• The WHO Pandemic Agreement: A Guide
    By David Bell, Thi Thuy Van Dinh March 22, 2024 Government, Society 30 minute read
    The World Health Organization (WHO) and its 194 Member States have been engaged for over two years in the development of two ‘instruments’ or agreements with the intent of radically changing the way pandemics and other health emergencies are managed.

    One, consisting of draft amendments to the existing International health Regulations (IHR), seeks to change the current IHR non-binding recommendations into requirements or binding recommendations, by having countries “undertake” to implement those given by the WHO in future declared health emergencies. It covers all ‘public health emergencies of international concern’ (PHEIC), with a single person, the WHO Director-General (DG) determining what a PHEIC is, where it extends, and when it ends. It specifies mandated vaccines, border closures, and other directives understood as lockdowns among the requirements the DG can impose. It is discussed further elsewhere and still under negotiation in Geneva.

    A second document, previously known as the (draft) Pandemic Treaty, then Pandemic Accord, and more recently the Pandemic Agreement, seeks to specify governance, supply chains, and various other interventions aimed at preventing, preparing for, and responding to, pandemics (pandemic prevention, preparedness and response – PPPR). It is currently being negotiated by the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB).

    Both texts will be subject to a vote at the May 2024 World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland. These votes are intended, by those promoting these projects, to bring governance of future multi-country healthcare emergencies (or threats thereof) under the WHO umbrella.

    The latest version of the draft Pandemic Agreement (here forth the ‘Agreement’) was released on 7th March 2024. However, it is still being negotiated by various committees comprising representatives of Member States and other interested entities. It has been through multiple iterations over two years, and looks like it. With the teeth of the pandemic response proposals in the IHR, the Agreement looks increasingly irrelevant, or at least unsure of its purpose, picking up bits and pieces in a half-hearted way that the IHR amendments do not, or cannot, include. However, as discussed below, it is far from irrelevant.

    Historical Perspective

    These aim to increase the centralization of decision-making within the WHO as the “directing and coordinating authority.” This terminology comes from the WHO’s 1946 Constitution, developed in the aftermath of the Second World War as the world faced the outcomes of European fascism and the similar approaches widely imposed through colonialist regimes. The WHO would support emerging countries, with rapidly expanding and poorly resourced populations struggling under high disease burdens, and coordinate some areas of international support as these sovereign countries requested it. The emphasis of action was on coordinating rather than directing.

    In the 80 years prior to the WHO’s existence, international public health had grown within a more directive mindset, with a series of meetings by colonial and slave-owning powers from 1851 to manage pandemics, culminating in the inauguration of the Office Internationale d’Hygiene Publique in Paris in 1907, and later the League of Nations Health Office. World powers imposed health dictates on those less powerful, in other parts of the world and increasingly on their own population through the eugenics movement and similar approaches. Public health would direct, for the greater good, as a tool of those who wish to direct the lives of others.

    The WHO, governed by the WHA, was to be very different. Newly independent States and their former colonial masters were ostensibly on an equal footing within the WHA (one country – one vote), and the WHO’s work overall was to be an example of how human rights could dominate the way society works. The model for international public health, as exemplified in the Declaration of Alma Ata in 1978, was to be horizontal rather than vertical, with communities and countries in the driving seat.

    With the evolution of the WHO in recent decades from a core funding model (countries give money, the WHO decides under the WHA guidance how to spend it) to a model based on specified funding (funders, both public and increasingly private, instruct the WHO on how to spend it), the WHO has inevitably changed to become a public-private partnership required to serve the interests of funders rather than populations.

    As most funding comes from a few countries with major Pharma industrial bases, or private investors and corporations in the same industry, the WHO has been required to emphasize the use of pharmaceuticals and downplay evidence and knowledge where these clash (if it wants to keep all its staff funded). It is helpful to view the draft Agreement, and the IHR amendments, in this context.

    Why May 2024?

    The WHO, together with the World Bank, G20, and other institutions have been emphasizing the urgency of putting the new pandemic instruments in place earnestly, before the ‘next pandemic.’ This is based on claims that the world was unprepared for Covid-19, and that the economic and health harm would be somehow avoidable if we had these agreements in place.

    They emphasize, contrary to evidence that Covid-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) origins involve laboratory manipulation, that the main threats we face are natural, and that these are increasing exponentially and present an “existential” threat to humanity. The data on which the WHO, the World Bank, and G20 base these claims demonstrates the contrary, with reported natural outbreaks having increased as detection technologies have developed, but reducing in mortality rate, and in numbers, over the past 10 to 20 years..

    A paper cited by the World Bank to justify urgency and quoted as suggesting a 3x increase in risk in the coming decade actually suggests that a Covid-19-like event would occur roughly every 129 years, and a Spanish-flu repetition every 292 to 877 years. Such predictions are unable to take into account the rapidly changing nature of medicine and improved sanitation and nutrition (most deaths from Spanish flu would not have occurred if modern antibiotics had been available), and so may still overestimate risk. Similarly, the WHO’s own priority disease list for new outbreaks only includes two diseases of proven natural origin that have over 1,000 historical deaths attributed to them. It is well demonstrated that the risk and expected burden of pandemics is misrepresented by major international agencies in current discussions.

    The urgency for May 2024 is clearly therefore inadequately supported, firstly because neither the WHO nor others have demonstrated how the harms accrued through Covid-19 would be reduced through the measures proposed, and secondly because the burden and risk is misrepresented. In this context, the state of the Agreement is clearly not where it should be as a draft international legally binding agreement intended to impose considerable financial and other obligations on States and populations.

    This is particularly problematic as the proposed expenditure; the proposed budget is over $31 billion per year, with over $10 billion more on other One Health activities. Much of this will have to be diverted from addressing other diseases burdens that impose far greater burden. This trade-off, essential to understand in public health policy development, has not yet been clearly addressed by the WHO.

    The WHO DG stated recently that the WHO does not want the power to impose vaccine mandates or lockdowns on anyone, and does not want this. This begs the question of why either of the current WHO pandemic instruments is being proposed, both as legally binding documents. The current IHR (2005) already sets out such approaches as recommendations the DG can make, and there is nothing non-mandatory that countries cannot do now without pushing new treaty-like mechanisms through a vote in Geneva.

    Based on the DG’s claims, they are essentially redundant, and what new non-mandatory clauses they contain, as set out below, are certainly not urgent. Clauses that are mandatory (Member States “shall”) must be considered within national decision-making contexts and appear against the WHO’s stated intent.

    Common sense would suggest that the Agreement, and the accompanying IHR amendments, be properly thought through before Member States commit. The WHO has already abandoned the legal requirement for a 4-month review time for the IHR amendments (Article 55.2 IHR), which are also still under negotiation just 2 months before the WHA deadline. The Agreement should also have at least such a period for States to properly consider whether to agree – treaties normally take many years to develop and negotiate and no valid arguments have been put forward as to why these should be different.

    The Covid-19 response resulted in an unprecedented transfer of wealth from those of lower income to the very wealthy few, completely contrary to the way in which the WHO was intended to affect human society. A considerable portion of these pandemic profits went to current sponsors of the WHO, and these same corporate entities and investors are set to further benefit from the new pandemic agreements. As written, the Pandemic Agreement risks entrenching such centralization and profit-taking, and the accompanying unprecedented restrictions on human rights and freedoms, as a public health norm.

    To continue with a clearly flawed agreement simply because of a previously set deadline, when no clear population benefit is articulated and no true urgency demonstrated, would therefore be a major step backward in international public health. Basic principles of proportionality, human agency, and community empowerment, essential for health and human rights outcomes, are missing or paid lip-service. The WHO clearly wishes to increase its funding and show it is ‘doing something,’ but must first articulate why the voluntary provisions of the current IHR are insufficient. It is hoped that by systematically reviewing some key clauses of the agreement here, it will become clear why a rethink of the whole approach is necessary. The full text is found below.

    The commentary below concentrates on selected draft provisions of the latest publicly available version of the draft agreement that seem to be unclear or potentially problematic. Much of the remaining text is essentially pointless as it reiterates vague intentions to be found in other documents or activities which countries normally undertake in the course of running health services, and have no place in a focused legally-binding international agreement.

    REVISED Draft of the negotiating text of the WHO Pandemic Agreement. 7th March, 2024

    Preamble

    Recognizing that the World Health Organization…is the directing and coordinating authority on international health work.

    This is inconsistent with a recent statement by the WHO DG that the WHO has no interest or intent to direct country health responses. To reiterate it here suggests that the DG is not representing the true position regarding the Agreement. “Directing authority” is however in line with the proposed IHR Amendments (and the WHO’s Constitution), under which countries will “undertake” ahead of time to follow the DG’s recommendations (which thereby become instructions). As the HR amendments make clear, this is intended to apply even to a perceived threat rather than actual harm.

    Recalling the constitution of the World Health Organization…highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.

    This statement recalls fundamental understandings of public health, and is of importance here as it raises the question of why the WHO did not strongly condemn prolonged school closures, workplace closures, and other impoverishing policies during the Covid-19 response. In 2019, WHO made clear that these dangers should prevent actions we now call ‘lockdowns’ from being imposed.

    Deeply concerned by the gross inequities at national and international levels that hindered timely and equitable access to medical and other Covid-19 pandemic-related products, and the serious shortcomings in pandemic preparedness.

    In terms of health equity (as distinct from commodity of ‘vaccine’ equity), inequity in the Covid-19 response was not in failing to provide a vaccine against former variants to immune, young people in low-income countries who were at far higher risk from endemic diseases, but in the disproportionate harm to them of uniformly-imposed NPIs that reduced current and future income and basic healthcare, as was noted by the WHO in 2019 Pandemic Influenza recommendations. The failure of the text to recognize this suggests that lessons from Covid-19 have not informed this draft Agreement. The WHO has not yet demonstrated how pandemic ‘preparedness,’ in the terms they use below, would have reduced impact, given that there is poor correlation between strictness or speed of response and eventual outcomes.

    Reiterating the need to work towards…an equitable approach to mitigate the risk that pandemics exacerbate existing inequities in access to health services,

    As above – in the past century, the issue of inequity has been most pronounced in pandemic response, rather than the impact of the virus itself (excluding the physiological variation in risk). Most recorded deaths from acute pandemics, since the Spanish flu, were during Covid-19, in which the virus hit mainly sick elderly, but response impacted working-age adults and children heavily and will continue to have effect, due to increased poverty and debt; reduced education and child marriage, in future generations.

    These have disproportionately affected lower-income people, and particularly women. The lack of recognition of this in this document, though they are recognized by the World Bank and UN agencies elsewhere, must raise real questions on whether this Agreement has been thoroughly thought through, and the process of development been sufficiently inclusive and objective.

    Chapter I. Introduction

    Article 1. Use of terms

    (i) “pathogen with pandemic potential” means any pathogen that has been identified to infect a human and that is: novel (not yet characterized) or known (including a variant of a known pathogen), potentially highly transmissible and/or highly virulent with the potential to cause a public health emergency of international concern.

    This provides a very wide scope to alter provisions. Any pathogen that can infect humans and is potentially highly transmissible or virulent, though yet uncharacterized means virtually any coronavirus, influenza virus, or a plethora of other relatively common pathogen groups. The IHR Amendments intend that the DG alone can make this call, over the advice of others, as occurred with monkeypox in 2022.

    (j) “persons in vulnerable situations” means individuals, groups or communities with a disproportionate increased risk of infection, severity, disease or mortality.

    This is a good definition – in Covid-19 context, would mean the sick elderly, and so is relevant to targeting a response.

    “Universal health coverage” means that all people have access to the full range of quality health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship.

    While the general UHC concept is good, it is time a sensible (rather than patently silly) definition was adopted. Society cannot afford the full range of possible interventions and remedies for all, and clearly there is a scale of cost vs benefit that prioritizes certain ones over others. Sensible definitions make action more likely, and inaction harder to justify. One could argue that none should have the full range until all have good basic care, but clearly the earth will not support ‘the full range’ for 8 billion people.

    Article 2. Objective

    This Agreement is specifically for pandemics (a poorly defined term but essentially a pathogen that spreads rapidly across national borders). In contrast, the IHR amendments accompanying it are broader in scope – for any public health emergencies of international concern.

    Article 3. Principles

    2. the sovereign right of States to adopt, legislate and implement legislation

    The amendments to the IHR require States to undertake to follow WHO instructions ahead of time, before such instruction and context are known. These two documents must be understood, as noted later in the Agreement draft, as complementary.

    3. equity as the goal and outcome of pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, ensuring the absence of unfair, avoidable or remediable differences among groups of people.

    This definition of equity here needs clarification. In the pandemic context, the WHO emphasized commodity (vaccine) equity during the Covid-19 response. Elimination of differences implied equal access to Covid-19 vaccines in countries with large aging, obese highly vulnerable populations (e.g. the USA or Italy), and those with young populations at minimal risk and with far more pressing health priorities (e.g. Niger or Uganda).

    Alternatively, but equally damaging, equal access to different age groups within a country when the risk-benefit ratio is clearly greatly different. This promotes worse health outcomes by diverting resources from where they are most useful, as it ignores heterogeneity of risk. Again, an adult approach is required in international agreements, rather than feel-good sentences, if they are going to have a positive impact.

    5. …a more equitable and better prepared world to prevent, respond to and recover from pandemics

    As with ‘3’ above, this raises a fundamental problem: What if health equity demands that some populations divert resources to childhood nutrition and endemic diseases rather than the latest pandemic, as these are likely of far higher burden to many younger but lower-income populations? This would not be equity in the definition implied here, but would clearly lead to better and more equal health outcomes.

    The WHO must decide whether it is about uniform action, or minimizing poor health, as these are clearly very different. They are the difference between the WHO’s commodity equity, and true health equity.

    Chapter II. The world together equitably: achieving equity in, for and through pandemic prevention, preparedness and response

    Equity in health should imply a reasonably equal chance of overcoming or avoiding preventable sickness. The vast majority of sickness and death is due to either non-communicable diseases often related to lifestyle, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus, undernutrition in childhood, and endemic infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS. Achieving health equity would primarily mean addressing these.

    In this chapter of the draft Pandemic Agreement, equity is used to imply equal access to specific health commodities, particularly vaccines, for intermittent health emergencies, although these exert a small fraction of the burden of other diseases. It is, specifically, commodity-equity, and not geared to equalizing overall health burden but to enabling centrally-coordinated homogenous responses to unusual events.

    Article 4. Pandemic prevention and surveillance

    2. The Parties shall undertake to cooperate:

    (b) in support of…initiatives aimed at preventing pandemics, in particular those that improve surveillance, early warning and risk assessment; .…and identify settings and activities presenting a risk of emergence and re-emergence of pathogens with pandemic potential.

    (c-h) [Paragraphs on water and sanitation, infection control, strengthening of biosafety, surveillance and prevention of vector-born diseases, and addressing antimicrobial resistance.]

    The WHO intends the Agreement to have force under international law. Therefore, countries are undertaking to put themselves under force of international law in regards to complying with the agreement’s stipulations.

    The provisions under this long article mostly cover general health stuff that countries try to do anyway. The difference will be that countries will be assessed on progress. Assessment can be fine if in context, less fine if it consists of entitled ‘experts’ from wealthy countries with little local knowledge or context. Perhaps such compliance is best left to national authorities, who are more in use with local needs and priorities. The justification for the international bureaucracy being built to support this, while fun for those involved, is unclear and will divert resources from actual health work.

    6. The Conference of the Parties may adopt, as necessary, guidelines, recommendations and standards, including in relation to pandemic prevention capacities, to support the implementation of this Article.

    Here and later, the COP is invoked as a vehicle to decide on what will actually be done. The rules are explained later (Articles 21-23). While allowing more time is sensible, it begs the question of why it is not better to wait and discuss what is needed in the current INB process, before committing to a legally-binding agreement. This current article says nothing not already covered by the IHR2005 or other ongoing programs.

