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Brownstone Institute

A Big Picture Look at the Disastrous Public Health Response to COVID-19

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An underlying principle of public health is, or was, to provide the public with accurate information so that they can make good health choices for themselves and their community.

The past 3 years have seen this paradigm turned on its head, with the public’s money being used to deceive and coerce them, forcing them to follow public health dictates. The public has funded their own incarceration and impoverishment through their taxes, with public funds driving the unprecedented nonpharmaceutical, and then pharmaceutical, response to a virus that kills mainly old sick people near the end of their lives.

Children have had their education downgraded, and economies have been mangled, ensuring future generations will also pay. So, what did the public actually pay for?

COVID-19 was not novel, but a variation on previous respiratory disease.

Most healthy people infected with SARS-CoV-2 recover without any intervention, gaining natural immunity which, in the absence of vaccination, generates a more robust and long-lasting protection with less risk for reinfections as compared to individuals protected by vaccination alone. Globally, the infection fatality rate (IFR) of SARS-CoV-2 is about 0.15% and comparable to seasonal influenza (IFR 0,1 %). The IFR of those under twenty years was only 0.0013 %, and highest for those beyond 70 years. The IFR of COVID-19 among community-dwelling elderly is lower than previously reported in elderly overall.

A higher IFR was found in countries with many long-term care facilities, perhaps because exposure tends to occur through other immune-suppressed elderly, rather than immune competent children with lower viral loads. An aging population goes through the process of immunosenescence and increased incidence and severity of infectious diseases is expected.

Severe COVID-19, or COVID-19 Associated ARDS, is a syndrome within the known ARDS spectrum. Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and associated cytokine storm has been recognized for more than 50 years. It occurs when a diverse array of triggers causes acute, bilateral pulmonary inflammation and increased capillary permeability leading to acute hypoxemic respiratory failure.

Although supportive care improved the prognosis, mortality and disabling complications in survivors in intensive care are still high, and have remained relatively unchanged in the last 20 years. In 2013 an estimated 2.65 million deaths worldwide were attributed to Acute Respiratory Tract Infection.

As with other ARDS etiologies, people suffering from (COVID-19) ARDS are mostly elderly people with comorbidities including being overweight, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, often using multiple medications. Other restrictions on the immune system, such as vitamin D deficiency, put people at increased risk.

As of July 2022, WHO reported over 601 million confirmed cases and over 6.4 million deaths associated with COVID-19 globally. More than half (3.5 million) died after the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines, though 67.7 % of the world population has received at least one vaccination. The WHO estimates a total of 14.9 million excess deaths in 2020-2021 associated with COVID-19 directly due to the disease or indirectly due to the impact of the public health response on health systems and society.

Footing the bill for the disposal of orthodox public health

Since COVID-19 was recognized in Western countries in early 2020, expenditures on public health in many of them have more than doubled, imposing over $500 billion in monthly costs on the global economy. Some trillions more have been spent on compensation and stimulus packages for those left without income due to the public health response, whilst economies, and therefore future employment opportunities, have been heavily damaged. This is nearly all funded by taxpayers, or borrowed to be funded with interest by the taxpayers of the future.

Politicians and various experts have claimed that the coercive COVID-19 public health policies are the only way to curb COVID-19, though such measures were advised against by the WHO in its pandemic influenza guidelines of 2019. They would increase poverty and inequality, whilst having (still) unproven efficacy.

Citizens have paid the bill via taxes for novel nonpharmaceutical interventions (lockdowns, mask mandates and frequent testing) and repeated vaccinations of immune people with rapidly waning vaccines, whilst seeing their own incomes reduced. The increase in the money supply to cover relief for forced unemployment has driven inflation, contributing to increased food, water, energy, health and insurance costs. These responses have disproportionately harmed low income families.

Governments take over medical management

Early in the pandemic it became clear that intubating a COVID-19 patient could increase long-term harm and mortality. Unfortunately, many hospitals continued a low threshold for the use of ventilators for the fear that other methods of oxygenation would spread the virus. In 2020 the US spent billions of dollars stockpiling unused ventilators.

In many countries a relatively new antiviral drug, remdesivir, developed with State funding, became the first choice of treatment for hospitalized people with COVID-19. The safety and toxicity of the expensive remdesivir was widely disputed. Yet even after the first results of the WHO’s Solidarity study found little or no effect on reducing hospital stay or Covid deaths, the EU continued a €1.2 billion agreement with Gilead for 500,000 treatments and it continued to be prioritized for use in the United States.

