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Brownstone Institute

Evidence of Early Spread in the US: What We Know

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35 minute read

From the Brownstone Institute

BY Bill RiceBILL RICE

In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story “Silver Blaze,” Sherlock Holmes famously solved a murder case by noting a dog that didn’t bark.

Gregory (Scotland Yard detective to Holmes): “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”
Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”
Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”

The “official” timeline of the spread of the novel coronavirus has been false from the very beginning. The “dog that didn’t bark” is the fact officials have refused to sincerely investigate the copious evidence of “early spread.”

When events and activities that clearly should have happened obviously did not happen, a truth-seeking detective would ask several common-sense questions.

For example: Why didn’t these activities take place? Are America’s trusted officials perhaps hiding something, and, if so, why? Should certain people and certain organizations be considered the primary suspects in one of the most shocking crimes in world history?

In previous articles, I identified 17 known Americans who possess antibody evidence of being infected by the novel coronavirus months before the virus was supposed to be circulating in America. Three of these Americans had antibody evidence of infection by November 2019.

I also recently identified at least seven other Americans who claim to have had Covid symptoms in November or December 2019 who state they later received positive antibody results. I’ve thus identified at least 24  known Americans who very likely had Covid at some point in the year 2019. Also and significantly, federal officials never interviewed any of these people.

Today’s deep dive into “early spread” evidence focusses on 106 other Americans who also had antibody evidence of early spread. These 106 Americans tested positive for Covid antibodies in a CDC study of Red Cross blood donors.

While the “Red Cross Blood Study” received a fair amount of media coverage when belatedly published on November 30, 2020, the “narrative-changing” or “seismic” implications of this study have still not been given the weight they deserve.

Conclusions flowing from this analysis include the following:

* By late December 2019, more than 7 million Americans had likely been infected by the coronavirus… more than three months before the lockdowns of mid-March 2020, lockdowns implemented to “slow” or “stop” the spread of a virus that had spread across the country and world many months earlier.

“Probable” cases of Covid had already occurred in at least 16 U.S. states by January 1st, 2020 – weeks or months before the first “confirmed” case of Covid in America was recorded January 19, 2020.

  • Antibody studies of archived blood in Italy and France also support the hypothesis that that virus had infected large numbers of people in these two nations as early as September 2019.

Key unanswered questions include:

Why was the Red Cross blood study the only antibody study of blood samples collected by blood bank organizations?

Why did it take so long to publish the results of this one Red Cross blood study?

When did officials test this blood and when did U.S. policy makers know the results?(This is literally a trillion-dollar question. Also, If this blood had been tested earlier, millions of lives might have been saved).

Why didn’t officials interview the 106 Americans who had antibody evidence of prior infection?

It’s possible at least some public health experts may have intentionally concealed evidence of early spread. Reasons prompting this disturbing conclusion are presented below.

The first known knowable

Between December 13-16, 2019, 1,912 Americans in the states of California, Oregon and Washington donated blood via the American Red Cross. Another 5,477 Americans also donated blood via the Red Cross between Dec. 30, 2019 and January 17, 2020. These donors were from the states of Massachusetts, Michigan, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Iowa.

At some point, the CDC decided it should test these 7,389 samples of  “archived” blood for Covid antibodies. When this took place – and why it took so long for this to happen – are two of many still-unanswered questions.

DISCUSSION – Tranche 1 (California, Oregon and Washington)

Of the 1,912 samples tested for Covid antibodies, 39 were positive for IgG and/or IgM antibodies.

The above represents 2.04 percent of the total samples from this tranche. In samples tested from the Red Cross’s Northern California district, 2.4 percent of the sera samples tested positive for Covid-19 via an ELISA assay.

If this was a representative sample of the American population, 2.04 percent would translate to approximately 7.94 million Americans who had already been infected by this virus in the weeks before Dec. 13-16. (Math: American population of 331 million x 0.024 percent = 7.94 million).

If we include both tranches, the 106 positive donors represents 1.43 percent of the larger “sample group.” This seroprevalence rate would translate to 4.73 million Americans nationwide being infected by some time in early January 2020.

We’re not supposed to perform this extrapolation

Public health officials working overtime to hype the fear factor must appreciate the fact  journalists in the mainstream press did not perform the extrapolations I just performed above.

This particular “dog that didn’t bark” (a press that wouldn’t perform common-sense extrapolations) is probably explained by language/guidance the authors included in the study.

From the study: Findings “may not be representative of all blood donors or donations in these states and the findings may not be generalizable to all blood donors during the donation dates reported here. Therefore, population-based seroprevalence estimates or inference on magnitude of infections on a national or state level cannot be made.”

I did note the authors used the words “may not be generalizable to all blood donors during the donation dates reported here.”  To me, this choice of words does not rule out the possibility these results may be generalizable to the larger population.

The authors’ reasons that readers should not “generalize” the results to the entire population are unconvincing. A random group of blood donors is about as good a sample as one can perform. For example, this was NOT a “biased” sample of people who thought they may have had Covid earlier.

This sample almost certainly undercounts virus prevalence in these states

In mainstream press stories about this study, all of them report as fact that this study dates the possible beginning of virus spread to December 2019. This is not accurate. The findings, for reasons outlined below, actually reveal that Americans were becoming infected in November 2019 or (almost-certainly) even earlier.

Regarding the possibility the sample may have under-counted true prevalence, the following points should be considered.

Some of the donors, especially those who had asymptomatic cases and never even knew they were sick, may not have had time to develop antibodies by the time they donated blood. Per one study, “the average time to detectable neutralization was 14.3 days post on-set of symptoms (range 3-59 days.)”

