‘Why Glenda Gray is wrong’ – Zwelini Mkhize

Health Minister responds to criticism from own advisor.
Minister of Health, Zwelini Mkhize. Image: Supplied

Statement by Minister of Health, Zwelini Mkhize:

In the past week, my office has been inundated with media requests for comments regarding Prof Glenda Gray’s public utterances on government’s decision relating to the lockdown.

The article referred to has some of the utterances that have been directly attributed to Prof Gray, as follows:

  • “We are seeing children with malnutrition for the first time (at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital). We have not seen malnutrition for decades and so we are seeing it for the first time in the hospital”
  • “…but the de-escalation, month on month, to various levels is nonsensical and unscientific.
  • “We believe, as scientists, that we give and are giving the government good advice and why they decided not to take the advice or engage readily with the scientists is unknown. Why have experts if you don’t care what they think?”
  • “This strategy is not based on science and is completely unmeasured. It’s almost as if someone is sucking regulations out of their thumb and implementing rubbish, quite frankly.”
  • “We punish children and kick them out of school and we deny them education. For what? Where is the scientific evidence for that?”

For the benefit of the public, it is important to mention that the Ministerial Advisory Committees are not unusual within the Department of Health. The National Health Act makes provision that advisory or technical committees may be appointed as may be necessary to achieve the health objectives as provided for in the act and its regulations.

As it stands, the department continues to benefit from experts who are specialised in various fields of health through their participation in different Ministerial Advisory Committees. To illustrate this point, these are some of the committees that are in place: the Ministerial Advisory Group on Immunisation, the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Organ Transplant, the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Health Pricing, the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Prevention and Control of Cancer and the Ministerial Advisory Committee on NHI.

Over the years, the role of the advisory committees has proven to be useful in providing support to the Health Ministry by offering advice on various matters in line with their terms of reference. These advices are presented to the Minister who considers them. Thereafter the minister may elect to engage other stakeholders or departmental officials on such advice for further research or input. This advice is then accepted or rejected based on the holistic view that the minister will consider as the Member of the Executive responsible for Health.

This has not been any different with the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Covid-19. This committee was appointed on the 26th March 2020. The terms of reference are very specific: “the MAC on Covid-19 is an advisory committee and does not have delegated powers to act on behalf of, or to commit the minister or Government to any actions”. They further state that “each member will act with the highest professional and ethical standard at all times”.

It is important to highlight that to date, the MAC on Covid-19 has provided the Ministry of Health with 50 advisories. Also, all these advisories presented have been accepted. The minister has utilised these in the implementation of the Department of Health’s response to Covid-19. These advisories have also been included in presentations to various stakeholders and more importantly, the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), chaired by President Ramaphosa. Throughout this period, the NCCC has welcomed these presentations. In fact, the president has consistently acknowledged and commended the scientific data made available by the Department of Health through the MAC. This data is taken into account as part of broader consultations and inputs from other departments, different provinces and various stakeholders including business and labour.

I have seen it fit to give this detailed background in order to highlight that at no point has the Department of Health or government as a whole ignored and not responded to the advice of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Covid-19. The statement made by Prof Glenda Gray is at the least devoid of the truth. Having read the article, I have been taken aback by the obvious inaccuracies it contains which have in my view, caused unnecessary sensationalism and doubt on the work and effort of the government in dealing with Covid-19.

We will keep emphasising this, as government we do not claim have it all figured out when it comes to Covid-19. No country does. The president has constantly and correctly stated that we are in uncharted waters. But we are committed to doing everything in our powers to protect the lives of our citizen.

I must pause to mention that I have also been stunned by media queries on why I appointed Prof Abdool Karim as chairperson of the Covid-19 and “sidelined” Prof Glenda Gray. Save to state the obvious that such appointments are a prerogative of the minister, I find such a question disingenuous as there is nothing that disqualifies Prof Abdool Karim to chair this MAC. In this regard, I continue to urge members of the media that during this period we must be made to respond to issues of substance and not matters that seem to want to sow division within the Covid-19 MAC and cause mischief.

It is therefore important to publicly place on record that Prof Glenda Gray made factually incorrect and unfounded statements:

FALSE: We are seeing children with malnutrition for the first time (at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital). We have not seen malnutrition for decades and so we are seeing it for the first time in the hospital

FACTS/RESPONSE: There has been a reduction in the number of cases of malnutrition that have been seen at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital POPD and the total admissions during the month of March and April 2020, when compared to the previous 4 years. To illustrate this, in April 2019 there were 2 885 patients seen and 500 admissions.