Final results of the Solidarity study confirmed the finding of little or no effect. In contrast, the use of cheaper drugs with antiviral activity, like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, was suppressed. Although ivermectin is now included in lists of the US National Institutes of Health in August 2022, governments are silent on its use, preferring to transfer funds to Pharma for newer on-patent drugs.

Expanding lockdowns from prisons to society

Lockdowns may prove to be one of the gravest governmental failures of modern times. A cost-benefit analysis of the response to COVID-19 found lockdowns to be far more harmful to public health (at least 5-10 times) in terms of well-being than COVID-19. Significant collateral damage is not unexpected, as mass business closures and restricted movement have affected billions of people globally through poverty, food insecurity, loneliness, unemployment, educational interruption, and interrupted healthcare. What did not make media headlines is the more than 3 million children who have died from malnutrition in the first year of the pandemic. Together with increasing malnutrition, the world is facing rising burdens of child marriage and child labor, developmental and mental problems, poverty, suicide and chronic disease.

Reviews of the effects of lockdowns on COVID-19 mortality concluded there is no broad-based evidence of noticeable COVID-19 benefit. Pandemic models that guided poverty not only overestimated COVID-19 impact but failed to take into account the collateral damage of lockdowns. The sense of fear, anxiety and helplessness brought to families and 2.2 billion children around the globe with removal of future earning capacity and limited access to healthcare will impact lives in an unprecedented manner for generations.

A recent study analyzing the 50 states of the US, with 10 states that had no lockdown impositions, strongly support the hypothesis that lockdowns place a sudden and severe stress burden on vulnerable demographics and were associated with significant increases in death in those states that used lockdowns as a disease control measure.

Mental health problems, noncommunicable inflammatory diseases, cancer and sudden deaths have increased in people across all age groups, indicating millions of people may now have more compromised immune systems. The links between stress/anxiety, ill-health and early death have long been recognized.

Within Western countries, the most deprived people and neighborhoods have higher risks for severe COVID-19, and higher mortality rates. The underprivileged in society are disproportionately affected by infectious diseases due to poverty, malnutrition, chronic stress, depression and anxiety, a deprived immune system and poor access to health-care. Rather than enhancing the resilience of these populations, the public health response has compounded their poverty, removed education opportunities, and so increased their vulnerability to this and future pandemics.

Testing for sake of testing

State investments were made for COVID-19 diagnostics: PCR tests and point-of-care tests including rapid antigen tests. While billions of tests have been used, they are poor in distinguishing infectiousness and inaccuracy provides a false sense of security, with positive results unnecessary driving fear and sick leave.

The WHO had previously, sensibly, advised against contact tracing once extensive community spread is present – people will be infected eventually, and gain immunity. Spending resources to find a small proportion, not possibly sufficient to stop transmission, is epidemiologically pointless. No reason was provided for reversing this orthodox and logical advice.

Hiding faces to pollute the environment

While there is no sound scientific support for the effectiveness of face mask mandates in the community, including children, state governments invested in the availability of free face masks for all citizens. The two published randomized controlled trials of face masks during COVID-19 showed minimal or no impact, while meta-analyses of previous studiesshow no significant efficacy. Yet in the first half of 2020 importation of face masks in the EU grew 1,800 % to €14 billion, while the industry in 2021 was worth $4.58 billion globally. Face masks with microplastics and nanoparticles are now polluting the environment, and potentially increasing the risk of impaired immune systems.

Getting an awkward technology past the regulators

Despite severe COVID-19 being highly concentrated in elderly people since early 2020, with significant comorbidities and strong evidence of effectiveness of postinfection immunity, the WHO stated in early 2021 that vaccinating the global population against COVID-19 is the only long-term strategy to contain the coronavirus crisis; “No one is safe until everyone is safe”. Rising vaccination rates were said to be necessary to improve healthcare, job prospects and future educational plans.

Unfortunately, the peak efficiency of 97% and 96% respectively claimed for the Moderna and Pizer COVID-19 vaccines against COVID hospitalization waned rapidly after vaccination. The 6-month follow-up reports showed no reduction in all-cause mortality. The COVID-19 adenovector vaccines from Astra-Zeneca and Johnson & Johnson showed better protection against mortality but aren’t used for booster vaccinations in most countries due to the risk of vaccine-related side effects.