Also, it’s possible some of the donors may have had detectable levels of antibodies at an earlier date, but those antibodies had “waned” or “faded” and were no longer “detectable” at the time they gave blood samples.

Furthermore, all regular blood donors know that they should not donate blood if they have recently been sick. This deduction further backs up the possible date of infection for some “positive” donors by at least two weeks.

Also, backing up the true “infection date” of many of the donors is the fact that 32.23 percent of the donors who tested positive for “neutralizing antibodies” tested negative for the IgM antibody and positive for the IgG antibody.

Per many studies, IgM-positive antibodies only persist for approximately one month. That is, after 30 days, those who were previously infected by Covid will test negative for IgM antibodies. However, IgG antibodies can last for many months, years or, in some people, perhaps a lifetime.

Per the Red Cross study, 32 percent of donors were negative-IgM but positive IgG, which suggests that approximately one-third of this sample were infected a month or more before they donated blood. This combination of antibody results would push likely infection dates back to October (or even September) for some percentage of positive donors.

We don’t know when these people in the three Western states (or the other six Midwestern and Northeast states) may have been infected – but for probably most of them it would have been many weeks or even months before they donated blood.That is, the “Red Cross blood study” provides compelling evidence that early spread in America probably occurred by at least early October and perhaps even September.

What does the word ‘spread’ really mean?

Also, the fact that positive samples were found in ALL nine states (California, Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Connecticut and Rhode Island) by itself strongly suggests virus “spread.” Question: How could a virus be infecting people in nine widely-dispersed states without first “spreading?”

To these nine states, we can add seven other states  (New Jersey, Florida and Alabama) from my first round of stories and now also New YorkTexasNebraska andNorth Carolina from my most recent story where readers with antibody evidence contacted me. This gives us 16 states where this allegedly non-existent or “isolated” virus had infected people before the first official case in America.

I would also note that whatever virus made many of these people “sick” spread between family members. For example, at least four married couples infected each other and/or at least one child. Mayor Michael Melham says “many” people at the conference where he first became sick with Covid symptoms also became sick at the same time, which, to this layman’s definition, connotes virus “spread.”

To the above numbers, we could add all the unknown individuals who infected these people … as well as the unknown individuals who infected these unknown individuals.

It should also be noted that the Red Cross blood study was not a perfect sample as blood donors are much older than the median age. In this sample, the median age was 52 – 13 years older than the U.S. median age of 38.6. Common sense tells us that older retirees do not interact with nearly as many people on a daily basis as more active younger people.

I’ve also come to believe it’s possible that officials who “authorized” or approved official antibody tests may have manipulated the tests to ensure fewer “confirmed” or “positive” cases, a result that would minimize any fallout from larger percentages of positives. A difference of 1 or 2 percent in seroprevalence estimates might not seem like much. However, in real terms, this would represent 3.3 to 6.6 million additional early cases.

For these reasons, I believe the number of Americans who’d been infected by the novel coronavirus in the year 2019 is notably higher than 1.43 or 2.04 percent of America’s population.

The Dog that Didn’t Bark Evidence

Regarding the Red Cross antibody study, several points deserve much greater attention than they’ve received. The following unanswered questions address these points:

Why was only ONE study of archived Red Cross blood performed?

By December 31, 2019, every American public health official was acutely aware that Chinese officials had reported an outbreak of a novel new type of “pneumonia” virus to the World Health Organization.

It’s my belief at least some U.S. officials either knew or had compelling reasons to suspect this months earlier. (This topic/theory will be explored in future articles).

Even if one accepts that the Dec. 31st notification was the first American officials had heard of a possible global pandemic, wouldn’t one of the first reactions of these officials be to test archived blood to see if this virus might have been spreading in this country?

One answer to this question might be that America’s scientific community simply did not have an antibody test capable of testing for antibodies in early January. This may be true, but, per my research, creating an antibody test for any virus poses no formidable challenge to smart and motivated scientists.  If such an assay wasn’t available in the early weeks of the official pandemic, one should have certainly been available by the end of January.

Also, I’ve read several studies authored by Chinese scientists who were performing antibody tests in January 2020. For example, this study “was published on January 24, 2020” and includes the following sentence:

“Additional evidence to confirm the etiologic significance of 2019-nCoV in the Wuhan outbreak include … detection of IgM and IgG antiviral antibodies …”

Surely, in the face of an unfolding “global crisis,” America’s top scientific minds could have done the same thing (or just borrowed the technology from the Chinese).

The Red Cross didn’t have any more spare blood?

It must also be true that plenty of “archived” blood samples from throughout the country were available for testing (and the Red Cross is not the only organization that serves as a blood bank for hospitals).

In the face of a national emergency, it would seem odd if all of these organizations presented  serious objections to some of their stored blood being “repurposed” for important research.

If two tranches of blood were donated for science, couldn’t other tranches of Red Cross blood have similarly been donated? Why was no Red Cross blood collected before December 13th tested for antibodies? Why was blood collected and tested from only nine states? Why not all 50 states? Why wasn’t blood from the same locations tested two or three weeks later (or from earlier dates) … or two months later to see if the percentage of positives might be increasing?

The public doesn’t know the answer to any of these questions and apparently no reporter asked officials these questions.

Again, projects that would seem like common-sense to most people … did NOT take place.

When did officials test this blood and when did U.S. policy makers know the results?

One piece of information not included in the report is the date the archived blood was finally tested. This is actually (and literally) a trillion-dollar question.

Another “known knowable” is the date in which lockdowns commenced – roughly March 13th 2020, the date Fauci, Birx et all “snuck in” the provisions of what the non-pharmaceutical intervention would actually entail (basically closing all non-essential businesses and organizations).