    Article 5. One Health approach to pandemic prevention, preparedness and response

    Nothing specific or new in this article. It seems redundant (it is advocating a holistic approach mentioned elsewhere) and so presumably is just to get the term ‘One Health’ into the agreement. (One could ask, why bother?)

    Some mainstream definitions of One Health (e.g. Lancet) consider that it means non-human species are on a par with humans in terms of rights and importance. If this is meant here, clearly most Member States would disagree. So we may assume that it is just words to keep someone happy (a little childish in an international document, but the term ‘One Health’ has been trending, like ‘equity,’ as if the concept of holistic approaches to public health were new).

    Article 6. Preparedness, health system resilience and recovery

    2. Each Party commits…[to] :

    (a) routine and essential health services during pandemics with a focus on primary health care, routine immunization and mental health care, and with particular attention to persons in vulnerable situations

    (b) developing, strengthening and maintaining health infrastructure

    (c) developing post-pandemic health system recovery strategies

    (d) developing, strengthening and maintaining: health information systems

    This is good, and (a) seems to require avoidance of lockdowns (which inevitably cause the harms listed). Unfortunately other WHO documents lead one to assume this is not the intent…It does appear therefore that this is simply another list of fairly non-specific feel-good measures that have no useful place in a new legally-binding agreement, and which most countries are already undertaking.

    (e) promoting the use of social and behavioural sciences, risk communication and community engagement for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.

    This requires clarification, as the use of behavioral science during the Covid-19 response involved deliberate inducement of fear to promote behaviors that people would not otherwise follow (e.g. Spi-B). It is essential here that the document clarifies how behavioral science should be used ethically in healthcare. Otherwise, this is also a quite meaningless provision.

    Article 7. Health and care workforce

    This long Article discusses health workforce, training, retention, non-discrimination, stigma, bias, adequate remuneration, and other standard provisions for workplaces. It is unclear why it is included in a legally binding pandemic agreement, except for:

    4. [The Parties]…shall invest in establishing, sustaining, coordinating and mobilizing a skilled and trained multidisciplinary global public health emergency workforce…Parties having established emergency health teams should inform WHO thereof and make best efforts to respond to requests for deployment…

    Emergency health teams established (within capacity etc.) – are something countries already do, when they have capacity. There is no reason to have this as a legally-binding instrument, and clearly no urgency to do so.

    Article 8. Preparedness monitoring and functional reviews

    1. The Parties shall, building on existing and relevant tools, develop and implement an inclusive, transparent, effective and efficient pandemic prevention, preparedness and response monitoring and evaluation system.

    2. Each Party shall assess, every five years, with technical support from the WHO Secretariat upon request, the functioning and readiness of, and gaps in, its pandemic prevention, preparedness and response capacity, based on the relevant tools and guidelines developed by WHO in partnership with relevant organizations at international, regional and sub-regional levels.

    Note that this is being required of countries that are already struggling to implement monitoring systems for major endemic diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria, HIV, and nutritional deficiencies. They will be legally bound to divert resources to pandemic prevention. While there is some overlap, it will inevitably divert resources from currently underfunded programs for diseases of far higher local burdens, and so (not theoretically, but inevitably) raise mortality. Poor countries are being required to put resources into problems deemed significant by richer countries.

    Article 9. Research and development

    Various general provisions about undertaking background research that countries are generally doing anyway, but with an ’emerging disease’ slant. Again, the INB fails to justify why this diversion of resources from researching greater disease burdens should occur in all countries (why not just those with excess resources?).

    Article 10. Sustainable and geographically diversified production

    Mostly non-binding but suggested cooperation on making pandemic-related products available, including support for manufacturing in “inter-pandemic times” (a fascinating rendering of ‘normal’), when they would only be viable through subsidies. Much of this is probably unimplementable, as it would not be practical to maintain facilities in most or all countries on stand-by for rare events, at cost of resources otherwise useful for other priorities. The desire to increase production in ‘developing’ countries will face major barriers and costs in terms of maintaining quality of production, particularly as many products will have limited use outside of rare outbreak situations.

    Article 11. Transfer of technology and know-how

    This article, always problematic for large pharmaceutical corporations sponsoring much WHO outbreak activities, is now watered down to weak requirements to ‘consider,’ promote,’ provide, within capabilities’ etc.

    Article 12. Access and benefit sharing

    This Article is intended to establish the WHO Pathogen Access and Benefit-Sharing System (PABS System). PABS is intended to “ensure rapid, systematic and timely access to biological materials of pathogens with pandemic potential and the genetic sequence data.” This system is of potential high relevance and needs to be interpreted in the context that SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen causing the recent Covid-19 outbreak, was highly likely to have escaped from a laboratory. PABS is intended to expand the laboratory storage, transport, and handling of such viruses, under the oversight of the WHO, an organization outside of national jurisdiction with no significant direct experience in handling biological materials.

    3. When a Party has access to a pathogen [it shall]:

    (a) share with WHO any pathogen sequence information as soon as it is available to the Party;

    (b) as soon as biological materials are available to the Party, provide the materials to one or more laboratories and/or biorepositories participating in WHO-coordinated laboratory networks (CLNs),

    Subsequent clauses state that benefits will be shared, and seek to prevent recipient laboratories from patenting materials received from other countries. This has been a major concern of low-and middle-income countries previously, who perceive that institutions in wealthy countries patent and benefit from materials derived from less-wealthy populations. It remains to be seen whether provisions here will be sufficient to address this.

    The article then becomes yet more concerning:

    6. WHO shall conclude legally binding standard PABS contracts with manufacturers to provide the following, taking into account the size, nature and capacities of the manufacturer:

    (a) annual monetary contributions to support the PABS System and relevant capacities in countries; the determination of the annual amount, use, and approach for monitoring and accountability, shall be finalized by the Parties;

    (b) real-time contributions of relevant diagnostics, therapeutics or vaccines produced by the manufacturer, 10% free of charge and 10% at not-for-profit prices during public health emergencies of international concern or pandemics, …

    It is clearly intended that the WHO becomes directly involved in setting up legally binding manufacturing contracts, despite the WHO being outside of national jurisdictional oversight, within the territories of Member States. The PABS system, and therefore its staff and dependent entities, are also to be supported in part by funds from the manufacturers whom they are supposed to be managing. The income of the organization will be dependent on maintaining positive relationships with these private entities in a similar way in which many national regulatory agencies are dependent upon funds from pharmaceutical companies whom their staff ostensibly regulate. In this case, the regulator will be even further removed from public oversight.

    The clause on 10% (why 10?) products being free of charge, and similar at cost, while ensuring lower-priced commodities irrespective of actual need (the outbreak may be confined to wealthy countries). The same entity, the WHO, will determine whether the triggering emergency exists, determine the response, and manage the contracts to provide the commodities, without direct jurisdictional oversight regarding the potential for corruption or conflict of interest. It is a remarkable system to suggest, irrespective of political or regulatory environment.

    8. The Parties shall cooperate…public financing of research and development, prepurchase agreements, or regulatory procedures, to encourage and facilitate as many manufacturers as possible to enter into standard PABS contracts as early as possible.

    The article envisions that public funding will be used to build the process, ensuring essentially no-risk private profit.

    10. To support operationalization of the PABS System, WHO shall…make such contracts public, while respecting commercial confidentiality.

    The public may know whom contracts are made with, but not all details of the contracts. There will therefore be no independent oversight of the clauses agreed between the WHO, a body outside of national jurisdiction and dependent of commercial companies for funding some of its work and salaries, and these same companies, on ‘needs’ that the WHO itself will have sole authority, under the proposed amendments to the IHR, to determine.

    The Article further states that the WHO shall use its own product regulatory system (prequalification) and Emergency Use Listing Procedure to open and stimulate markets for the manufacturers of these products.

    It is doubtful that any national government could make such an overall agreement, yet in May 2024 they will be voting to provide this to what is essentially a foreign, and partly privately financed, entity.

    Article 13. Supply chain and logistics

    The WHO will become convenor of a ‘Global Supply Chain and Logistics Network’ for commercially-produced products, to be supplied under WHO contracts when and where the WHO determines, whilst also having the role of ensuring safety of such products.

    Having mutual support coordinated between countries is good. Having this run by an organization that is significantly funded directly by those gaining from the sale of these same commodities seems reckless and counterintuitive. Few countries would allow this (or at least plan for it).

    For this to occur safely, the WHO would logically have to forgo all private investment, and greatly restrict national specified funding contributions. Otherwise, the conflicts of interest involved would destroy confidence in the system. There is no suggestion of such divestment from the WHO, but rather, as in Article 12, private sector dependency, directly tied to contracts, will increase.

    Article 13bis: National procurement- and distribution-related provisions

    While suffering the same (perhaps unavoidable) issues regarding commercial confidentiality, this alternate Article 13 seems far more appropriate, keeping commercial issues under national jurisdiction and avoiding the obvious conflict of interests that underpin funding for WHO activities and staffing.

    Article 14. Regulatory systems strengthening

    This entire Article reflects initiatives and programs already in place. Nothing here appears likely to add to current effort.

    Article 15. Liability and compensation management

    1. Each Party shall consider developing, as necessary and in accordance with applicable law, national strategies for managing liability in its territory related to pandemic vaccines…no-fault compensation mechanisms…

    2. The Parties…shall develop recommendations for the establishment and implementation of national, regional and/or global no-fault compensation mechanisms and strategies for managing liability during pandemic emergencies, including with regard to individuals that are in a humanitarian setting or vulnerable situations.

    This is quite remarkable, but also reflects some national legislation, in removing any fault or liability specifically from vaccine manufacturers, for harms done in pushing out vaccines to the public. During the Covid-19 response, genetic therapeutics being developed by BioNtech and Moderna were reclassified as vaccines, on the basis that an immune response is stimulated after they have modified intracellular biochemical pathways as a medicine normally does.

    This enabled specific trials normally required for carcinogenicity and teratogenicity to be bypassed, despite raised fetal abnormality rates in animal trials. It will enable the CEPI 100-day vaccine program, supported with private funding to support private mRNA vaccine manufacturers, to proceed without any risk to the manufacturer should there be subsequent public harm.

    Together with an earlier provision on public funding of research and manufacturing readiness, and the removal of former wording requiring intellectual property sharing in Article 11, this ensures vaccine manufacturers and their investors make profit in effective absence of risk.

    These entities are currently heavily invested in support for WHO, and were strongly aligned with the introduction of newly restrictive outbreak responses that emphasized and sometimes mandated their products during the Covid-19 outbreak.

    Article 16. International collaboration and cooperation

    A somewhat pointless article. It suggests that countries cooperate with each other and the WHO to implement the other agreements in the Agreement.

    Article 17. Whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches

    A list of essentially motherhood provisions related to planning for a pandemic. However, countries will legally be required to maintain a ‘national coordination multisectoral body’ for PPPR. This will essentially be an added burden on budgets, and inevitably divert further resources from other priorities. Perhaps just strengthening current infectious disease and nutritional programs would be more impactful. (Nowhere in this Agreement is nutrition discussed (essential for resilience to pathogens) and minimal wording is included on sanitation and clean water (other major reasons for reduction in infectious disease mortality over past centuries).

    However, the ‘community ownership’ wording is interesting (“empower and enable community ownership of, and contribution to, community readiness for and resilience [for PPPR]”), as this directly contradicts much of the rest of the Agreement, including the centralization of control under the Conference of Parties, requirements for countries to allocate resources to pandemic preparedness over other community priorities, and the idea of inspecting and assessing adherence to the centralized requirements of the Agreement. Either much of the rest of the Agreement is redundant, or this wording is purely for appearance and not to be followed (and therefore should be removed).

    Article 18. Communication and public awareness

    1. Each Party shall promote timely access to credible and evidence-based information …with the aim of countering and addressing misinformation or disinformation…

    2. The Parties shall, as appropriate, promote and/or conduct research and inform policies on factors that hinder or strengthen adherence to public health and social measures in a pandemic, as well as trust in science and public health institutions and agencies.

    The key word is as appropriate, given that many agencies, including the WHO, have overseen or aided policies during the Covid-19 response that have greatly increased poverty, child marriage, teenage pregnancy, and education loss.

    As the WHO has been shown to be significantly misrepresenting pandemic risk in the process of advocating for this Agreement and related instruments, its own communications would also fall outside the provision here related to evidence-based information, and fall within normal understandings of misinformation. It could not therefore be an arbiter of correctness of information here, so the Article is not implementable. Rewritten to recommend accurate evidence-based information being promoted, it would make good sense, but this is not an issue requiring a legally binding international agreement.

    Article 19. Implementation and support

    3. The WHO Secretariat…organize the technical and financial assistance necessary to address such gaps and needs in implementing the commitments agreed upon under the Pandemic Agreement and the International Health Regulations (2005).

    As the WHO is dependent on donor support, its ability to address gaps in funding within Member States is clearly not something it can guarantee. The purpose of this article is unclear, repeating in paragraphs 1 and 2 the earlier intent for countries to generally support each other.

    Article 20. Sustainable financing

    1. The Parties commit to working together…In this regard, each Party, within the means and resources at its disposal, shall:

    (a) prioritize and maintain or increase, as necessary, domestic funding for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, without undermining other domestic public health priorities including for: (i) strengthening and sustaining capacities for the prevention, preparedness and response to health emergencies and pandemics, in particular the core capacities of the International Health Regulations (2005);…

    This is silly wording, as countries obviously have to prioritize within budgets, so that moving funds to one area means removing from another. The essence of public health policy is weighing and making such decisions; this reality seems to be ignored here through wishful thinking. (a) is clearly redundant, as the IHR (2005) already exists and countries have agreed to support it.

    3. A Coordinating Financial Mechanism (the “Mechanism”) is hereby established to support the implementation of both the WHO Pandemic Agreement and the International Health Regulations (2005)

    This will be in parallel to the Pandemic Fund recently commenced by the World Bank – an issue not lost on INB delegates and so likely to change here in the final version. It will also be additive to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and other health financing mechanisms, and so require another parallel international bureaucracy, presumably based in Geneva.

    It is intended to have its own capacity to “conduct relevant analyses on needs and gaps, in addition to tracking cooperation efforts,” so it will not be a small undertaking.

    Chapter III. Institutional and final provisions

    Article 21. Conference of the Parties

    1. A Conference of the Parties is hereby established.

    2. The Conference of the Parties shall keep under regular review, every three years, the implementation of the WHO Pandemic Agreement and take the decisions necessary to promote its effective implementation.

    This sets up the governing body to oversee this Agreement (another body requiring a secretariat and support). It is intended to meet within a year of the Agreement coming into force, and then set its own rules on meeting thereafter. It is likely that many provisions outlined in this draft of the Agreement will be deferred to the COP for further discussion.

    Articles 22 – 37

    These articles cover the functioning of the Conference of Parties (COP) and various administrative issues.

    Of note, ‘block votes’ will be allowed from regional bodies (e.g. the EU).

    The WHO will provide the secretariat.

    Under Article 24 is noted:

    3. Nothing in the WHO Pandemic Agreement shall be interpreted as providing the Secretariat of the World Health Organization, including the WHO Director-General, any authority to direct, order, alter or otherwise prescribe the domestic laws or policies of any Party, or to mandate or otherwise impose any requirements that Parties take specific actions, such as ban or accept travellers, impose vaccination mandates or therapeutic or diagnostic measures, or implement lockdowns.

    These provisions are explicitly stated in the proposed amendments to the IHR, to be considered alongside this agreement. Article 26 notes that the IHR is to be interpreted as compatible, thereby confirming that the IHR provisions including border closures and limits on freedom of movement, mandated vaccination, and other lockdown measures are not negated by this statement.

    As Article 26 states: “The Parties recognize that the WHO Pandemic Agreement and the International Health Regulations should be interpreted so as to be compatible.”