A recent peer-reviewed article by Fraiman et al. noted excess risk of serious adverse events analyzing the trial data of both mRNA vaccines that points to the need for formal harm-benefit analyses, particularly those that are stratified according to risk of serious COVID-19 outcomes. The authors request the public release of participant level datasets from the sponsoring drug companies, which is still not openly available.

Moreover, the vice president of Pfizer, answered the question of Rob Roos, a Dutch Europarlementarier during the European Commission on October 11, 2022, concerning whether the mRNA vaccine of Pfizer had been tested for prevention of transmission of the virus before the release of the vaccine in 2021. She said no, thus indicating the vaccine promotion and coercion was based on false arguments.

For authorization to use medical interventions the benefits need to outweigh the risks. These mRNA vaccines don’t clearly meet this bar for people under 70 years of age. A recent study by nine health experts from major universities found that per COVID-19 hospitalization prevented in previously uninfected young adults, between 18 and 98 serious adverse events were observed. In Scandinavian countries the use of the Moderna mRNA vaccine has been restricted for the potential risk of heart inflammation in adolescents

Although official reports on the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines by Public Health Institutes have been limited, there is growing data on myocarditis, menstrual irregularities or the excess of all cause mortality and severe outcomes in vaccinated groups. The recent leakage of Israeli safety data and release of US CDC V safe Data show serious safety problems with COVID-19 vaccines that deliberately need further investigations.

Countries with the highest vaccination rates and strongest coercive measures have experienced high numbers of hospitalization and deaths, while some with a low vaccination rate, including many sub-Saharan countries maintained low Covid-19 mortality. Antibody responses are shown to be lower in elderly people while decreased responses or higher infection rates have occurred after repeated vaccinations. The CDC disclosed just how fast mRNA boosters can fail.

This calls into question the mass all-population vaccination and boosting strategy. Pascal Soriot, the CEO of Astra-Zeneca, has suggested that “booster jabs for healthy people on a yearly basis are a waste of tax money.

A temporary reprieve

On August 11, 2022, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that the virus now poses significantly lower risk due to high levels of immunity from vaccines and infections. On August 19, it changed its recommendations to reflect this, no longer differentiating between vaccine status or post-infection immunity. President Biden declared in September 2022 “The pandemic is over,” though it remains unclear what this means with ‘emergency’ measures remaining in place.

While the global economy has suffered, this is only clear from a specific standpoint. In contrast to the mass of the population, private companies are involved in the response, particularly in the pharmaceutical, biotech and web-based sectors. These companies have increased their wealth by hundreds of billions of dollars in 2020 and 2021, as did high-net-worth individuals, many of whom were advocating for the response that ensured this.

The beguiling vision of fleecing taxpayers to benefit the private sector

The current COVID-19 response has wiped out the gains from decades of global progress in health and income, especiallyfor women and has exacerbated persistent inequities. Unfortunately, a world that is facing the most serious health crisis in a century and the most serious economic and social crises since the second World War is now also on the hook to fund those who would repeat this.

Together with the WHO, world leaders have now called for a global pandemic preparedness treaty to make this state of affairs more readily repeatable. They justify this call for further diversion of public funds through the harms, financial and other, accrued during the COVID-19 outbreak.

This is driven by a vision that health is a political choice based on solidarity and ‘equity’ to be established in a centralized global response delivered via international organizations including the WHO, UNICEF, Gavi, (a global Vaccine Alliance) and the public-private partnership Coalition for Economic Preparedness Information (CEPI), launched in 2017 at the WEF by Bill Gates, the Wellcome Trust, Norwegian Government and others. Finance institutions, including the World Bank, have now stepped in to accelerate the growth of this burgeoning pandemic industry. A new World Bank-hosted Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response was installed at the G20 Health Ministerial Meeting in June 2022.

A real concern is growing that the new vision of drug and vaccine approval by the FDA and EMA will expand a commercialized market driven by drug manufacturers at the expense of rigorous independent scientific and regulatory review. This risks irreparable harm for many people while boosting the profits of pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Prescribed medications are already estimated to be the third most common contributor to death globally after heart disease and cancer.

