A meeting of Committee for Public Education (CFPE) members earlier this month passed a resolution opposing the persecution of Dr David Berger, a respected remote-area general practitioner and zero-COVID advocate. The meeting was attended by primary, secondary school teachers, parents, and academics from across Australia.
Berger is under attack from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) for his criticisms of government and health authorities ending serious public health measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, including the unsafe reopening of schools, well-known as super-spreaders of the virus.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the CFPE, a national rank-and-file committee of educators, parents and students, has conducted a determined fight against the reckless reopening of schools, which threatened the lives of children, educators and families.
On March 18, 2020, it posted the statement, “Close Australian schools to stave off coronavirus! Form action committees of teachers and school staff!” The statement opposed governments’ claims that schools were safe and should remain open and exposed the teacher unions who operated as subservient messengers of government, business and education department officials.
During 2021, as governments and the unions attempted to bury the extent of infections in schools, the CFPE independently gathered data of school infections, circulating information via social media and providing parents and teachers with a voice and scientific information.
Frank Gaglioti, a retired secondary teacher and CFPE member told this month’s meeting about the persecution of Dr Berger and explained why educators and workers must come to Berger’s defence.
“AHPRA’s allegations against Berger are a patent fraud,” Gaglioti said. “Berger is being censored and threatened with deregistration precisely because he has effectively exposed the deadly consequences of Australian governments’ response to COVID-19—a political scandal that medical regulatory authorities want swept under the rug.
“Yet figures such as the Chief Medical Officer, Paul Kelly, who welcomed the onset of the Omicron variant in December as the best Christmas present that could be imagined, have been the chief proponents of governments Labor and Liberal’s ‘let it rip” approach to the pandemic which has resulted in over 10,000 deaths this year,” he said.
Gaglioti emphasised the growing support for Berger, including by over 1,800 health professionals, scientists and other workers who have signed an open letter demanding “Free Speech for Doctors” and condemning AHPRA’s actions.
During the meeting Cam, a secondary teacher from regional Victoria, commented on the impact of COVID in schools.
“Governments and unions are treating the pandemic not as a health and safety issue, but one where the drive is to get parents back to work by driving kids into unsafe schools,” he said.
“COVID has had a devastating effect on schools, teachers and students with transmission spreading into the community. Infections have caused major disruptions by the collapsing of classes, where teaching has become a baby-sitting exercise.
“With the poor efficacy of the vaccines against new variants and the ability of the virus to re-infect within a month, some students and educators have now been infected with COVID multiple times; some have Long-COVID with long-term unresolved health issues.”
“In July, the Victorian state Labor government rejected the chief health officer’s mask mandate recommendation for schools. It has gone against health advice for political reasons. They only ‘strongly recommended’ that masks be worn indoors and in crowded settings despite revealing acting [state] Chief Health Officer Ben Cowie had advised mandates should be reintroduced in some settings.”
“The turn against scientific evidence has since taken a new and bizarre turn. Dr. David Berger, a respected doctor, who has spoken out against government anti-science policies has been muzzled by the professional body he works under. He has been required to attend ‘re-education’ sessions to ensure he complies with the directions of government lies. He faces disqualification from the profession if he refuses to do so. Educators must oppose this.”
An educator from Queensland, Paul, sent his endorsement of the campaign to defend Dr Berger. He wrote, “Dr Berger is an informed professional who is not toeing the government line and despite the threat of being de-registered, he is going against the predominant view, that is, ‘let it rip.’
“‘Letting it rip,’ in my opinion, is tantamount to pre-meditated murder by the state; state-sanctioned murder being a euphemism for the use of deadly force to maintain what the powers of the day see as being civil order and continued profiteering from the continued misery of the weak.
“Dr David Berger’s only ‘crime’ to me seems simply to be a dissenting voice in a vast sea of medical conformism. Silencing dissent is the function of the corporate state, primarily to maintain ideological dominance and obscene levels of profit. Those who are calling for Dr Berger to be silenced are simply complicit in this.”
The meeting concluded by passing the following resolution and urging those present to circulate it on social media:
This meeting of the CFPE demands that the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) and the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA) cease efforts to censor and discipline public health advocate Dr David Berger. AHPRA is threatening Berger with disciplinary action, potentially including medical deregistration, and demanding he undergo an “education program,” after it received an anonymous allegation against him.
According to AHPRA, Berger has used “emotive and pejorative language” on social media, causing his readers to “doubt the integrity of the persons and organisations targeted, and to lose confidence in the public health pronouncements and programmes promoted by them.” Such so-called government “health pronouncements and programmes” have resulted in mass infection across Australia this year, with thousands of preventable deaths and countless numbers of Long-COVID cases.
Berger is a noted remote area physician who is being targeted for his zero-COVID advocacy and his call for public health measures to eliminate the virus. He is known for his scientific approach for dealing with the pandemic. Teachers and school workers are among the most exposed sections of the working class in the face of the “let it rip”, pro-business agenda of state and federal governments, Labor and Liberal.
The reopening of the schools in face of record infection rates, which has been enforced by the teachers’ unions, was aimed at ensuring that parents could be forced back to their workplaces to uphold the profit interests of the corporations. Even the most basic mitigation measures, such as mask wearing and social distancing, have been abandoned in the schools, making them vectors for the spread of infection.
Educators therefore have an immediate stake in the campaign to defend Dr Berger’s democratic rights and support his public advocacy for the maintenance of proper health measures in the face of the ongoing pandemic.
Contact the CFPE:
- Australian educator speaks to Global Workers’ Inquest: “The biggest lie was that kids didn’t get COVID, did not transmit it, and then if they did become infected it was mild.”
- Australian schools in crisis after governments reject basic COVID-19 safety measures
- Dr David Berger: A principled advocate for equality and science in healthcare