The silencing of Covid truth teller, Dr Berger
11 July 2022
David Berger has been forced to submit to a Communist style re-education program and humiliation where he has to explain how he has behaved discourteously, unprofessionally and offended the community. If he does not comply, this skilled, ethical and courageous doctor will face deregistration because he told the truth
NOOSA - There has been an outpouring of support for Australian doctor David Berger, whose social media activity has been censored and registration as a doctor threatened because he tells the truth about the incompetence of the Australian government’s handling of Covid.
Dr Berger has been an acute reporter, knowledgeable analyst and severe critic of how Australian governments have failed the public in their handling of Covid.
This has led to more than 10,000 deaths and hundreds of thousands of people with chronic illnesses, and there is no end in sight.
An unusual man who chooses to practice medicine in remote and underserviced areas, Dr Berger has been outspoken on where the responsibility lies for this, and especially of the governments’ decision to remove or reduce measures to suppress the spread Covid.
Until the end of last year, Australia was one of the world’s leading countries in dealing with the pandemic but then, in a related string of decisions, decided that vaccinations were sufficient to pursue a ‘let it rip’ policy which saw restrictions on the community lifted.
This gave the virus the opportunity to spread rapidly in Australia as a result of which the health of the community has been devastated and the efficient operation of the economy disrupted.
Earlier, Australia’s half-hearted response to the incidence of the disease in Papua New Guinea left the nation almost wholly unprotected from Covid, a situation exacerbated by the continuing lack of doctors, medical equipment and other materials.
The abysmal state of data collection in PNG has allowed both governments able to turn their backs on a deadly disease without significant public concern.
Dr Berger was probably the loudest and most energetic voice in Australia as he used Twitter to let people understand more the disease, become aware of what needed to be done to combat it and how governments were failing in their paramount duty to keep people safe.
He did this using clear, straightforward and often colourful language and by making direct criticism of those who were failing in their duty, especially prominent political and medical organisations and figures.
This offended the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Authority (AHPRA), the body that registers all health practitioners and which also receives, investigates and adjudicates complaints about medical practitioners.
It seems AHPRA received an anonymous complaint against Dr Berger accusing him of violating doctors’ code of conduct and behaving unprofessionally towards colleagues.
As a result, Dr Berger has been forced to submit to a Chinese Communist style re-education program and explain how he has behaved discourteously and unprofessionally and offended the community.
He was instructed to stop this behaviour or face deregistration which would stop this most dedicated of doctors from continuing to work in the field of medicine.
The real problem the authorities had with Dr Berger was that he was telling the truth about multiple official failures in Australia which have led to a deadly disease running rampant through a poorly protected population.
This wilfully aggressive and totalitarian action by AHPRA as it attempted to silence Dr Berger soon ignited a fierce response from scientists, medical professionals and ordinary people from around the globe.
The backlash told AHPRA and the political figures who lie behind it that the organisation had behaved in an appallingly destructive and unethical way against a man who was in fact performing a great service to the community.
That Dr Berger had thousands of supporters who were prepared to come forward to publicly defend him was an extraordinarily positive sign of the impact of his writing on Covid.
Among them is the Committee for Public Education, an independent rank-and-file committee of educators in Australia.
Australia’s mainstream media, however, have treated Dr Berger’s plight with silent disdain.
Perhaps this is not surprising given that the media have performed lamentably in not providing the community with accurate and unbiased information on the pandemic,
The only major outlet to reveal publicly what is happening to Dr Berger was the World Socialist Website, which took up the doctor’s cause.
“In reality, the complaint being levelled against Berger has to do with his commitment to exposing government lies and the corporate/media falsehoods that attempt to minimize the dangers posed by Covid-19,” an article on the website stated.
This exposure was prompted thousands of scientists, health care workers and concerned citizens from around the world to voice their support for Dr Berger.
Much of the commentary mentioned that his science-based advice had kept them and their families safe during the pandemic.
“It is upsetting that public health has become political in Australia after previously having done such an amazing job of minimising pandemic impact until recently,” wrote renowned virologist Dr Stephen Griffin of Leeds University in the United Kingdom.
“To silence Dr Berger using threats is tantamount to censorship, nothing else.”
“The fact is that Dr Berger has spoken with conviction and honesty around his views of how the pandemic is being handled, many of which I agree with.”
The World Socialist Website wrote about the great pressure applied to the doctor in his role of Covid explainer and campaigner as he told truths that officialdom wanted suppressed:
“Dr Berger has been repeatedly defamed and attacked by social media trolls and right-wing pundits for exposing the false claims that children do not get Covid, that the virus is not airborne, that schools are safe, that vaccines largely prevent infection, and that the virus is mild,” the website said.
Lisa Diaz, a Covid activist who has faced attacks in the UK from government authorities, told the World Socialist Website:
“This assault on David is actually terrifying. All he has done is tell the truth about the devastating health implications of SARS-CoV-2.
