Originally posted to Quora on 11th August 2022
Before I answer, I need to identify myself. I am a lawyer. I am not a virologist nor an epidemiologist. I am, however, currently handling a case against the Federal Government of Canada on this issue, and have access to the top scientists in this field. Here is a brief summary of our upcoming arguments in Court:
The answer, in theory, and originally, was that the vaccine increased the resistance to the virus, thereby protecting the vaccinated. If the vaccinated person does not catch the virus, then they cannot transmit it. This protects everybody. It also reduces the number, by millions, of people who have the virus, and therefore it reduces the opportunity for the evolution of variants.
Regrettably, things did not work out that way. As was demonstrated clearly by those jurisdictions that were the most quick and efficient in getting their populations vaccinated (Israel, Singapore), and as is currently being demonstrated in Central Europe, a public health disaster is developing.
The vaccine appears to stifling the spread of the original variants, but offers almost no protection against the spread of the Delta variant. This has caused the much more contagious Delta variant to spread like wildfire making up approximately 90% of cases in North America.
Nobel Prize winning French virologist, Dr. Luc Montagnier, the fellow who discovered HIV, has been vocal about this. He is outraged at how the authorities are handling this matter. He says that it is unsound to administer a vaccine during a pandemic.
PhD nutritionist Chris Masterjohn describes the vaccine as ‘delayed onset gasoline’. It worked well in all the test for putting out fire even better than water does, but the tests only lasted three hours. What we realize now is that five hours later, is that the delayed-onset gasoline then explodes and burns down not only the house but all the neighbour’s houses.
Here below is the affidavit that I just drafted and submitted to the Federal Court of Canada for our expert, Dr. Paul Elias Alexander. This summarizes the latest research and provides links to the supporting studies.
Basically, all the most recent studies indicate that the vaccine is not an effective solution and may actually be making the situation worse.
AFFIDAVIT OF PAUL ELIAS ALEXANDER
I, Paul Elias Alexander, of the City of Unionville, in the Province of Ontario, SOLOMENLY AFFIRM THAT:
I am an epidemiologist and teach clinical epidemiology, evidence-based medicine, and research methodology. I am a former Assistant Professor at McMaster University in evidence-based medicine and research methods; former COVID Pandemic evidence-synthesis consultant advisor to WHO-PAHO Washington, DC (2020) and former senior advisor to COVID Pandemic policy in Health and Human Services (HHS) Washington, DC (A Secretary), US government.
I was appointed in 2008 at WHO as a regional specialist/epidemiologist in Europe's Regional office Denmark, and worked for the government of Canada as an epidemiologist for 12 years, appointed as the Canadian in-field epidemiologist (2002-2004) as part of an international CIDA funded, Health Canada executed project on TB/HIV co-infection and MDR-TB control (involving India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Afghanistan, with posting to Kathmandu). I was employed from 2017 to 2019 at the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Virginia USA as the evidence synthesis meta-analysis systematic review guideline development trainer. I am currently a COVID-19 consultant researcher in the US-C19 research group;
My education includes a Post-doctoral fellowship working within the field of evidence-based medicine, GRADE, guideline development, and research methods, and a Doctorate completed, PhD, Health Research Methods and Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, with an additional focus on evidence-based medicine focused on all aspects of research methods, evidence synthesis, guideline development, use of GRADE methods, systematic reviews, randomized controlled trial, meta-analyses design, conduct, network meta-analysis conduct and others.
The subject matter of this affidavit is precisely my field.
When evaluating vaccine efficacy, it is important to distinguish between efficacy against infection, symptomatic disease, and transmission versus efficacy against hospitalization and death. For infection and symptomatic disease, the COVID-19 vaccines are not as efficacious as hoped, with immunity waning after a few months. One study reported negative efficacy after a few months.
The gestalt of the findings implies that the infection explosion globally that we have been experiencing– post double vaccination in e.g. Israel, UK, US etc. – may be due to the vaccinated being infected as much as the unvaccinated and spreading Covid as much or more than the unvaccinated. The data seems to support this. The US outbreak in Barnstable, Mass, was one of the pre-empts for the CDC Director to call on vaccinated persons to put on masks. It implied that the vaccinated person was spreading virus and that the vaccine was failing.