However, in April 2020 there were 834 patients seen and 146 admissions. I have been advised by the department’s officials that at a subsequent Covid-19 MAC meeting, Prof Velaphi, the Head of Paediatrics at the hospital, raised this concern and asked why Prof Gray would mislead the public by giving inaccurate information. In response, Prof Gray merely stated that she had relied on what she had heard from “other colleagues”. However, these colleagues were not disclosed. This emphasises the warning we have been to the media and public not to just rely on anecdotal evidence. This ends up causing unnecessary anxiety to our citizens.

FALSE: We believe, as scientists, that we give and are giving the government good advice and why they decided not to take the advice or engage readily with the scientists is unknown. Why have experts if you dont care what they think?

FACTS/RESPONSE: Since the establishment of the MAC, 50 advisories have been given to the Minister of Health, all of which have been accepted. Ironically, last week Prof Gray, as chairperson of the Research Subcommittee was part of the team that was preparing an advisory to the Ministry of Health in relation to the lockdown. This advisory had not been submitted to the Minister of Health when Prof Gray elected to speak to the media. There was a platform that had been created but this was overlooked even before making input through the Department of Health channels. She elected to do so through the media.

FALSE: This strategy is not based on science and is completely unmeasured. Its almost as if someone is sucking regulations out of their thumb and implementing rubbish, quite frankly.

FACTS/RESPONSE: There are existing structures in government that have taken into account various factors, including scientific, socio economic, etc. The comment that government thumb sucks its decision not only undermines the joint work and effort that the NCCC, cabinet and government as a whole has been engaged in. But it is also unprofessional and unbecoming conduct from a member of the MAC who has direct access to the Ministry and the Department. In my view it undermines and brings into disrepute the institution that Prof. Gray works for which is an entity of the Department of Health, the MRC.

FALSE: We punish children and kick them out of school and we deny them education. For what? Where is the scientific evidence for that?

FACTS/RESPONSE: The Department of Basic Education has been engaged in various consultations with its stakeholders on the correct approach to take in the process of opening schools. The minister has also presented the Department’s strategy in the correct forums and is exercising her executive powers based on information and evidence before her to recommend to government on how to proceed. It can never be Prof Gray’s place to make such comments without being aware of the details, the advice and the process the Department of Basic education has followed.

Divergent views by scientists are healthy and welcome. The MAC provides this platform for robust engagement of these top scientists who are leaders of various respectable institutions and organisations.

However I must urge all those who are contributing to the thought process and science behind the decisions ultimately undertaken by Government to desist from potentially destructive behaviour and continue to engage constructively with government as they are mandated.

As head of the Medical Research Council, Prof Gray has access to the minister and the Department but never once raised this matter directly with ourselves, yet she has never failed to raise other issues of concern beforehand.

It must be understood that regulations are influenced by inputs from the public and her views would have been considered had she made submission in a normal way when public comments were called for. It is exactly for this reason that government has been bold enough to even make amendments to some regulations based on public inputs. However, Prof Glenda Gray chose not to use this platform.

We may not always agree but we will listen and consider input brought to us. We have said that government will not fight this pandemic alone. We need partners in our society to assist us with advice and even mobilising social behaviour in order to manage the spread of this virus. It is for this reason that we appreciate various social partners who have pledged their support to this cause. We will continue to work together until we conquer this coronavirus battle.

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Minister of health is wrong.

an ANC ideologist can not be wrong!!!!!

Difficult to see how both can be correct! Unfortunately this public spat does not do much for the public’s confidence in an already stressed and frightening situation. Sadly it appears that being united against the common problem i.e the Chinese virus is no longer a realistic option.

I may add, as an observation, that on a balance of probabilities , my money would be on the Prof

At least he made it to CNN

Surely, our Ministerial Advisory Committee have more pressing things to devote their precious time to than a twar with the CEO and president of the South African Medical Research Council, over medical research.

For instance, can we be 100 % certain how dire the consequences are for not wearing boots and leggings with crop bottom pants at a time of Covid?

There are more pressing matters indeed…like seeing how long the ANC can benefit from keeping big tobacco from interfering in the thriving illicit trade that keeps the feeding trough full.

Risk adjusted? What risk?