Despite their stated intent, the investments in COVID-19 vaccinations and nonpharmaceutical interventions of the past three years have not improved human capital, economic and societal performance. Moreover illnesses, disabilities and mortality show steep rises in the working age group (25-64 years) as observed by insurance companies. Predictions by consultancy firms of the support Covid-19 vaccinations would provide to the economy have been unrealistic. Countries are now facing shortages of healthcare workers in part due to vaccine mandates, reducing healthcare access to people with ill-health who have paid insurance and tax money for healthcare. It might even result in bankruptcy of hospitals.

Good Health, the most precious asset of life 

The CEO of CEPI stated in an interview with McKinsey that “The emergent issue of waning immunity and the threat posed by the evolution of the virus tell us that we need to produce broader and more enduring immune responses.” Mass surveillance, lockdowns, wearing face masks and poorly effective COVID-19 vaccines have contributed to chronic stress, fear and anxiety that reduce the resilience of immunity. Unfortunately, when the immune system (immunosenescence) is weakened vaccinations are also less able to generate effective protection.

More state investments in frequent vaccinations, mass distribution of vaccines, developing new vaccines within 100 days, development of simulating models, and more clinical trials will be poor alternatives to strengthen the underlying immune systems through a life in freedom with high social capital, a healthy diet, education, sports, play, social interactions, equity in decision-making and fair earnings.

Health is key for resilient economies worldwide. The relationship between health and the economy is bidirectional, whereby economic growth enables funding in investments that improve health; and a healthy population contributes to and enhances an economy. Therefore, public and private investments in health for all needs to transform from maximizing value for money to positive cumulative impacts on people’s lives.

Optimizing health is the ultimate goal and a human right. The global response to the coronavirus pandemic has revealed an ethical crisis in public health, in which the pre-pandemic norms of public health ethics have been cast aside.

This has wrecked health, human rights and economies, whilst the people public health was supposed to serve it had to pay for its implementation, and will pay for its harms. It will be a long way back, and recovery will require public health to return to its servant nature, and leave the limelight where it caused such disaster.

Authors

  • Carla Peeters is founder and managing director of COBALA Good Care Feels Better. She obtained a PhD in Immunology from the Medical Faculty of Utrecht, studied Molecular Sciences at Wageningen University and Research, and followed a four-year course in Higher Nature Scientific Education with a specialization in medical laboratory diagnostics and research. She studied at various business schools including London Business School, INSEAD and Nyenrode Business School.

    David Bell, Senior Scholar at Brownstone Institute, is a public health physician and biotech consultant in global health. He is the former Program Head for malaria and febrile diseases at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Brownstone Institute

The Pandemic Excuse for a Corporatist Coup

Published on

From the Brownstone Institute

By Jeffrey A. Tucker

We’ve just come across a document hosted by the Department of Homeland Security, posted March 2023, but written in 2007, that amounts to a full-blown corporatist imposition on the US, abolishing anything remotely resembling the Bill of Rights and Constitutional law. It is right there in plain sight for anyone curious enough to dig.

There is nothing in it that you haven’t already experienced with lockdowns. What makes it interesting are the participants in the forging of the plan, which is pretty much the whole of corporate America as it stood in 2007. It was a George W. Bush initiative. The conclusions are startling.

“Quarantine is a legally enforceable declaration that a government body may institute over individuals potentially exposed to a disease, but who are not symptomatic. If enacted, Federal quarantine laws will be coordinated between CDC and State and local public health officials, and, if necessary, law enforcement personnel…The government may also enact travel restrictions to limit the movement of people and products between geographic areas in an effort to limit disease transmission and spread. Authorities are currently reviewing possible plans to curtail international travel upon a pandemic’s emergence overseas.

“Limiting public assembly opportunities also helps limit the spread of disease. Concert halls, movie theaters, sports arenas, shopping malls, and other large public gathering places might close indefinitely during a pandemic—whether because of voluntary closures or government-imposed closures. Similarly, officials may close schools and non-essential businesses during pandemic waves in an effort to significantly slow disease transmission rates. These strategies aim to prevent the close interaction of individuals, the primary conduit of spreading the influenza virus. Even taking steps such as limiting person-to-person interactions within a distance of three feet or avoiding instances of casual close contact, such as shaking hands, will help limit disease spread.”

