Francis Collins

Seven Questions for Covid-19 ‘Expert’ Francis Collins

8 January 2024

3.8 MINS

Former NIH Director Francis Collins has finally admitted that he and his ilk were wrong to pursue lockdowns with reckless abandon. I have some questions for him.

A resurfaced video of former National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins has been making the rounds on social media this week, providing a stark reminder that ‘the experts’ are still due their reckoning for the reckless Covid-era policies they long foisted on the rest of us.

“If you’re a public health person, and you’re trying to make a decision, you have this very narrow view of what the right decision is, and that is something that will save a life,” Collins concedes in the clip.

“Doesn’t matter what else happens, so you attach infinite value to stopping the disease and saving a life. You attach zero value to whether this actually totally disrupts people’s lives, ruins the economy, and has many kids kept out of school in a way that they never might quite recover from. Collateral damage. This is a public health mindset. And I think a lot of us involved in trying to make those recommendations had that mindset — and that was really unfortunate, it’s another mistake we made.”

It is a breath-taking admission, almost too monumental to fully comprehend — not least because nobodies like me endured years of public ridicule for stating precisely the same point, on repeat, since 2020.

And it wasn’t just me.

Three of the world’s top medical minds — University of Oxford epidemiologist Sunetra Gupta, Stanford University medical professor Jay Bhattacharya and Harvard University medical professor Martin Kulldorff — penned the Great Barrington Declaration in October 2020.

In it, they pleaded with Francis Collins and his ilk, who were at the time (by Collins’ own admission) totally disrupting people’s lives, ruining the economy, keeping kids out of school in a way they never might recover from and causing other untold collateral damage to make a public health policy about-turn, and quick.

More lives will ultimately be saved, they urged in their declaration, if focussed protection were provided to the vulnerable, while those at low risk were able to get back to their daily lives.

Not just ignored, Gupta, Bhattacharya and Kulldorff were mocked and censored — by none other than Francis Collins.

In an email since made public via FOI to then-NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, Collins labelled the trio “fringe epidemiologists”. He then called for “a quick and devastating published take down” of their ideas to harden public opinion against them.

A compliant media obliged, and the rest, as they say, is history.

However, with Collins’ admission now firmly in the public domain, I have some questions for him.

1 — As a public health expert, what led you to believe that assigning infinite value to saving a life, regardless of any collateral damage that might result, was good public health policy? Did you ever consider conducting a cost-benefit analysis before recommending months of rolling lockdowns?

2 — Why did you decide to smear and silence Gupta, Bhattacharya and Kulldorff instead of debating them? Bhattacharya and Kulldorff have both confirmed that they extended the offer of a debate to you, so why did you reject it? In the words of Dr Vinay Prasad:

“You were the NIH Director. You could have had a series of Town Halls where you invited people like Jay Bhattacharya and Martin Kulldorff and had an open discussion of the pros and cons. You could have put them on YouTube. You have the powers of the federal government. You held zero debates. You just went on TV and you said proclamation after proclamation… You never tried to minimize uncertainty. You never brought anyone to the table who might disagree with you.”

3 — Why did it take three years for you to finally admit you were wrong? And what ultimately prompted your epiphany?

4 — What makes your admission acceptable today, when in 2020 and 2021 it would almost universally have been regarded as divisive and dangerous? Has the truth changed, or do you concede that your critics were right from the outset?

5 — If your mistakes were due to a lack of good scientific data early in the pandemic — or to borrow a popular phrase, if “science evolves” — why did you recommend rule-by-mandate? Wouldn’t scientific blind spots by definition demand the public be given choice rather than mandates?

6 — Not to belabour the point, but if “science evolves”, what led you to believe that silencing alternative viewpoints from world-renowned experts would help rather than hinder this process?

7 — What legal consequences, if any, do you believe you deserve for actively stifling sound public health policy? How can accountability for leaders like you today help safeguard the public from overbearing health bureaucrats tomorrow?

