8, 2022,
Ladapo said:
“Based on currently available data, the risks of administering COVID-19

vaccination among healthy children may outweigh the benets. These

decisions should be made on an individual basis, and never mandated.”

Sources and References
Epoch Times March 3, 2022 (Archived)

Great Barrington Declaration

Newsweek March 8, 2021

Rumble, Ron DeSantis March 7, 2022, 32:00

Reclaim the Net December 17, 2021

Medscape December 20, 2021

ZeroHedge December 20, 2021

Physicians Declaration by the International Alliance of Physicians and Medical Scientists

Physicians Declaration October 29, 2021

medRxiv December 24, 2021 DOI: 10.1101/2021.12.23.21268284

Twitter Dr. John B December 25, 2021

AP News February 24, 2022

NBC News March 7, 2022, Updated March 8, 2022

Florida Health March 8, 2022


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