There’s more than one risk at play here and the minister is looking only at the risk of the virus spreading. In this case lockdowns are the answer. The stricter the better,the longer,the better.

But the greater risk by far is damage done to the economy – a lot of which we are about to discover to our massive cost – is permanent and irreversible.

And will cost far more lives than the virus.

And advising the government on all of this are a bunch of medical practitioners with no mandate, it would appear, to balance health with economic risks.

And whoever in government should be stating the case of the economy is either powerless, or AWOL. And our media is inexplicably silent on challenging the government on this point.

And while we fritter our lives away in lockdown, there goes SAA, the land Bank, the construction, restaurant, tourism and mining sectors. Because if we find one case of covid-19, we’ll close the mine.

And in the background we still have the virus to deal with, with or without an economy. The surge is yet to come and with it, doubtless more lockdowns – and when these have passed we will be standing in some kind of wasteland.

And we will blame it all on the virus.

‘They can increase the lock down/testing to the point where the lock down/testing becomes more important than the cure’

Here we go. The obfuscation begins. Dr Gray has a professional obligation to talk about her findings, irrespective of the virus.

It is a bit like the case when the UK Govt requested scientists to investigate the benefits of medicinal marijuana. After six months they wrote back saying; ‘it does have some benefits but we are more worried about the negative effects of alcohol consumtion’.

The Govt got so mad with the doctors, who just shrugged and stated that the Govt does not understand. ‘We are scientists and we compare the effects of all substances’ and that is the right way to do it.

The problem was one of money getting in the way of science, and the alcohol lobby group in the UK is the most powerful.

Seems a polite, even-handed response from the minister that directly addressed her claims. And on the face of it, demolishes them!

If only every government official respond to criticism in this open, engaging, manner!

The ball is now in Gray’s court, to rebut this rebuttal in a convincing manner.

You know, like real scientist would. With real facts, properly laid out, and in proper context. Not hearsay “I heard from my friends…”

We shall see.

Oh please. Take the one about children. Mkhize’s answer has nothing to do with children and is just flimsy waffle.

@Paul

You really are displaying a “selection bias” here!

He has CORRECTLY called Gray out on HER generalities. And YOU give her a pass on HER shoddiness here!

His rebuttal of Gray on this point is – for this point in time – perfectly reasonable and sensible! Certainly no more vague than Gray.

Gray is coming from only one perspective. Government has to decide from a whole bunch of conflicting perspectives. And priorities. Some of which ONLY come to the fore AFTERWARDS.

He is quite correct that Gray may offer advice, but is in NO position to make executive decisions.

This disease is a very fluid and DEVELOPING situation.

EVERY nation is feeling their way as they go along.

I think you are being a bit hard on Paul there. He has a valid point.

The only item on which Mkhize specifically rebuts Gray is re the malnutrition numbers. He alleges hearsay. But his own answer is itself hearsay. It is not first-hand knowledge. He wants us to accept his hearsay, but not hers. This has nothing to do with rebuttal – it’s really just another thin-skinned ANC strongman in full cry, and he’s careless enough to imply that she should shut up because he’s allegedly her boss as Minister of Health. Carefully re-read the whole section about bringing the MRC into disrepute. Apart from being patent BS, it is genuinely Stalinist in tone and content, and someone really needs to whisper “The Constitution, sire….freedom of speech, sire…” into his ear.

The rest of his answers are exactly as Paul says: they don’t rebut Gray, but continually allege was not in a position to understand why government did what it did because she wasn’t privy to the information or decisionmaking processes. But if that is so, whose fault is it? Why, when the citizenry is crying out for transparency, is the government being decidedly opaque about what information is being used to make decisions regarding the pandemic, and how those decisions are being made? And why isn’t the head of the MRC in the loop when she, of all people, should be?

I’m all for bias-free decision-making, but a close reading of Mkhize’s rebuttal leaves more questions than answers and is far less of a slamdunk than you suggest. IMO, it’s defensive drivel from a second-tier politician who held high ANC office throughout the Zuma years, and is not, therefore, deserving of being given the benefit of the doubt on any issue.

Talk about talks – Minister said nothing as now seem common practice within the NCC.

