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Brownstone Institute

The Declaration That Wasn’t Supposed to Happen

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From the Brownstone Institute

BY Jeffrey A. TuckerJEFFREY A. TUCKER  

It’s been a continuing mystery for three years, at least to me but many others too. In October 2020, in the midst of a genuine crisis, three scientists made a very short statement of highly public health wisdom, a summary of what everyone in the profession, apart from a few oddballs, believed only a year earlier. The astonishing frenzy of denunciation following that document’s release was on a level I’ve never seen before, reaching to the highest levels of government and flowing through the whole of media and tech. It was mind-boggling.

For proof that nothing in the document was particularly radical, look no further than the March 2, 2020, letter from Yale University signed by 800 top professionals. It warned against quarantines, lockdowns, closures, and travel restrictions. It said such extreme measures “can undermine public trust, have large societal costs and, importantly, disproportionately affect the most vulnerable segments in our communities.” That document appeared only two weeks before the lockdowns announced by the Trump administration.

That was the period of the grant amnesia. The conventional wisdom turned on a dime toward full backing of regime priorities, a shift more extreme and mind boggling that anything in dystopian fiction.

Seven months later, the Great Barrington Declaration said something very similar to the Yale document. It was a summary statement concerning what governments and society should and should not do during pandemics. They should seek to allow everyone to live as normally as possible in order to avoid guaranteed damage from coerced disruptions. And the vulnerable population – those who would experience medically significant impacts from exposure – should be protected from exposure insofar as doing so is consistent with human rights and choice.

It was nothing particularly novel, much less radical. Indeed, it was accepted wisdom the year before and for the previous century. The difference this time, however, is that the statement was released during the wildest and most destructive science experiment in modern times. The existing policy of lockdowns was utter wreckage: of businesses, schools, churches, civic life, and freedom itself. Masks were being forced on the whole population, including children. Governments were attempting a regime of test, track, trace, and isolate, as if there were ever any hope of containing a respiratory pathogen with a zoonotic reservoir.

The carnage was everywhere already and obvious from a look at every downtown of every city in the US. Stores were boarded up. The streets were mostly empty. The professional class was hunkered down, binging on streaming and gaming services, while the working class was hustling everywhere to deliver groceries to doorsteps. In short, insanity had broken out.

Several groups of doctors had already made strong statements against the goings on, including the frontline doctors group on Capitol Hill and the brilliant Bakersfield doctors, among many individuals. However, they were quickly shot down by major media and blasted for failing to support the great undertaking. Even that was astonishing to watch unfold. It didn’t matter how exalted the reputations of the doctors or scientists were. They were all shot down, more or less instantly, as crazies and cranks.

It was like living in a horror house of mirrors where nothing appears as it is supposed to. At the time, I chalked it all up to mass confusion, cultural amnesia, bad education, government overreach, media ignorance, or just some general tendency of humanity to go mad that I had not previously seen in my lifetime but had only known from history books.

Several top epidemiologists felt the same way. They were Martin Kulldorff from Harvard, Jay Bhattacharya from Stanford, and Sunetra Gupta from Oxford. Together they wrote a very short statement in hopes of bringing public officials and common people back to good sense and rationality. We had the idea of putting it online and inviting others to sign. We were racing against time because there were several interviews coming up. Lucio Saverio-Eastman, now with Brownstone, skipped a nights’ sleep to create the website. He tells the story here.

The blowback began within hours. It was really something to behold. Twitter accounts came out of nowhere to smear the document and its producers and the institution that hosted the event where the scientists explained their thinking. The calumnies and attacks were coming in so quickly that it was impossible to respond. The website itself was subject to open and admitted sabotage, with fake names. That required some fast patches and new levels of security.

It was a storm of frenzy the likes of which I had never seen. It’s one thing to object to a point of view but this was next-level. The hit pieces were pouring out of huge venues, almost as if they had been ordered from the top. Much later we found out that they had in fact been ordered: Francis Collins, the head of National Institutes of Health, called for a “quick and devastating takedown” of the document.