    Some would consider this subterfuge – The Director-General recently labeled as liars those who claimed the Agreement included these powers, whilst failing to acknowledge the accompanying IHR amendments. The WHO could do better in avoiding misleading messaging, especially when this involves denigration of the public.

    Article 32 (Withdrawal) requires that, once adopted, Parties cannot withdraw for a total of 3 years (giving notice after a minimum of 2 years). Financial obligations undertaken under the agreement continue beyond that time.

    Finally, the Agreement will come into force, assuming a two-thirds majority in the WHA is achieved (Article 19, WHO Constitution), 30 days after the fortieth country has ratified it.

    Further reading:

    WHO Pandemic Agreement Intergovernmental Negotiating Board website:

    https://inb.who.int/

    International Health Regulations Working Group website:

    https://apps.who.int/gb/wgihr/index.html

    On background to the WHO texts:

    Amendments to WHO’s International Health Regulations: An Annotated Guide
    An Unofficial Q&A on International Health Regulations
    On urgency and burden of pandemics:

    https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/downloads/download/228/rational-policy-over-panic

    Disease X and Davos: This is Not the Way to Evaluate and Formulate Public Health Policy
    Before Preparing for Pandemics, We Need Better Evidence of Risk
    Revised Draft of the negotiating text of the WHO Pandemic Agreement:

    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
    For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.

    Authors

    David Bell
    David Bell, Senior Scholar at Brownstone Institute, is a public health physician and biotech consultant in global health. He is a former medical officer and scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), Programme Head for malaria and febrile diseases at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) in Geneva, Switzerland, and Director of Global Health Technologies at Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund in Bellevue, WA, USA.

    View all posts
    Thi Thuy Van Dinh
    Dr. Thi Thuy Van Dinh (LLM, PhD) worked on international law in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Subsequently, she managed multilateral organization partnerships for Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund and led environmental health technology development efforts for low-resource settings.

    View all posts
    Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work.

