Covid-19: Appeals Court finds mandatory confinement based on PCR test unlawful

The statement

‘Lisbon Court of Appeal 11 Nov 20 ruling finds PCR non-test is not a reliable test for anything least of all COVID-19.’

The source

Funnily enough I found this via a link in a blog comment relating to the Johns Hopkins University censorship episode reported on here earlier.

The link takes you to an English translation of a judgment of the Lisbon Court of Appeal (in Portuguese) :

The Habeas Corpus case relates to four individuals who were mandatorily confined after one of them tested positive for Covid-19.  They sought relief against the relevant regional health authority.

My take on it

The translation has its challenges, but I have gleaned a few points:

  • ‘A diagnosis is a medical act, the sole responsibility of a doctor.’
  • ‘The prescription of auxiliary diagnostic methods (as is the case of tests for the detection of viral infection), as well as the diagnosis of the existence of a disease, in relation to any and all people, is a matter that cannot be carried out by Law, Resolution, Decree, Regulation or any other normative way, as these are acts that our legal system reserves to the exclusive competence of a doctor, being sure that, in advising his patient, he should always try to obtain their informed consent.’
  • Any diagnosis or any act of health surveillance performed without prior medical observation of the patients and without the intervention of an enrolled physician (who proceeded to assess their signs and symptoms, as well as the tests that they deemed appropriate to their condition), violates Regulations and Statutes.
  • Any person or entity that issues an order, the content of which leads to deprivation of physical, ambulatory, freedom of others (whatever the nomenclature this order assumes: confinement, isolation, quarantine, prophylactic protection, health surveillance, etc.), that does not fit the legal provisions, namely in the provisions of article 27 of the Constitution of the Republic of Portugal, he will be proceeding to an illegal detention.
  • ‘The RT-PCR test is, in itself, unable to determine, beyond reasonable doubt, that positivity corresponds, in fact, to the infection of a person by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, for several reasons.’
  • ‘The legislative turmoil generated around the containment of the spread of COVID-19 had – and will continue to have – in its raison d’être the protection of public health, but this turmoil can never harm the right to freedom and security and, ultimately, the absolute right to human dignity.’

Covid-19: ‘Relatively no effect on deaths in the United States’

The statement

‘Johns Hopkins published this study on Sunday which posits that Covid is nowhere near the disaster we’re being told it is. I would summarize it for you or offer pull-quotes but honestly you just have to read it yourself because it’s mind-blowing. The original article is now deleted from the Johns Hopkins website … for some reason. Luckily the internet is forever and it’s available via the Wayback Machine.’

Following are just  two paragraphs from that article:

‘According to new data, the U.S. currently ranks first in total COVID-19 cases, new cases per day and deaths. Genevieve Briand, assistant program director of the Applied Economics master’s degree program at Hopkins, critically analyzed the effect of COVID-19 on U.S. deaths using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in her webinar titled “COVID-19 Deaths: A Look at U.S. Data.”


These data analyses suggest that in contrast to most people’s assumptions, the number of deaths by COVID-19 is not alarming. In fact, it has relatively no effect on deaths in the United States.’

The source

Doc Holliday, writing about Professor Genevieve Briand (

Dr Genevieve Briand is Assistant Director for the Master’s in Applied Economics program at Johns Hopkins University. 

On 22 November 2020 the Johns Hopkins News-Letter reported on a webinar presented by Briand entitled ‘COVID-19 Deaths: A Look at U.S. Data.’

Four days later the News-Letter removed the article from its website.  The reasoning?

‘It was brought to our attention that our coverage of Genevieve Briand’s presentation ‘COVID-19 Deaths: A Look at U.S. Data’ has been used to support dangerous inaccuracies that minimize the impact of the pandemic.  We decided on Nov. 26 to retract this article to stop the spread of misinformation, as we noted on social media. However, it is our responsibility as journalists to provide a historical record. We have chosen to take down the article from our website, but it is available here as a PDF.’

My take on it

I agree with ‘Doc Holliday’ that the article is well worth reading.  This is precisely the sort of analysis that we need in order to restore some perspective to the discussion. 

Universities are supposed to be seats of learning, and discovery, and debate.  This censorial behaviour does not honour that purpose.  What it does do is protect and enshrine the status quo, and serve vested interests.

Is it coincidental that JHU hosted ‘Event 201, A Global Pandemic Exercise’, in October 2019?  The participants in that simulation exercise openly discussed the challenge of keeping public commentators ‘on message’.  Strategies include social media becoming active participants that can ‘flood the zone’ in order to displace discordant information.  (And we have certainly witnessed that.) 

But who gets to decide what is accurate?  Clearly not ourselves, if that option is being taken out of our hands.