One might ask if the decision to lock down the country to “slow” or “stop’ the “spread” of this virus would have been authorized if it had been known that Americans in nine states already had antibody-evidence of infection by early January (or December or November)? Asked differently, if these results had been known by, say, late February 2020 how would officials justify the lockdowns?

Late February would be 73 days after the first tranche of Red Cross blood had been collected from donors and 58 days after the Wuhan Outbreak became known. How long does it really take to transport 1,900 units of blood to the CDC’s preferred testing lab and then test such a small batch of samples for antibodies? If this was a national emergency and scientists and lab workers were working 24-7, it would not have taken 58 days.

Perhaps the only reason this would not have occurred is that no member of the U.S. Scientific Bureaucracy thought of doing this …. a possibility this author finds hard to believe.

An alternative explanation is that officials intentionally delayed the testing of this blood so there would be no reason to call off the lockdowns. Here the assumption is that if Americans learned that many millions of Americans had already been infected with this virus by early December – and nobody in the entire country had even noticed – maybe the fear and panic that did ensue would not have ensued.

Why did it take so long to publish the results of this one Red Cross blood study?

Not only was the California-Washington-Oregon tranche of blood not tested in time to avert the lockdowns (at least as far as the public knows), the study that did take place wasn’t published until November 30, 2020. This was almost 12 months (!) after 1,900 people had donated blood Dec. 13-16.

In my research, I found numerous examples of serology studies that were conceived, conducted and the results published in a matter of weeks (In one case in Idaho in a matter of days).

Tucker Carlson thinks like I do

I’m a big fan of Tucker Carlson’s contrarian monologues, but I missed the fact he posed some of my same questions in a commentary that aired in the days after the Red Cross blood study was finally published.

Tucker: “So clearly, what we have been told for almost a year about the origins of the coronavirus is not true.

“Why are we just learning this now, a month after a presidential election? We’ve had reliable antibody tests since the summer, yet no one thought to test Red Cross blood samples until now?”

“Why weren’t elected officials demanding a coherent account of where this virus that has changed American history forever came from, how it got to the United States and how it spread through our population? Why don’t we know that yet?”

My only quibble with Tucker’s essay is that the American scientific community would have had “reliable” antibody tests far before “summer.”

(Another personal hypothesis: I also think “authorized” antibody tests were not made widely available until late April to conceal evidence of early spread,  another theory I will expound on in a future article).

Carlson pointed out that as of December 2020, Americans still didn’t know where
this virus that “changed American history forever came from (or) how it got to the United States and how it spread through our population? Why don’t we know that yet?”

Carlson asked these questions two years ago … and Americans still have no answer.

As to Carlson’s question as to “why we don’t know that yet?” I can offer one possible answer: Because the people who know the answer must know that their fingerprints are on the creation of this virus. If the truth became known, they might be facing charges of “crimes against humanity.”

If the dog did bark and tell the sordid tale, it wouldn’t be one felon Sherlock Holmes nabbed, but a swamp full of felons. As it turns out, the felons are almost guaranteed protection by the massive numbers of accomplices (“stakeholders” in the authorized narrative) who are also interested in the truth never being revealed.

Why didn’t officials interview the 106 Americans who had antibody evidence of prior infection?

Any public health official genuinely interested in tracking down the earliest known cases would have rushed to interview every one of these 106 Americans.

The obvious goal would be to ascertain if any of these individuals happened to experience Covid-like symptoms weeks or months before they donated blood. If they had, available medical records (and perhaps even preserved tissue samples) might support this diagnosis. “Contact tracers” chasing down possible “Case Zeros” could have also found out if any of these individuals’ close contacts might have been sick.

But this did not happen (yet another dog that didn’t bark). Instead, we learn from the language in the study that blood donors were “de-identified” for unstated reasons.

Presumably, this was done to protect the medical privacy of these individuals. However, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where an American citizen in January or February 2020 would have been offended if a public servant investigating the origins of the century’s greatest pandemic asked him or her a few questions.

This hypothetical excuse would also be shown to be a canard by the fact that public health officials in France also performed an antibody study of archived stored blood. This study (summarized below) also found copious evidence of early spread, including French citizens who had antibody evidence of infection in early November 2019.

However, in France, unlike in America, public health officials did take the time to interview some of the positive subjects.

French Antibody Study found 3.9 percent of residents had antibody evidence of early spread

The French study selected and tested 9,144 serum samples collected betweenNovember 4, 2019 and March 16, 2020 in participants living in the 12 mainland French regions.

Three-hundred and fifty-three (3.9%) participants were ELISA-S positive, 138 were undetermined and 8653 were negative (undetermined and negative, 96.1%). The proportion of ELISA-S positive increased from 1.9% (42 of 2218) in November and 1.3% (20 of 1534) in December to 5.0% (114 of 2268) in January, 5.2% (114 of 2179) in February and 6.7% (63 or 945) in the first half of March.

A few observations/comments:

The percentage of positive samples (3.9 percent) of French participants is more than double the rate of the American Red Cross study (1.44 percent among 7,392 donors).  The total number of positive cases (353) is more than three times greater than was found in the smaller Red Cross study (106 positive samples).

The American Red Cross study found “positives” in all nine states sampled and the French study found positives in all 12 mainland French regions … thus the results of both studies strongly suggest that the virus had spread across both countries.

In France, two percent (1.99 percent) of those studied had antibody evidence of infection by November 2019 – approximately four months before the global lockdowns. Perhaps surprisingly, the rates went down in December but then spiked to 5.0 percent in January and kept rising in February 5.2 percent) and had reached 6.7 percent in the first half of March (before the lockdowns).