A natural question to ask is whether vaccines with limited capacity to prevent symptomatic disease may drive the evolution of more virulent strains? In a PLoS Biology article from 2015, Read et al. observed that:
“Conventional wisdom is that natural selection will remove highly lethal pathogens if host death greatly reduces transmission. Vaccines that keep hosts alive but still allow transmission could thus allow very virulent strains to circulate in a population.”
Hence, rather than the unvaccinated putting the vaccinated at risk, it could theoretically be the vaccinated that are putting the unvaccinated at risk, but while some may argue that it is still a theoretical risk, the data emerging globally suggests it is not. This must be urgently studied for if so, we could potentially cause the suffering and death of many people. Especially children who bring near statistical zero risk to the table.
Many reports shed light on vaccine induced immunity against Covid. These reports highlight the problems with vaccine mandates that are currently threatening the jobs of millions of people. They also raise doubts about the arguments for vaccinating children.
Gazit et al. out of Israel showed that “SARS-CoV-2-naïve vaccinees had a 13-fold (95% CI, 8-21) increased risk for breakthrough infection with the Delta variant compared to those previously infected.” When adjusting for the time of disease/vaccine, there was a 27-fold increased risk (95% CI, 13-57). See Attached Exhibit A-1, Comparing SARS-CoV-2 natural immunity to vaccine-induced immunity: reinfections versus breakthrough infections
Ignoring the risk of infection, given that someone was infected, Acharya et al. found “no significant difference in cycle threshold values between vaccinated and unvaccinated, asymptomatic and symptomatic groups infected with SARS-CoV-2 Delta.” See Attached Exhibit A-2, No Significant Difference in Viral Load Between Vaccinated and Unvaccinated, Asymptomatic and Symptomatic Groups When Infected with SARS-CoV-2 Delta Variant
Riemersma et al. found “no difference in viral loads when comparing unvaccinated individuals to those who have vaccine “breakthrough” infections. Furthermore, individuals with vaccine breakthrough infections frequently test positive with viral loads consistent with the ability to shed infectious viruses.” Results indicate that “if vaccinated individuals become infected with the delta variant, they may be sources of SARS-CoV-2 transmission to others.” They reported “low Ct values (<25) in 212 of 310 fully vaccinated (68%) and 246 of 389 (63%) unvaccinated individuals. Testing a subset of these low-Ct samples revealed infectious SARS-CoV-2 in 15 of 17 specimens (88%) from unvaccinated individuals and 37 of 39 (95%) from vaccinated people.” See Attached Exhibit A-3, Vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals have similar viral loads in communities with a high prevalence of the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant
In a study from Qatar, Chemaitelly et al. reported vaccine efficacy (Pfizer) against severe and fatal disease, with efficacy in the 85-95% range at least until 24 weeks after the second dose. As a contrast, the efficacy against infection waned down to around 30% at 15-19 weeks after the second dose. .” See Attached Exhibit A-4, https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.08.25.21262584v1.full.pdf
From Wisconsin, Riemersma et al. reported that vaccinated individuals who get infected with the Delta variant can transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others. They found an elevated viral load in the unvaccinated and vaccinated symptomatic persons (68% and 69% respectively, 158/232 and 156/225). Moreover, in the asymptomatic persons, they uncovered elevated viral loads (29% and 82% respectively) in the unvaccinated and the vaccinated respectively. This suggests that the vaccinated can be infected, harbor, cultivate, and transmit the virus readily and unknowingly. See Attached Exhibit A-5,
Subramanian reported that “at the country-level, there appears to be no discernable relationship between percentage of population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases.” When comparing 2947 counties in the United States, there were slightly less cases in more vaccinated locations. In other words, there is no clear discernable relationship. See Attached Exhibit A-6, Increases in COVID-19 are unrelated to levels of vaccination across 68 countries and 2947 counties in the United States - European Journal of Epidemiology
Chau et al. looked at transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant among vaccinated healthcare workers in Vietnam. Of 69 healthcare workers that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, 62 participated in the clinical study, all of whom recovered. For 23 of them, complete-genome sequences were obtained, and all belonged to the Delta variant. “Viral loads of breakthrough Delta variant infection cases were 251 times higher than those of cases infected with old strains detected between March-April 2020”. See Attached Exhibit A-7, Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Delta Variant Among Vaccinated Healthcare Workers, Vietnam
