After listing his credentials, a Cambridge University-trained virologist spoke in a public forum against the extension of a mask mandate in one of Canada's largest cities, calling comprehensive lockdowns, masks and other mitigation efforts against the coronavirus "utterly unfounded public hysteria driven by the media and politicians."
"It's outrageous. This is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting population," said Dr. Roger Hodkinson, the CEO of Western Medical Assessments.
He was speaking via telephone during an Edmonton City Council Community and Public Services Committee meeting last Friday regarding the Alberta city's move to extend its face-covering bylaw.
Hodkinson began with a summary of his credentials to ensure he not be regarded as a "quack."
He said he is a medical specialist in pathology, which includes virology, who trained at Cambridge University in England. A Royal College certified pathologist in Canada, he is the former chairman of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons committee in Ottawa. Hodkinson served as CEO of a large private medical laboratory in Edmonton, Alberta, and now runs MutantDx, a molecular diagnostics company in North Carolina that provides COVID-19 tests.
Hodkinson warned that what he was about to say was "lay language and blunt" and "counter-narrative."
"There is absolutely nothing that can be done to contain this virus other than protecting older, more vulnerable people," he said.
"It should be thought of as nothing other than a bad flu season," said Hodkinson. "This is not ebola. It's not SARS."
The reaction to the coronavirus is "politics playing medicine, and that's a very dangerous game."
"There is no action of any kind needed other than what happened last year when we got unwell," he said. "We stayed home, we took chicken noodle soup, we didn’t visit granny, and we decided when we would return to work. We didn’t need anyone to tell us."
White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, in fact, co-authored an article published March 26 in the New England Journal of Medicine predicting the case fatality rate for COVID-19 would turn out to be like that of a "severe seasonal influenza," about one-tenth of 1%. The Centers for Disease Control now estimates the survival rate for those infected with COVID-19 is 99.997% for ages 0-19; 99.98% for 20-49; 99.5% for 50-69; and 94.6% for those 70 and older. The World Health Organization's estimate in March of a death rate of 3.4% sparked panic worldwide, fueling the catastrophic lockdowns.
Hodkinson said masks "are utterly useless."
"There is no evidence base for their effectiveness, whatsoever," he said. "Paper masks and fabric masks are simply virtue signaling."
Masks are not worn correctly most of the time, the physician said.
"It's utterly ridiculous, seeing these uneducated people -- I'm not saying that in a pejorative sense -- seeing these walking around like lemmings obeying with any knowledge base to put the mask on their face," he said.
He said "social distancing" is also useless because COVID-19 spread by aerosol, which travels some 30 yards before landing.
A randomized, controlled Danish study published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that a "recommendation to wear a surgical mask when outside the home among others did not reduce, at conventional levels of statistical significance, incident [COVID-19] infection compared with no mask recommendation."
In October, an analysis of a dozen graphs charting the number of COVID-19 cases in countries and U.S. states confirmed the conclusions of recent studies that mask mandates have no effect on the spread of the disease.
Hear Dr. Roger Hodkinson's remarks:
Hodkinson said every business and public place should be "open tomorrow," as stated in the "Great Barrington Declaration," a petition launched by Stanford, Harvard and Oxford epidemiologists arguing for not restricting the healthy while protecting the vulnerable.
WND reported last Wednesday the coronavirus adviser to Joe Biden who is advocating a national lockdown of four to six weeks argued against lockdowns in March in a Washington Post op-ed, advocating the strategy promoted by the "Great Barrington Declaration."
'You've gotta get a grip on this'
Hodkinson also weighed in on testing, noting he is in the business of testing for COVID-19.
"I do want to emphasize that positive tests do not, underlined in neon, mean a clinical infection," he said.
"It's simply driving public hysteria, and all testing should stop unless you're presenting to hospital with some respiratory symptoms," said Hodkinson.
In August, the New York Times found in an analysis of data that up to 90% of people testing positive for COVID-19 carried barely any virus.
Times reporter Apoorva Mandavilli summarized her story on Twitter: "NEW: All these months into the pandemic, we may have been testing the wrong way. Data from some state labs suggest up to 90% (!!) of people who get a positive result are no longer contagious and don't need to isolate."
Hodkinson said "all that should be done" from a public policy standpoint "is to protect the vulnerable."
He recommended giving everyone in nursing homes 3000 to 5000 international units of Vitamin D everyday, "which has shown to radically reduce the likelihood of infection."
He pointed to statistics by the province of Alberta indicating the risk of death for people under 65 in the province is one in 300,000.
"One in 300,000! You've gotta get a grip on this," he said. "The scale of the response that you are undertaking with no evidence for it is utterly ridiculous given the consequences of acting in a way that you’re proposing."
He pointed to "all kinds of suicides, business closures, funerals, weddings, etc., etc."
"It's simply outrageous," he said. "It's just another bad flu and you’ve gotta get your minds around that."
The physician called for people to "make their own decisions."
"You should be totally out of the business of medicine. You’re being led down the garden path by the chief medical officer of health for this province," he said.
"I'm absolutely outraged that this has reached this level. It should all stop tomorrow. Thank you very much."
The moderator of the public forum was appreciative.
"Well, thank you for that, again," he said. "Hopefully all the layers of government are listening. We have the least amount of influence, but we definitely appreciate everything you had to say."