There we have it: the pandemic plans. They once seemed abstract. In 2020, they became very real. Your rights were deleted. No more freedom even to have house guests. In those days, the rule was to enforce only three feet of distance rather than six feet of distance, neither of which had any basis in science. Indeed, the actual scientific literature even at that time recommended against any physical interventions designed to limit the spread of respiratory viruses. They were known not to work. The entire profession of public health accepted that.

Therefore, for many years before lockdowns wrecked economic functioning, there had been two parallel tracks in operation, one intellectual/academic and one imposed by state/corporate managers. They had nothing to do with each other. This situation persisted for the better part of 15 years. Suddenly in 2020, there was a reckoning, and the state/corporate managers won it. Seemingly out of nowhere, liberty as we have long known it was gone.

Back in 2005, I first came across a Bush administration scheme, an early draft of the above, that would have ended freedom as we know it. It was a scheme for combating the bird flu, which officials back then imagined would involve universal quarantines, business and event closures, travel restrictions, and more.

wrote: “Even if the flu does come, and taxpayers have coughed up, the government will surely have a ball imposing travel restrictions, shutting down schools and businesses, quarantining cities, and banning public gatherings…It is a serious matter when the government purports to plan to abolish all liberty and nationalize all economic life and put every business under the control of the military, especially in the name of a bug that seems largely restricted to the bird population. Perhaps we should pay more attention. Perhaps such plans for the total state ought to even ruffle our feathers a bit.”

For years I wrote about this topic, trying to get others interested. It was all there in black and white. At the drop of a hat, under the guise of a pandemic that only state managers can declare, real or drummed up, freedom itself could be abolished. These plans were never legislated, debated, or publicly discussed. They were simply posted as the result of various consultations with experts, who worked out their totalitarian fantasies as if scripting a Hollywood film.

The 2007 blueprint is more explicit than anything I’ve seen. It comes from the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, which “includes executive leaders from the private sector and state/local government who advise the White House on how to reduce physical and cyber risks and improve the security and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure sectors. The NIAC is administered on behalf of the President in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act under the authority of the Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security.”

And who sat on this committee in 2007 that decided that governments “may close schools and non-essential businesses”? Let us see.

