The University of Wisconsin imposes testing, contact tracing app, in apparent preparation for vaccine
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MADISON, Wisconsin, February 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The University of Wisconsin (UW) has implemented new, very aggressive policies for students and faculty with a stated purpose of maintaining “health and safety” amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These requirements include frequent mandatory testing and the downloading of a contact tracing app which also serves as a means of access to all UW facilities.
Borrowing upon the positive sentiments associated with the beloved mascot of UW, Bucky Badger, the university has required all students, faculty and staff to download the “Safer Badger App,” which allows them to “find testing locations, schedule COVID-19 tests, obtain test results, and access additional health resources.”
Such facilitation is designed to assist students and personnel in maintaining compliance with the new, and frequent, COVID-19 PCR testing requirements, which differ slightly based on an individual’s affiliation with the university.
While students living in residence halls must receive a nasal swab PCR test twice a week, saliva-based tests are available to the rest of the students and staff. All undergraduates, including those living off campus in Madison and only participating in on-line classes, are required to maintain the two-test per week regimen throughout the semester. For graduate students, faculty and staff, this requirement is cut in half with their only needing a test every eight days.
Compliance with these mandates permits all participants to utilize the “Badger Badge” screen on their Safer Badgers app as a “virtual access pass for entry into campus workplaces and buildings where in-person classes and other in-person activities are being held.” The green check mark on the Badger Badge must be verified by “Badger Wellness Ambassadors” in order to enter UW buildings.
These requirements come in addition to those standardized by the “Badger Pledge” which demands face masks “be worn on campus at all times and in all places (both outside and inside)” with few exceptions. Students and personnel “pledge” to “cooperate with contact tracers” if they test positive for COVID-19, and are asked to minimize hosting or attending gatherings, including those of student organizations.
Being a faithful Badger, according to the “pledge,” also seems to imply a willingness to report one’s fellow students for violations of these dictates, as a mechanism for such reporting is included on the same page. This “Concern Form,” which may be completed anonymously, solicits the identity of the violator(s), along with the specific behaviors which violate these restrictions, including “Refusal to wear proper face covering … Not maintaining appropriate physical distancing … Hosting an event and/or gathering in violation of public health directives,” etc.
What this equates to, according to Olivia Burmeister, a junior undergraduate who recently withdrew from UW, is an encouragement for students to “report if they see people in their private homes who welcome people from other households and fail to keep masks on at all times OR fail to maintain six feet between each other.”
“I think the mistrust stoked by the university even among members of the student body has made campus a toxic environment,” she said.
Also encouraged on the “Badger Pledge” page is for students to “reflect” on the “consequences for intentional and/or repeated violations” of these mandates which “can include disciplinary probation, which is part of a permanent disciplinary record,” or suspension for those “significantly non-compliant on COVID testing.”
“Heaven forbid that you take off your mask outside for a breath of fresh air,” Burmeister said, “because a student might take your picture and have you suspended.”
A report in The Federalist by Evita Duffy demonstrates that these invasive impositions are not unique to UW, but exist at universities across the country including Southern Methodist University, the University of Chicago, and Berkeley.
“Students turned in to the university authorities across the country,” for such apparent infractions, “have had their class registration put on hold, been kicked out of university housing, and even been suspended. This Soviet software is divisive and disturbing and is often applied unfairly and sometimes used by students to target peers they don’t like or seek to take revenge on,” writes Duffy.
Danger of death due to COVID-19 ‘completely negligible’ for students and staff
What is not explicitly explained by the UW is why exactly these arduous, invasive mandates are even necessary.
Indeed, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which for many reasons may be significantly overestimating infection fatality rates (IFR), provided its “Best Estimate” of the IFR by age in the U.S. last September as represented below.
0-19 years old: 0.00003 (99.997% survival rate)
20-49 years old: 0.0002 (99.98% survival rate)
50-69 years old: 0.005 (99.5% survival rate)
70+ years old: 0.054 (94.46% survival rate)
Thus, for those under 70, COVID-19 remains less of a threat than influenza. As one researcher affirmed, the risk of death for those healthy individuals of school and working age “is comparable to a daily car ride to work” and is thus “completely negligible.”
In fact, while the UW’s COVID-19 Response “Dashboard” provides statistics for “New cases,” “Tests,” “% Positivity,” and the numbers of those in “Isolation / Quarantine,” what is conspicuously missing on the main display are statistics on the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths associated with those on campus.