It is hard to improve on the words of Brownstone Institute President Jeffrey Tucker in his recent column “The Year that Expertise Collapsed”:

It felt like a coup detat of sorts. It certainly was an intellectual coup. All wisdom of the past, even that known by public health only months earlier, was deleted from public spaces. Dissent was silenced…

All the while, we kept thinking that there must be some rationale behind all this madness. It never emerged. It was all intimidation and belligerence and nothing more — arbitrary diktat by big shots who were pretending the entire time…

As it turns out, these experts who ruled our lives, and still do to a great extent, were never what they claimed to be, and never actually possessed knowledge that was superior to what existed within the cultural firmament of society. Instead, all they really had was power and a grand opportunity to play dictator.

To be sure, we need experts, perhaps even experts like Francis Collins. But we need them for their knowledge and experience, not their misguided attempts to censor countervailing viewpoints or enforce ideological conformity.

The entire point of experts is their expertise. Next time, it would be great if they used it.

Originally published at Mercator.


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  1. Leonie Robson 8 January 2024 at 10:03 am - Reply

    The dust has settled and now they feel emboldened to say ‘Maybe we could have done it better, but trust us, our hearts were in the right place, really truly.’
    Talk about lies and corruption.
    Crimes against humanity, Fauci, Collins, Dazack, Barric, and the cast of sycophants who backed them to the hilt.
    Sadly when push comes to shove, most people will likely fall for all of it again.
    Thankyou Kurt.

  2. Kim Beazley 8 January 2024 at 11:46 am - Reply

    While not disagreeing with every point here, but in light of the one sided libertarian views expressed by my friend Kurt, I’d like to ask him a few questions in return.

    1. Why, three years after so many health experts and ethicists condemned the “Great Barrington Declaration” as scientifically unfeasible and ethically flawed, are you still pushing it? Especially as I for one (though others as well) have been telling you the same for all of that time? After all, I’ve lost count of the number of times I have posted these and other links in response to your articles advocating for it:

    2. Why, when the possibility of herd immunity through infection was shown to be a futile hope, did you and those authors of GBD not relent?

    3. Why are you so one sided in your devotion to a libertarian and non-Christian source like the Brownstone Institute? Why would you, as a writer yourself, be promoting a recent article by their president that you describe as “hard to improve on” when it is nothing but an endless stream of straw man bashing and other fallacies?

    4. Why have you been so insistent on writing about rare adverse effects of the vaccines while far more people are far more seriously effected by the same as symptoms of the virus? Where is your article about that? Or about the roughly 10% of people who have been infected who have suffered long term and possibly permanent, even life ending damage to various bodily organs? As I read once, and will never forget, one of those sufferers said, “I will die prematurely from heart damage, but I’ll never be included as a COVID statistic”:

    5. Following on from that, why have you ignored the mountain of data from studies of the infected and from billions of vaccinations which prove conclusively that all of those symptoms and “Long COVID”, not to mention deaths from COVID infection, are far more prevalent among the unvaccinated?

    6. In relation to the admission from Collins, why would a medical professional have any other mindset than “assigning infinite value to saving a life” when that is at the heart of the oath they take as doctors? And when you correctly use the word “recommending” for the role they played, where is your examination of other bodies and their recommendations to the political leaders who weighed up ALL recommendations from ALL advisory bodies before putting lockdowns in place? As Collins is merely using 20/20 hindsight, which was always going to be required, as nobody was ever going to get measures 100% correct, why the focus on his hindsight? Especially when you have proved incapable of using it yourself.

    I remain,

    Your Friend,

    Kim Beazley.

  3. Ian Moncrieff 8 January 2024 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    Thank you Kurt for the expose. Praying that the Australian Senate enquiry answers these questions honestly and with wisdom , hopefully avoiding the same horrendous mistakes should another pandemic be foisted upon us.