I would not say a word as the minister looking at the fine mess they have made of state hospitals which in many places seem to be functionless
As a specialist I can say they are completely out of touch – every day I hear of the new harship, poverty, hunger, businesses closing etc. Easy when taxpayer keeps you going without the worries of rental etc. We all bought into the lockdown for 3 weeks. No longer, one cannot believe a word from the ANC when you have ridiculous rules on clothing , smoking etc ( I do not smoke ).
If they had not allowed state capture, cadre deployment, lack of maintenance and downright incompetence this situation would probably have looked a lot better. Blame yourselves, not the virus – virus exposed the faultlines of the ANC . Each day the cracks are widening

Ironically, pres. Ramaphosa’s initial good leadership on the Covid 19 issue has badly shown up the ANC government, for their criminal negligence on the Aids issue, when four ANC presidents have provided no leadership on the biggest disaster ever to hit the people of this country.

As we speak 1 500 young women are infected with Aids every week, with a total of 7.9m people infected.

Also, contrast the estimated 42 000 Covid 19 deaths against the 61 000 yearly deaths by TB, on which there are no leadership or lockdown.

And the men dieing each day from hiv????

Prof Gray is wasting her time. The ANC can never be wrong. I learned this during my time opposing e-tolls and I have repeatedly seen it in my 30-year involvement in road safety.

The ANC can be pig-headed, stupid, ideologically blinkered, factually incorrect, ignorant of proven scientific fact, at odds with international best practice, misguided, corrupt and contemptuous of citizens, but never wrong.

The ANC’s entire approach to governance is to do whatever they like on the basis that almost no citizen has the resources to go to court and have their irrational actions and laws overturned.

I hold no brief for either Mkizhe or Gray.

In my opinion, Gray has NOT handled this dispute in the professional manner expected from a person in her senior position.

The clue is in the minister’s remark

“As head of the Medical Research Council, Prof Gray has access to the minister and the Department but never once raised this matter directly with ourselves, yet she has never failed to raise other issues of concern beforehand.”

Why did she not FIRST write up her concerns in a direct email FIRST addressed to the Minister (apparently her boss), and then only – if she had gotten an unsatisfactory response (and that was documented), taken her displeasure to the public and media?

I can guarantee that if a subordinate of yours had behaved in a similar cavalier manner with YOU at YOUR business, YOU would have been irate at this “behind-your-back” behaviour, and quite probably instituted a disciplinary action!

Mkhize may be all you say, but in THIS matter, it’s Gray that made the allegations. And neither your nor Paul, but Gray herself that has to come back at Mkhize with the convincing and resounding counter-punch!

That she has not done so, but even subsequently walked her criticism back a bit, speaks volumes.

Off topic, I also share your enthusiasm for Road Safety,and have experienced similar levels of frustration dealing with DA politicians (Alan Winde and pals) on this matter.

Pick your poison, it seems, when dealing with ANY politician!

When the worlds of politics and science meet, as with Covid-19, you get this.

The minister is way out of his depth and does not understand the meaning of scientific rigour.

Things really have gone (.)(.) up.

Read that a 2 day old baby has died ‘because’ of Covid19. Framed as such as the poor kid did test positive. However, born premature and in need of specialist care & ventilation and a low likelyhood of survival sans Covid.

I really do feel for the parents but you can’t blame this on the virus per se.

ANC government has literally done a 180 – if you die now, you die of Covid. 10-15 years ago, even if you had HIV/AIDS, you died of everything EXCEPT that.

Fact remains, 99.98% of people will not die from this. But 60%-80% of livelyhoods are threatened by this.

The government regulations have nothing to do with COVID19 and everything with grabbing power. Ultimately Ramaphasa will have to choose. Does he want to be the head of a government that causes a 1950’s style constitutional crisis? Or is he going to cross his own Rubicon like De Klerk and Mandela before him.

Watch this space …

I thought Mkize and his fellow dictators took advice from scientists? Did he mean sangomas, maybe?

What is important to these dicKtators is that they APPEAR to be taking advice from scientists and that advice is only useful if it suits their narrative.

The minister should be upset with himself and the government. The mere fact that it came to this point is because they did not take the nation into their confidence and told us the truth/what they are seeing in the data and whether the data is accurate/relevant. This allowed for speculation and water-cooler talk. So, all in all, the fire-fighting could have been avoided if only the government were open and honest. I’m concerned that leadership within the anc still have not realised this. Therefore, they will keep on having to entertain speculation.

Zweli Mkhize – Ye Doth Protest Too Much …

Prof Glenda Gray makes very valid and factual points. Anyone using their God given common sense can see that. The data and science all over the world is proving her correct and your government, like so many others ongoing insistence of keeping crippling lock downs in place, as TOTALLY INCORRECT.