However, if one scrolls down to the bottom of the current (February 4) weekly briefing, we learn, “No UW–Madison students or employees have reported current hospitalizations due to COVID-19.”
Safe, effective inexpensive remedies available for vulnerable
Of course, these excessive COVID rules, often violating human and constitutional rights, are broadly defended as necessary to protect those who are more vulnerable due to age or other infirmities.
It is unclear from the UW website, however, if there was any consideration of whether mandating nasal swab PCR tests twice a week for thousands of perfectly healthy students, under virtually no threat from a virus, is rightly proportionate to this end.
Nor is it clear if UW authorities consulted with Dr. Pierre Kory who was, until recently, the Chief of Critical Care Service at UW Hospital, and is now the president of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) which was created “to research and develop lifesaving protocols for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.” The group claims that one of its treatment protocols “has saved tens of thousands of patients who were critically ill” with this virus.
For Dr. Kory, and many other physicians, the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) or ivermectin in prophylaxis and early treatment, is the safest, most effective and inexpensive means to protecting the vulnerable from the China virus.
In an impassioned December testimony before a U.S. Senate Committee, Dr. Kory emphasized that ivermectin “basically obliterates transmission of this virus,” with “miraculous effectiveness.”
“When I say ‘miracle’ I do not use that term lightly,” he stated. “[T]hat is a scientific recommendation based on mountains of data that has emerged in the last three months.”
Such data emanates from places like India, the second most populated nation in the world, which embraced the treatment protocol advanced by FLCCC and has watched its case and fatalities rate drop in “steep decline.” Though India has four times the population of the U.S., it has less than half of the coronavirus related deaths.
Putting it very simply, Dr. Kory testified, “If you take it [ivermectin], you will not get sick.”
Following the diligent efforts of Kory and his team, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently upgraded their recommendation for the use of ivermectin in treating COVID-19 in January making it much easier for doctors to prescribe it.
It is unclear if the UW is considering promoting such safe, effective and inexpensive treatments to those relatively few vulnerable individuals in their community as an option to running what Duffy, a junior at the University of Chicago, refers to as “insane COVID rules,” which are preparing a generation for “totalitarianism.”
‘Safer Badger’ contact tracing, an invasion of privacy?
The website description of the Safer Badgers app also states that it “provides anonymous, secure notifications to anyone who has been in proximity to another participating app user who has tested positive for COVID-19.”
Like many of these apps that have been developed around the world, the technology uses Bluetooth signals to identify smartphone users who have been in close contact with each other. If someone using the system registers a positive test for coronavirus, those who are identified as having been in close contact with them over the previous 14 days, receive an “exposure notification” from what the UW refers to as a “secure database server.”
According to the FAQ’s the “Safer Badgers app provides exposure notification for those users who enable this feature.” What is not mentioned, according to Ms. Burmeister, is the app “constantly prompts you to activate ‘optional’ location tracking.”
For this and other reasons, Duffy reports that “many believe” the app “is an invasion of privacy.” Another UW junior, Connor Hess suspects the university is tracking the movements of the students. “They say they just have location services so that you can now see where the testing sites are,” Hess said skeptically, “but I don’t know if I fully believe that.”
Growing concerns over this technology are widespread across the western world. Alarms have been raised in Canada over the government’s use of such technology to monitor citizens as an enforcement mechanism for quarantine orders.
In response to the government issuing of such technology in France, technical experts noted, “that users don't really have control over their own data and that these [apps] could be used for purposes other than contact tracing, either on the part of the government or for commercial uses.”
Even when a user’s identity is hidden behind a digital pseudonym for the purposes of anonymity, this should not be considered a guarantee, they say, as those who download the app can be identified through their I.P. addresses.
Another group in France, called this technology a freedom-destroying app that is “preparing the ground for acceptance of technopolice,” which already includes street cameras and drones.
Given that computer technology has shown itself to be quite hackable, other questions posed in France include, what happens if the democratic society gives way to tyranny — as it has already by imposing stringent control on law-abiding citizens supposedly in response to COVID-19? And how long does that which starts out in life as “voluntary” remain voluntary?
Draconian measures a preparation for experimental vaccines?
Despite the clear lack of danger to students and staff from the China virus, as demonstrated by the CDC above, last fall the UW imposed draconian lockdown measures on its students including a two-week quarantine for roughly 2,300 students living in the Sellery and Witte Residence Halls. They didn’t have to stay in the building, but if they left, they couldn’t return until the quarantine was completed.