  • Mr. Edmund G. Archuleta, General Manager, El Paso Water Utilities
  • Mr. Alfred R. Berkeley III, Chairman and CEO, Pipeline Trading Group, LLC, and former President and Vice Chairman of NASDAQ
  • Chief Rebecca F. Denlinger, Fire Chief, Cobb County (Ga.) Fire and Emergency Services
  • Chief Gilbert G. Gallegos, Police Chief (ret.), City of Albuquerque, N.M. Police Department
  • Ms. Martha H. Marsh, President and CEO, Stanford Hospital and Clinics
  • Mr. James B. Nicholson, President and CEO, PVS Chemical, Inc.
  • Mr. Erle A. Nye, Chairman Emeritus, TXU Corp., NIAC Chairman
  • Mr. Bruce A. Rohde, Chairman and CEO Emeritus, ConAgra Foods, Inc.
  • Mr. John W. Thompson, Chairman and CEO, Symantec Corporation
  • Mr. Brent Baglien, ConAgra Foods, Inc.
  • Mr. David Barron, Bell South
  • Mr. Dan Bart, TIA
  • Mr. Scott Blanchette, Healthways
  • Ms. Donna Burns, Georgia Emergency Management Agency
  • Mr. Rob Clyde, Symantec Corporation
  • Mr. Scott Culp, Microsoft
  • Mr. Clay Detlefsen, International Dairy Foods Association
  • Mr. Dave Engaldo, The Options Clearing Corporation
  • Ms. Courtenay Enright, Symantec Corporation
  • Mr. Gary Gardner, American Gas Association
  • Mr. Bob Garfield, American Frozen Foods Institute
  • Ms. Joan Gehrke, PVS Chemical, Inc.
  • Ms. Sarah Gordon, Symantec
  • Mr. Mike Hickey, Verizon
  • Mr. Ron Hicks, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
  • Mr. George Hender, The Options Clearing Corporation
  • Mr. James Hunter, City of Albuquerque, NM Emergency Management
  • Mr. Stan Johnson, North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC)
  • Mr. David Jones, El Paso Corporation
  • Inspector Jay Kopstein, Operations Division, New York City Police Department (NYPD)
  • Ms. Tiffany Jones, Symantec Corporation
  • Mr. Bruce Larson, American Water
  • Mr. Charlie Lathram, Business Executives for National Security (BENS)/BellSouth
  • Mr. Turner Madden, Madden & Patton
  • Chief Mary Beth Michos, Prince William County (Va.) Fire and Rescue
  • Mr. Bill Muston, TXU Corp.
  • Mr. Vijay Nilekani, Nuclear Energy Institute
  • Mr. Phil Reitinger, Microsoft
  • Mr. Rob Rolfsen, Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Mr. Tim Roxey, Constellation
  • Ms. Charyl Sarber, Symantec
  • Mr. Lyman Shaffer, Pacific Gas and Electric,
  • Ms. Diane VanDeHei, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA)
  • Ms. Susan Vismor, Mellon Financial Corporation
  • Mr. Ken Watson, Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Mr. Greg Wells, Southwest Airlines
  • Mr. Gino Zucca, Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Resources
  • Dr. Bruce Gellin, Rockefeller Foundation
  • Dr. Mary Mazanec
  • Dr. Stuart Nightingale, CDC
  • Ms. Julie Schafer
  • Dr. Ben Schwartz, CDC
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Resources
  • Mr. James Caverly, Director, Infrastructure Partnerships Division
  • Ms. Nancy Wong, NIAC Designated Federal Officer (DFO)
  • Ms. Jenny Menna, NIAC Designated Federal Officer (DFO)
  • Dr. Til Jolly
  • Mr. Jon MacLaren
  • Ms. Laverne Madison
  • Ms. Kathie McCracken
  • Mr. Bucky Owens
  • Mr. Dale Brown, Contractor
  • Mr. John Dragseth, IP attorney, Contractor
  • Mr. Jeff Green, Contractor
  • Mr. Tim McCabe, Contractor
  • Mr. William B. Anderson, ITS America
  • Mr. Michael Arceneaux, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA)
  • Mr. Chad Callaghan, Marriott Corporation
  • Mr. Ted Cromwell, American Chemistry Council (ACC)
  • Ms. Jeanne Dumas, American Trucking Association (ATA)
  • Ms. Joan Harris, US Department of Transportation, Office of the Secretary
  • Mr. Greg Hull, American Public Transportation Association
  • Mr. Joe LaRocca, National Retail Federation
  • Mr. Jack McKlveen, United Parcel Service (UPS)
  • Ms. Beth Montgomery, Wal-Mart
  • Dr. J. Patrick O’Neal, Georgia Office of EMS/Trauma/EP
  • Mr. Roger Platt, The Real Estate Roundtable
  • Mr. Martin Rojas, American Trucking Association (ATA)
  • Mr. Timothy Sargent, Senior Chief, Economic Analysis and Forecasting Division, Economic and Fiscal Policy Branch, Finance Canada

In other words, big everything: food, energy, retail, computers, water, and you name it. It’s a corporatist dream team.

Consider ConAgra itself. What is that? It is Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice, Orville Redenbacher’s, Reddi-Wip, Slim Jim, Hunt’s Peter Pan Egg Beaters, Hebrew National, Marie Callender’s, P.F. Chang’s, Ranch Style Beans, Ro*Tel, Wolf Brand Chili, Angie’s, Duke’s, Gardein, Frontera, Bertolli, among many other seemingly independent brands that are all actually one company.

Now, ask yourself: why might all these companies favor a plan for lockdowns? Why might WalMart, for example? It stands to reason. Lockdowns are a massive interference with competitive capitalism. They provide the best possible subsidy to big business while shutting down independent small businesses and putting them at a huge disadvantage once the opening up happens.

In other words, it is an industrial racket, very much akin to interwar-style fascism, a corporatist combination of big business and big government. Throw pharma into the mix and you see exactly what came to pass in 2020, which amounted to the largest transfer of wealth from small and medium-sized business plus the middle class to wealthy industrialists in the history of humanity.

The document is open even about managing information flows: “The public and private sectors should align their communications, exercises, investments, and support activities absolutely with both the plan and priorities during a pandemic influenza event. Continue data gathering, analysis, reporting, and open review.”

There is nothing in any of this that fits with any Western tradition of law and liberty. Nothing. It was never approved by any democratic means. It was never part of any political campaign. It has never been the subject of any serious media examination. No think tank has ever pushed back on such plans in any systematic way.