In Barnstable, Massachusetts, Brown et al found that among 469 cases of COVID-19, 74% were fully vaccinated, and that “the vaccinated had on average more virus in their nose than the unvaccinated who were infected.” See Attached Exhibit A-8, Outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 Infections, Including COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Infections, Associated with Large Public Gatherings - Barnstable County, Massachusetts, July 2021 - PubMed
Reporting on a nosocomial hospital outbreak in Finland, Hetemäli et al. observed that “both symptomatic and asymptomatic infections were found among vaccinated health care workers, and secondary transmission occurred from those with symptomatic infections despite use of personal protective equipment.” See Attached Exhibit A-9, An outbreak caused by the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant (B.1.617.2) in a secondary care hospital in Finland, May 2021
In a hospital outbreak investigation in Israel, Shitrit et al. observed “high transmissibility of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant among twice vaccinated and masked individuals.” They added that “this suggests some waning of immunity, albeit still providing protection for individuals without comorbidities.” See Attached Exhibit A-10, Nosocomial outbreak caused by the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant in a highly vaccinated population, Israel, July 2021
In the UK COVID-19 vaccine Surveillance Report for week #42, it was noted that there is “waning of the N antibody response over time” and “that N antibody levels appear to be lower in individuals who acquire infection following 2 doses of vaccination.” The same report (Table 2, page 13), shows the in the older age groups above 30, the double vaccinated persons have greater infection risk than the unvaccinated, presumably because the latter group include more people with stronger natural immunity from prior Covid disease. As a contrast, the vaccinated people had a lower risk of death than the unvaccinated, across all age groups, indicating that vaccines provide more protection against death than against infection. See Attached Exhibit A-11, https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1027511/Vaccine-surveillance-report-week-42.pdf
In Israel, Levin et al. “conducted a 6-month longitudinal prospective study involving vaccinated health care workers who were tested monthly for the presence of anti-spike IgG and neutralizing antibodies”. They found that “six months after receipt of the second dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine, humoral response was substantially decreased, especially among men, among persons 65 years of age or older, and among persons with immunosuppression.” See Attached Exhibit A-12, Waning Immune Humoral Response to BNT162b2 Covid-19 Vaccine over 6 Months | NEJM
In a study from New York State, Rosenberg et al. reported that “During May 3–July 25, 2021, the overall age-adjusted vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization in New York was relatively stable 89.5%–95.1%). The overall age-adjusted vaccine effectiveness against infection for all New York adults declined from 91.8% to 75.0%.” See Attached Exhibit A-13, New COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations...
Suthar et al. noted that “Our data demonstrate a substantial waning of antibody responses and T cell immunity to SARS-CoV-2 and its variants, at 6 months following the second immunization with the BNT162b2 vaccine.” See Attached Exhibit A-14, Durability of immune responses to the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine
In a study from Umeå University in Sweden, Nordström et al. observed that “vaccine effectiveness of BNT162b2 against infection waned progressively from 92% (95% CI, 92-93, P<0·001) at day 15-30 to 47% (95% CI, 39-55, P<0·001) at day 121-180, and from day 211 and onwards no effectiveness could be detected (23%; 95% CI, -2-41, P=0·07).” See Attached Exhibit A-15, Author Page for Peter Nordström :: SSRN
Yahi et al. have reported that “in the case of the Delta variant, neutralizing antibodies have a decreased affinity for the spike protein, whereas facilitating antibodies display a strikingly increased affinity. Thus, antibody dependent enhancement may be a concern for people receiving vaccines based on the original Wuhan strain spike sequence.” See Attached Exhibit A-16, Infection-enhancing anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies recognize both the original Wuhan/D614G strain and Delta variants. A potential risk for mass vaccination?