I think i need to point out your epic fail – firstly that you responded at all, shows that your NCCC is in a state of panic. Following the science, is what you have been telling us you are doing, in terms of issuing some of the most non-sensical draconian rules on planet Earth. Secondly you let slip, because you could not help yourself, the word MISCHIEF with regards to Prof Gray comments. Someone far more LEARNED than yourself. So her learned and erudite comments based on her scientific evidence are now mischief, why? Is it because they do not follow the party narrative and thereby the required objective. How long before the word MISCHIEF might be replaced by SEDITION? Last but not least you attack her point on malnutrition, by comparing statistics from APRIL 2019 to APRIL 2020, drawing the astounding conclusion that this proves you are right – yet you fail to mention – that the CASES OF EVERYTHING have dropped dramatically in the same PERIOD – from bunions to cancer treatment. Why? Because your enforced non sensical lock down, like everywhere else in the world, stipulated every other condition (malnutrition included) be turned away or deferred to a later date, lest we be overwhelmed by the COVID TSUNAMI, where is it BTW?

Lets revisit the Malnutrition statistics again for APRIL 2021!

So you followed the science when it suited you – when the whole world panicked in the face of the unknown and decided to go nuclear rather than wait a few weeks. So for this we forgive you, you followed the global socialist herd. However, you cannot keep on carting out ITALY, UK, SPAIN, FRANCE as the basis for the SPIKE that will never come?

Why – You have an average age of 27, not 60. You have a population 85% immunised with BCG, none of the above countries had any, or very little BCG in the last 7 decades. You want examples of how BRUTAL BCG is against covid 19 – look no further than RUSSIA and PORTUGAL, extensive BCG programmes for decades and barely a scratch relatively speaking. You want an example of just how useless lock down is in controlling the spread – look at NYC, 66% of all hospital admissions came from lock down homes. Then look at SWEDEN no lock down and no real variation from the mainstream European infection and death rates, they are certainly no worst off and actually sit under the countries above, i think as 6th, which speaks volumes. Especially when you consider that when all is said an done, most of their population will have been exposed to the virus and like the annual flu will be much stronger on any recurrence or mutation in the future, again like the annual flu.

PS – Sweden still has an economy. What do we have and what will we have as an economy?

I will comment only on the BCG aspect of your argument in the hope of clarifying an issue, which until proven otherwise, continues to cause some confusion, and perhaps a false sense of security.

As far as I am aware, there is no conclusive evidence that countries that have historically administered the BCG vaccine and those that have not, have benefitted from any form of protection that the vaccine may provide. A recent Israeli study, published in the American Medical Journal, has in fact found no link between the two.

Trials are underway in a number of countries to try and prove a link, however, to date no verifiable data is available. Whether BCG will be effective remains unknown: findings from the ecological studies suggesting less COVID-19 in countries with routine BCG immunisation are weak evidence because they are based on population rather than individual data and are prone to confounding. Also, it is unlikely that a BCG vaccine given decades ago in childhood will ameliorate COVID-19 now.

My point on BCG, is that there might not be direct medical research proving that having had broad based BCG vaccination, leads to approximately 10% – 20% of the mortality rates in countries that have had none. How could there be, this is after all, a novel corona virus, in much the same way as every flu each year is novel in its mutation.

However, the anecdotal evidence that there is a huge difference in the mortality rates between the countries that have had BCG programmes and those that have not, is overwhelming. How else do the media explain why Africa has not yet been crushed, why is the NYT appearing visibly upset by the fact that Russia is just not reporting more deaths and for those ardent Russia ate my homework fans, then ignore Russia and just look at Portugal, or some key African countries not in the proverbial sticks – RSA, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Ghana, Ivory Coast – all these countries are hubs (well Uganda is hectically busy and feeds both Kenya and Ethiopia with several flights a day – the point is their global interconnectivity via the rest, means they have excessive exposure to the source of covid (China and EU) and by now, if the Israeli/ American axis presumptions were correct, they should have already started to see something resembling exponential growth, certainly in their poor slums and overcrowded cities – they are not, why not. I would say in this order anecdotally – BCG. Then age even the doomsday covid cults cannot deny that youth is a covid killer.

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BCG_vaccine

I have intentionally used mainstream reference sites for data.