The population of France in 2020 was 67.38 million. This means 6.7 percent of the population already had evidence of infection before the lockdowns commenced. Extrapolated to the entire French population, this would equate to 4.51 million French citizens.  For context, the first  three “confirmed” cases of Covid in France are still recorded as January 24, 2020.

No “pre-pandemic” serology study including archived blood collected in February 2020 was performed in America.  If 5.2 percent of Americans had antibody evidence of infection by February (as was the case in France), this would equate to 17.21 million Americans.

French public officials did interview some early spread possibilities

From the study: “Participants with both ELISA-S and SN positive tests in serum sampled before February 1, 2020 were interviewed to identify potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2 infection. A trained investigator collected standardized information on clinical details … and any remarkable event in close contacts (e.g. unexplained pneumonia).

According to the French study, 13 people tested positive with “neutralizing antibodies” (a higher standard than just plain IgM or IgG positives) “between November 5, 2019 and January 30, 2020.”

Table 1 describes the serological results in these 13 participants, among whom 11 were interviewed.

Of the 11 subjects who were interviewed, eight (8) – 73 percent –  were either sick themselves or had close contacts with someone who was sick with Covid-like symptoms. For purposes of illustration, three of these individuals’ findings are presented below:

Person 3 – Sampled in November 2019: Positive with Covid symptoms. Also noted: Her partner was sick with intense cough in October 2019 …”

Person 6 – blood drawn November 2019 … Travel in Spain in early November. She had daily encounters with a family member who had a respiratory illness of unknown origin between October and December. She suffered from dysgeusia, hyposmia, and cough before the sample was taken, but could not remember the date of illness …”

Person 7: Positive in November with symptoms. The participant and his partner were sick with a severe cough in October 2019. He had a follow-up serology at the end of July, 2020. ELISA-S = 3.82. (Note: This means this person received TWO positive antibody tests).

The above information provides another benefit of interviewing people who have antibody evidence of early infection – namely, officials can re-test these individuals at different points in the future to see how long antibodies last. Furthermore, if a large percentage of these early spread candidates did not later develop PCR-confirmed cases, this would suggest they do, in fact, have “natural immunity” (which would be further evidence of an earlier infection).

Italy Antibody Study is eye-opening

The most eye-opening “pre-pandemic” antibody study was carried out by a team of academic researchers in Italy.

The main text: “SARS-CoV-2 RBD-specific antibodies were detected in 111 of 959 (11.6%) individuals, starting from September 2019 (14%), with a cluster of positive cases (>30%) in the second week of February 2020 and the highest number (53.2%) in Lombardy. This study shows an unexpected very early circulation of SARS-CoV-2 among asymptomatic individuals in Italy several months before the first patient was identified, and clarifies the onset and spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.”

“Table 1 reports anti-SARS-CoV-2 RBD antibody detection according to the time of sample collection in Italy. In the first 2 months, September–October 2019, 23/162 (14.2%) patients in September and 27/166 (16.3%) in October displayed IgG or IgM antibodies, or both.”

“The first positive sample (IgM-positive) was recorded on September 3 in the Veneto region …

The 959 recruited patients came from all Italian regions, and at least one SARS-CoV-2–positive patient was detected in 13 regions – more evidence of wide-spread and “early,” person-to-person transmission.

More from the study: “Notably, two peaks of positivity for anti-SARS-CoV-2 RBD antibodies were visible: the first one started at the end of September, reaching 18% and 17% of IgM-positive cases in the second and third weeks of October, respectively. A second one occurred in February 2020, with a peak of over 30% of IgM-positive cases in the second week.”

According to the study’s authors: “Finding SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in asymptomatic people before the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy may reshape the history of pandemic.

My comment: I’ve thought the same thing with all the articles I’ve written that presented copious evidence of “early spread.” However, I clearly thought wrong. Apparently, for some reason, the “early spread” dog ain’t barking.

Reprinted from the author’s Substack

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  • Bill Rice

    Bill Rice, Jr. is a freelance journalist in Troy, Alabama.

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Brownstone Institute

How the “Unvaccinated” Got It Right

Published on

BY Robin KoernerROBIN KOERNER

Scott Adams is the creator of the famous cartoon strip, Dilbert. It is a strip whose brilliance derives from close observation and understanding of human behavior. Some time ago, Scott turned those skills to commenting insightfully and with notable intellectual humility on the politics and culture of our country.

Like many other commentators, and based on his own analysis of evidence available to him, he opted to take the Covid “vaccine.”

Recently, however, he posted a video on the topic that has been circulating on social media. It was a mea culpa in which he declared, “The unvaccinated were the winners,” and, to his great credit, “I want to find out how so many of [my viewers] got the right answer about the “vaccine” and I didn’t.”

“Winners” was perhaps a little tongue-in-cheek: he seemingly means that the “unvaccinated” do not have to worry about the long-term consequences of having the “vaccine” in their bodies since enough data concerning the lack of safety of the “vaccines” have now appeared to demonstrate that, on the balance of risks, the choice not to be “vaccinated” has been vindicated for individuals without comorbidities.

What follows is a personal response to Scott, which explains how consideration of the information that was available at the time led one person – me – to decline the “vaccine.” It is not meant to imply that all who accepted the “vaccine” made the wrong decision or, indeed, that everyone who declined it did so for good reasons.


