The WSWS continues to receive statements in support of Dr David Berger, an Australian physician and dedicated Zero-COVID advocate, who was ordered last month by the Australia Health Practitioners Regulatory Authority (AHPRA) to undertake a “program education” special or to be disbarred due to his social media criticism of the governments response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the publication of our First post on July 8, which calls on scientists, health care workers and other sections of workers to come to the defense of Dr Berger, the WSWS has published eight articles compiling statements of support.
In a significant development, on July 14, a group of experienced doctors and medical practitioners issued a powerful open letter to Australian federal and state health ministers, demanding “Doctors’ freedom of expressionand condemning the disciplinary measures inflicted on Dr. Berger.
The letter, which now has more than 1,600 signatories, calls on health ministers to revoke all disciplinary action against Berger, undertake an independent audit of AHPRA’s “handling of social media and public advocacy complaints” and to affirm “the freedom of expression of doctors”. It also calls for a review of AHPRA’s ability to punish doctors for speaking out, its ‘mission as the general advocate of government health policy’ and the removal of anonymity protections. for those complaining about public advocacy.
We urge readers to speak out in defense of Dr. Berger and email statements of support here. Please indicate in the email how you would like to be identified in our next article, and if you would like to include a photo, please attach one to the email.
Mila, a medical scientist from Western Australia:
Like many other medical scientists around the world, I condemn APHRA’s actions on the silencing of Dr. David Berger’s sensitive commentary on COVID.
It is important that all scientists, doctors and people with frontline experience have a voice, especially when providing honest and fair criticism of the government’s public health response. All of this is done in good faith, that our intentions are based on scientific reasoning, evidence, and front-line experience, which neither APHRA nor the government’s division of public health possess.
Dr. Berger has always acted in good faith, coming from a place of what is best for the community, especially in rural and remote parts of WA, my home state. I fervently support Dr. Berger and call for the immediate removal of all sanctions and silence against him.
Sofia, pharmacy worker in Melbourne, Australia:
I was shocked to read AHPRA’s actions against Dr. David Berger. In a country that yesterday reported nearly 40,000 new cases of COVID-19, a leading public health agency is not targeting the virus responsible for those victims, but a doctor providing evidence on how to reduce its impact .
Although swept under the rug by governments and the media, the current coronavirus outbreak defines my daily experience as a pharmacy worker. Every hour I am faced with people trying to relieve their loved ones of her symptoms. This week I had to tell a distressed mother that there was not much we could do for her 18 month old baby with COVID. Every day I come across people suffering from the so called “100 day cough” which is usually left behind following a COVID infection, and I have to admit to them that none of the cough suppressants are likely to work.
For doing his part to address this crisis – raising awareness about preventive measures, fighting misinformation and sharing his medical expertise – Dr. Berger is being sanctioned by the same authorities who are supposed to ensure public health. Against the backdrop of another working day, where I and my colleagues are faced with the results of an ever-worsening pandemic, it becomes clear where the priorities of the government and its agencies lie. It is certainly not in the public interest.
Pharmacy workers must demand the removal of Dr. David Berger; AHPRA must withdraw its sanction against it and regain its public health responsibilities.
Leanne, a health advisor from Melbourne, Australia:
I am recording this video in support of Dr. David Berger. Dr. Berger is currently under attack by his professional board, with the threat of disbarment, for daring to speak out against the deadly “let it rip” policy regarding COVID. Dr Berger argues for a Zero-COVID health response, not the current economic response to COVID. The campaign in support of Dr Berger is similar to that which the Socialist Equality Party is currently waging in favor of Julian Assange. Both are campaigns pursuing truth and justice, both for Dr Berger, for Julian Assange and, ultimately, for us.
Lisa, a disability support worker from New South Wales, Australia:
At the start of the pandemic, amid fear and death around the world, I was heartened to see Australian governments heeding the advice of the medical and scientific community. Today, public health measures have been abandoned in the interests of the status quo in favor of capitalist profits. The toll of dead and sick is accelerating and the health system is in crisis.
Dr. David Berger, a principled and highly respected medical professional, advocates for a science-based response to SARS CoV2, including the pursuit of elimination in opposition to the “let it rip” response from governments around the world. worldwide, except for China. The false allegations made against him by AHPRA regarding discourteous and unprofessional behavior can only be an attempt to silence him and others who question the government’s inaction in the face of mass death. The persecution of Dr. Berger must be fought.
Bron Markham, nurse in New Zealand:
This is a ridiculous answer from AHPRA. My concern in all of this is the setting of a dangerous precedent for government (mis)management of communicable diseases in communities in the future. I just wonder how long New Zealand will continue to buy vaccines and now antivirals. Eventually, this question will be asked.
AHPRA’s attempted gagging of David Berger is itself unprofessional and a gross abuse of vested powers of the body.
This infringes David’s rights as a senior healthcare professional not only to express his opinions based on accepted clinical practice, but also his democratic right to free speech.
Greg Sullivan, a WSWS reader from San Diego, California:
Not only do I support Dr. David Berger, but I want to thank him for the inspiring words he has spoken recently World Socialist Website video interview.
It describes how ingrained forces in the medical profession pretty much tell future COVID patients with clinical vulnerabilities or who are immunocompromised that they are alone, and how that makes them feel like they, too, are alone.
So true! Behind the scenes, everyone feels “really at sea”.
It takes an uncommon measure of honesty, courage and strength to admit to feeling vulnerable, especially when so many others seem to feel such certainty, but it allows one to be more human and therefore to “consider of the humanity of all”. we.”
That humanity is certainly present in all the genuine support you get from people like me who appreciate being told the truth about COVID. Thanks!