    https://brownstone.org/articles/the-who-pandemic-agreement-a-guide/

    https://www.minds.com/donshafi911/blog/the-who-pandemic-agreement-a-guide-1621719398509187077
    The WHO Pandemic Agreement: A Guide By David Bell, Thi Thuy Van Dinh March 22, 2024 Government, Society 30 minute read The World Health Organization (WHO) and its 194 Member States have been engaged for over two years in the development of two ‘instruments’ or agreements with the intent of radically changing the way pandemics and other health emergencies are managed. One, consisting of draft amendments to the existing International health Regulations (IHR), seeks to change the current IHR non-binding recommendations into requirements or binding recommendations, by having countries “undertake” to implement those given by the WHO in future declared health emergencies. It covers all ‘public health emergencies of international concern’ (PHEIC), with a single person, the WHO Director-General (DG) determining what a PHEIC is, where it extends, and when it ends. It specifies mandated vaccines, border closures, and other directives understood as lockdowns among the requirements the DG can impose. It is discussed further elsewhere and still under negotiation in Geneva. A second document, previously known as the (draft) Pandemic Treaty, then Pandemic Accord, and more recently the Pandemic Agreement, seeks to specify governance, supply chains, and various other interventions aimed at preventing, preparing for, and responding to, pandemics (pandemic prevention, preparedness and response – PPPR). It is currently being negotiated by the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB). Both texts will be subject to a vote at the May 2024 World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland. These votes are intended, by those promoting these projects, to bring governance of future multi-country healthcare emergencies (or threats thereof) under the WHO umbrella. The latest version of the draft Pandemic Agreement (here forth the ‘Agreement’) was released on 7th March 2024. However, it is still being negotiated by various committees comprising representatives of Member States and other interested entities. It has been through multiple iterations over two years, and looks like it. With the teeth of the pandemic response proposals in the IHR, the Agreement looks increasingly irrelevant, or at least unsure of its purpose, picking up bits and pieces in a half-hearted way that the IHR amendments do not, or cannot, include. However, as discussed below, it is far from irrelevant. Historical Perspective These aim to increase the centralization of decision-making within the WHO as the “directing and coordinating authority.” This terminology comes from the WHO’s 1946 Constitution, developed in the aftermath of the Second World War as the world faced the outcomes of European fascism and the similar approaches widely imposed through colonialist regimes. The WHO would support emerging countries, with rapidly expanding and poorly resourced populations struggling under high disease burdens, and coordinate some areas of international support as these sovereign countries requested it. The emphasis of action was on coordinating rather than directing. In the 80 years prior to the WHO’s existence, international public health had grown within a more directive mindset, with a series of meetings by colonial and slave-owning powers from 1851 to manage pandemics, culminating in the inauguration of the Office Internationale d’Hygiene Publique in Paris in 1907, and later the League of Nations Health Office. World powers imposed health dictates on those less powerful, in other parts of the world and increasingly on their own population through the eugenics movement and similar approaches. Public health would direct, for the greater good, as a tool of those who wish to direct the lives of others. The WHO, governed by the WHA, was to be very different. Newly independent States and their former colonial masters were ostensibly on an equal footing within the WHA (one country – one vote), and the WHO’s work overall was to be an example of how human rights could dominate the way society works. The model for international public health, as exemplified in the Declaration of Alma Ata in 1978, was to be horizontal rather than vertical, with communities and countries in the driving seat. With the evolution of the WHO in recent decades from a core funding model (countries give money, the WHO decides under the WHA guidance how to spend it) to a model based on specified funding (funders, both public and increasingly private, instruct the WHO on how to spend it), the WHO has inevitably changed to become a public-private partnership required to serve the interests of funders rather than populations. As most funding comes from a few countries with major Pharma industrial bases, or private investors and corporations in the same industry, the WHO has been required to emphasize the use of pharmaceuticals and downplay evidence and knowledge where these clash (if it wants to keep all its staff funded). It is helpful to view the draft Agreement, and the IHR amendments, in this context. Why May 2024? The WHO, together with the World Bank, G20, and other institutions have been emphasizing the urgency of putting the new pandemic instruments in place earnestly, before the ‘next pandemic.’ This is based on claims that the world was unprepared for Covid-19, and that the economic and health harm would be somehow avoidable if we had these agreements in place. They emphasize, contrary to evidence that Covid-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) origins involve laboratory manipulation, that the main threats we face are natural, and that these are increasing exponentially and present an “existential” threat to humanity. The data on which the WHO, the World Bank, and G20 base these claims demonstrates the contrary, with reported natural outbreaks having increased as detection technologies have developed, but reducing in mortality rate, and in numbers, over the past 10 to 20 years.. A paper cited by the World Bank to justify urgency and quoted as suggesting a 3x increase in risk in the coming decade actually suggests that a Covid-19-like event would occur roughly every 129 years, and a Spanish-flu repetition every 292 to 877 years. Such predictions are unable to take into account the rapidly changing nature of medicine and improved sanitation and nutrition (most deaths from Spanish flu would not have occurred if modern antibiotics had been available), and so may still overestimate risk. Similarly, the WHO’s own priority disease list for new outbreaks only includes two diseases of proven natural origin that have over 1,000 historical deaths attributed to them. It is well demonstrated that the risk and expected burden of pandemics is misrepresented by major international agencies in current discussions. The urgency for May 2024 is clearly therefore inadequately supported, firstly because neither the WHO nor others have demonstrated how the harms accrued through Covid-19 would be reduced through the measures proposed, and secondly because the burden and risk is misrepresented. In this context, the state of the Agreement is clearly not where it should be as a draft international legally binding agreement intended to impose considerable financial and other obligations on States and populations. This is particularly problematic as the proposed expenditure; the proposed budget is over $31 billion per year, with over $10 billion more on other One Health activities. Much of this will have to be diverted from addressing other diseases burdens that impose far greater burden. This trade-off, essential to understand in public health policy development, has not yet been clearly addressed by the WHO. The WHO DG stated recently that the WHO does not want the power to impose vaccine mandates or lockdowns on anyone, and does not want this. This begs the question of why either of the current WHO pandemic instruments is being proposed, both as legally binding documents. The current IHR (2005) already sets out such approaches as recommendations the DG can make, and there is nothing non-mandatory that countries cannot do now without pushing new treaty-like mechanisms through a vote in Geneva. Based on the DG’s claims, they are essentially redundant, and what new non-mandatory clauses they contain, as set out below, are certainly not urgent. Clauses that are mandatory (Member States “shall”) must be considered within national decision-making contexts and appear against the WHO’s stated intent. Common sense would suggest that the Agreement, and the accompanying IHR amendments, be properly thought through before Member States commit. The WHO has already abandoned the legal requirement for a 4-month review time for the IHR amendments (Article 55.2 IHR), which are also still under negotiation just 2 months before the WHA deadline. The Agreement should also have at least such a period for States to properly consider whether to agree – treaties normally take many years to develop and negotiate and no valid arguments have been put forward as to why these should be different. The Covid-19 response resulted in an unprecedented transfer of wealth from those of lower income to the very wealthy few, completely contrary to the way in which the WHO was intended to affect human society. A considerable portion of these pandemic profits went to current sponsors of the WHO, and these same corporate entities and investors are set to further benefit from the new pandemic agreements. As written, the Pandemic Agreement risks entrenching such centralization and profit-taking, and the accompanying unprecedented restrictions on human rights and freedoms, as a public health norm. To continue with a clearly flawed agreement simply because of a previously set deadline, when no clear population benefit is articulated and no true urgency demonstrated, would therefore be a major step backward in international public health. Basic principles of proportionality, human agency, and community empowerment, essential for health and human rights outcomes, are missing or paid lip-service. The WHO clearly wishes to increase its funding and show it is ‘doing something,’ but must first articulate why the voluntary provisions of the current IHR are insufficient. It is hoped that by systematically reviewing some key clauses of the agreement here, it will become clear why a rethink of the whole approach is necessary. The full text is found below. The commentary below concentrates on selected draft provisions of the latest publicly available version of the draft agreement that seem to be unclear or potentially problematic. Much of the remaining text is essentially pointless as it reiterates vague intentions to be found in other documents or activities which countries normally undertake in the course of running health services, and have no place in a focused legally-binding international agreement. REVISED Draft of the negotiating text of the WHO Pandemic Agreement. 7th March, 2024 Preamble Recognizing that the World Health Organization…is the directing and coordinating authority on international health work. This is inconsistent with a recent statement by the WHO DG that the WHO has no interest or intent to direct country health responses. To reiterate it here suggests that the DG is not representing the true position regarding the Agreement. “Directing authority” is however in line with the proposed IHR Amendments (and the WHO’s Constitution), under which countries will “undertake” ahead of time to follow the DG’s recommendations (which thereby become instructions). As the HR amendments make clear, this is intended to apply even to a perceived threat rather than actual harm. Recalling the constitution of the World Health Organization…highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition. This statement recalls fundamental understandings of public health, and is of importance here as it raises the question of why the WHO did not strongly condemn prolonged school closures, workplace closures, and other impoverishing policies during the Covid-19 response. In 2019, WHO made clear that these dangers should prevent actions we now call ‘lockdowns’ from being imposed. Deeply concerned by the gross inequities at national and international levels that hindered timely and equitable access to medical and other Covid-19 pandemic-related products, and the serious shortcomings in pandemic preparedness. In terms of health equity (as distinct from commodity of ‘vaccine’ equity), inequity in the Covid-19 response was not in failing to provide a vaccine against former variants to immune, young people in low-income countries who were at far higher risk from endemic diseases, but in the disproportionate harm to them of uniformly-imposed NPIs that reduced current and future income and basic healthcare, as was noted by the WHO in 2019 Pandemic Influenza recommendations. The failure of the text to recognize this suggests that lessons from Covid-19 have not informed this draft Agreement. The WHO has not yet demonstrated how pandemic ‘preparedness,’ in the terms they use below, would have reduced impact, given that there is poor correlation between strictness or speed of response and eventual outcomes. Reiterating the need to work towards…an equitable approach to mitigate the risk that pandemics exacerbate existing inequities in access to health services, As above – in the past century, the issue of inequity has been most pronounced in pandemic response, rather than the impact of the virus itself (excluding the physiological variation in risk). Most recorded deaths from acute pandemics, since the Spanish flu, were during Covid-19, in which the virus hit mainly sick elderly, but response impacted working-age adults and children heavily and will continue to have effect, due to increased poverty and debt; reduced education and child marriage, in future generations. These have disproportionately affected lower-income people, and particularly women. The lack of recognition of this in this document, though they are recognized by the World Bank and UN agencies elsewhere, must raise real questions on whether this Agreement has been thoroughly thought through, and the process of development been sufficiently inclusive and objective. Chapter I. Introduction Article 1. Use of terms (i) “pathogen with pandemic potential” means any pathogen that has been identified to infect a human and that is: novel (not yet characterized) or known (including a variant of a known pathogen), potentially highly transmissible and/or highly virulent with the potential to cause a public health emergency of international concern. This provides a very wide scope to alter provisions. Any pathogen that can infect humans and is potentially highly transmissible or virulent, though yet uncharacterized means virtually any coronavirus, influenza virus, or a plethora of other relatively common pathogen groups. The IHR Amendments intend that the DG alone can make this call, over the advice of others, as occurred with monkeypox in 2022. (j) “persons in vulnerable situations” means individuals, groups or communities with a disproportionate increased risk of infection, severity, disease or mortality. This is a good definition – in Covid-19 context, would mean the sick elderly, and so is relevant to targeting a response. “Universal health coverage” means that all people have access to the full range of quality health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship. While the general UHC concept is good, it is time a sensible (rather than patently silly) definition was adopted. Society cannot afford the full range of possible interventions and remedies for all, and clearly there is a scale of cost vs benefit that prioritizes certain ones over others. Sensible definitions make action more likely, and inaction harder to justify. One could argue that none should have the full range until all have good basic care, but clearly the earth will not support ‘the full range’ for 8 billion people. Article 2. Objective This Agreement is specifically for pandemics (a poorly defined term but essentially a pathogen that spreads rapidly across national borders). In contrast, the IHR amendments accompanying it are broader in scope – for any public health emergencies of international concern. Article 3. Principles 2. the sovereign right of States to adopt, legislate and implement legislation The amendments to the IHR require States to undertake to follow WHO instructions ahead of time, before such instruction and context are known. These two documents must be understood, as noted later in the Agreement draft, as complementary. 3. equity as the goal and outcome of pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, ensuring the absence of unfair, avoidable or remediable differences among groups of people. This definition of equity here needs clarification. In the pandemic context, the WHO emphasized commodity (vaccine) equity during the Covid-19 response. Elimination of differences implied equal access to Covid-19 vaccines in countries with large aging, obese highly vulnerable populations (e.g. the USA or Italy), and those with young populations at minimal risk and with far more pressing health priorities (e.g. Niger or Uganda). Alternatively, but equally damaging, equal access to different age groups within a country when the risk-benefit ratio is clearly greatly different. This promotes worse health outcomes by diverting resources from where they are most useful, as it ignores heterogeneity of risk. Again, an adult approach is required in international agreements, rather than feel-good sentences, if they are going to have a positive impact. 5. …a more equitable and better prepared world to prevent, respond to and recover from pandemics As with ‘3’ above, this raises a fundamental problem: What if health equity demands that some populations divert resources to childhood nutrition and endemic diseases rather than the latest pandemic, as these are likely of far higher burden to many younger but lower-income populations? This would not be equity in the definition implied here, but would clearly lead to better and more equal health outcomes. The WHO must decide whether it is about uniform action, or minimizing poor health, as these are clearly very different. They are the difference between the WHO’s commodity equity, and true health equity. Chapter II. The world together equitably: achieving equity in, for and through pandemic prevention, preparedness and response Equity in health should imply a reasonably equal chance of overcoming or avoiding preventable sickness. The vast majority of sickness and death is due to either non-communicable diseases often related to lifestyle, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus, undernutrition in childhood, and endemic infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS. Achieving health equity would primarily mean addressing these. In this chapter of the draft Pandemic Agreement, equity is used to imply equal access to specific health commodities, particularly vaccines, for intermittent health emergencies, although these exert a small fraction of the burden of other diseases. It is, specifically, commodity-equity, and not geared to equalizing overall health burden but to enabling centrally-coordinated homogenous responses to unusual events. Article 4. Pandemic prevention and surveillance 2. The Parties shall undertake to cooperate: (b) in support of…initiatives aimed at preventing pandemics, in particular those that improve surveillance, early warning and risk assessment; .…and identify settings and activities presenting a risk of emergence and re-emergence of pathogens with pandemic potential. (c-h) [Paragraphs on water and sanitation, infection control, strengthening of biosafety, surveillance and prevention of vector-born diseases, and addressing antimicrobial resistance.] The WHO intends the Agreement to have force under international law. Therefore, countries are undertaking to put themselves under force of international law in regards to complying with the agreement’s stipulations. The provisions under this long article mostly cover general health stuff that countries try to do anyway. The difference will be that countries will be assessed on progress. Assessment can be fine if in context, less fine if it consists of entitled ‘experts’ from wealthy countries with little local knowledge or context. Perhaps such compliance is best left to national authorities, who are more in use with local needs and priorities. The justification for the international bureaucracy being built to support this, while fun for those involved, is unclear and will divert resources from actual health work. 6. The Conference of the Parties may adopt, as necessary, guidelines, recommendations and standards, including in relation to pandemic prevention capacities, to support the implementation of this Article. Here and later, the COP is invoked as a vehicle to decide on what will actually be done. The rules are explained later (Articles 21-23). While allowing more time is sensible, it begs the question of why it is not better to wait and discuss what is needed in the current INB process, before committing to a legally-binding agreement. This current article says nothing not already covered by the IHR2005 or other ongoing programs. Article 5. One Health approach to pandemic prevention, preparedness and response Nothing specific or new in this article. It seems redundant (it is advocating a holistic approach mentioned elsewhere) and so presumably is just to get the term ‘One Health’ into the agreement. (One could ask, why bother?) Some mainstream definitions of One Health (e.g. Lancet) consider that it means non-human species are on a par with humans in terms of rights and importance. If this is meant here, clearly most Member States would disagree. So we may assume that it is just words to keep someone happy (a little childish in an international document, but the term ‘One Health’ has been trending, like ‘equity,’ as if the concept of holistic approaches to public health were new). Article 6. Preparedness, health system resilience and recovery 2. Each Party commits…[to] : (a) routine and essential health services during pandemics with a focus on primary health care, routine immunization and mental health care, and with particular attention to persons in vulnerable situations (b) developing, strengthening and maintaining health infrastructure (c) developing post-pandemic health system recovery strategies (d) developing, strengthening and maintaining: health information systems This is good, and (a) seems to require avoidance of lockdowns (which inevitably cause the harms listed). Unfortunately other WHO documents lead one to assume this is not the intent…It does appear therefore that this is simply another list of fairly non-specific feel-good measures that have no useful place in a new legally-binding agreement, and which most countries are already undertaking. (e) promoting the use of social and behavioural sciences, risk communication and community engagement for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. This requires clarification, as the use of behavioral science during the Covid-19 response involved deliberate inducement of fear to promote behaviors that people would not otherwise follow (e.g. Spi-B). It is essential here that the document clarifies how behavioral science should be used ethically in healthcare. Otherwise, this is also a quite meaningless provision. Article 7. Health and care workforce This long Article discusses health workforce, training, retention, non-discrimination, stigma, bias, adequate remuneration, and other standard provisions for workplaces. It is unclear why it is included in a legally binding pandemic agreement, except for: 4. [The Parties]…shall invest in establishing, sustaining, coordinating and mobilizing a skilled and trained multidisciplinary global public health emergency workforce…Parties having established emergency health teams should inform WHO thereof and make best efforts to respond to requests for deployment… Emergency health teams established (within capacity etc.) – are something countries already do, when they have capacity. There is no reason to have this as a legally-binding instrument, and clearly no urgency to do so. Article 8. Preparedness monitoring and functional reviews 1. The Parties shall, building on existing and relevant tools, develop and implement an inclusive, transparent, effective and efficient pandemic prevention, preparedness and response monitoring and evaluation system. 2. Each Party shall assess, every five years, with technical support from the WHO Secretariat upon request, the functioning and readiness of, and gaps in, its pandemic prevention, preparedness and response capacity, based on the relevant tools and guidelines developed by WHO in partnership with relevant organizations at international, regional and sub-regional levels. Note that this is being required of countries that are already struggling to implement monitoring systems for major endemic diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria, HIV, and nutritional deficiencies. They will be legally bound to divert resources to pandemic prevention. While there is some overlap, it will inevitably divert resources from currently underfunded programs for diseases of far higher local burdens, and so (not theoretically, but inevitably) raise mortality. Poor countries are being required to put resources into problems deemed significant by richer countries. Article 9. Research and development Various general provisions about undertaking background research that countries are generally doing anyway, but with an ’emerging disease’ slant. Again, the INB fails to justify why this diversion of resources from researching greater disease burdens should occur in all countries (why not just those with excess resources?). Article 10. Sustainable and geographically diversified production Mostly non-binding but suggested cooperation on making pandemic-related products available, including support for manufacturing in “inter-pandemic times” (a fascinating rendering of ‘normal’), when they would only be viable through subsidies. Much of this is probably unimplementable, as it would not be practical to maintain facilities in most or all countries on stand-by for rare events, at cost of resources otherwise useful for other priorities. The desire to increase production in ‘developing’ countries will face major barriers and costs in terms of maintaining quality of production, particularly as many products will have limited use outside of rare outbreak situations. Article 11. Transfer of technology and know-how This article, always problematic for large pharmaceutical corporations sponsoring much WHO outbreak activities, is now watered down to weak requirements to ‘consider,’ promote,’ provide, within capabilities’ etc. Article 12. Access and benefit sharing This Article is intended to establish the WHO Pathogen Access and Benefit-Sharing System (PABS System). PABS is intended to “ensure rapid, systematic and timely access to biological materials of pathogens with pandemic potential and the genetic sequence data.” This system is of potential high relevance and needs to be interpreted in the context that SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen causing the recent Covid-19 outbreak, was highly likely to have escaped from a laboratory. PABS is intended to expand the laboratory storage, transport, and handling of such viruses, under the oversight of the WHO, an organization outside of national jurisdiction with no significant direct experience in handling biological materials. 3. When a Party has access to a pathogen [it shall]: (a) share with WHO any pathogen sequence information as soon as it is available to the Party; (b) as soon as biological materials are available to the Party, provide the materials to one or more laboratories and/or biorepositories participating in WHO-coordinated laboratory networks (CLNs), Subsequent clauses state that benefits will be shared, and seek to prevent recipient laboratories from patenting materials received from other countries. This has been a major concern of low-and middle-income countries previously, who perceive that institutions in wealthy countries patent and benefit from materials derived from less-wealthy populations. It remains to be seen whether provisions here will be sufficient to address this. The article then becomes yet more concerning: 6. WHO shall conclude legally binding standard PABS contracts with manufacturers to provide the following, taking into account the size, nature and capacities of the manufacturer: (a) annual monetary contributions to support the PABS System and relevant capacities in countries; the determination of the annual amount, use, and approach for monitoring and accountability, shall be finalized by the Parties; (b) real-time contributions of relevant diagnostics, therapeutics or vaccines produced by the manufacturer, 10% free of charge and 10% at not-for-profit prices during public health emergencies of international concern or pandemics, … It is clearly intended that the WHO becomes directly involved in setting up legally binding manufacturing contracts, despite the WHO being outside of national jurisdictional oversight, within the territories of Member States. The PABS system, and therefore its staff and dependent entities, are also to be supported in part by funds from the manufacturers whom they are supposed to be managing. The income of the organization will be dependent on maintaining positive relationships with these private entities in a similar way in which many national regulatory agencies are dependent upon funds from pharmaceutical companies whom their staff ostensibly regulate. In this case, the regulator will be even further removed from public oversight. The clause on 10% (why 10?) products being free of charge, and similar at cost, while ensuring lower-priced commodities irrespective of actual need (the outbreak may be confined to wealthy countries). The same entity, the WHO, will determine whether the triggering emergency exists, determine the response, and manage the contracts to provide the commodities, without direct jurisdictional oversight regarding the potential for corruption or conflict of interest. It is a remarkable system to suggest, irrespective of political or regulatory environment. 8. The Parties shall cooperate…public financing of research and development, prepurchase agreements, or regulatory procedures, to encourage and facilitate as many manufacturers as possible to enter into standard PABS contracts as early as possible. The article envisions that public funding will be used to build the process, ensuring essentially no-risk private profit. 10. To support operationalization of the PABS System, WHO shall…make such contracts public, while respecting commercial confidentiality. The public may know whom contracts are made with, but not all details of the contracts. There will therefore be no independent oversight of the clauses agreed between the WHO, a body outside of national jurisdiction and dependent of commercial companies for funding some of its work and salaries, and these same companies, on ‘needs’ that the WHO itself will have sole authority, under the proposed amendments to the IHR, to determine. The Article further states that the WHO shall use its own product regulatory system (prequalification) and Emergency Use Listing Procedure to open and stimulate markets for the manufacturers of these products. It is doubtful that any national government could make such an overall agreement, yet in May 2024 they will be voting to provide this to what is essentially a foreign, and partly privately financed, entity. Article 13. Supply chain and logistics The WHO will become convenor of a ‘Global Supply Chain and Logistics Network’ for commercially-produced products, to be supplied under WHO contracts when and where the WHO determines, whilst also having the role of ensuring safety of such products. Having mutual support coordinated between countries is good. Having this run by an organization that is significantly funded directly by those gaining from the sale of these same commodities seems reckless and counterintuitive. Few countries would allow this (or at least plan for it). For this to occur safely, the WHO would logically have to forgo all private investment, and greatly restrict national specified funding contributions. Otherwise, the conflicts of interest involved would destroy confidence in the system. There is no suggestion of such divestment from the WHO, but rather, as in Article 12, private sector dependency, directly tied to contracts, will increase. Article 13bis: National procurement- and distribution-related provisions While suffering the same (perhaps unavoidable) issues regarding commercial confidentiality, this alternate Article 13 seems far more appropriate, keeping commercial issues under national jurisdiction and avoiding the obvious conflict of interests that underpin funding for WHO activities and staffing. Article 14. Regulatory systems strengthening This entire Article reflects initiatives and programs already in place. Nothing here appears likely to add to current effort. Article 15. Liability and compensation management 1. Each Party shall consider developing, as necessary and in accordance with applicable law, national strategies for managing liability in its territory related to pandemic vaccines…no-fault compensation mechanisms… 2. The Parties…shall develop recommendations for the establishment and implementation of national, regional and/or global no-fault compensation mechanisms and strategies for managing liability during pandemic emergencies, including with regard to individuals that are in a humanitarian setting or vulnerable situations. This is quite remarkable, but also reflects some national legislation, in removing any fault or liability specifically from vaccine manufacturers, for harms done in pushing out vaccines to the public. During the Covid-19 response, genetic therapeutics being developed by BioNtech and Moderna were reclassified as vaccines, on the basis that an immune response is stimulated after they have modified intracellular biochemical pathways as a medicine normally does. This enabled specific trials normally required for carcinogenicity and teratogenicity to be bypassed, despite raised fetal abnormality rates in animal trials. It will enable the CEPI 100-day vaccine program, supported with private funding to support private mRNA vaccine manufacturers, to proceed without any risk to the manufacturer should there be subsequent public harm. Together with an earlier provision on public funding of research and manufacturing readiness, and the removal of former wording requiring intellectual property sharing in Article 11, this ensures vaccine manufacturers and their investors make profit in effective absence of risk. These entities are currently heavily invested in support for WHO, and were strongly aligned with the introduction of newly restrictive outbreak responses that emphasized and sometimes mandated their products during the Covid-19 outbreak. Article 16. International collaboration and cooperation A somewhat pointless article. It suggests that countries cooperate with each other and the WHO to implement the other agreements in the Agreement. Article 17. Whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches A list of essentially motherhood provisions related to planning for a pandemic. However, countries will legally be required to maintain a ‘national coordination multisectoral body’ for PPPR. This will essentially be an added burden on budgets, and inevitably divert further resources from other priorities. Perhaps just strengthening current infectious disease and nutritional programs would be more impactful. (Nowhere in this Agreement is nutrition discussed (essential for resilience to pathogens) and minimal wording is included on sanitation and clean water (other major reasons for reduction in infectious disease mortality over past centuries). However, the ‘community ownership’ wording is interesting (“empower and enable community ownership of, and contribution to, community readiness for and resilience [for PPPR]”), as this directly contradicts much of the rest of the Agreement, including the centralization of control under the Conference of Parties, requirements for countries to allocate resources to pandemic preparedness over other community priorities, and the idea of inspecting and assessing adherence to the centralized requirements of the Agreement. Either much of the rest of the Agreement is redundant, or this wording is purely for appearance and not to be followed (and therefore should be removed). Article 18. Communication and public awareness 1. Each Party shall promote timely access to credible and evidence-based information …with the aim of countering and addressing misinformation or disinformation… 2. The Parties shall, as appropriate, promote and/or conduct research and inform policies on factors that hinder or strengthen adherence to public health and social measures in a pandemic, as well as trust in science and public health institutions and agencies. The key word is as appropriate, given that many agencies, including the WHO, have overseen or aided policies during the Covid-19 response that have greatly increased poverty, child marriage, teenage pregnancy, and education loss. As the WHO has been shown to be significantly misrepresenting pandemic risk in the process of advocating for this Agreement and related instruments, its own communications would also fall outside the provision here related to evidence-based information, and fall within normal understandings of misinformation. It could not therefore be an arbiter of correctness of information here, so the Article is not implementable. Rewritten to recommend accurate evidence-based information being promoted, it would make good sense, but this is not an issue requiring a legally binding international agreement. Article 19. Implementation and support 3. The WHO Secretariat…organize the technical and financial assistance necessary to address such gaps and needs in implementing the commitments agreed upon under the Pandemic Agreement and the International Health Regulations (2005). As the WHO is dependent on donor support, its ability to address gaps in funding within Member States is clearly not something it can guarantee. The purpose of this article is unclear, repeating in paragraphs 1 and 2 the earlier intent for countries to generally support each other. Article 20. Sustainable financing 1. The Parties commit to working together…In this regard, each Party, within the means and resources at its disposal, shall: (a) prioritize and maintain or increase, as necessary, domestic funding for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, without undermining other domestic public health priorities including for: (i) strengthening and sustaining capacities for the prevention, preparedness and response to health emergencies and pandemics, in particular the core capacities of the International Health Regulations (2005);… This is silly wording, as countries obviously have to prioritize within budgets, so that moving funds to one area means removing from another. The essence of public health policy is weighing and making such decisions; this reality seems to be ignored here through wishful thinking. (a) is clearly redundant, as the IHR (2005) already exists and countries have agreed to support it. 3. A Coordinating Financial Mechanism (the “Mechanism”) is hereby established to support the implementation of both the WHO Pandemic Agreement and the International Health Regulations (2005) This will be in parallel to the Pandemic Fund recently commenced by the World Bank – an issue not lost on INB delegates and so likely to change here in the final version. It will also be additive to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and other health financing mechanisms, and so require another parallel international bureaucracy, presumably based in Geneva. It is intended to have its own capacity to “conduct relevant analyses on needs and gaps, in addition to tracking cooperation efforts,” so it will not be a small undertaking. Chapter III. Institutional and final provisions Article 21. Conference of the Parties 1. A Conference of the Parties is hereby established. 2. The Conference of the Parties shall keep under regular review, every three years, the implementation of the WHO Pandemic Agreement and take the decisions necessary to promote its effective implementation. This sets up the governing body to oversee this Agreement (another body requiring a secretariat and support). It is intended to meet within a year of the Agreement coming into force, and then set its own rules on meeting thereafter. It is likely that many provisions outlined in this draft of the Agreement will be deferred to the COP for further discussion. Articles 22 – 37 These articles cover the functioning of the Conference of Parties (COP) and various administrative issues. Of note, ‘block votes’ will be allowed from regional bodies (e.g. the EU). The WHO will provide the secretariat. Under Article 24 is noted: 3. Nothing in the WHO Pandemic Agreement shall be interpreted as providing the Secretariat of the World Health Organization, including the WHO Director-General, any authority to direct, order, alter or otherwise prescribe the domestic laws or policies of any Party, or to mandate or otherwise impose any requirements that Parties take specific actions, such as ban or accept travellers, impose vaccination mandates or therapeutic or diagnostic measures, or implement lockdowns. These provisions are explicitly stated in the proposed amendments to the IHR, to be considered alongside this agreement. Article 26 notes that the IHR is to be interpreted as compatible, thereby confirming that the IHR provisions including border closures and limits on freedom of movement, mandated vaccination, and other lockdown measures are not negated by this statement. As Article 26 states: “The Parties recognize that the WHO Pandemic Agreement and the International Health Regulations should be interpreted so as to be compatible.” Some would consider this subterfuge – The Director-General recently labeled as liars those who claimed the Agreement included these powers, whilst failing to acknowledge the accompanying IHR amendments. The WHO could do better in avoiding misleading messaging, especially when this involves denigration of the public. Article 32 (Withdrawal) requires that, once adopted, Parties cannot withdraw for a total of 3 years (giving notice after a minimum of 2 years). Financial obligations undertaken under the agreement continue beyond that time. Finally, the Agreement will come into force, assuming a two-thirds majority in the WHA is achieved (Article 19, WHO Constitution), 30 days after the fortieth country has ratified it. Further reading: WHO Pandemic Agreement Intergovernmental Negotiating Board website: https://inb.who.int/ International Health Regulations Working Group website: https://apps.who.int/gb/wgihr/index.html On background to the WHO texts: Amendments to WHO’s International Health Regulations: An Annotated Guide An Unofficial Q&A on International Health Regulations On urgency and burden of pandemics: https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/downloads/download/228/rational-policy-over-panic Disease X and Davos: This is Not the Way to Evaluate and Formulate Public Health Policy Before Preparing for Pandemics, We Need Better Evidence of Risk Revised Draft of the negotiating text of the WHO Pandemic Agreement: Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Authors David Bell David Bell, Senior Scholar at Brownstone Institute, is a public health physician and biotech consultant in global health. He is a former medical officer and scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), Programme Head for malaria and febrile diseases at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) in Geneva, Switzerland, and Director of Global Health Technologies at Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund in Bellevue, WA, USA. View all posts Thi Thuy Van Dinh Dr. Thi Thuy Van Dinh (LLM, PhD) worked on international law in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Subsequently, she managed multilateral organization partnerships for Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund and led environmental health technology development efforts for low-resource settings. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/the-who-pandemic-agreement-a-guide/ https://www.minds.com/donshafi911/blog/the-who-pandemic-agreement-a-guide-1621719398509187077
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    The WHO Pandemic Agreement: A Guide ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    The commentary below concentrates on selected draft provisions of the latest publicly available version of the draft agreement that seem to be unclear or potentially problematic.
    Like
    1
    0 Comments 0 Shares 18010 Views
  • Why Does the WHO Make False Claims Regarding Proposals to Seize States’ Sovereignty?
    By David Bell, Thi Thuy Van Dinh December 11, 2023 Government, Law, Public Health 15 minute read
    The Director General (DG) of the World Health Organization (WHO) states:

