Growing support for campaign in defence of zero-COVID advocate Dr David Berger

The WSWS continues to receive statements in defence of Dr David Berger, a respected Australian physician and dedicated Zero-COVID advocate who is being threatened with deregistration by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) over his social media condemnations of the government’s “let it rip” coronavirus policies.

Dr David Berger (Image: Supplied) [Photo: Imagen suministrada/WSWS]

Since the publication of our first article on July 8, which calls on scientists, health workers and other sections of workers to come to Dr. Berger’s defence, the WSWS has published fourteen articles compiling statements of support, including from workers, students and professionals.

Just as there is an effort to silence courageous people like Dr Berger, those who defend them are being muzzled too. On July 21, the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) Twitter account was locked for over a week, over a video defending Dr Berger and free speech. Whilst the campaign to restore the @SEP_Australia Twitter account was a success, Twitter failed to explain why it censored the SEP, despite admitting the video did not violate any rules.

We urge workers, young people and professionals to continue to speak out in defence of Dr Berger. Statements of support can be emailed here. Please indicate in the email how you would like to be identified in our next article, and if you want to include a photo, please attach one to the email.

Chen, an education student from New South Wales:

I support this campaign [for Dr Berger]. I think we should have freedom of speech for doctors and for everyone. They have a right to express and demonstrate their ideas, which have been researched, and to tell the truth to the public so we can have discussions about this. Before we can have a discussion about these issues, we need to have the freedom to know.

COVID-19 has impacted a lot of families already; protecting yourself and treating it seriously is protecting others. Hundreds have died this week, which means hundreds of families broken. That’s terrible. People are losing their parents, their spouses, some even their children. I think that the government should listen to the voice of the public, we don’t want the horrible consequences of COVID to happen to ourselves or our families.

As an educator, I can tell you many kids are getting sick with COVID. This is about health—health means everything. We should treat children’s health seriously; it should always be the priority. Also, with children getting sick, more parents are having to stay home to look after them and are getting sick themselves, which is causing shortages of staff at their work. We have a lot of shortages where I work. We need to start doing something now to fix this.

Eric, a retiree from Newcastle, New South Wales, spoke with Socialist Equality Party members during a street campaign:

I support Dr Berger and from what you were telling me, it makes sense. I’m like everybody else, we want to know what’s going on. It’s only from people like this doctor that we’re going to find anything out because there’re so many versions being put out about what you should do.


I think mask [mandates] should be reintroduced because there’re so many people not wearing them. Even if you have the vaccines, you can still get COVID. I had three vaccine doses and still got infected. I got COVID from being on a coach when I was on holiday. We all got it.

I had a bad cough, but I know people who had COVID months ago and are still bad. I don’t want to get it again. I’m very wary now about it. I didn’t know that COVID spreads through aerosols, or about the type of masks that are needed.

As soon as we go out, my wife is onto me about getting masks on. We’re doing our best to keep ourselves out of it and now there’s Monkeypox, and also foot-and-mouth disease. What’s going on in this world?

C. Hicks, a parent from Perth, Western Australia:

Dr Berger has gone beyond his day job to try to protect health and save lives—surely that’s the role of a medical practitioner. To be disciplined for his style, when he is understandably frustrated at what is, at best, a disappointing public health approach and, at worst, government-sanctioned eugenics. This speaks very poorly of AHPRA. Please reconsider your silencing tactics.

Brett Shaw, an underemployed warehouse worker from Sydney, New South Wales:

Dr Berger is counter-posing a medical approach to COVID-19 as opposed to the “herd immunity” perspective in which supposedly everybody catches the virus and that increases the immunity of the whole population. Dr Berger advocates for the elimination of the virus. 

I always thought that the best way to combat a virus is by isolating it, and in that way stopping it spreading, not to allow it to spread to every single person on the planet.

In the United States, when President Biden got the virus, the response from the US administration was that everybody is going to get the virus and the weak will be eliminated.

The response of all the governments reminds me of the Malthusians, the ones who say the main problem in the world today, the reason for poverty and starvation is overpopulation, and to reduce the world’s population is the solution to the world’s ills. Also, it is like eugenics, where the weak will die off. This is what the herd immunity response reminds me of.

AHPRA and the government are trying to pressure Dr Berger into backing down. They cannot tolerate anybody standing up and fighting for a perspective in opposition to what big business require. The thing is, are they going to be able to get away with that?

We must try to educate people about the dangers of the virus; it’s a real killer, and then try to organise some way to implement practices for the elimination of the virus.  The only way that you are going to change the situation that we face today is through the working people acting independently in their own interests, like in the workplace committee the SEP advocates.

The action of Twitter to block the SEP account shows there is pressure building on the capitalist class which is terrified of a social movement in the working class. As the ICFI says, “the capitalists know how weak they are, the working class don’t understand how strong they are.”

Twitters’ unblocking of the SEP account, that’s a win.