Transcription – English – Dr. Chris Milburn

02. Dr. Chris Milburn.mp4: Video automatically transcribed by Sonix

02. Dr. Chris Milburn.mp4: this mp4 video file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Dr. Chris Milburn:
Like many physicians across the country, I. Fell out of favor with the powers that be for speaking my mind on COVID policy. So at the onset of the pandemic in 2020, I was the I was the chief of VR for the eastern zone of Nova Scotia. So I oversaw about 13 ers and urgent treatment facilities. And you could imagine getting them all ready to face what COVID, what we thought was going to be was quite a job and I was very busy and I doing my best with that and many other issues, as you can imagine. Canadian health care isn't exactly in a good place right now, so my job was difficult and I was doing my best at it and I just had a good performance review. And then a week later I was asked to appear on a local CBC radio show. We were asked questions about COVID policy, and I criticized the chief medical officer. And more, more generally, the policies in Nova Scotia, which included keeping schools shut down. And we were just talking at that time about mandatory vaccinations. And I talked about how I thought that was very bad idea because we this was a new technology and we didn't know the side effects yet of the potential side effects. This was before we knew anything about myocarditis, but there had been some speculation and I just thought it was too early to push these vaccinations on younger, healthier people or even to push them on older folks.

Dr. Chris Milburn:
I thought it should be a personal choice. And so for for that indiscretion, I was a few days later fired from my job, I was told I had created vaccine hesitancy, which is the new blasphemy. I was told that I had undermined confidence in the medical officer of health by daring to question his policies. And yeah, that's basically my story in a nutshell. I am I am known to be outspoken. I had been pushing behind the scenes and probably already created a few ripples behind the scenes because I had asked for proof, things like mandatory masking everywhere. I had asked, Can you please send me the data that was used for that? And what I kept getting told was we're we're doing this because we're following the science and this is a committee decision and you're not privy to the committee. So we don't have to tell you, but you do have to do what we say. So rather than show the science or show the process or show their meeting notes, I was just told, stay in your lane. The the worst part of this whole thing to me in my my personal experience was the medical chief medical officer of health in Nova Scotia, Dr. Strang, when he was he was actually questioned about my my statements, my criticisms. And he said he basically said, Milburn's an emergency doctor. He should stick to emergency medicine.

Dr. Chris Milburn:
And I'll do I'll I'll take care of public health. And that I found that statement deeply, deeply disturbing. We were conducting a big worldwide experiment with lockdown that we had never done to society. We had no idea what the outcomes would be. Many of us, including myself, had grave concerns and thought it was going to be more harm than good. You would think that a real public health officer was actually interested in public health and actually interested in knowing the side effects of this novel treatment, i.e. Lockdown would be very interested in hearing what doctors were doing on the front lines, be that emergency doctors like myself, family doctors, people who are in medicine where the rubber meets the road, because that's where you're going to see things like depressed kids who just tried to hang themselves or somebody who had a heart attack at home four days ago and did not come in in time for a clot buster and now is in bad shape. It's where you're going to see myocarditis from vaccines, as I did. So you'd think that rather than say, stay in your lane and just do your emergency medicine and don't talk to me, he would be very interested to hear our experiences, but it was just the opposite of what I had, of what I was, what I was told. So I don't want to talk too long about my own experience. I could speak a long time about this.

Dr. Chris Milburn:
I remain outspoken. I am still, to some extent, being dragged through the mud behind the scenes. So my my trials are not over here in Nova Scotia. There are certain things I can't talk about legally that went on. But just suffice it to say, my my personal response being having a long history of being outspoken and in trouble for it before this was it. My personal response is just to double down and to be more vocal. And so my wife and I have started to write about these issues and we've organized a conference for the fall. So yeah, if they're trying to shut me down, it hasn't worked too well in my personal case, but I will say it has worked really well for for most docs who maybe don't have the luxury that I do of being near retirement and being okay with losing my job, if that's what it comes to. So I was contacted by I would I think it's fair to say well over 100 doctors got in touch with me personally to tell me that they agreed, but didn't feel comfortable speaking out. So it just tells you there's this big I'm not sure if it's a minority or a silent majority, but there's a big group of people behind the scenes who do not agree with the policies but are afraid to speak because we've created that environment, which puts a freeze on real discussion and on real science.

Trish Wood:
I know Preston has a question to for you about impact assessments not being done when these policies are implemented by public health. But I just wanted to ask you really quickly, you repeated the idea that the there is a reliance on certain phrases, right? Safe and effective vaccine hesitancy, etc., which seems to to cloud the the communication between regular doctors and the people who are running the public health response. What does the repetition of those phrases say to you about what they're thinking about?

Dr. Chris Milburn:
Yeah. It's odd, I should add to when I was told to stay in my lane and emerge. It was kind of funny because I had a long history involvement. I've been a member and then chair of the Provincial Public Health Issues Committee for Doctors in Nova Scotia. I was a member and then chair of the Committee on Health Care and Promotion, which was essentially the Public Health Committee for Canadian Medical Association. And I've been really involved locally for 20 years with public health initiatives. So it was very strange to me, having been involved nationally, provincially, locally, what I what I know is usually public health is this broad, broad view. Take on things. You're talking to multiple stakeholders. You're taking in as many points of view as you can on any policy because every policy has unintended side effects. Like if you want to make a bicycle lane while, are you going to squeeze up the sidewalk and make it worse for pedestrians, there's all these things that you have to take into account and everything is more complicated than it appears on the surface. So with the experience that I had, I was I was quite shocked that there wasn't a formal way set up before we went into this. If I was running public health, I would have said, Hey, we're locking down. This may cause side effects. Can you please let us know what you see and come up with some formal way when we start a vaccination program? That would be some some really formal and easy way for doctors to say, Hey, I just saw this weird thing after somebody got vaccinated. And so here's here's how you report it. And it seemed like, as you say, there were these mantras. Vaccines, even though they had only been out for a few months, were were safe and effective.