Part of the justification provided by the university for this spring semester’s intensified requirements included “an effort to avoid disruptions to academic and campus operations that were necessary [last] fall.”
Looking to the future, the university seems to anticipate some mitigation of these intrusive mandates with the expected reception of experimental COVID-19 vaccines among students and staff.
“The university is investing in this enhanced approach,” explains the initiative’s overview, “knowing that vaccines are not expected to be widely available until at least the second quarter of 2021 and probably later for healthy young adults (that is, most students).”
Given the data which reveals “most students” have about a 99.997% chance of surviving a COVID-19 infection (without early treatment), the UW doesn’t appear to have considered why such a population should be expected to submit themselves to an experimental vaccine, which has been rushed through the process of development, testing, approval, and now distribution, with a new “messenger RNA” technology, no industry-standard animal trials, nor any sufficient studies on long-term effects.
Of significant concern, especially for the young, is the impact these chemicals may have on a person’s fertility. One U.K. government-produced instruction for one of these agents, the Pfizer experimental vaccine, affirms that “It is unknown whether COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 has an impact on fertility.”
Dr. Simone Gold, founder of American Frontline Doctors stated, “I would never let a woman of child-bearing age take this [experimental vaccine]. I would fight tooth and nail [to prevent it].”
Other dangers included “allergic” and “potentially fatal reactions,” the risk that these injections may cause an increased vulnerability to the virus while also presenting unacceptable dangers of long-term effects due to a lack of proper testing.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also drew up a document last fall listing the possible side-effects from a COVID-19 vaccine, including strokes, encephalitis, auto-immune disease, birth defects, Kawasaki disease, and death.
Of note, recent reports have revealed that hundreds of individuals injected with these experimental vaccines have been admitted to the hospital, and the shots have so far been linked to at least 453 deaths in the United States.
In the analysis of one group of highly qualified physicians, there is a significant contrast between “taking a medication for an actual disease,” and the reception of a vaccine. The individual “who takes a vaccine is typically completely healthy and would continue to be healthy without the vaccine. As the first rule of the Hippocratic Oath is: do no harm, vaccine safety must be guaranteed. That has not yet happened” with the COVID-19 experimental vaccines.
Further, there is no data on whether or not these experimental agents are actually capable of stopping transmission of the virus, and thus it remains quite possible that vaccinated persons could still be infected by COVID-19 and pass it along to others, negating a primary purpose of the vaccine itself.
“I will not be receiving the experimental vaccine,” Burmeister stated. “I am most concerned about protecting my hopeful future vocation of motherhood. The university is considering requiring the vaccine, but at this point, that case seems to be at a standstill.”
PCR Tests and ‘isolation prisons’
As Duffy reports, most universities “have isolation dorms or, as some students call them, ‘isolation prisons,’ where students who test positive for COVID are forced to live alone for two weeks.”
Last December, LifeSiteNews reported on the fact that 22 independent scientists had debunked the test finding “ten fatal problems” with it. Each of the problems is described as being sufficient on its own to render the PCR test “useless as a specific diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”
More recently, on January 20th, just one hour after Joe Biden was inaugurated President of the United States, the World Health Organization (WHO) changed its protocol for COVID-19 tests, indicating an essential agreement with these scientists.
The WHO’S guidance warned against diagnosing an asymptomatic person of having the virus simply due to a positive PCR test. As a result of this change, “case” numbers have plummeted across the world.
Given even the WHO recognizing a mere positive PCR test as insufficient to determine a “case,” whether UW-Madison authorities are reevaluating their own policies on such test results—which apparently have the potential of relegating a student to a two-week quarantine—remains to be seen.
One UW student has publicly withdrawn in protest of the COVID regime
As a result of these invasive impositions, Ms. Burmeister withdrew from the University of Wisconsin to enroll in Liberty University’s online Paralegal Studies program. In giving the reason for her departure on UW’s required withdrawal application, she stated:
I am not comfortable with … the new COVID-19 policies this spring. We are all sovereign individuals with freedom endowed by Divine authority, not the university. It is abhorrent that the university should require testing, use of the Safer Badgers app, and signing of the Badger Pledge instead of respecting students' judgment and freedom to decline participation.
LifeSiteNews has produced an extensive COVID-19 vaccines resources page. View it here.
If you would like to express your concerns over the University of Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response policies, you may reach Chancellor Rebecca Blank at the contact information below:
UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank
161 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI 53706
Email: [email protected]