The BCG vaccine is supposed to work for a minimum of 15-25 years, it depends on your data and source. But generally the minimum is 10yrs and the extremes show 60yrs. However, the point here is considering the lethal disease that BCG potentially prevents, if they did not build some form of long term foundation, we would all be required to take it every 10 or 20 years as boosters. The reason we are not, is supposedly in the mechanics of the way that it works. The doctors in our group tell me, effectively in the initial phases as in 5-10 years it protects you from catching the out right disease related to it – but in a manner that you catch a very mild version of it, largely asymptomatic your body fights it and creates antibodies … repeat … as you go through your first 10-20 years. By the time you have reached the effective ‘expiry’ period of the vaccine, your body has caught a dozen variants of all it was supposed to and learned how to kick them.

The argument is that however the BCG vaccine works anecdotally in training our bodies to fight off the BCG targeted disease, that a latent unintended or unknown side effect, is that it has the same deadly impact on the corona virus/es and in this case, we only picked it up in covid 19 because we are swamped with data daily, but it is likely as effective in other corona viruses but never before studied.

You refer to weak evidence and confounding – however, is that not exactly what the mainstream media and medical institutions (CDC/ Imperial/ John Hop/ WHO etc/ big pharma have done with covid 19? We have as the global populace been presented with very weak evidence that this covid 19 is anything more dangerous than the annual flu, all evidence points to it being the same or weaker and in some cases as in the youth, being almost non existent, which is not always the case with flu – then the media has gone out of their way with governments or for governments to confound all of us. The world should never have been LOCKED DOWN – but confound and fear monger they did for their agenda.

Who cares if there is no researched link that will take 2 years to emerge, that BCG is of use or not, evidence on the sites above anecdotally prove otherwise, i am sure much to the chagrin of the mainstream and the USA/ Israeli experts/ Neil Ferguson etc – in much the same way as the Diamond Princess and Sweden.

We have all likely had the BCG jab, i have as a lighty as did most in Africa – if it works great, if not who cares i cannot change something that was given to me shortly after birth – maybe there will be a drive to stop the BCG vaccinations now that they have this adverse affect to the global agenda – i believe the powers that be never accounted for this and it is making the now daily figures on covid 19 look like a joke – has anyone run the global annual flu seasons and super imposed them over covid 19, at the moment covid 19 is the loser by a country mile. Why do the NICD in South Africa not run their annual flu model from the day of patient zero, to where we are now on about day 50 and present that to the NCCC? … i can assure you the flu is leagues ahead by now – a 6 month season give or take and 7,000 – 20,000 flu deaths depending on the severity – we are now nearly half way through a normal flu season and we are on less than 350 deaths in RSA – something stinks here in RSA and globally.

We are repeatedly told we were using the first 21 days just to buy time, in order to not overwhelm the health care system, in SA and globally. Well SA is not even close to being overwhelmed and they have had 50+ days to prepare, so let us out please. Most other countries now tip toeing out of this lock down were never overwhelmed either, not more than their annual flu seasons – projects like the massive increases in beds in USA and UK Nightingale were never used. It is in my nature to ask questions and the narrative as dictated daily on SKY/BBC/MSNBC/CNN etc.

Lastly there is currently no evidence that Hydroxychloroquine works against covid 19, as in 2-3 year medical studies – another Diamond Princess inconvenience to the narrative – however, when our group deploys us into the heart of Africa and malaria ridden bush, we routinely take hydroxychloroquine or doxycycline for upwards of 6 months at a time, to prevent malaria. 200mg a day – we have had no issues in 30+ years with any of our teams. My point – it has been around for 70 years – just because a big mouth yank like Trump comes out and supports it, does not mean it is useless – if he had said do not take it, likely every democrat would now be chugging them like smarties – it does not hurt, like those of you that take a berocca each day, whats wrong if you are elderly or vulnerable in taking a supplement that might help, but almost certainly in 999/1000 cases will not harm.

So then i am not declaring BCG as the all conquering covid 19 crusader. However, i am suggesting that maybe even if administered decades ago, it has trained our immune systems to fight the covid 19 virus a lot more effectively than someone who has not had it – maybe i am wrong, maybe not. Time will tell.

This from a party that consistently supported Zuma during his calamitous Presidency! Not once stepping up to the plate and saying ‘this man is wrong and doing damage to this country’.

And therefore not about not to toe the line now. Political survival is all that is critical here.

End of comments.

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