Goldberg et al. (BNT162b2 Vaccine in Israel) reported that “immunity against the delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 waned in all age groups a few months after receipt of the second dose of vaccine.” See Attached Exhibit A-17, Waning Immunity after the BNT162b2 Vaccine in Israel | NEJM
Singanayagam et al. examined the transmission and viral load kinetics in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals with mild delta variant infection in the community. They found that (in 602 community contacts (identified via the UK contract-tracing system) of 471 UK COVID-19 index cases were recruited to the Assessment of Transmission and Contagiousness of COVID-19 in Contacts cohort study and contributed 8145 upper respiratory tract samples from daily sampling for up to 20 days) “vaccination reduces the risk of delta variant infection and accelerates viral clearance. Nonetheless, fully vaccinated individuals with breakthrough infections have peak viral load similar to unvaccinated cases and can efficiently transmit infection in household settings, including to fully vaccinated contacts.” See Attached Exhibit A-18, Community transmission and viral load kinetics of the SARS-CoV-2 delta (B.1.617.2) variant in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in the UK: a prospective, longitudinal, cohort study
Keehner et al. in NEJM, has recently reported on the resurgence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a highly vaccinated health system workforce. Vaccination with mRNA vaccines began in mid-December 2020; by March, 76% of the workforce had been fully vaccinated, and by July, the percentage had risen to 87%. Infections had decreased dramatically by early February 2021…”coincident with the end of California’s mask mandate on June 15 and the rapid dominance of the B.1.617.2 (delta) variant that first emerged in mid-April and accounted for over 95% of UCSDH isolates by the end of July, infections increased rapidly, including cases among fully vaccinated persons…researchers reported that the “dramatic change in vaccine effectiveness from June to July is likely to be due to both the emergence of the delta variant and waning immunity over time.” See Attached Exhibit A-19, Resurgence of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in a Highly Vaccinated Health System Workforce | NEJM
Juthani et al. sought to describe the impact of vaccination on admission to hospital in patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection using real-world data collected by the Yale New Haven Health System. “Patients were considered fully vaccinated if the final dose (either second dose of BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273, or first dose of Ad.26.COV2.S) was administered at least 14 days before symptom onset or a positive PCR test for SARS-CoV-2. In total, we identified 969 patients who were admitted to a Yale New Haven Health System hospital with a confirmed positive PCR test for SARS-CoV-2”…Researchers reported “a higher number of patients with severe or critical illness in those who received the BNT162b2 vaccine than in those who received mRNA-1273 or Ad.26.COV2.S…” See Attached Exhibit A-20, Hospitalisation among vaccine breakthrough COVID-19 infections
A very recent study published by the CDC reported that a majority (53%) of patients who were hospitalized with Covid-19-like illnesses were already fully vaccinated with two-dose RNA shots. Table 1 reveals that among the 20,101 immunocompromised adults hospitalized with Covid-19, 10,564 (53%) were fully-vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine (Vaccination was defined as having received exactly 2 doses of an mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine ≥14 days before the hospitalization index date, which was the date of respiratory specimen collection associated with the most recent positive or negative SARS-CoV-2 test result before the hospitalization or the hospitalization date if testing only occurred after the admission). This highlights the ongoing challenges faced with Delta breakthrough when vaccinated. See Attached Exhibit A-21, Effectiveness of 2-Dose Vaccination with mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines
Eyre, 2021 looked at The impact of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination on Alpha & Delta variant transmission. They reported that “while vaccination still lowers the risk of infection, similar viral loads in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals infected with Delta question how much vaccination prevents onward transmission… transmission reductions declined over time since second vaccination, for Delta reaching similar levels to unvaccinated individuals by 12 weeks for ChAdOx1 and attenuating substantially for BNT162b2. Protection from vaccination in contacts also declined in the 3 months after second vaccination…vaccination reduces transmission of Delta, but by less than the Alpha variant.” See Attached Exhibit A-22, The impact of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination on Alpha & Delta variant transmission
Levine-Tiefenbrun, 2021 looked at Viral loads of Delta-variant SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infections after vaccination and booster with BNT162b2, and reported the viral load reduction effectiveness declines with time after vaccination, “significantly decreasing at 3 months after vaccination and effectively vanishing after about 6 months.” See Attached Exhibit A-23, Viral loads of Delta-variant SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infections after vaccination and booster with BNT162b2 - Nature Medicine