    No country will cede any sovereignty to WHO,

    referring to the WHO’s new pandemic agreement and proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR), currently being negotiated. His statements are clear and unequivocal, and wholly inconsistent with the texts he is referring to.

    A rational examination of the texts in question shows that:

    The documents propose a transfer of decision-making power to the WHO regarding basic aspects of societal function, which countries undertake to enact.
    The WHO DG will have sole authority to decide when and where they are applied.
    The proposals are intended to be binding under international law.
    Continued claims that sovereignty is not lost, echoed by politicians and media, therefore raise important questions concerning motivations, competence, and ethics.

    The intent of the texts is a transfer of decision-making currently vested in Nations and individuals to the WHO, when its DG decides that there is a threat of a significant disease outbreak or other health emergency likely to cross multiple national borders. It is unusual for Nations to undertake to follow external entities regarding the basic rights and healthcare of their citizens, more so when this has major economic and geopolitical implications.

    The question of whether sovereignty is indeed being transferred, and the legal status of such an agreement, is therefore of vital importance, particularly to the legislators of democratic States. They have an absolute duty to be sure of their ground. We systematically examine that ground here.

    The Proposed IHR Amendments and Sovereignty in Health Decision-Making

    Amending the 2005 IHR may be a straightforward way to quickly deploy and enforce “new normal” health control measures. The current text applies to virtually the entire global population, counting 196 States Parties including all 194 WHO Member States. Approval may or may not require a formal vote of the World Health Assembly (WHA), as the recent 2022 amendment was adopted through consensus. If the same approval mechanism is to be used in May 2024, many countries and the public may remain unaware of the broad scope of the new text and its implications to national and individual sovereignty.

    The IHR are a set of recommendations under a treaty process that has force under international law. They seek to provide the WHO with some moral authority to coordinate and lead responses when an international health emergency, such as pandemic, occurs. Most are non-binding, and these contain very specific examples of measures that the WHO can recommend, including (Article 18):

    require medical examinations;
    review proof of vaccination or other prophylaxis;
    require vaccination or other prophylaxis;
    place suspect persons under public health observation;
    implement quarantine or other health measures for suspect persons;
    implement isolation and treatment where necessary of affected persons;
    implement tracing of contacts of suspect or affected persons;
    refuse entry of suspect and affected persons;
    refuse entry of unaffected persons to affected areas; and
    implement exit screening and/or restrictions on persons from affected areas.
    These measures, when implemented together, are generally referred to since early 2020 as ‘lockdowns’ and ‘mandates.’ ‘Lockdown’ was previously a term reserved for people incarcerated as criminals, as it removes basic universally accepted human rights and such measures were considered by the WHO to be detrimental to public health. However, since 2020 it has become the default standard for public health authorities to manage epidemics, despite its contradictions to multiple stipulations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR):

    Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind including no arbitrary detention (Article 9).
    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence (Article 12).
    Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state, and Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country (Article 13).
    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers (Article 19).
    Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association (Article 20).
    The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government (Article 21).
    Everyone has the right to work (Article 23).
    Everyone has the right to education (Article 26).
    Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized (Article 28).
    Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein (Article 30).
    These UDHR stipulations are the basis of the modern concept of individual sovereignty, and the relationship between authorities and their populations. Considered the highest codification of the rights and freedoms of individuals in the 20th century, they may soon be dismantled behind closed doors in a meeting room in Geneva.

    The proposed amendments will change the “recommendations” of the current document to requirements through three mechanisms on

    Removing the term ‘non-binding’ (Article 1),
    Inserting the phrase that Member States will “undertake to follow WHO’s recommendations” and recognize WHO, not as an organization under the control of countries, but as the “coordinating authority” (New Article 13A).
    States Parties recognize WHO as the guidance and coordinating authority of international public health response during public health Emergency of International Concern and undertake to follow WHO’s recommendations in their international public health response.

    As Article 18 makes clear above, these include multiple actions directly restricting individual liberty. If transfer of decision-making power (sovereignty) is not intended here, then the current status of the IHR as ‘recommendations’ could remain and countries would not be undertaking to follow the WHO’s requirements.

    States Parties undertake to enact what previously were merely recommendations, without delay, including requirements of WHO regarding non-State entities under their jurisdiction (Article 42):
    Health measures taken pursuant to these Regulations, including the recommendations made under Articles 15 and 16, shall be initiated and completed without delay by all State Parties and applied in a transparent, equitable and non-discriminatory manner. State Parties shall also take measures to ensure Non-State Actors operating in their respective territories comply with such measures.

    Articles 15 and 16 mentioned here allow the WHO to require a State to provide resources “health products, technologies, and know-how,” and to allow the WHO to deploy personnel into the country (i.e., have control over entry across national borders for those they choose). They also repeat the requirement for the country to require the implementation of medical countermeasures (e.g., testing, vaccines, quarantine) on their population where WHO demands it.

    Of note, the proposed Article 1 amendment (removing ‘non-binding’) is actually redundant if New Article 13A and/or the changes in Article 42 remain. This can (and likely will) be removed from the final text, giving an appearance of compromise without changing the transfer of sovereignty.

    All of the public health measures in Article 18, and additional ones such as limiting freedom of speech to reduce public exposure to alternative viewpoints (Annex 1, New 5 (e); “…counter misinformation and disinformation”) clash directly with the UDHR. Although freedom of speech is currently the exclusive purview of national authorities and its restriction is generally seen as negative and abusive, United Nations institutions, including the WHO, have been advocating for censoring unofficial views in order to protect what they call “information integrity.”

    It seems outrageous from a human rights perspective that the amendments will enable the WHO to dictate countries to require individual medical examinations and vaccinations whenever it declares a pandemic. While the Nuremberg Code and Declaration of Helsinki refer specifically to human experimentation (e.g. clinical trials of vaccines) and the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights also to the provider-patient relationship, they can reasonably be extended to public health measures that impose restrictions or changes to human behavior, and specifically to any measures requiring injection, medication, or medical examination which involve a direct provider-person interaction.

    If vaccines or drugs are still under trial or not fully tested, then the issue of being the subject of an experiment is also real. There is a clear intent to employ the CEPI ‘100 day’ vaccine program, which by definition cannot complete meaningful safety or efficacy trials within that time span.

    Forced examination or medication, outside of a situation where the recipient is clearly not mentally competent to comply or reject when provided with information, is unethical. Requiring compliance in order to access what are considered basic human rights under the UDHR would constitute coercion. If this does not fit the WHO’s definition of infringement on individual sovereignty, and on national sovereignty, then the DG and his supporters need to publicly explain what definition they are using.

    The Proposed WHO Pandemic Agreement as a Tool to Manage Transfer of Sovereignty

    The proposed pandemic agreement will set humanity in a new era strangely organized around pandemics: pre-pandemic, pandemic, and inter-pandemic. A new governance structure under WHO auspices will oversee the IHR amendments and related initiatives. It will rely on new funding requirements, including the WHO’s ability to demand additional funding and materials from countries and to run a supply network to support its work in health emergencies (Article 12):

    In the event of a pandemic, real-time access by WHO to a minimum of 20% (10% as a donation and 10% at affordable prices to WHO) of the production of safe, efficacious and effective pandemic-related products for distribution based on public health risks and needs, with the understanding that each Party that has manufacturing facilities that produce pandemic-related products in its jurisdiction shall take all necessary steps to facilitate the export of such pandemic-related products, in accordance with timetables to be agreed between WHO and manufacturers.

    And Article 20 (1):

    …provide support and assistance to other Parties, upon request, to facilitate the containment of spill-over at the source.

    The entire structure will be financed by a new funding stream separate from current WHO funding – an additional requirement on taxpayers over current national commitments (Article 20 (2)). The funding will also include an endowment of voluntary contributions of “all relevant sectors that benefit from international work to strengthen pandemic preparation, preparedness and response” and donations from philanthropic organizations (Article 20 (2)b).

    Currently, countries decide on foreign aid on the basis of national priorities, apart from limited funding that they have agreed to allocate to organizations such as WHO under existing obligations or treaties. The proposed agreement is remarkable not just in greatly increasing the amount countries must give as treaty requirements, but in setting up a parallel funding structure disconnected from other disease priorities (quite the opposite of previous ideas on integration in health financing). It also gives power to an external group, not directly accountable, to demand or acquire further resources whenever it deems necessary.

    In a further encroachment into what is normally within the legal jurisdiction of Nation States, the agreement will require countries to establish (Article 15) “…, no-fault vaccine injury compensation mechanism(s),…”, consecrating effective immunity for pharmaceutical companies for harm to citizens resulting from use of products that the WHO recommends under an emergency use authorization, or indeed requires countries to mandate onto their citizens.

    As is becoming increasingly acceptable for those in power, ratifying countries will agree to limit the right of their public to voice opposition to the WHO’s measures and claims regarding such an emergency (Article 18):

    …and combat false, misleading, misinformation or disinformation, including through effective international collaboration and cooperation…

    As we have seen during the Covid-19 response, the definition of misleading information can be dependent on political or commercial expediency, including factual information on vaccine efficacy and safety and orthodox immunology that could impair the sale of health commodities. This is why open democracies put such emphasis on defending free speech, even at the risk of sometimes being misleading. In signing on to this agreement, governments will be agreeing to abrogate that principle regarding their own citizens when instructed by the WHO.

    The scope of this proposed agreement (and the IHR amendments) is broader than pandemics, greatly expanding the scope under which a transfer of decision-making powers can be demanded. Other environmental threats to health, such as changes in climate, can be declared emergencies at the DG’s discretion, if broad definitions of ‘One Health’ are adopted as recommended.

    It is difficult to think of another international instrument where such powers over national resources are passed to an unelected external organization, and it is even more challenging to envision how this is seen as anything other than a loss of sovereignty. The only justification for this claim would appear to be if the draft agreement is to be signed on the basis of deceit – that there is no intention to treat it other than as an irrelevant piece of paper or something that should only apply to less powerful States (i.e. a colonialist tool).

    Will the IHR Amendments and the Proposed Pandemic Agreement be Legally Binding?

    Both texts are intended to be legally binding. The IHR already has such status, so the impact of the proposed changes on the need for new acceptance by countries are complicated national jurisdictional issues. There is a current mechanism for rejection of new amendments. However, unless a high number of countries will actively voice their oppositions and rejections, the adoption of the current published version dated February 2023 will likely lead to a future shadowed by the permanent risks of the WHO’s lockdown and lockstep dictates.

    The proposed pandemic agreement is also clearly intended to be legally binding. WHO discusses this issue on the website of the International Negotiating Body (INB) that is working on the text. The same legally binding intent is specifically stated by the G20 Bali Leaders Declaration in 2022:

    We support the work of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) that will draft and negotiate a legally binding instrument that should contain both legally binding and non-legally binding elements to strengthen pandemic PPR…,

    repeated in the 2023 G20 New Delhi Leaders Declaration:

    …an ambitious, legally binding WHO convention, agreement or other international instruments on pandemic PPR (WHO CA+) by May 2024,

    and by the Council of the European Union:

    A convention, agreement or other international instrument is legally binding under international Law. An agreement on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response adopted under the World Health Organization (WHO) would enable countries around the globe to strengthen national, regional and global capacities and resilience to future pandemics.

    The IHR already has standing under international law.

    While seeking such status, WHO officials who previously described the proposed agreement as a ‘treaty” are now insisting neither instrument impacts sovereignty. The implication that it is States’ representatives at the WHA that will agree to the transfer, rather than the WHO, is a nuance irrelevant to its claims regarding their subsequent effect.

    The WHO’s position raises a real question of whether its leadership is truly ignorant of what is proposed, or is actively seeking to mislead countries and the public in order to increase the probability of acceptance. The latest version dated 30 October 2023 requires 40 ratifications for the future agreement to enter into force, after a two-thirds vote in favor within the WHA. Opposition by a considerable number of countries will therefore be needed to derail this project. As it is backed by powerful governments and institutions, financial mechanisms including IMF and World Bank instruments and bilateral aids are likely to make opposition from lower-income countries difficult to sustain.