The last serious attempt to debunk this whole apparatus was from D.H. Henderson in 2006. His two co-authors on that paper eventually came around to going along with lockdowns of 2020. Henderson died in 2016. One of the co-authors of the original article told me that if Dr. Henderson had been around, instead of Dr. Fauci, the lockdowns would never have taken place.

Here we are four years following the deployment of this lockdown machinery, and we are witness to what it destroys. It would be nice to say that the entire apparatus and theory behind it have been fully discredited.

But that is not correct. All the plans are still in place. There have been no changes in federal law. Not one effort has been made to dismantle the corporatist/biosecurity planning state that made all this possible. Every bit of it is in place for the next go-around.

Much of the authority for this whole coup traces to the Public Health Services Act of 1944, which was passed in wartime. For the first time in US history, it gave the federal government the power to quarantine. Even when the Biden administration was looking for some basis to justify its transportation mask mandate, it fell back to this one piece of legislation.

If anyone really wants to get to the root of this problem, there are decisive steps that need to be taken. The indemnification of pharma from liability for harm needs to be repealed. The court precedent of forced shots in Jacobson needs to be overthrown. But even more fundamentally, the quarantine power itself has to go, and that means the full repeal of the Public Health Services Act of 1944. That is the root of the problem. Freedom will not be safe until it is uprooted.

As it stands right now, everything that unfolded in 2020 and 2021 can happen again. Indeed, the plans are in place for exactly that.

Author

Jeffrey Tucker is Founder, Author, and President at Brownstone Institute. He is also Senior Economics Columnist for Epoch Times, author of 10 books, including Life After Lockdown, and many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press. He speaks widely on topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture.

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Brownstone Institute

Assange and the Whistleblowers That Could’ve Been

Published on

From the Brownstone Institute

By BILL RICE  

“‘Can’t we just drone this guy?’ Clinton openly inquired, offering a simple remedy to silence Assange and smother WikiLeaks via a planned military drone strike, according to State Department Sources…”

In the last four years of our Orwellian New Abnormal, the following thoughts occurred to me countless times:

What the world desperately needs is far more brave whistleblowers. What we need is an active and robust WikiLeaks…or far more organizations that perform the vital work of WikiLeaks.

The reasons this has not occurred are, of course, obvious.

The main reason is that the people who could disclose important information about government or Deep State crimes are simply terrified to do this.

They are afraid to do this because they, quite correctly, know they’d suffer deeply unpleasant consequences if they did disclose “inconvenient truths” that expose how corrupt the world’s most important organizations have now become.

Another reason: Organizations that might actually publish the claims of important whistleblowers, largely, do not exist. The entrepreneurs who might create and try to run these organizations have clearly noted the undeniable message the Establishment sent to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

That message? If you do publish documents or testimony that embarrasses or threatens us, THIS is what will happen to you.

Truth Bombs That Never Detonated

It’s true WikiLeaks continued to exist while its founder was imprisoned on bogus charges. However, the significant work product of WikiLeaks effectively disappeared while Assange was “dealt with” by the State.

With a few lower-profile exceptions, no organizations assumed the risks of performing the dangerous work of WikiLeaks.

Because of this, many narrative-changing “truth bombs” never detonated…at a time when the world needed Real Truth more than ever.

While Assange is no longer in a British prison—and won’t have to serve the rest of his life in an American Maximum Security prison—the Intimidation State largely achieved its primary goal of taking proactive measures to ensure no one would expose their crimes.

Even today, 100 shocking scandals—genuine “crimes against humanity”—could be definitively exposed if more whistleblowers came forward…and if the information provided by these whistleblowers was disseminated to the mass public.

These Revelations That Never Happened are all “unknown unknowables.” The public will never know things it might otherwise have learned about our society’s real rulers.

It is surely not a coincidence that in the 12 years Assange was either in prison or seeking refuge in an embassy, the Censorship Industrial Complex transitioned from non-existent to the largest growth industry in the bureaucratic state.

Whether it’s NewsGuard, Media Matters, or the Stanford “Virality Project,” scores of anti-disinformation organizations now exist to shut down or deamplify dissenting voices. These well-funded and coordinated organizations eagerly do the bidding of governments that fear and despise “free speech” and a “search for the truth.”

If Julian Assange was trying to warn the world that Big Brother was going to get much bigger (and he was sending this warning), he was clearly proven right.

A Few Details of the Assange Saga Should Not Be Forgotten

Before writing this story, I refreshed my memory regarding the details of the Assange saga.