  4. H Harrison 8 January 2024 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    It is true that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Many of us cringed right from the start when we heard the terms “expert” or “health advice” knowing it was one big lie! Then the loneliness & ridicule which often resulted, and then not being allowed to express it in places which should have allowed or even encouraged it, is still evident. The fallout is immeasurable. Thankyou for the article.

  5. James Bishop 8 January 2024 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    There were people, like me, at the time who reluctantly submitted to 2 vaccines in order to maintain the peace in our homes and at our workplaces. All of this leaves a nasty taste in our mouths and the everpresent fear of being diagnosed with cancer.

    • Kim Beazley 8 January 2024 at 7:06 pm - Reply

      I’m sure your GP will inform you that you have no cause to be concerned. There is simply no way that the vaccines can cause cancer.

  6. Warwick Marsh 8 January 2024 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    Great insight! Powerful and needed article!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Stephen Lewin 9 January 2024 at 8:36 am - Reply

    Thank again Kurt for your articles

  8. Gail Petherick 20 February 2024 at 9:47 pm - Reply

    Thanks for your great article Kurt. It was a magnificent moment of insight when Francis Collins admitted they might have made a mistake with the COVID mandates. I am so glad he did admit that, even it was for a short time after the COVID era but the damage needs to be fully presented now and we desperately need to know what to do next time round, and amend the ‘mandatory vaccine policy’ that has led to great injuries, sickness and deaths.
    I am so glad that at last many courageous professionals in Australia have been collating the statistics which show cardiac, auto immune, neurological illnesses, miscarriages and other damage such as cancer as the immune system has been interfered with.
    Re disruption to schools: We need to again evaluate the effect on children and school attendance and progress (e.g. Australia now has low reading scores for up to 1 or 2 in 5 children.) Children’s mental health was deeply affected form a young age and this has contributed to a ‘fear and anxiety’ syndrome.
    Other disruptions: Some businesses never recovered. Hospitals, medical centers and schools now lack staff as a number of nurses and doctors could not go on working with a vaccine they didn’t believe in and a number of teachers didn’t believe the vaccine was warranted. They also faced enormous stress as their students were often living in fear .
    Socially: Families were often divided and marriages were affected with increased divorce and domestic violence. Some forced into isolation and quarantine suicided or became mentally ill as it was impossible to support them all with counsellors and mental health care.
    Financially, many found it tough if one or two parents lost jobs or could not have the vaccine. While cost of living rose there was little support for housing rentals, extra medicine or fruit ad veg. Costs spiraled for the everyday person but in contrast doctors were given a bonus for each vaccine they gave to a patient. Sadly, too, other alternative ways to treat COVID (such as Ivermectin) were suddenly forbidden by the TGA just as the vaccine became available to Australia (yet several countries used Ivermectin and saved lives while Australian doctors were told to use respirators only and often this spread infection and the patients died. It was strange that suddenly there was no preventative medicine allowed. It was tragic too to hear of the number who died in hospitals as they could not be treated but even sunshine could have helped if they had been allowed outside and Vitamin D also was a great help to many who sought to find their own way to boost the immune ). Big Pharma grew in profits while the general population suffered hugely. The Governments in each state (and Federally) suddenly obtained sweeping powers over each citizen.
    Also, one has to ask:
    1. Why did the Government in each state mandate vaccines in view of the fact that they were experimental?
    2. Why were there fines and social penalties for those who did not feel they could take the vaccine with a clear conscience? (since we live in a democracy)
    3. Why did the TGA approve an unlicensed vaccine/product for all of Australia to use when it had not been put through extensive testing?
    4. Then- in view of those questions- one has to ask who should be accountable for the ones who fell ill or died from the vaccine?
    5. And- will we do things differently next time round now that we have statistical evidence that shows harm was done to some in the COVID era?
    Unintentional harm is one thing but now we know harm was done to some we simply have to admit that ‘do no harm’ is the way to go and reinstate the Hippocratic oath and allow doctors to use their discretion and contribute to decision making without being punished by medical bodies placed over them.

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