  1. Some people have said that the “vaccine” was created in a hurry. That may or may not be true. Much of the research for mRNA “vaccines” had already been done over many years, and corona-viruses as a class are well understood so it was at least feasible that only a small fraction of the “vaccine” development had been hurried.The much more important point was that the “vaccine” was rolled out without long-term testing. Therefore one of two conditions applied. Either no claim could be made with confidence about the long-term safety of the “vaccine” or there was some amazing scientific argument for a once-in-a-lifetime theoretical certainty concerning the long-term safety of this “vaccine.” The latter would be so extraordinary that it might (for all I know) even be a first in the history of medicine. If that were the case, it would have been all that was being talked about by the scientists; it was not. Therefore, the more obvious, first state of affairs, obtained: nothing could be claimed with confidence about the long-term safety of the “vaccine.”Given, then, that the long-term safety of the “vaccine” was a theoretical crapshoot, the unquantifiable long-term risk of taking it could only be justified by an extremely high certain risk of not taking it. Accordingly, a moral and scientific argument could only be made for its use by those at high risk of severe illness if exposed to COVID. Even the very earliest data immediately showed that I (and the overwhelming majority of the population) was not in the group.

    The continued insistence on rolling out the “vaccine” to the entire population when the data revealed that those with no comorbidities were at low risk of severe illness or death from COVID was therefore immoral and ascientific on its face. The argument that reduced transmission from the non-vulnerable to the vulnerable as a result of mass “vaccination” could only stand if the long-term safety of the “vaccine” had been established, which it had not. Given the lack of proof of long-term safety, the mass-“vaccination” policy was clearly putting at risk young or healthy lives to save old and unhealthy ones. The policy makers did not even acknowledge this, express any concern about the grave responsibility they were taking on for knowingly putting people at risk, or indicate how they had weighed the risks before reaching their policy positions. Altogether, this was a very strong reason not to trust the policy or the people setting it.

    At the very least, if the gamble with people’s health and lives represented by the coercive “vaccination” policy had been taken following an adequate cost-benefit benefit, that decision would have been a tough judgment call. Any honest presentation of it would have involved the equivocal language of risk-balancing and the public availability of information about how the risks were weighed and the decision was made. In fact, the language of policy-makers was dishonestly unequivocal and the advice they offered suggested no risk whatsoever of taking the “vaccine.” This advice was simply false (or if you prefer, misleading,) on the evidence of the time inasmuch as it was unqualified.

  1. Data that did not support COVID policies were actively and massively suppressed. This raised the bar of sufficient evidence for certainty that the “vaccine” was safe and efficacious. Per the foregoing, the bar was not met.
  1. Simple analyses of even the early available data showed that the establishment was prepared to do much more harm in terms of human rights and spending public resources to prevent a COVID death than any other kind of death. Why this disproportionality? An explanation of this overreaction was required. The kindest guess as to what was driving it was “good-old, honest panic.” But if a policy is being driven by panic, then the bar for going along with it moves up even higher. A less kind guess is that there were undeclared reasons for the policy, in which case, obviously, the “vaccine” could not be trusted.
  1. Fear had clearly generated a health panic and a moral panic, or mass formation psychosis. That brought into play many very strong cognitive biases and natural human tendencies against rationality and proportionality. Evidence of those biases was everywhere; it included the severing of close kin and kith relationships, the ill-treatment of people by others who used to be perfectly decent, the willingness of parents to cause developmental harm to their children, calls for large-scale rights violations that were made by large numbers of citizens of previously free countries without any apparent concern for the horrific implications of those calls, and the straight-faced, even anxious, compliance with policies that should have warranted responses of laughter from psychologically healthy individuals (even if they had been necessary or just helpful). In the grip of such panic or mass formation psychosis the evidential bar for extreme claims (such as the safety and moral necessity of injecting oneself with a form of gene therapy that has not undergone long-term testing) rises yet further.
  1. The companies responsible for manufacturing and ultimately profiting from the “vaccination” were given legal immunity. Why would a government do that if it really believed that the “vaccine” was safe and wanted to instill confidence in it? And why would I put something in my body that the government has decided can harm me without my having any legal redress?
  1. If the “vaccine”-sceptical were wrong, there would still have been two good reasons not to suppress their data or views. First, we are a liberal democracy that values free speech as a fundamental right and second, their data and arguments could be shown to be fallacious. The fact that the powers-that-be decided to violate our fundamental values and suppress discussion invites the question of “Why?” That was not satisfactorily answered beyond, “It’s easier for them to impose their mandates in a world where people do not dissent:” but that is an argument against compliance, rather than for it. Suppressing information a priori suggests that the information has persuasive force. I distrust anyone who distrusts me to determine which information and arguments are good and which are bad when it is my health that is at stake – especially when the people who are promoting censorship are hypocritically acting against their declared beliefs in informed consent and bodily autonomy.
  1. The PCR test was held up as the “gold standard” diagnostic test for COVID. A moment’s reading about how the PCR test works indicates that it is no such thing. Its use for diagnostic purposes is more of an art than a science, to put it kindly. Kary Mullis, who in 1993 won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for inventing the PCR technique risked his career to say as much when people tried to use it as a diagnostic test for HIV to justify a mass program of pushing experimental anti-retroviral drugs on early AIDS patients, which ultimately killed tens of thousands of people. This raises the question, “How do the people who are generating the data that we saw on the news every night and were being used to justify the mass “vaccination” policy handle the uncertainty around PCR-based diagnoses?” If you don’t have a satisfactory answer to this question, your bar for taking the risk of “vaccination” should once again go up. (On a personal note, to get the answer before making my decision about whether to undergo “vaccination,” I sent exactly this question, via a friend, to an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins. That epidemiologist, who was personally involved in generating the up-to-date data on the spread of pandemic globally, replied merely that s/he works with the data s/he’s given and does not question its accuracy or means of generation. In other words, the pandemic response was largely based on data generated by processes that were not understood or even questioned by the generators of that data.)
  1. To generalize the last point, a supposedly conclusive claim by someone who demonstrably cannot justify their claim should be discounted. In the case of the COVID pandemic, almost all people who acted as if the “vaccine” was safe and effective had no physical or informational evidence for the claims of safety and efficacy beyond the supposed authority of other people who made them. This includes many medical professionals – a problem that was being raised by some of their number (who, in many cases, were censored on social media and even lost their jobs or licenses). Anyone could read the CDC infographics on mRNA “vaccines” and, without being a scientist, generate obvious “But what if..?” questions that could be asked of experts to check for themselves whether the pushers of the “vaccines” would personally vouch for their safety. For example, the CDC put out an infographic that stated the following.“How does the vaccine work?The mRNA in the vaccine teaches your cells how to make copies of the spike protein. If you are exposed to the real virus later, your body will recognize it and know how to fight it off. After the mRNA delivers the instructions, your cells break it down and get rid of it.”

