I asked NSW Health for Susan Pearce's "irrefutable" proof that the Covid vaccines are effective: They want to charge me $630 to find it
Remember when Susan Pearce, Secretary of NSW Health, said that the ICU data shows, “irrefutably,” that Covid vaccines limit the severity of illness with Covid?
It was a bold claim, as the NSW data at the time showed quite the opposite. Those with 4+ doses were 1.7x more likely than the average to show up in ICU with Covid, while those with 0 doses were about half as likely (0.6x) to end up in ICU as the rest of the population (on a per 1M capita basis).1
I was curious to see this “irrefutable” data that Susan Pearce referred to, and so I contacted the NSW Department of Health, who directed me toward the GIPA process to submit my request. I formally submitted my GIPA request on 23 September 2022. Finally, on 30 November, I received a response from the GIPA team.
Excited to finally see the infamous “irrefutable” data that Susan Pearce so confidently referenced, I opened the letter to find….
… a bill for $630.
Why? Because it’s going to take them: 6 hours to locate the data; 9 hours to assess it; and, another 6 hours to compose their response to me.
It might even cost more! They’ll let me know. They’ve already spent $120 of work (four hours) on my request so far, which presumably involved emailing Susan Pearce to ask, “what was that data you referenced?” I could have done it in 14 minutes, but I’m a capitalist, we’re efficient like that.
Thank you for your correspondence.
There seems to have been a misunderstanding.
Susan Pearce referenced ICU data in the senate hearings per my initial GIPA application. Surely Susan Pearce can quite simply state/identify the data set she was referring to? Have you asked Susan Pearce for the summary of the data she was referring to?
For Susan Pearce to have referred to the data, she must have already had it provided to her. Why does it take an estimated 6 hours to search, 9 hours to assess, review and analyse, and another 6 hours to write the decision? You do not need to spend 15 hours searching and analysing - this has obviously already been done, as Susan Pearce is confidently using the data to support her claims about vaccine efficacy.
To be very clear: I am not requesting a new search and analysis. I am requesting the existing and on hand data and analysis that has already been provided to Susan Pearce.
Can someone please confirm that Susan Pearce has been asked which data she was referring to, and where she got it from?
It is unfair and inefficient for a citizen to pay for data that has already been collected, analysed and summarised to be done all over again, when it is sitting in the inbox of the health official who quoted it.
Thank you in advance for your assistance.
I think we all know I will not get further assistance.
What is obvious to me from this encounter is:
The data does not exist. They are literally charging me money to ‘find it.’
GIPA is a system of obstruction masquerading as a commitment to transparency.
I have recently received five or six similar responses from state government departments in response to FOIs that I lodged over the past few months in an effort to extract very basic Covid data. The responses are always variations of “computer says no” or, “give me your money so we can check again” (my translation, the originals are written in hard-to-decipher Bureaucratese). I know of several other people who are experiencing the same problems with their FOIs, being led in circles for months on end.
Being a Persistent Polly, I’m not ready to give up yet.
If there is anyone out there who is fluent in Bureaucratese and has some deeper understanding of FOI processes, I’d like to hear from you.
I’m also wondering if there’s a way for those of us dealing with FOIs to better organise as a group?
Contribute to my FOI fund.