Puranik, 2021 looked at a Comparison of two highly-effective mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 during periods of Alpha and Delta variant prevalence, reporting “In July, vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization has remained high (mRNA-1273: 81%, 95% CI: 33–96.3%; BNT162b2: 75%, 95% CI: 24–93.9%), but effectiveness against infection was lower for both vaccines (mRNA-1273: 76%, 95% CI: 58–87%; BNT162b2: 42%, 95% CI: 13–62%), with a more pronounced reduction for BNT162b2.” See Attached Exhibit A-24, Comparison of two highly-effective mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 during periods of Alpha and Delta variant prevalence
Saade, 2021 looked at Live virus neutralization testing in convalescent patients and subjects vaccinated against 19A, 20B, 20I/501Y.V1 and 20H/501Y.V2 isolates of SARS-CoV-2, and reported as “Assessed the neutralizing capacity of antibodies to prevent cell infection, using a live virus neutralization test with different strains [19A (initial one), 20B (B.1.1.241 lineage), 20I/501Y.V1 (B.1.1.7 lineage), and 20H/501Y.V2 (B.1.351 lineage)] in serum samples collected from different populations: two-dose vaccinated COVID-19-naive healthcare workers (HCWs; Pfizer-BioNTech BNT161b2), 6-months post mild COVID-19 HCWs, and critical COVID-19 patients… finding of the present study is the reduced neutralizing response observed towards the 20H/501Y.V2 variant in fully immunized subjects with the BNT162b2 vaccine by comparison to the wild type and 20I/501Y.V1 variant.” See Attached Exhibit A-25, Live virus neutralization testing in convalescent patients and subjects vaccinated against 19A, 20B, 20I/501Y.V1 and 20H/501Y.V2 isolates of SARS-CoV-2
Canaday, 2021 looked at Significant reduction in humoral immunity among healthcare workers and nursing home residents 6 months after COVID-19 BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination, reporting “Anti-spike, anti-RBD and neutralization levels dropped more than 84% over 6 months’ time in all groups irrespective of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. At 6 months post-vaccine, 70% of the infection-naive NH residents had neutralization titers at or below the lower limit of detection compared to 16% at 2 weeks after full vaccination. These data demonstrate a significant reduction in levels of antibody in all groups. In particular, those infection-naive NH residents had lower initial post-vaccination humoral immunity immediately and exhibited the greatest declines 6 months later.” See Attached Exhibit A-26, Significant reduction in humoral immunity among healthcare workers and nursing home residents 6 months after COVID-19 BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination
Israel, 2021 looked at Large-scale study of antibody titer decay following BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine or SARS-CoV-2 infection, and reported as “To determine the kinetics of SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies following administration of two doses of BNT162b2 vaccine, or SARS-CoV-2 infection in unvaccinated individuals…In vaccinated subjects, antibody titers decreased by up to 40% each subsequent month while in convalescents they decreased by less than 5% per month. Six months after BNT162b2 vaccination 16.1% subjects had antibody levels below the sero-positivity threshold of <50 AU/mL, while only 10.8% of convalescent patients were below <50 AU/mL threshold after 9 months from SARS-CoV-2 infection.” See Attached Exhibit A-27, Large-scale study of antibody titer decay following BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine or SARS-CoV-2 infection
Eyran, 2020 examined The longitudinal kinetics of antibodies in COVID-19 recovered patients over 14 months, and found “a significantly faster decay in naïve vaccinees compared to recovered patients suggesting that the serological memory following natural infection is more robust compared to vaccination. Our data highlights the differences between serological memory induced by natural infection vs. vaccination.” See Attached Exhibit A-28, The longitudinal kinetics of antibodies in COVID-19 recovered patients over 14 months
These finding are not unknown to public health authorities. In fact, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky have said that the Covid vaccines are working “exceptionally well” against severe illness and death, but “what they can’t do anymore is prevent transmission.” See Attached Exhibit A-29, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky Admitted COVID-19 Vaccines Cannot 'Prevent Transmission' - National File
What these studies show, are that vaccines are important to reduce severe disease and death, but unable to prevent the disease from spreading and eventually infect most of us. That is, while the vaccines may provide individual benefits to the vaccinee, and especially to older high-risk people, the public benefit of universal vaccination is in grave doubt. As such, Covid vaccines should not be expected to contribute to eliminating the communal spread of the virus or the reaching of herd immunity. This unravels the rationale for forcing or coercing a population to be vaccinated and denying patients their right to medical autonomy.