    The Implications of Ignoring the Issue of Sovereignty

    The relevant question regarding these two WHO instruments should really be not whether sovereignty is threatened, but why any sovereignty would be forfeited by democratic States to an organization that is (i) significantly privately funded and bound to obey the dictates of corporations and self-proclaimed philanthropists and (ii) jointly governed by Member States, half of which don’t even claim to be open representative democracies.

    If it is indeed true that sovereignty is being knowingly forfeited by governments without the knowledge and consent of their peoples, and based on false claims from governments and the WHO, then the implications are extremely serious. It would imply that leaders were working directly against their peoples’ or national interest, and in support of external interests. Most countries have specific fundamental laws dealing with such practice. So, it is really important for those defending these projects to either explain their definitions of sovereignty and democratic process, or explicitly seek informed public consent.

    The other question to be asked is why public health authorities and media are repeating the WHO’s assurances of the benign nature of the pandemic instruments. It asserts that claims of reduced sovereignty are ‘misinformation’ or ‘disinformation,’ which they assert elsewhere are major killers of humankind. While such claims are somewhat ludicrous and appear intended to denigrate dissenters, the WHO is clearly guilty of that which it claims is such a crime. If its leadership cannot demonstrate how its claims regarding these pandemic instruments are not deliberately misleading, its leadership would appear ethically compelled to resign.

    The Need for Clarification

    The WHO lists three major pandemics in the past century – influenza outbreaks in the late 1950s and 1960s, and the Covid-19 pandemic. The first two killed less than die each year today from tuberculosis, whilst the reported deaths from Covid-19 never reached the level of cancer or cardiovascular disease and remained almost irrelevant in low-income countries compared to endemic infectious diseases including tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDs.

    No other non-influenza outbreak recorded by the WHO that fits the definition of a pandemic (e.g., rapid spread across international borders for a limited time of a pathogen not normally causing significant harm) has caused greater mortality in total than a few days of tuberculosis (about 4,000/day) or more life-years lost than a few days of malaria (about 1,500 children under 5 years old every day).

    So, if it is indeed the case that our authorities and their supporters within the public health community consider that powers currently vested within national jurisdictions should be given over to external bodies on the basis of this level of recorded harm, it would be best to have a public conversation as to whether this is sufficient basis for abandoning democratic ideals in favor of a more fascist or otherwise authoritarian approach. We are, after all, talking about restricting basic human rights essential for a democracy to function.

    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
    For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.

    Authors

    David Bell
    David Bell, Senior Scholar at Brownstone Institute, is a public health physician and biotech consultant in global health. He is a former medical officer and scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), Programme Head for malaria and febrile diseases at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) in Geneva, Switzerland, and Director of Global Health Technologies at Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund in Bellevue, WA, USA.

    View all posts
    Thi Thuy Van Dinh
    Dr. Thi Thuy Van Dinh (LLM, PhD) worked on international law in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Subsequently, she managed multilateral organization partnerships for Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund and led environmental health technology development efforts for low-resource settings.

    View all posts
    Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work.

    https://brownstone.org/articles/why-does-the-who-make-false-claims-regarding-proposals-to-seize-states-sovereignty/
    Why Does the WHO Make False Claims Regarding Proposals to Seize States’ Sovereignty? By David Bell, Thi Thuy Van Dinh December 11, 2023 Government, Law, Public Health 15 minute read The Director General (DG) of the World Health Organization (WHO) states: No country will cede any sovereignty to WHO, referring to the WHO’s new pandemic agreement and proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR), currently being negotiated. His statements are clear and unequivocal, and wholly inconsistent with the texts he is referring to. A rational examination of the texts in question shows that: The documents propose a transfer of decision-making power to the WHO regarding basic aspects of societal function, which countries undertake to enact. The WHO DG will have sole authority to decide when and where they are applied. The proposals are intended to be binding under international law. Continued claims that sovereignty is not lost, echoed by politicians and media, therefore raise important questions concerning motivations, competence, and ethics. The intent of the texts is a transfer of decision-making currently vested in Nations and individuals to the WHO, when its DG decides that there is a threat of a significant disease outbreak or other health emergency likely to cross multiple national borders. It is unusual for Nations to undertake to follow external entities regarding the basic rights and healthcare of their citizens, more so when this has major economic and geopolitical implications. The question of whether sovereignty is indeed being transferred, and the legal status of such an agreement, is therefore of vital importance, particularly to the legislators of democratic States. They have an absolute duty to be sure of their ground. We systematically examine that ground here. The Proposed IHR Amendments and Sovereignty in Health Decision-Making Amending the 2005 IHR may be a straightforward way to quickly deploy and enforce “new normal” health control measures. The current text applies to virtually the entire global population, counting 196 States Parties including all 194 WHO Member States. Approval may or may not require a formal vote of the World Health Assembly (WHA), as the recent 2022 amendment was adopted through consensus. If the same approval mechanism is to be used in May 2024, many countries and the public may remain unaware of the broad scope of the new text and its implications to national and individual sovereignty. The IHR are a set of recommendations under a treaty process that has force under international law. They seek to provide the WHO with some moral authority to coordinate and lead responses when an international health emergency, such as pandemic, occurs. Most are non-binding, and these contain very specific examples of measures that the WHO can recommend, including (Article 18): require medical examinations; review proof of vaccination or other prophylaxis; require vaccination or other prophylaxis; place suspect persons under public health observation; implement quarantine or other health measures for suspect persons; implement isolation and treatment where necessary of affected persons; implement tracing of contacts of suspect or affected persons; refuse entry of suspect and affected persons; refuse entry of unaffected persons to affected areas; and implement exit screening and/or restrictions on persons from affected areas. These measures, when implemented together, are generally referred to since early 2020 as ‘lockdowns’ and ‘mandates.’ ‘Lockdown’ was previously a term reserved for people incarcerated as criminals, as it removes basic universally accepted human rights and such measures were considered by the WHO to be detrimental to public health. However, since 2020 it has become the default standard for public health authorities to manage epidemics, despite its contradictions to multiple stipulations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind including no arbitrary detention (Article 9). No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence (Article 12). Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state, and Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country (Article 13). Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers (Article 19). Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association (Article 20). The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government (Article 21). Everyone has the right to work (Article 23). Everyone has the right to education (Article 26). Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized (Article 28). Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein (Article 30). These UDHR stipulations are the basis of the modern concept of individual sovereignty, and the relationship between authorities and their populations. Considered the highest codification of the rights and freedoms of individuals in the 20th century, they may soon be dismantled behind closed doors in a meeting room in Geneva. The proposed amendments will change the “recommendations” of the current document to requirements through three mechanisms on Removing the term ‘non-binding’ (Article 1), Inserting the phrase that Member States will “undertake to follow WHO’s recommendations” and recognize WHO, not as an organization under the control of countries, but as the “coordinating authority” (New Article 13A). States Parties recognize WHO as the guidance and coordinating authority of international public health response during public health Emergency of International Concern and undertake to follow WHO’s recommendations in their international public health response. As Article 18 makes clear above, these include multiple actions directly restricting individual liberty. If transfer of decision-making power (sovereignty) is not intended here, then the current status of the IHR as ‘recommendations’ could remain and countries would not be undertaking to follow the WHO’s requirements. States Parties undertake to enact what previously were merely recommendations, without delay, including requirements of WHO regarding non-State entities under their jurisdiction (Article 42): Health measures taken pursuant to these Regulations, including the recommendations made under Articles 15 and 16, shall be initiated and completed without delay by all State Parties and applied in a transparent, equitable and non-discriminatory manner. State Parties shall also take measures to ensure Non-State Actors operating in their respective territories comply with such measures. Articles 15 and 16 mentioned here allow the WHO to require a State to provide resources “health products, technologies, and know-how,” and to allow the WHO to deploy personnel into the country (i.e., have control over entry across national borders for those they choose). They also repeat the requirement for the country to require the implementation of medical countermeasures (e.g., testing, vaccines, quarantine) on their population where WHO demands it. Of note, the proposed Article 1 amendment (removing ‘non-binding’) is actually redundant if New Article 13A and/or the changes in Article 42 remain. This can (and likely will) be removed from the final text, giving an appearance of compromise without changing the transfer of sovereignty. All of the public health measures in Article 18, and additional ones such as limiting freedom of speech to reduce public exposure to alternative viewpoints (Annex 1, New 5 (e); “…counter misinformation and disinformation”) clash directly with the UDHR. Although freedom of speech is currently the exclusive purview of national authorities and its restriction is generally seen as negative and abusive, United Nations institutions, including the WHO, have been advocating for censoring unofficial views in order to protect what they call “information integrity.” It seems outrageous from a human rights perspective that the amendments will enable the WHO to dictate countries to require individual medical examinations and vaccinations whenever it declares a pandemic. While the Nuremberg Code and Declaration of Helsinki refer specifically to human experimentation (e.g. clinical trials of vaccines) and the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights also to the provider-patient relationship, they can reasonably be extended to public health measures that impose restrictions or changes to human behavior, and specifically to any measures requiring injection, medication, or medical examination which involve a direct provider-person interaction. If vaccines or drugs are still under trial or not fully tested, then the issue of being the subject of an experiment is also real. There is a clear intent to employ the CEPI ‘100 day’ vaccine program, which by definition cannot complete meaningful safety or efficacy trials within that time span. Forced examination or medication, outside of a situation where the recipient is clearly not mentally competent to comply or reject when provided with information, is unethical. Requiring compliance in order to access what are considered basic human rights under the UDHR would constitute coercion. If this does not fit the WHO’s definition of infringement on individual sovereignty, and on national sovereignty, then the DG and his supporters need to publicly explain what definition they are using. The Proposed WHO Pandemic Agreement as a Tool to Manage Transfer of Sovereignty The proposed pandemic agreement will set humanity in a new era strangely organized around pandemics: pre-pandemic, pandemic, and inter-pandemic. A new governance structure under WHO auspices will oversee the IHR amendments and related initiatives. It will rely on new funding requirements, including the WHO’s ability to demand additional funding and materials from countries and to run a supply network to support its work in health emergencies (Article 12): In the event of a pandemic, real-time access by WHO to a minimum of 20% (10% as a donation and 10% at affordable prices to WHO) of the production of safe, efficacious and effective pandemic-related products for distribution based on public health risks and needs, with the understanding that each Party that has manufacturing facilities that produce pandemic-related products in its jurisdiction shall take all necessary steps to facilitate the export of such pandemic-related products, in accordance with timetables to be agreed between WHO and manufacturers. And Article 20 (1): …provide support and assistance to other Parties, upon request, to facilitate the containment of spill-over at the source. The entire structure will be financed by a new funding stream separate from current WHO funding – an additional requirement on taxpayers over current national commitments (Article 20 (2)). The funding will also include an endowment of voluntary contributions of “all relevant sectors that benefit from international work to strengthen pandemic preparation, preparedness and response” and donations from philanthropic organizations (Article 20 (2)b). Currently, countries decide on foreign aid on the basis of national priorities, apart from limited funding that they have agreed to allocate to organizations such as WHO under existing obligations or treaties. The proposed agreement is remarkable not just in greatly increasing the amount countries must give as treaty requirements, but in setting up a parallel funding structure disconnected from other disease priorities (quite the opposite of previous ideas on integration in health financing). It also gives power to an external group, not directly accountable, to demand or acquire further resources whenever it deems necessary. In a further encroachment into what is normally within the legal jurisdiction of Nation States, the agreement will require countries to establish (Article 15) “…, no-fault vaccine injury compensation mechanism(s),…”, consecrating effective immunity for pharmaceutical companies for harm to citizens resulting from use of products that the WHO recommends under an emergency use authorization, or indeed requires countries to mandate onto their citizens. As is becoming increasingly acceptable for those in power, ratifying countries will agree to limit the right of their public to voice opposition to the WHO’s measures and claims regarding such an emergency (Article 18): …and combat false, misleading, misinformation or disinformation, including through effective international collaboration and cooperation… As we have seen during the Covid-19 response, the definition of misleading information can be dependent on political or commercial expediency, including factual information on vaccine efficacy and safety and orthodox immunology that could impair the sale of health commodities. This is why open democracies put such emphasis on defending free speech, even at the risk of sometimes being misleading. In signing on to this agreement, governments will be agreeing to abrogate that principle regarding their own citizens when instructed by the WHO. The scope of this proposed agreement (and the IHR amendments) is broader than pandemics, greatly expanding the scope under which a transfer of decision-making powers can be demanded. Other environmental threats to health, such as changes in climate, can be declared emergencies at the DG’s discretion, if broad definitions of ‘One Health’ are adopted as recommended. It is difficult to think of another international instrument where such powers over national resources are passed to an unelected external organization, and it is even more challenging to envision how this is seen as anything other than a loss of sovereignty. The only justification for this claim would appear to be if the draft agreement is to be signed on the basis of deceit – that there is no intention to treat it other than as an irrelevant piece of paper or something that should only apply to less powerful States (i.e. a colonialist tool). Will the IHR Amendments and the Proposed Pandemic Agreement be Legally Binding? Both texts are intended to be legally binding. The IHR already has such status, so the impact of the proposed changes on the need for new acceptance by countries are complicated national jurisdictional issues. There is a current mechanism for rejection of new amendments. However, unless a high number of countries will actively voice their oppositions and rejections, the adoption of the current published version dated February 2023 will likely lead to a future shadowed by the permanent risks of the WHO’s lockdown and lockstep dictates. The proposed pandemic agreement is also clearly intended to be legally binding. WHO discusses this issue on the website of the International Negotiating Body (INB) that is working on the text. The same legally binding intent is specifically stated by the G20 Bali Leaders Declaration in 2022: We support the work of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) that will draft and negotiate a legally binding instrument that should contain both legally binding and non-legally binding elements to strengthen pandemic PPR…, repeated in the 2023 G20 New Delhi Leaders Declaration: …an ambitious, legally binding WHO convention, agreement or other international instruments on pandemic PPR (WHO CA+) by May 2024, and by the Council of the European Union: A convention, agreement or other international instrument is legally binding under international Law. An agreement on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response adopted under the World Health Organization (WHO) would enable countries around the globe to strengthen national, regional and global capacities and resilience to future pandemics. The IHR already has standing under international law. While seeking such status, WHO officials who previously described the proposed agreement as a ‘treaty” are now insisting neither instrument impacts sovereignty. The implication that it is States’ representatives at the WHA that will agree to the transfer, rather than the WHO, is a nuance irrelevant to its claims regarding their subsequent effect. The WHO’s position raises a real question of whether its leadership is truly ignorant of what is proposed, or is actively seeking to mislead countries and the public in order to increase the probability of acceptance. The latest version dated 30 October 2023 requires 40 ratifications for the future agreement to enter into force, after a two-thirds vote in favor within the WHA. Opposition by a considerable number of countries will therefore be needed to derail this project. As it is backed by powerful governments and institutions, financial mechanisms including IMF and World Bank instruments and bilateral aids are likely to make opposition from lower-income countries difficult to sustain. The Implications of Ignoring the Issue of Sovereignty The relevant question regarding these two WHO instruments should really be not whether sovereignty is threatened, but why any sovereignty would be forfeited by democratic States to an organization that is (i) significantly privately funded and bound to obey the dictates of corporations and self-proclaimed philanthropists and (ii) jointly governed by Member States, half of which don’t even claim to be open representative democracies. If it is indeed true that sovereignty is being knowingly forfeited by governments without the knowledge and consent of their peoples, and based on false claims from governments and the WHO, then the implications are extremely serious. It would imply that leaders were working directly against their peoples’ or national interest, and in support of external interests. Most countries have specific fundamental laws dealing with such practice. So, it is really important for those defending these projects to either explain their definitions of sovereignty and democratic process, or explicitly seek informed public consent. The other question to be asked is why public health authorities and media are repeating the WHO’s assurances of the benign nature of the pandemic instruments. It asserts that claims of reduced sovereignty are ‘misinformation’ or ‘disinformation,’ which they assert elsewhere are major killers of humankind. While such claims are somewhat ludicrous and appear intended to denigrate dissenters, the WHO is clearly guilty of that which it claims is such a crime. If its leadership cannot demonstrate how its claims regarding these pandemic instruments are not deliberately misleading, its leadership would appear ethically compelled to resign. The Need for Clarification The WHO lists three major pandemics in the past century – influenza outbreaks in the late 1950s and 1960s, and the Covid-19 pandemic. The first two killed less than die each year today from tuberculosis, whilst the reported deaths from Covid-19 never reached the level of cancer or cardiovascular disease and remained almost irrelevant in low-income countries compared to endemic infectious diseases including tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDs. No other non-influenza outbreak recorded by the WHO that fits the definition of a pandemic (e.g., rapid spread across international borders for a limited time of a pathogen not normally causing significant harm) has caused greater mortality in total than a few days of tuberculosis (about 4,000/day) or more life-years lost than a few days of malaria (about 1,500 children under 5 years old every day). So, if it is indeed the case that our authorities and their supporters within the public health community consider that powers currently vested within national jurisdictions should be given over to external bodies on the basis of this level of recorded harm, it would be best to have a public conversation as to whether this is sufficient basis for abandoning democratic ideals in favor of a more fascist or otherwise authoritarian approach. We are, after all, talking about restricting basic human rights essential for a democracy to function. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Authors David Bell David Bell, Senior Scholar at Brownstone Institute, is a public health physician and biotech consultant in global health. He is a former medical officer and scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), Programme Head for malaria and febrile diseases at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) in Geneva, Switzerland, and Director of Global Health Technologies at Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund in Bellevue, WA, USA. View all posts Thi Thuy Van Dinh Dr. Thi Thuy Van Dinh (LLM, PhD) worked on international law in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Subsequently, she managed multilateral organization partnerships for Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund and led environmental health technology development efforts for low-resource settings. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/why-does-the-who-make-false-claims-regarding-proposals-to-seize-states-sovereignty/
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    Why Does the WHO Make False Claims Regarding Proposals to Seize States’ Sovereignty? ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    If it is indeed the case that our authorities and their supporters within the public health community consider that powers currently vested within national jurisdictions should be given over to external bodies on the basis of this level of recorded harm, it would be best to have a public conversation as to whether this is sufficient basis for abandoning democratic ideals in favor of a more fascist or otherwise authoritarian approach.
    0 Comments 0 Shares 11142 Views
  • The Silent Shame of Health Institutions
    J.R. Bruning
    For how much longer will health policy ignore multimorbidity, that looming, giant elephant in the room, that propagates and amplifies suffering? For how much longer will the ‘trend’ of increasing diagnoses of multiple health conditions, at younger and younger ages be rendered down by government agencies to better and more efficient services, screening modalities, and drug choices?