I was reminded that Mike Pompeo, the former US Secretary of State and CIA director, once seriously considered a plot to assassinate Assange.

So did Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State.

According to this Substack review, “Hillary Clinton, one of the worst warmongers in the history of America, proposed to use Barrack (sic) Hussein Obama’s favorite illicit assassination method for Assange.

“‘Can’t we just drone this guy?’ Clinton openly inquired, offering a simple remedy to silence Assange and smother WikiLeaks via a planned military drone strike, according to State Department Sources…”

Hillary was no fan of Assange because it was WikiLeaks that revealed her sycophants conspired with the Democratic Party (via Clintonian “dirty tricks”) to ensure her nomination.

WikiLeaks went a Leak Too Far when the organization published videos showing that US Army helicopters killed many innocent Iraqi civilians—including several International journalists—in one of our nation’s wars to “protect democracy.”

The organization also published reports of torture and mistreatment of prisoners and documented revelations showing how the massive US Intelligence Community was spying on, potentially, millions of citizens.

I Get Why Most Americans Don’t Want to Think about Assange

I think I understand why many Americans view Assange as either a villain or simply prefer to not think about what’s been done to this man.

Every WikiLeak revelation supports the conclusion that America might not be the force for “freedom” most Americans grew up thinking our nation was.

For most people, the thought that “Maybe we aren’t the Good Guys after all” is intolerable medicine.

Still, the national consensus should have been that it was the country’s leaders—and government entities—who are acting as tyrants. That is, it wasn’t everyday Janes and Joes who were mimicking North Korea; it was our government and all the organizations that wanted to stay on the safer side of this 900-pound gorilla.

The message that’s yet to resonate with enough people is that “We the People” could easily get rid of these Bad Actors who are trying to rebrand the “American Way.”

Portrayed as Enemy No. 1 by our government, Julian Assange was simply trying to provide citizens the knowledge we needed to self-correct and purge these actors before they became too powerful to stop.

Let Us Not Forget Who Was Fine with Assange’s Imprisonment

As some of us celebrate Assange’s release, we should also reflect on the powerful institutions and influential citizens who never rallied to his defense.

Surreally, chief among these groups is the vast majority of members of the mainstream media “watchdog” press.

The Washington Post tells us that “Democracy dies in darkness” and yet the Post was more than content with Julian Assange languishing in a dark prison cell for the rest of his life. That is, the Post never used its considerable editorial influence to free the man who had shed the most light on the true nature of our leadership organizations.

Ninety-nine point-nine percent of the country’s activist celebrities were conspicuously silent about the deplorable treatment of Julian Assange (or Ed Snowden or Chelsey Manning or any person who disagreed with Anthony Fauci).

The best-known defenders of Julian Assange were the conceptual leader of Pink Floyd and an actress who once starred in Baywatch.

One has to ask where Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Bono, Jane Fonda, and Robert DeNiro were when Assange was in a British prison? They certainly weren’t outside his prison cell protesting.

Assange Has Not Received ‘justice’

Some are now saying that “justice” has been served for Assange. As Caitlin Johnstone reminds us, Assange hasn’t gotten any “justice.”

“So while Assange may be free, we cannot rightly say that justice has been done.

“Justice would look like Assange being granted a full and unconditional pardon and receiving millions of dollars in compensation from the US government for the torment they put him through by his imprisonment in Belmarsh beginning in 2019, his de facto imprisonment in the Ecuadorian embassy beginning in 2012, and his jailing and house arrest beginning in 2010.

“Justice would look like the US making concrete legal and policy changes guaranteeing that Washington could never again use its globe-spanning power and influence to destroy the life of a foreign journalist for reporting inconvenient facts about it, and issuing a formal apology to Julian Assange and his family.

Justice would look like the arrest and prosecution of the people whose war crimes Assange exposedand the arrest and prosecution of everyone who helped ruin his life for exposing those crimes. This would include a whole host of government operatives and officials across numerous countries, and multiple US presidents …”


On the occasion of last year’s World Freedom Day, “President” Joe Biden said, “Today—and every day—we must all stand with journalists around the world. We must all speak out against those who wish to silence them.”

Does anyone remember Joe Biden speaking out—even one time—against those who “silenced” Julian Assange?

And, for the record, who silenced him?

Republished from the author’s Substack

Author

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

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