When that revelation came out, it didn’t make much sense to me. I get that this view had become what seemed to be a minority view but how do you “take down” the public health wisdom of one hundred years? The GBD was not the outlying position; the lockdowns were the radical move that never had a scientific justification. They were just imposed as if they were normal even though everyone knew they were not.

Lately we’ve been flooded with more information that starts to make sense of this puzzle. As Rajeev Venkayya had told me the previous April, the whole point of the lockdowns was to wait for the vaccine. Frankly, I didn’t believe him at the time. I should have. After all, it was he who had invented the idea of lockdowns, worked for the Gates Foundation as head of its vaccine advisory, and then moved to a vaccine company thereafter. If anyone knew the real plan, it was he.

In the meantime, we now know there was then being built a vast censorship machinery involving the federal government, outposts as universities such as Stanford and Johns Hopkins, tech companies, and media embeds in all important outlets. It was not only being built but being deployed in order to craft the public mind in ways that would maintain the spirit of fear and the reality of lockdowns until the magic inoculation arrived. The whole plot sounds straight out of a bad Hollywood movie, but it was a plot being enacted in real life.

Think here of the timing of the Great Barrington Declaration. It came out barely a month before the election, after which the plan from the top was to release the vaccine, presumably after the sitting president was defeated. That way the new president could get the credit for the distribution stage and thus would the pandemic end.

The underlying dynamic of the timing of the release of the GBD – we had no clue at all that this was going on – worked utterly to subvert the entire censorship regime. The perception too was that this document would undermine vaccine acceptance. At that point in the great plan, all focus was on molding the public mind toward mass jabbing. That meant cultivating among the population the appearance of expert unity.

“Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed,” said the document. “As immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all – including the vulnerable – falls. We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity – i.e. the point at which the rate of new infections is stable – and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity.”

Further, “the most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk.”

Reading those words today, in light of what we now know, we can start to make sense of the sheer panic at the top. Natural infection and immunity? Can’t talk about that. The end of the pandemic is not “dependent upon” the vaccine? Can’t say that either. Go back to normal for all populations without significant medical risk? Unsayable.

You need only reflect on the astounding barrage of vaccine propaganda that began immediately upon release, the attempt to mandate it on the whole population and now the addition of the Covid jab to the childhood schedule even though children are of near zero risk. This is all about product sales, as you can easily discern from the unrelenting ad videos made by the new head of the CDC.

As for the product effectiveness itself, there seems to be no end to the ensuing problems. It was not a sterilizing inoculation, and it appears that the manufacturers always knew that. It could not stop infection or transmission. The hazards associated with it were also known early on. Every day, the news gets more grim: in the latest revelation, the CDC seems to have kept two separate books on vaccine injury, one public (showing harms without precedent but which has been deprecated by officials) and one yet to be released.

Even now, therefore, there is every effort being made to keep a lid on what surely ranks as the greatest failure/scandal in the modern history of public health. Some brave experts called it out before the whole calamity unfolded even further.

The problem with the Great Barrington Declaration was not that it was not true. It’s that – unbeknownst to its authors – it flew in the face of one of the most funded and elaborate industrial plots in the history of governance. Just a few sentences sneaking through the wall of censorship they were carefully constructing was enough to threaten and eventually dismantle the best laid plans.

Sometimes just telling the plain truth in well-timed ways is all it takes.

Author

  • Jeffrey A. Tucker

    Jeffrey A. Tucker is Founder and President of the Brownstone Institute. He is also Senior Economics Columnist for Epoch Times, author of 10 books, including Liberty or Lockdown, and 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

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

The Media’s Latest Pathetic Blame Game

Published on

From the Brownstone Institute

By IAN MILLER

By late 2020, the media and public health establishment had two obsessions. One of their obsessions involved forcing the public to wear masks, even though the mountains of data and several studies had already confirmed that they don’t stop the transmission of respiratory viruses. The second obsession was forcing everyone to take Covid vaccines, regardless of their actual efficacy, risk of side effects, age or underlying health, or the vaccines’ rapidly waning efficacy.