    Multimorbidity, the presence of many chronic conditions, is the silent shame of health policy.

    All too often chronic conditions overlap and accumulate. From cancer, to diabetes, to digestive system diseases, to high blood pressure, to skin conditions in cascades of suffering. Heartbreakingly, these conditions commonly overlap with mental illnesses or disorders. It’s increasingly common for people to be diagnosed with multiple mental conditions, such as having anxiety and depression, or anxiety and schizophrenia.

    Calls for equity tend to revolve around medical treatment, even as absurdities and injustices accrue.

    Multimorbidity occurs a decade earlier in socioeconomically deprived communities. Doctors are diagnosing multimorbidity at younger and younger ages.

    Treatment regimens for people with multiple conditions necessarily entail a polypharmacy approach – the prescribing of multiple medications. One condition may require multiple medications. Thus, with multimorbidity comes increased risk of adverse outcomes and polyiatrogenesis – ‘medical harm caused by medical treatments on multiple fronts simultaneously and in conjunction with one another.’

    Side effects, whether short-term or patients’ concerns about long-term harm, are the main reason for non-adherence to prescribed medications.

    So ‘equity’ which only implies drug treatment doesn’t involve equity at all.

    Poor diets may be foundational to the Western world’s health crisis. But are governments considering this?

    The antinomies are piling up.

    We are amid a global epidemic of metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance, obesity, elevated triglyceride levels and low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and elevated blood pressure haunt the people queuing up to see doctors.

    Research, from individual cases to clinical trials, consistently show that diets containing high levels of ultra-processed foods and carbohydrates amplify inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance. What researchers and scientists are also identifying, at the cellular level, in clinical and medical practice, and at the global level – is that insulin resistance, inflammation, oxidative stress, and nutrient deficiencies from poor diets not only drive metabolic illness, but mental illnesses, compounding suffering.

    There is also ample evidence that the metabolic and mental health epidemic that is driving years lost due to disease, reducing productivity, and creating mayhem in personal lives – may be preventable and reversible.

    Doctors generally recognise that poor diets are a problem. Ultra-processed foods are strongly associated with adult and childhood ill health. Ultra-processed foods are

    ‘formulations of ingredients, mostly of exclusive industrial use, typically created by series of industrial techniques and processes (hence ‘ultra-processed’).’

    In the USA young people under age 19 consume on average 67% of their diet, while adults consume around 60% of their diet in ultra-processed food. Ultra-processed food contributes 60% of UK children’s calories; 42% of Australian children’s calories and over half the dietary calories for children and adolescents in Canada. In New Zealand in 2009-2010, ultra-processed foods contributed to the 45% (12 months), 42% (24 months), and 51% (60 months) of energy intake to the diets of children.

    All too frequently, doctors are diagnosing both metabolic and mental illnesses.

    What may be predictable is that a person is likely to develop insulin resistance, inflammation, oxidative stress, and nutrient deficiencies from chronic exposure to ultra-processed food. How this will manifest in a disease or syndrome condition is reflective of a human equivalent of quantum entanglement.

    Cascades, feedback loops, and other interdependencies often leave doctors and patients bouncing from one condition to another, and managing medicine side effects and drug-drug relationships as they go.

    In New Zealand it is more common to have multiple conditions than a single condition. The costs of having two NCDs simultaneously is typically superadditive and ‘more so for younger adults.’

    This information is outside the ‘work programme’ of the top echelons in the Ministry of Health:

    Official Information Act (OIA) requests confirm that the Ministries’ Directors General who are responsible for setting policy and long-term strategy aren’t considering these issues. The problem of multimorbidity and the overlapping, entangled relationship with ultra-processed food is outside of the scope of the work programme of the top directorates in our health agency.

    New Zealand’s Ministry of Health’s top deputy directors general might be earning a quarter of a million dollars each, but they are ignorant of the relationship of dietary nutrition and mental health. Nor are they seemingly aware of the extent of multimorbidity and the overlap between metabolic and mental illnesses.

    Neither the Public Health Agency Deputy Director-General – Dr Andrew Old, nor the Deputy Director-General Evidence, Research and Innovation, Dean Rutherford, nor the Deputy Director-General of Strategy Policy and Legislation, Maree Roberts, nor the Clinical, Community and Mental Health Deputy Director-General Robyn Shearer have been briefed on these relationships.

    If they’re not being briefed, policy won’t be developed to address dietary nutrition. Diet will be lower-order.

    The OIA request revealed that New Zealand’s Ministry of Health ‘does not widely use the metabolic syndrome classification.’ When I asked ‘How do you classify, or what term do you use to classify the cluster of symptoms characterised by central obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and insulin resistance?’, they responded:

    ‘The conditions referred to are considered either on their own or as part of a broader cardiovascular disease risk calculation.’

    This is interesting. What if governments should be calculating insulin resistance first, in order to then calculate a broader cardiovascular risk? What if insulin resistance, inflammation, and oxidative stress are appearing at younger and younger ages, and ultra-processed food is the major driver?

    Pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes are driven by too much blood glucose. Type 1 diabetics can’t make insulin, while Type 2 diabetics can’t make enough to compensate for their dietary intake of carbohydrates. One of insulin’s (many) jobs is to tuck away that blood glucose into cells (as fat) but when there are too many dietary carbohydrates pumping up blood glucose, the body can’t keep up. New Zealand practitioners use the HbA1c blood test, which measures the average blood glucose level over the past 2-3 months. In New Zealand, doctors diagnose pre-diabetes if HbA1c levels are 41-49 nmol/mol, and diabetes at levels of 50 nmol/mol and above.

    Type 2 diabetes management guidelines recommend that sugar intake should be reduced, while people should aim for consistent carbohydrates across the day. The New Zealand government does not recommend paleo or low-carbohydrate diets.

    If you have diabetes you are twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke, and at a younger age. Prediabetes, which apparently 20% of Kiwis have, is also high-risk due to, as the Ministry of Health states: ‘increased risk of macrovascular complications and early death.’

    The question might become – should we be looking at insulin levels, to more sensitively gauge risk at an early stage?

    Without more sensitive screens at younger ages these opportunities to repivot to avoid chronic disease are likely to be missed. Currently, Ministry of Health policies are unlikely to justify the funding of tests for insulin resistance by using three simple blood tests: fasting insulin, fasting lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides), and fasting glucose – to estimate where children, young people, and adults stand on the insulin resistance spectrum when other diagnoses pop up.

    Yet insulin plays a powerful role in brain health.

    Insulin supports neurotransmitter function and brain energy, directly impacting mood and behaviours. Insulin resistance might arrive before mental illness. Harvard-based psychiatrist Chris Palmer recounts in the book Brain Energy, a large 15,000-participant study of young people from age 0-24:

    ‘Children who had persistently high insulin levels (a sign of insulin resistance) beginning at age nine were five times more likely to be at risk for psychosis, meaning they were showing at least some worrisome signs, and they were three times for likely to already be diagnosed with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia by the time they turned twenty-four. This study clearly demonstrated that insulin resistance comes first, then psychosis.’

    Psychiatrist Georgia Ede suggests that high blood glucose and high insulin levels act like a ‘deadly one-two punch’ for the brain, triggering waves of inflammation and oxidative stress. The blood-brain barrier becomes increasingly resistant to chronic high insulin levels. Even though the body might have higher blood insulin, the same may not be true for the brain. As Ede maintains, ‘cells deprived of adequate insulin ‘sputter and struggle to maintain normal operations.’

    Looking at the relationship between brain health and high blood glucose and high insulin simply might not be on the programme for strategists looking at long-term planning.

    Nor are Directors General in a position to assess the role of food addiction. Ultra-processed food has addictive qualities designed into the product formulations. Food addiction is increasingly recognised as pervasive and difficult to manage as any substance addiction.

    But how many children and young people have insulin resistance and are showing markers for inflammation and oxidative stress – in the body and in the brain? To what extent do young people have both insulin resistance and depression resistance or ADHD or bipolar disorder?

    This kind of thinking is completely outside the work programme. But insulin levels, inflammation, and oxidative stress may not only be driving chronic illness – but driving the global mental health tsunami.

    Metabolic disorders are involved in complex pathways and feedback loops across body systems, and doctors learn this at medical school. Patterns and relationships between hormones, the brain, the gastrointestinal system, kidneys, and liver; as well as problems with joints and bone health, autoimmunity, nerves, and sensory conditions evolve from and revolve around metabolic health.

    Nutrition and diet are downplayed in medical school. What doctors don’t learn so much – the cognitive dissonance that they must accept throughout their training – is that metabolic health is commonly (except for some instances) shaped by the quality of dietary nutrition. The aetiology of a given condition can be very different, while the evidence that common chronic and mental illnesses are accompanied by oxidative stress, inflammation, and insulin resistance are primarily driven by diet – is growing stronger and stronger.

    But without recognising the overlapping relationships, policy to support healthy diets will remain limp.

    What we witness are notions of equity that support pharmaceutical delivery – not health delivery.

    What also inevitably happens is that ‘equity’ focuses on medical treatment. When the Ministry of Health prefers to atomise the different conditions or associate them with heart disease – they become single conditions to treat with single drugs. They’re lots of small problems, not one big problem, and insulin resistance is downplayed.

    But just as insulin resistance, inflammation, and oxidative stress send cascading impacts across body systems, systemic ignorance sends cascading effects across government departments tasked with ‘improving, promoting, and protecting health.’

    It’s an injustice. The literature solidly points to lower socio-economic status driving much poorer diets and increased exposures to ultra-processed food, but the treatments exclusively involve drugs and therapy.

    Briefings to Incoming Ministers with the election of new Governments show how ignorance cascades across responsible authorities.

    Health New Zealand, Te Whatu Ora’s November 2023 Briefing to the new government outlined the agency’s obligations. However, the ‘health’ targets are medical, and the agency’s focus is on infrastructure, staff, and servicing. The promotion of health, and health equity, which can only be addressed by addressing the determinants of health, is not addressed.

    The Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand Joint Briefing to the Incoming Minister for Mental Health does not address the role of diet and nutrition as a driver of mental illness and disorder in New Zealand. The issue of multimorbidity, the related problem of commensurate metabolic illness, and diet as a driver is outside scope. When the Briefing states that it is important to address the ‘social, cultural, environmental and economic determinants of mental health,’ without any sound policy footing, real movement to address diet will not happen, or will only happen ad hoc.

    The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, Te Hiringa Mahara’s November 2023 Briefing to Incoming Ministers that went to the Ministers for Health and Mental Health might use the term ‘well-being’ over 120 times – but was silent on the related and overlapping drivers of mental illness which include metabolic or multimorbidity, nutrition, or diet.

    Five years earlier, He Ara Ora, New Zealand’s 2018 Mental Health and Addiction enquiry had recognised that tāngata whaiora, people seeking wellness, or service users, also tend to have multiple health conditions. The enquiry recommended that a whole of government approach to well-being, prevention, and social determinants was required. Vague nods were made to diet and nutrition, but this was not sufficiently emphasised as to be a priority.

    He Ara Ora was followed by 2020 Long-term pathway to mental well-being viewed nutrition as being one of a range of factors. No policy framework strategically prioritised diet, nutrition, and healthy food. No governmental obligation or commitment was built into policy to improve access to healthy food or nutrition education.

    Understanding the science, the relationships, and the drivers of the global epidemic, is ‘outside the work programmes’ of New Zealand’s Ministry of Health and outside the scope of all the related authorities. There is an extraordinary amount of data in the scientific literature, so many case studies, cohort studies, and clinical trials. Popular books are being written, however government agencies remain ignorant.

    In the meantime, doctors must deal with the suffering in front of them without an adequate toolkit.

    Doctors and pharmacists are faced with a Hobson’s choice of managing multiple chronic conditions and complex drug cocktails, in patients at younger and younger ages. Ultimately, they are treating a patient whom they recognise will only become sicker, cost the health system more, and suffer more.

    Currently there is little support for New Zealand medical doctors (known as general practitioners, or GPs) in changing practices and recommendations to support non-pharmaceutical drug treatment approaches. Their medical education does not equip them to recognise the extent to which multiple co-existing conditions may be alleviated or reversed. Doctors are paid to prescribe, to inject, and to screen, not to ameliorate or reverse disease and lessen prescribing. The prescribing of nutrients is discouraged and as doctors do not have nutritional training, they hesitate to prescribe nutrients.

    Many do not want to risk going outside treatment guidelines. Recent surges in protocols and guidelines for medical doctors reduce flexibility and narrow treatment choices for doctors. If they were to be reported to the Medical Council of New Zealand, they would risk losing their medical license. They would then be unable to practice.

    Inevitably, without Ministry of Health leadership, medical doctors in New Zealand are unlikely to voluntarily prescribe non-drug modalities such as nutritional options to any meaningful extent, for fear of being reported.

