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  • rmacculloch

Holy Crackers: the Chair of the NZ Covid-19 Royal Commission of Inquiry is "Professor of Elimination" Michael Baker's coauthor - let's boycott it.

The more we find out about the Jacinda Ardern-Grant Robertson-Chris Hipkins government, the more shocking it becomes. Aside from them bankrupting NZ, now investigative journalist Kate McNamara alerts us to the fact that the Labour-appointed Chair of the Covid-19 Royal Commission of Inquiry is a guy called Tony Blakely who wrote the article with Michael Baker & Nick Wilson of Otago University, called "Elimination could be the optimal response strategy for Covid-19 and other emerging pandemic diseases", published in the British Medical Journal in 2020. Maybe the incoming Vice Chancellor of Otago, a guy called Grant Robertson, has a view on the matter? Is he the same Grant Robertson who banned folks who were engaged in any research on monetary matters, like me, from serving on the Reserve Bank's monetary policy committee, since he took the view we were biased? Seems what holds for monetary policy doesn't hold for Covid policy.

Anyhow, you know the above paper? The one that says "Elimination .. probably reduced overall economic contraction relative to the suppression strategy". Really? The NZ economy has one of the lowest growth rates in the world at present - and is mired in recession, debt, a failing infrastructure, collapsing health & education systems and with more children in material hardship. Meanwhile the US is booming. But fear not - a friend in Europe tells me in a couple of weeks, Ardern is set to dump a truck-load of carbon into the atmosphere and fly from Boston to Italy where she will be presented with the University of Bologna's highest honor, the Sigillum Magnum.

How about this cracker of a line by Baker, Wilson & Blakely: "A goal of eliminating community transmission of covid-19 is achievable & sustainable .. and will be facilitated by the introduction of effective vaccines". It was not sustainable - not in NZ, not anywhere. The elimination "strategy" was not "facilitated" by vaccines. That is unambiguously wrong. People who take the vaccine can still pass the virus on. Why don't they retract the paper? How can a coauthor of Baker's chair the Commission? I recently got an email from it - from a person calling themselves a "Senior Communications & Engagement Adviser" - and told them I had no interest attending their "workshop". Why didn't the folks on the Commission send me the mail themselves instead of a Comms person? What a waste of taxpayers money. Are the only folks working in Wellington since the Ardern era "Comms" staff? Let's boycott it. By the way, this is how "sustainable" elimination has actually proved to be in NZ:

Gosh, looks like practically the whole of NZ has caught the virus by now - a far higher rate than nearly anywhere in the world. If long-Covid is actually a real problem, then our long-term health outcomes may turn out to be amongst the worst.



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