“However, he is a threat as governments around the world want to keep spinning the lie that Covid is mild, reinfections are fine, and we should all live our lives and pretend it’s gone away.
“It isn’t in the interests of the powerful elites for the general public to know the truth—that it’s a brain shrinking, autoimmune, vascular disease that can attack every single essential organ in the body, irrespective of whether symptoms are mild.
“David cares. He tried to warn people. And for that he is being punished. It’s sick … the world has gone mad, and nobody is coming to save us. People need to move and move quickly.”
“Dr Berger has been right since the beginning of the pandemic,” wrote Italian data scientist Antonio Caramia.
“He is a light in the darkness of misinformation. What the Australian medical authority is trying to do is simply unbelievable.
“This can be a very dangerous issue for people because it can let government misinformation win against the truth.”
Meanwhile in the USA, Dr Kimberly Prather, director of the Center for Aerosol Impacts on Chemistry of the Environment in San Diego, who has continuously warned about the role of airborne transmission during the pandemic wrote supporting Dr Berger, as did Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam, co-founder of the World Health Network and a leading scientist who has advocated for the global elimination of SARS-CoV-2.
Dana Parish, best-selling author of Chronic, a book which addresses infection-mediated chronic illness, wrote in defence of Dr Berger:
“It is an unspeakable disgrace that a medical or political body would attempt to gag a physician warning the public about the dangers of this airborne, potentially life-ruining virus.
“If public health officials would focus their energies on mitigating the virus—and actually doing their jobs—people like Dr Berger could practice medicine without having to do it for them.
“I strongly support and appreciate the truth he puts forth and encourage him not to ever back down.”
PNG Attitude joins the World Socialist Website in its call for “all scientists, healthcare workers, health practitioners and workers in every industry across the globe to support Dr Berger against censorship by the Australian authorities and the onerous attack on him and his livelihood, and demand that these disciplinary actions be withdrawn.”
We live in a difficult time. Not only besieged by an unforgiving virus but led by disreputable and unethical politicians and health authorities who, for some reason best known to themselves, want to tell us anything but the truth about Covid and how we should respond to it.
Not to make too fine a point of it, I seldom write to endorse the expressed opinion of other contributors whether or not in agreement. Yet this is a principal occasion of such moment and of monumental principle that the words of commentator Chris Overland struck me as if I myself had said, for his report is of what also my practice has been and by intention, continues.
Chris said: "In the meantime, I have had 4 Covid jabs, wear a mask in most public settings, sanitise my hands frequently and avoid crowded venues where possible. This strikes me as the only intelligent strategy for people in my age group (over 70) [even without] a pre-existing health condition."
Posted by: Lindsay F Bond | 11 July 2022 at 11:43 PM
Fully support you determined defence of Dr Berger. I have his Twitter account bookmarked and regularly check in to keep myself and family informed on matters Covid. The AHPRA appears to have accepted an anonymous complaint as evidence rather than a cause for investigation and challenge. Both the anonymous complainant and the AHPRA must have different reading skills to me, not read the same website as I do or not concerned themselves with context to rule as they have done. In no respect have I found anything published by Dr Berger anything but concern for his community and the welfare of the Australian people in the highest traditions of the medical profession.
Posted by: John Beswick | 11 July 2022 at 10:37 PM
I deplore the heavy handed attempts to silence Dr Berger, especially if this has been triggered by an anonymous complaint. This is, in some respects at least, a sinister development.
There is at least one main stream media outlet, the ABC, which has been consistently pointing out that (a) the pandemic rages on; (b) that the new Omicron variant is hugely more infectious than its predecessors; and (c) that maybe it is time to reinstitute some basic public health measures such a compulsory mask wearing in many public indoor settings, an insistence upon routine hand sanitising in shopping centres, etc.
Of late, the Federal and State governments have started making similar noises although none have yet summoned up the nerve to mandate such measures.
This may yet occur especially if, as I expect, our health system becomes overwhelmed by the combined impact of Covid and Influenza. There are signs that this is already dangerously close to reality here in SA.
In the meantime, I have had 4 Covid jabs, wear a mask in most public settings, sanitise my hands frequently and avoid crowded venues where possible. This strikes me as the only intelligent strategy for people in my age group (over 70) with a pre-existing health condition.
By my observation far too many people are behaving as if a Covid infection is a comparatively trivial and manageable illness when this is manifestly not the case for many people.
This suggests that a fatalistic attitude has taken hold whereby deaths and disability from Covid are shrugged off as a sad but inevitable cost of returning life to normal.
If a new and much more lethal version of the disease emerges, as well it might, we will collectively have good cause to regret our collective failure to take this disease far more seriously.
Posted by: Chris Overland | 11 July 2022 at 01:01 PM
I wonder if fast tracking forward some 12 months or more when some us, mostly those who are the most vulnerable from being struck down with this pernicious disease, will, after our getting our tenth booster shot might then reflect just how badly this issue has been handled by those who should have known better?
Posted by: Harry Topham | 11 July 2022 at 10:23 AM