Neither of those obsessions has abated, though even the most extreme, hardened Covid extremists have acknowledged that the vaccines were flawed, mandates were a mistake, and side effects should be acknowledged.

The media, unwilling to give up on the increased power, influence, and moral judgment it gained during the pandemic, has refused to accept that it effectively ended years ago.

So it’s no surprise that media outlets have noticed that, as we’ve seen every single summer since 2020, cases have increased, predominantly across the Western and Southern United States. Thankfully though, Los Angeles media, of course it had to be Los Angeles, has determined the culprit.

The Media Refuses to Accept Covid Reality

Turns out it’s not seasonality causing the increase, it’s outdated Covid vaccines and a lack of public masking, of course!

NBC Los Angeles “reported” that Covid cases in California and Los Angeles have “doubled” in the last month. This sounds horrifying and scary, doesn’t it? Yet it again, as is so often the case with Covid coverage, is misleading.

Let’s take a look at the current daily average of new cases in Los Angeles County:

Cases are so low they’re functionally indistinguishable from zero.

You can see why the media is scared, given how dramatic this surge appears to be compared to those in the previous four years. And thanks to NBC’s crack reporting and expert analysis, we know why this terrifying increase is happening. Spoiler alert: it’s all your fault that you haven’t controlled an uncontrollable respiratory virus with individual behavior that has no impact whatsoever on the spread of the coronavirus.

“People aren’t necessarily wearing masks; they’re not required to in certain places,” nurse practitioner Alice Benjamin, referenced as an expert by NBA LA said. “We’re traveling, we’re getting out for the summer. We also do have some reduced immunity. The vaccines will wane over time.”

Nowhere in the story is it mentioned that the massive jump in Covid cases in late 2021 and early 2022 happened immediately after LA County Public Health issued a press release celebrating the county for achieving 95+ percent masking rates at indoor businesses. No one seems willing or able to ask this nurse practitioner why she believes wearing masks would reduce this “surge,” if it failed so spectacularly in previous surges.

Endless Misinformation from ‘Experts’

She wasn’t done with the misinformation though. Benjamin warned that not enough Angelenos are getting the “updated” vaccine, which explains the summer increase.

“If you got it in October and later, that’s generally the updated vaccine,” Benjamin said. “If you got it prior to October, double check because if you did get the bivalent which has not been phased out, we recommend you do get an updated vaccine.”

And according to her, everyone should get it. Because the CDC said so.

“Per CDC recommendations, anyone 6 months or older should have at least one of the updated Covid vaccines,” Benjamin said.

Though, of course, no one on the crack NBC Los Angeles team thought to ask Benjamin why the “updated” October vaccine would help against the now common FLiRT variant when it emerged six months after the “updated” vaccine was released. Especially when the “study” process for booster doses is effectively nonexistent anyway. Pfizer and Moderna churn out a “targeted” dose that is supposed to protect against a variant that’s no longer circulating, never has to show any real-world benefit, and the regulatory agencies sign off on it, while the CDC recommends everyone get it.

Rinse, repeat.

Nor did anyone ask her what possible rationale there could be for forcing six-month-old babies to get vaccinated with a booster that has no studied efficacy against the currently circulating variant.

Her comments and the media reaction exemplify the problems with Covid discourse that started in 2020 and will apparently continue forever. A complete and purposeful ignorance of the facts, the data, and the evidence base. A willingness to advocate for the same sort of restrictions and interventions that have already failed. Ignorance of the booster process and endless appeals to public health authorities. Even though those authorities have made countless mistakes and refused to update their findings after being proven wrong.

The obvious question is: How does this type of absurdist discourse ever end? The answer, as we continue to see, is it doesn’t.

Republished from the author’s Substack

Author

Ian Miller is the author of “Unmasked: The Global Failure of COVID Mask Mandates.” His work has been featured on national television broadcasts, national and international news publications and referenced in multiple best selling books covering the pandemic. He writes a Substack newsletter, also titled “Unmasked.”

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