In an op-ed published in several newspapers, Dr. Coetzee, who discovered Omicron, scolded the media and politicians who are reacting hysterically to the news of the new, mild variant.
“As chair of the South African Medical Association and a GP of 33 years’ standing, I have seen a lot over my medical career,” Dr. Angelique Coetzee said. “But nothing has prepared me for the extraordinary global reaction that met my announcement this week that I had seen a young man in my surgery who had a case of Covid that turned out to be the Omicron variant.”
“This version of the virus had been circulating in southern Africa for some time, having been previously identified in Botswana,” she added. “But given my public-facing role, by announcing its presence in my own patient, I unwittingly brought it to global attention.”
“Quite simply, I have been stunned at the response – and especially from Britain,” she said.
“And let me be clear: nothing I have seen about this new variant warrants the extreme action the UK government has taken in response to it,” Dr. Coetzee added.
“No one here in South Africa is known to have been hospitalized with the Omicron variant, nor is anyone here believed to have fallen seriously ill with it,” she said.
“Yet Britain and other European nations have reacted with heavy travel restrictions on flights from across southern Africa, as well as imposing tighter rules at home on mask-wearing, fines, and extended quarantines,” she continued.
“In South Africa, we’ve retained a sense of perspective,” she continued. “We’ve had no new regulations or talk of lockdowns because we’re waiting to see what the variant actually means.”
“We’ve also become accustomed here to new Covid variants emerging,” she added. “So when our scientists confirmed the discovery of yet another, nobody made a huge thing of it. Many people didn’t even notice.”
“But after Britain heard about it, the global picture started to change,” Dr. Coetzee pointed out.
“Even as our scientists tried to point out the huge gaps in the world’s knowledge about this variant, European nations immediately and unilaterally banned travel from this part of the world,” she said.
“Our government was understandably angered by this, pointing out that ‘Excellent science should be applauded, not punished,’” she said.
“If, as some evidence suggests, Omicron turns out to be a fast-spreading virus with mostly mild symptoms for the majority of the people who catch it, that would be a useful step on the road to herd immunity,” she argued. “We’ll learn in the next two weeks if that’s the case.”
“The worst situation – of course – would be a fast-spreading virus with severe infections,” she continued. “But that’s not where we are at the moment.”
“Here in South Africa, what I and my GP colleagues are seeing doesn’t in any way warrant the knee-jerk reaction we’ve seen from the UK,” she noted. “For one thing, we’re not – at least for now – treating patients who are severely ill.”
A traveler from South Africa arrived in California today, testing positive for Omicron. It became international news.
So far, people who have Omicron are young men, some vaccinated, some not, and all cases are mild.
Our rulers are being ruled by fear. That’s tyranny. They don’t follow the science and they’re crazy.