I make this affidavit in bona fide support of the position of the federal employees in Adam Wojdan et al v. Canada.
Affirmed before me at the City of Montreal, Quebec, on 17th day of November, 2021
Commissioner for Taking Affidavits
PAUL ELIAS ALEXANDER
Daniel Romano is a law partner at Kalman & Samuels’ Montreal lawyers specializing in privacy & personal rights, private international law, family law, personal injury, damages and professional malpractice. Listen to him or read the video transcript below to learn more about legal dictatorship in Canada.
My name is Dan Romano, and I am one of the lawyers on the team Kalman Samuels Attorneys.
I am sending this video out to you during this strange time of COVID19 and the government lockdowns. We are living through very strange times in terms of pandemic. But also, in terms of laws and regulations, and many people have been questioning them. People question how is it we can get fined for walking alone in the park? What difference does it make if I am outside of my home after 8:00 PM? How can that be affecting anything? How can the government be passing these types of laws?
If you go to Canadian Tire right now, you can buy an extension cord, but you cannot buy a USB cord. You have to walk back out, order it online, wait 30 minutes, and then you can go back to the very same store, the same clerk who showed you the extension cord will then be able to give you a USB cord that you ordered online.
The same thing happens with winter clothes, if you go to L’Equipeur, for example, I know because I went there myself and to buy clothes for a friend who was under quarantine. He needed gloves. You can buy work clothes, but you cannot buy winter clothes. They might be right beside one another, but one is legal and one is not.
You might find these laws strange and some of you might think that they do not go far enough. That is okay, that is a matter of opinion.
What we are here to try to explain is, how the government has the legal right…. by what right can they make those laws. I will not give you the full explanation here on the video. If you would like to know, basically click on the link below to read our very short article, very easy, where we explain it all.
I will just give you a brief summary right now:
In terms of democracy — have “democracy” means “government by the masses”. We don’t have pure democracy, we have a “representative democracy” where we elect representatives who basically legislate for us and are members of parliament and make the laws and ‘govern’.
These representatives passed a law in 2001, two laws, actually, that allow them, in times of emergency, to change our government for a limited period of time into basically a dictatorship, where the Premier can dictate the laws, and we have to obey. That is the law of the land.
This comes from the old Roman System where they had senators who would vote and it would be oversight. Whenever there was a national emergency, such as an earthquake or a war they would elect a dictator to be more efficient and make decisions more quickly. This is what Julius Caesar’s role was, he was elected as a dictator, for several times, for short periods of time to dictate how things should be done.
So that is what has been going on and this is why these laws are coming up very quickly, very spontaneously, and why – whatever we may think of them for the moment – until they are review by the courts, they are perfectly legal.
I hope this is helpful for more information go and click on this link, and if you ever have questions, you are welcome to call us. We are open during this time, and we are available to help you with anything you may need.
Dan Romano from Kalman Samuels.
Thank you very much.
...as always, we should do our own research and decide for ourselves!