Dr. Chris Milburn:
And that was repeated and bashed into our head so many times that we had very strange things like like doctors who we had a patient who died of a blood clot five days after our second vaccine and the doctor didn't report it as a possible vaccine side effect. And the reason he didn't was he said vaccines are safe and effective. And when I talked about we don't really know that. And his response was, well, we've vaccinated millions of people already. And what my take on that is, would you dive into a pool that had 100,000 gallons but was only an inch deep? You know what I mean? You wouldn't. There's a different thing with size, size of the study versus the amount of time it's been going on. And so we didn't know that vaccines are safe and effective. We didn't know that school closures were more more good than harm. We didn't know these things, but they kept getting repeated to us as if they were masks, save lives. Well, I've been doing a deep dive into the mass literature for over a year and I've written on it, and it's clear that masks don't actually make a difference. The actual scientific research says that, but it's now a mantra that masks save lives. And so these these mantras have shut down discussion, because if masks save lives, then you see the data that says they don't you can't use you're not allowed to talk against the mantra. And for most people, too, it prevents thinking, right. Even if you saw that there's something else you. Yeah. Many of us won't even look for other data once. Once it's mantra.

Trish Wood:
Preston. Did you want to pick up on that?

Preston Manning:
Well, thank you very much for this. And I appreciate your courage in in speaking out and acting the way you have. I really want to follow up on what, in a sense, you've said. Is there no internal forum in Nova Scotia? But you could ask this question in every province where these issues could be debated among the professionals before you have to go out in the public, the these issues that you've raised where you could have debated with the public health officer, what is the benefit of this particular measure? I've got reservations about it. Is there any kind of formal internal mechanism where these things could be decided and debated?

Dr. Chris Milburn:
No, not at all. And to give you a sense, I was really quite disturbed with the with the institution of a mandatory universal masking policy in Nova Scotia in the summer of 2020, when we really didn't have any COVID around, we had a handful of cases in the province of a million. And yet they've forced mandatory masking everywhere. So I, I sent off some emails up to public health, up the chain and asked, what are we basing this on? What my concern was, if we started a mask policy at this time, what was going to be the criteria to end it? Right. And I've been proven right. I said at the time, we're still going to have mask policies two years from now because we don't really know why we're doing it. We're just doing it because quote unquote mass save lives. But we don't know anything about how will this does it actually make sense? If there's only ten cases in the province of a million, what are the odds are going to be around COVID? So does everybody have to mask everywhere all the time? But I didn't I didn't hear anything back most of the time. But when I did hear things back, I was more or less told. We decided this at the committee. It's a committee decision and this is our policy. And your job is to enforce the policy as of emerge. That is that's the reply I got. So that's not really to me, that's not really a discussion. And I felt sort of like anyone who wasn't in that inner sanctum committee meeting was more or less treated like a child. It became a game of Simon says, or in our case in Nova Scotia, Strang says, You'll do it because we told you, wear your mask when you stand, stand up and rest, not take it off when you sit down. The policies got ridiculous, and when we asked for explanations, we were not given any. We were.

Preston Manning:
Told, look into the future. Like we're trying to figure out what can you do to prevent this sort of thing from happening again. What can you would you suggest any kind of a mechanism where you're kind of concerns could have been raised and debated legitimately within the inner circle? Would you suggest any kind of a mechanism so that this kind of thing doesn't happen again in a free and democratic society? It seems so ridiculous that major policies affecting large numbers of people can't seem to be internally thrashed out and effects considered before it gets out in the public arena. Could you suggest a mechanism to allow that to happen?

Dr. Chris Milburn:
Yeah, I'll just briefly say, I think I think why it's happening like it is, is we are in a world of nudging where governments feel it's okay to manipulate their own citizens because we have this sort of view of the only the expert can know best. What could Chris Milburn know about this policy? Because Dr. Strang is a public health expert, so Dr. Milburn must not know anything. So we should just have the expert decide for everyone. So. So there's this feeling that the public doesn't have the right to know, because if they actually understood it, then you can't nudge them in the same way. So I'm not a fan of Nudge, but there there is an easy way to get around this. Just if if those committee meetings that they held that decided on masking and vaccine mandates and border shutdowns, if they were public. No problem. Then. Then we can all get our nose in there and see what's going on, see what was discussed, and look at the science that they use to decide and debate the merits of it. And I think even more than that, there should be some formal way of involving docs, broader level with public health decisions. It shouldn't just be one or two public health experts in with some politicians, because if you mix politics with science, you end up with politics. Right.

Preston Manning:
Unfortunately. Thank you.

Trish Wood:
So I think we're running at a time unless somebody's got a burning OC. Thank you very. Thanks very much, Chris. Your line of the morning so far you were not allowed to speak against the mantra. Wow, that sounds so true. Thank you very much. Very grateful to you and good luck with your conference that you're doing. It's on what, medicine and free speech or something?

Dr. Chris Milburn:
Yeah, I just get a plug in free speech in medicine. We'd love to have lots of docs out and we know you'll be there, Trish. So thank you very much. Okay.

Trish Wood:
Thank you so.

Dr. Chris Milburn:
Much. Thank you. Bye.

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