    All right. Here are some obvious questions to ask, then. “What happens if the instructions delivered to cells to generate the spike protein are not eliminated from the body as intended? How can we be sure that such a situation will never arise?” If someone cannot answer those questions, and he is in a position of political or medical authority, then he shows himself to be willing to push potentially harmful policies without considering the risks involved.

  2. Given all of the above, a serious person at least had to keep an eye out for published safety and efficacy data as the pandemic proceeded. Pfizer’s Six-month Safety and Efficacy Study was notable. The very large number of its authors was remarkable and their summary claim was that the tested vaccine was effective and safe. The data in the paper showed more deaths per head in the “vaccinated” group than “unvaccinated” group.

While this difference does not statistically establish that the shot is dangerous or ineffective, the generated data were clearly compatible with (let us put it kindly) the incomplete safety of the “vaccine” – at odds with the front-page summary. (It’s almost as if even professional scientists and clinicians exhibit bias and motivated reasoning when their work becomes politicized.) At the very least, a lay reader could see that the “summary findings” stretched, or at least showed a remarkable lack of curiosity about, the data – especially given what was at stake and the awesome responsibility of getting someone to put something untested inside their body.

  1. As time went on, it became very clear that some of the informational claims that had been made to convince people to get “vaccinated,” especially by politicians and media commentators, were false. If those policies had been genuinely justified by the previously claimed “facts,” then determination of the falsity of those “facts” should have resulted in a change in policy or, at the very least, expressions of clarification and regret by people who had previously made those incorrect but pivotal claims. Basic moral and scientific standards demand that individuals put clearly on the record the requisite corrections and retractions of statements that might influence decisions that affect health. If they don’t, they should not be trusted – especially given the huge potential consequences of their informational errors for an increasingly “vaccinated” population. That, however, never happened. If the “vaccine”-pushers had acted in good faith, then in the wake of the publication of new data throughout the pandemic, we would have been hearing (and perhaps even accepting) multiple mea culpas. We heard no such thing from political officials, revealing an almost across-the-board lack of integrity, moral seriousness, or concern with accuracy. The consequently necessary discounting of the claims previously made by officials left no trustworthy case on the pro-lockdown, pro-“vaccine” side at all.To offer some examples of statements that were proven false by data but not explicitly walked back:“You’re not going to get COVID if you get these vaccinations… We are in a pandemic of the unvaccinated.” – Joe Biden;

    “The vaccines are safe. I promise you…” – Joe Biden;

    “The vaccines are safe and effective.” – Anthony Fauci.

    “Our data from the CDC suggest that vaccinated people do not carry the virus, do not get sick – and it’s not just in the clinical trials but it’s also in real world data.” – Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

    “We have over 100,000 children, which we’ve never had before, in… in serious condition and many on ventilators.” – Justice Sotomayer (during a case to determine legality of Federal “vaccine” mandates)…

    … and so on and so on.

    The last one is particularly interesting because it was made by a judge in a Supreme Court case to determine the legality of the federal mandates. Subsequently, the aforementioned Dr. Walensky, head of the CDC, who had previously made a false statement about the efficacy of the “vaccine,” confirmed under questioning that the number of children in hospital was only 3,500 – not 100,000.

    To make more strongly the point about prior claims and policies’ being contradicted by subsequent findings but not, as a result, being reversed, the same Dr. Walensky, head of the CDC, said, “the overwhelming number of deaths – over 75% – occurred in people that had at least four comorbidities. So really these were people who were unwell to begin with.” That statement so completely undermined the entire justification for the policies of mass-“vaccination” and lockdowns that any intellectually honest person who supported them would at that point have to reassess their position. Whereas the average Joe might well have missed that piece of information from the CDC, it was the government’s own information so the presidential Joe (and his agents) certainly could not have missed it. Where was the sea change in policy to match the sea change in our understanding of the risks associated with COVID, and therefore the cost-benefit balance of the untested (long-term) “vaccine” vs. the risk associated with being infected with COVID? It never came. Clearly, neither the policy positions nor their supposed factual basis could be trusted.

  1. What was the new science that explained why, for the first time in history, a “vaccine” would be more effective than natural exposure and consequent immunity? Why the urgency to get a person who has had COVID and now has some immunity to get “vaccinated” after the fact?
  1. The overall political and cultural context in which the entire discourse on “vaccination” was being conducted was such that the evidential bar for the safety and efficacy of the “vaccine” was raised yet further while our ability to determine whether that bar had been met was reduced. Any conversation with an “unvaccinated” person (and as an educator and teacher, I was involved in very many), always involved the “unvaccinated” person being put into a defensive posture of having to justify himself to the “vaccine”-supporter as if his position was de facto more harmful than the contrary one. In such a context, accurate determination of facts is almost impossible: moral judgment always inhibits objective empirical analysis. When dispassionate discussion of an issue is impossible because judgment has saturated discourse, drawing conclusions of sufficient accuracy and with sufficient certainty to promote rights violations and the coercion of medical treatment, is next to impossible.
  1. Regarding analytics (and Scott’s point about “our” heuristics beating “their” analytics), precision is not accuracy. Indeed, in contexts of great uncertainty and complexity, precision is negatively correlated with accuracy. (A more precise claim is less likely to be correct.) Much of the COVID panic began with modeling. Modeling is dangerous inasmuch as it puts numbers on things; numbers are precise; and precision gives an illusion of accuracy – but under great uncertainty and complexity, model outputs are dominated by the uncertainties on the input variables that have very wide (and unknown) ranges and the multiple assumptions that themselves warrant only low confidence. Therefore, any claimed precision of a model’s output is bogus and the apparent accuracy is only and entirely that – apparent.

We saw the same thing with HIV in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Models at that time determined that up to one-third of the heterosexual population could contract HIV. Oprah Winfrey offered that statistic on one of her shows, alarming a nation. The first industry to know that this was absurdly wide of the mark was the insurance industry when all of the bankruptcies that they were expecting on account of payouts on life insurance policies did not happen. When the reality did not match the outputs of their models, they knew that the assumptions on which those models were based were false – and that the pattern of the disease was very different from what had been declared.

For reasons beyond the scope of this article, the falseness of those assumptions could have been determined at the time. Of relevance to us today, however, is the fact that those models helped to create an entire AIDS industry, which pushed experimental antiretroviral drugs on people with HIV no doubt in the sincere belief that the drugs might help them. Those drugs killed hundreds of thousands of people.

(By the way, the man who announced the “discovery” of HIV from the White House – not in a peer-reviewed journal – and then pioneered the huge and deadly reaction to it was the very same Anthony Fauci who has been gracing our television screens over the last few years.)

  1. An honest approach to data on COVID and policy development would have driven the urgent development of a system to collect accurate data on COVID infections and the outcomes of COVID patients. Instead, the powers that be did the very opposite, making policy decisions that knowingly reduced the accuracy of collected data in a way that would serve their political purposes. Specifically, they 1) stopped distinguishing between dying of COVID and dying with COVID and 2) incentivized medical institutions to identify deaths as caused by COVID when there was no clinical data to support that conclusion. (This also happened during the aforementioned HIV panic three decades ago.)
  1. The dishonesty of the pro-“vaccine” side was revealed by the repeated changes of official definitions of clinical terms like “vaccine” whose (scientific) definitions have been fixed for generations (as they must be if science is to do its work accurately: definitions of scientific terms can change, but only when our understanding of their referents changes). Why was the government changing the meanings of words rather than simply telling the truth using the same words they had been using from the beginning? Their actions in this regard were entirely disingenuous and anti-science. The evidential bar moves up again and our ability to trust the evidence slides down.

In his video (which I mentioned at the top of this article), Scott Adams asked, “How could I have determined that the data that [“vaccine”-sceptics] sent me was the good data?” He did not have to. Those of us who got it right or “won” (to use his word) needed only to accept the data of those who were pushing the “vaccination” mandates. Since they had the greatest interest in the data pointing their way, we could put an upper bound of confidence in their claims by testing those claims against their own data. For someone without comorbidities, that upper bound was still too low to take the risk of “vaccination” given the very low risk of severe harm from contracting COVID-19.

In this relation, it is also worth mentioning that under the right contextual conditions, absence of evidence is evidence of absence. Those conditions definitely applied in the pandemic: there was a massive incentive for all of the outlets who were pushing the “vaccine” to provide sufficient evidence to support their unequivocal claims for the vaccine and lockdown policies and to denigrate, as they did, those who disagreed. They simply did not provide that evidence, obviously because it did not exist. Given that they would have provided it if it had existed, the lack of evidence presented was evidence of its absence.

For all of the above reasons, I moved from initially considering enrolling in a vaccine trial to doing some open-minded due diligence to becoming COVID-“vaccine”-sceptical. I generally believe in never saying “never” so I was waiting until such time as the questions and issues raised above were answered and resolved. Then, I would be potentially willing to get “vaccinated,” at least in principle. Fortunately, not subjecting oneself to a treatment leaves one with the option to do so in the future. (Since the reverse is not the case, by the way, the option value of “not acting yet” weighs somewhat in favor of the cautious approach.)

However, I remember the day when my decision not to take the “vaccine” became a firm one. A conclusive point brought me to deciding that I would not be taking the “vaccine” under prevailing conditions. A few days later, I told my mother on a phone call, “They will have to strap me to a table.”

  1. Whatever the risks associated with a COVID infection on the one hand, and the “vaccine” on the other, the “vaccination” policy enabled massive human rights violations. Those who were “vaccinated” were happy to see the “unvaccinated” have basic freedoms removed (the freedom to speak freely, work, travel, be with loved ones at important moments such as births, deaths, funerals etc.) because their status as “vaccinated” allowed them to accept back as privileges-for-the-“vaccinated” the rights that had been removed from everyone else. Indeed, many people grudgingly admitted that they got “vaccinated” for that very reason, e.g. to keep their job or go out with their friends. For me, that would have been to be complicit in the destruction, by precedent and participation, of the most basic rights on which our peaceful society depends.People have died to secure those rights for me and my compatriots. As a teenager, my Austrian grandfather fled to England from Vienna and promptly joined Churchill’s army to defeat Hitler. Hitler was the man who murdered his father, my great-grandfather, in Dachau for being a Jew. The camps began as a way to quarantine the Jews who were regarded as vectors of disease that had to have their rights removed for the protection of the wider population. In 2020, all I had to do in defense of such rights was to put up with limited travel and being barred from my favorite restaurants, etc., for a few months.

Even if I were some weird statistical outlier such that COVID might hospitalize me despite my age and good health, then so be it: if it were going to take me, I would not let it take my principles and rights in the meanwhile.

And what if I were wrong? What if the massive abrogation of rights that was the response of governments around the world to a pandemic with a tiny fatality rate among those who were not “unwell to begin with” (to use the expression of the Director of the CDC) was not going to end in a few months?

What if it were going to go on forever? In that case, the risk to my life from COVID would be nothing next to the risk to all of our lives as we take to the streets in the last, desperate hope of wresting back the most basic freedoms of all from a State that has long forgotten that it legitimately exists only to protect them and, instead, sees them now as inconvenient obstacles to be worked around or even destroyed.

Author

  • Robin Koerner

    Robin Koerner is a British-born citizen of the USA, who currently serves as Academic Dean of the John Locke Institute. He holds graduate degrees in both Physics and the Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge (U.K.).

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Brownstone Institute

The WHO: Our New Overlords

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From the Brownstone Institute

BY John Mac GhlionnJOHN MAC GHLIONN

According to its website, the World Health Organization (WHO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, “works worldwide to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable.” In recent times, however, the organization has become a vehicle for corruptiondeceit, and Chinese propaganda.

The WHO is an incredibly powerful organization with 194 member states. When the WHO speaks, the world listens. When the WHO decides on a plan of action, the world changes.

As the piece demonstrates, the WHO has aspirations of becoming even more powerful than it already is. If successful, the consequences could prove to be severe.

Last year, Henry I. Miller, a physician and molecular biologist, wrote a stinging piece that took direct aim at the WHO’s “bungled response to the coronavirus.” Miller, like so many others around the world, was particularly disillusioned about the “misplaced trust” placed in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). As many readers no doubt recall, the CCP did its very best to conceal the COVID-19 outbreak that originated in Wuhan.

Because of the WHO’s numerous failures, Miller argued persuasively that the United States, whose “funding of UN activities exceeds that of every other country,” should refrain from financing the organization unless an “effective oversight and auditing entity” can be created to oversee operations.

In 2020, shortly after suspending financial support, the Trump administration began initiating a process to withdraw the United States from membership in the WHO. However, upon taking office in January 2021, President Joe Biden quickly reversed that decision and restored funding practices.

A few weeks after Miller’s well-argued piece, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) introduced a bill designed to prevent the WHO from unilaterally imposing public health restrictions on the United States and violating the country’s national sovereignty. The legislation came after the decision-making body of the WHO, the World Health Assembly, met to discuss a “pandemic treaty.” If introduced, such a treaty would give the WHO far greater control over public health decisions in the United States.

Scott said: “The WHO’s radical ‘pandemic treaty’ is a dangerous globalist overreach. The United States of America must never give more power to the WHO.” He added that the bill would “ensure that public health matters in the country remain in the hands of Americans,” and it needed to be passed immediately. It wasn’t. It should have been.

From Jan. 9–13, clandestine meetings took place in Geneva, Switzerland. Those in attendance discussed the possibility of amending the WHO’s International Health Regulations (IHR). For the uninitiated, the regulations are considered an instrument of international law, a legally binding agreement of basically every country in the world (except Liechtenstein) that calls on members to detect, evaluate, report, and respond to public health emergencies in a coordinated manner.

Michael Nevradakis, a senior reporter for The Defender, warned that if the proposed IHR amendments are made, then WHO members would essentially be stripped of their sovereignty. As Nevradakis previously reported, the IHR framework already allows Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO director-general, “to declare a public health emergency in any country, without the consent of that country’s government.” The proposed amendments would give even more power to the director-general.

Francis Boyle, a professor of international law at the University of Illinois, told Nevradakis that the proposed changes could violate international law.

Boyle, a legitimate expert who played a pivotal role in drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, believes we are heading toward “a worldwide totalitarian medical and scientific police state,” which the WHO directly controls. That’s because the IHR regulations “are specifically designed to circumvent national, state and local government authorities when it comes to pandemics, the treatment for pandemics and also including in there, vaccines.”

It’s clear to Boyle that the WHO is preparing to adopt the regulations in May of 2023, just a few months from now.

The brilliant researcher James Roguski also shares Boyle’s concerns. He claims that the WHO is attempting a global power grab by morphing from an advisory organization into what can only be described as a global law-enforcement agency. If introduced, the IHR changes, he suggested, “would institute global digital health certificates, dramatically increase the billions of dollars available to the WHO and enable nations to implement the regulations WITHOUT respect for the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of people.”

Although COVID-19 is now a distant memory for many, another pandemic, we’re told, is just around the corner. When it comes, the WHO may very well be in a position to order you, dear reader, to do exactly what it wants, when it wants. If these amendments are made in May, resistance may prove to be utterly futile.

Reposted from Epoch Times

 

Author

  • John Mac Ghlionn

    With a doctorate in psychosocial studies, John Mac Ghlionn works as both a researcher and essayist. His writing has been published by the likes of Newsweek, NY Post, and The American Conservative. He can be found on Twitter: @ghlionn, and on Gettr: @John_Mac_G

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