    Yet some doctors are proactive, such as Dr Glen Davies in Taupo, New Zealand. Some doctors are in a better ‘place’ to work to alleviate and reverse long-term conditions. They may be later in their career, with 10-20 years of research into metabolism, dietary nutrition, and patient care, and motivated to guide a patient through a personal care regime which might alleviate or reverse a patient’s suffering.

    Barriers include resourcing. Doctors aren’t paid for reversing disease and taking patients off medications.

    Doctors witness daily the hopelessness felt by their patients in dealing with chronic conditions in their short 15-minute consultations, and the vigilance required for dealing with adverse drug effects. Drug non-compliance is associated with adverse effects suffered by patients. Yet without wrap-around support changing treatments, even if it has potential to alleviate multiple conditions, to reduce symptoms, lower prescribing and therefore lessen side effects, is just too uncertain.

    They saw what happened to disobedient doctors during Covid-19.

    Given such context, what are we to do?

    Have open public discussions about doctor-patient relationships and trust. Inform and overlay such conversations by drawing attention to the foundational Hippocratic Oath made by doctors, to first do no harm.

    Questions can be asked. If patients were to understand that diet may be an underlying driver of multiple conditions, and a change in diet and improvement in micronutrient status might alleviate suffering – would patients be more likely to change?

    Economically, if wrap-around services were provided in clinics to support dietary change, would less harm occur to patients from worsening conditions that accompany many diseases (such as Type 2 diabetes) and the ever-present problem of drug side-effects? Would education and wrap-around services in early childhood and youth delay or prevent the onset of multimorbid diagnoses?

    Is it more ethical to give young people a choice of treatment? Could doctors prescribe dietary changes and multinutrients and support change with wrap-around support when children and young people are first diagnosed with a mental health condition – from the clinic, to school, to after school? If that doesn’t work, then prescribe pharmaceutical drugs.

    Should children and young people be educated to appreciate the extent to which their consumption of ultra-processed food likely drives their metabolic and mental health conditions? Not just in a blithe ‘eat healthy’ fashion that patently avoids discussing addiction. Through deeper policy mechanisms, including cooking classes and nutritional biology by the implementation of nourishing, low-carbohydrate cooked school lunches.

    With officials uninformed, it’s easy to see why funding for Green Prescriptions that would support dietary changes have sputtered out. It’s easy to understand why neither the Ministry of Health nor Pharmac have proactively sourced multi-nutrient treatments that improve resilience to stress and trauma for low-income young people. Why there’s no discussion on a lower side-effect risk for multinutrient treatments. Why are there no policies in the education curriculum diving into the relationship between ultra-processed food and mental and physical health? It’s not in the work programme.

    There’s another surfacing dilemma.

    Currently, if doctors tell their patients that there is very good evidence that their disease or syndrome could be reversed, and this information is not held as factual information by New Zealand’s Ministry of Health – do doctors risk being accused of spreading misinformation?

    Government agencies have pivoted in the past 5 years to focus intensively on the problem of dis- and misinformation. New Zealand’s disinformation project states that

    Disinformation is false or modified information knowingly and deliberately shared to cause harm or achieve a broader aim.
    Misinformation is information that is false or misleading, though not created or shared with the direct intention of causing harm.
    Unfortunately, as we see, there is no division inside the Ministry of Health that reviews the latest evidence in the scientific literature, to ensure that policy decisions correctly reflect the latest evidence.

    There is no scientific agency outside the Ministry of Health that has flexibility and the capacity to undertake autonomous, long-term monitoring and research in nutrition, diet, and health. There is no independent, autonomous, public health research facility with sufficient long-term funding to translate dietary and nutritional evidence into policy, particularly if it contradicted current policy positions.

    Despite excellent research being undertaken, it is highly controlled, ad hoc, and frequently short-term. Problematically, there is no resourcing for those scientists to meaningfully feedback that information to either the Ministry of Health or to Members of Parliament and government Ministers.

    Dietary guidelines can become locked in, and contradictions can fail to be chewed over. Without the capacity to address errors, information can become outdated and misleading. Government agencies and elected members – from local councils all the way up to government Ministers, are dependent on being informed by the Ministry of Health, when it comes to government policy.

    When it comes to complex health conditions, and alleviating and reversing metabolic or mental illness, based on different patient capacity – from socio-economic, to cultural, to social, and taking into account capacity for change, what is sound, evidence-based information and what is misinformation?

    In the impasse, who can we trust?

    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
    For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.

    Author

    J.R. Bruning is a consultant sociologist (B.Bus.Agribusiness; MA Sociology) based in New Zealand. Her work explores governance cultures, policy and the production of scientific and technical knowledge. Her Master’s thesis explored the ways science policy creates barriers to funding, stymying scientists’ efforts to explore upstream drivers of harm. Bruning is a trustee of Physicians & Scientists for Global Responsibility (PSGR.org.nz). Papers and writing can be found at TalkingRisk.NZ and at JRBruning.Substack.com and at Talking Risk on Rumble.

    View all posts
    Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work.

    https://brownstone.org/articles/the-silent-shame-of-health-institutions/
    The Silent Shame of Health Institutions J.R. Bruning For how much longer will health policy ignore multimorbidity, that looming, giant elephant in the room, that propagates and amplifies suffering? For how much longer will the ‘trend’ of increasing diagnoses of multiple health conditions, at younger and younger ages be rendered down by government agencies to better and more efficient services, screening modalities, and drug choices? Multimorbidity, the presence of many chronic conditions, is the silent shame of health policy. All too often chronic conditions overlap and accumulate. From cancer, to diabetes, to digestive system diseases, to high blood pressure, to skin conditions in cascades of suffering. Heartbreakingly, these conditions commonly overlap with mental illnesses or disorders. It’s increasingly common for people to be diagnosed with multiple mental conditions, such as having anxiety and depression, or anxiety and schizophrenia. Calls for equity tend to revolve around medical treatment, even as absurdities and injustices accrue. Multimorbidity occurs a decade earlier in socioeconomically deprived communities. Doctors are diagnosing multimorbidity at younger and younger ages. Treatment regimens for people with multiple conditions necessarily entail a polypharmacy approach – the prescribing of multiple medications. One condition may require multiple medications. Thus, with multimorbidity comes increased risk of adverse outcomes and polyiatrogenesis – ‘medical harm caused by medical treatments on multiple fronts simultaneously and in conjunction with one another.’ Side effects, whether short-term or patients’ concerns about long-term harm, are the main reason for non-adherence to prescribed medications. So ‘equity’ which only implies drug treatment doesn’t involve equity at all. Poor diets may be foundational to the Western world’s health crisis. But are governments considering this? The antinomies are piling up. We are amid a global epidemic of metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance, obesity, elevated triglyceride levels and low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and elevated blood pressure haunt the people queuing up to see doctors. Research, from individual cases to clinical trials, consistently show that diets containing high levels of ultra-processed foods and carbohydrates amplify inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance. What researchers and scientists are also identifying, at the cellular level, in clinical and medical practice, and at the global level – is that insulin resistance, inflammation, oxidative stress, and nutrient deficiencies from poor diets not only drive metabolic illness, but mental illnesses, compounding suffering. There is also ample evidence that the metabolic and mental health epidemic that is driving years lost due to disease, reducing productivity, and creating mayhem in personal lives – may be preventable and reversible. Doctors generally recognise that poor diets are a problem. Ultra-processed foods are strongly associated with adult and childhood ill health. Ultra-processed foods are ‘formulations of ingredients, mostly of exclusive industrial use, typically created by series of industrial techniques and processes (hence ‘ultra-processed’).’ In the USA young people under age 19 consume on average 67% of their diet, while adults consume around 60% of their diet in ultra-processed food. Ultra-processed food contributes 60% of UK children’s calories; 42% of Australian children’s calories and over half the dietary calories for children and adolescents in Canada. In New Zealand in 2009-2010, ultra-processed foods contributed to the 45% (12 months), 42% (24 months), and 51% (60 months) of energy intake to the diets of children. All too frequently, doctors are diagnosing both metabolic and mental illnesses. What may be predictable is that a person is likely to develop insulin resistance, inflammation, oxidative stress, and nutrient deficiencies from chronic exposure to ultra-processed food. How this will manifest in a disease or syndrome condition is reflective of a human equivalent of quantum entanglement. Cascades, feedback loops, and other interdependencies often leave doctors and patients bouncing from one condition to another, and managing medicine side effects and drug-drug relationships as they go. In New Zealand it is more common to have multiple conditions than a single condition. The costs of having two NCDs simultaneously is typically superadditive and ‘more so for younger adults.’ This information is outside the ‘work programme’ of the top echelons in the Ministry of Health: Official Information Act (OIA) requests confirm that the Ministries’ Directors General who are responsible for setting policy and long-term strategy aren’t considering these issues. The problem of multimorbidity and the overlapping, entangled relationship with ultra-processed food is outside of the scope of the work programme of the top directorates in our health agency. New Zealand’s Ministry of Health’s top deputy directors general might be earning a quarter of a million dollars each, but they are ignorant of the relationship of dietary nutrition and mental health. Nor are they seemingly aware of the extent of multimorbidity and the overlap between metabolic and mental illnesses. Neither the Public Health Agency Deputy Director-General – Dr Andrew Old, nor the Deputy Director-General Evidence, Research and Innovation, Dean Rutherford, nor the Deputy Director-General of Strategy Policy and Legislation, Maree Roberts, nor the Clinical, Community and Mental Health Deputy Director-General Robyn Shearer have been briefed on these relationships. If they’re not being briefed, policy won’t be developed to address dietary nutrition. Diet will be lower-order. The OIA request revealed that New Zealand’s Ministry of Health ‘does not widely use the metabolic syndrome classification.’ When I asked ‘How do you classify, or what term do you use to classify the cluster of symptoms characterised by central obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and insulin resistance?’, they responded: ‘The conditions referred to are considered either on their own or as part of a broader cardiovascular disease risk calculation.’ This is interesting. What if governments should be calculating insulin resistance first, in order to then calculate a broader cardiovascular risk? What if insulin resistance, inflammation, and oxidative stress are appearing at younger and younger ages, and ultra-processed food is the major driver? Pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes are driven by too much blood glucose. Type 1 diabetics can’t make insulin, while Type 2 diabetics can’t make enough to compensate for their dietary intake of carbohydrates. One of insulin’s (many) jobs is to tuck away that blood glucose into cells (as fat) but when there are too many dietary carbohydrates pumping up blood glucose, the body can’t keep up. New Zealand practitioners use the HbA1c blood test, which measures the average blood glucose level over the past 2-3 months. In New Zealand, doctors diagnose pre-diabetes if HbA1c levels are 41-49 nmol/mol, and diabetes at levels of 50 nmol/mol and above. Type 2 diabetes management guidelines recommend that sugar intake should be reduced, while people should aim for consistent carbohydrates across the day. The New Zealand government does not recommend paleo or low-carbohydrate diets. If you have diabetes you are twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke, and at a younger age. Prediabetes, which apparently 20% of Kiwis have, is also high-risk due to, as the Ministry of Health states: ‘increased risk of macrovascular complications and early death.’ The question might become – should we be looking at insulin levels, to more sensitively gauge risk at an early stage? Without more sensitive screens at younger ages these opportunities to repivot to avoid chronic disease are likely to be missed. Currently, Ministry of Health policies are unlikely to justify the funding of tests for insulin resistance by using three simple blood tests: fasting insulin, fasting lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides), and fasting glucose – to estimate where children, young people, and adults stand on the insulin resistance spectrum when other diagnoses pop up. Yet insulin plays a powerful role in brain health. Insulin supports neurotransmitter function and brain energy, directly impacting mood and behaviours. Insulin resistance might arrive before mental illness. Harvard-based psychiatrist Chris Palmer recounts in the book Brain Energy, a large 15,000-participant study of young people from age 0-24: ‘Children who had persistently high insulin levels (a sign of insulin resistance) beginning at age nine were five times more likely to be at risk for psychosis, meaning they were showing at least some worrisome signs, and they were three times for likely to already be diagnosed with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia by the time they turned twenty-four. This study clearly demonstrated that insulin resistance comes first, then psychosis.’ Psychiatrist Georgia Ede suggests that high blood glucose and high insulin levels act like a ‘deadly one-two punch’ for the brain, triggering waves of inflammation and oxidative stress. The blood-brain barrier becomes increasingly resistant to chronic high insulin levels. Even though the body might have higher blood insulin, the same may not be true for the brain. As Ede maintains, ‘cells deprived of adequate insulin ‘sputter and struggle to maintain normal operations.’ Looking at the relationship between brain health and high blood glucose and high insulin simply might not be on the programme for strategists looking at long-term planning. Nor are Directors General in a position to assess the role of food addiction. Ultra-processed food has addictive qualities designed into the product formulations. Food addiction is increasingly recognised as pervasive and difficult to manage as any substance addiction. But how many children and young people have insulin resistance and are showing markers for inflammation and oxidative stress – in the body and in the brain? To what extent do young people have both insulin resistance and depression resistance or ADHD or bipolar disorder? This kind of thinking is completely outside the work programme. But insulin levels, inflammation, and oxidative stress may not only be driving chronic illness – but driving the global mental health tsunami. Metabolic disorders are involved in complex pathways and feedback loops across body systems, and doctors learn this at medical school. Patterns and relationships between hormones, the brain, the gastrointestinal system, kidneys, and liver; as well as problems with joints and bone health, autoimmunity, nerves, and sensory conditions evolve from and revolve around metabolic health. Nutrition and diet are downplayed in medical school. What doctors don’t learn so much – the cognitive dissonance that they must accept throughout their training – is that metabolic health is commonly (except for some instances) shaped by the quality of dietary nutrition. The aetiology of a given condition can be very different, while the evidence that common chronic and mental illnesses are accompanied by oxidative stress, inflammation, and insulin resistance are primarily driven by diet – is growing stronger and stronger. But without recognising the overlapping relationships, policy to support healthy diets will remain limp. What we witness are notions of equity that support pharmaceutical delivery – not health delivery. What also inevitably happens is that ‘equity’ focuses on medical treatment. When the Ministry of Health prefers to atomise the different conditions or associate them with heart disease – they become single conditions to treat with single drugs. They’re lots of small problems, not one big problem, and insulin resistance is downplayed. But just as insulin resistance, inflammation, and oxidative stress send cascading impacts across body systems, systemic ignorance sends cascading effects across government departments tasked with ‘improving, promoting, and protecting health.’ It’s an injustice. The literature solidly points to lower socio-economic status driving much poorer diets and increased exposures to ultra-processed food, but the treatments exclusively involve drugs and therapy. Briefings to Incoming Ministers with the election of new Governments show how ignorance cascades across responsible authorities. Health New Zealand, Te Whatu Ora’s November 2023 Briefing to the new government outlined the agency’s obligations. However, the ‘health’ targets are medical, and the agency’s focus is on infrastructure, staff, and servicing. The promotion of health, and health equity, which can only be addressed by addressing the determinants of health, is not addressed. The Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand Joint Briefing to the Incoming Minister for Mental Health does not address the role of diet and nutrition as a driver of mental illness and disorder in New Zealand. The issue of multimorbidity, the related problem of commensurate metabolic illness, and diet as a driver is outside scope. When the Briefing states that it is important to address the ‘social, cultural, environmental and economic determinants of mental health,’ without any sound policy footing, real movement to address diet will not happen, or will only happen ad hoc. The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, Te Hiringa Mahara’s November 2023 Briefing to Incoming Ministers that went to the Ministers for Health and Mental Health might use the term ‘well-being’ over 120 times – but was silent on the related and overlapping drivers of mental illness which include metabolic or multimorbidity, nutrition, or diet. Five years earlier, He Ara Ora, New Zealand’s 2018 Mental Health and Addiction enquiry had recognised that tāngata whaiora, people seeking wellness, or service users, also tend to have multiple health conditions. The enquiry recommended that a whole of government approach to well-being, prevention, and social determinants was required. Vague nods were made to diet and nutrition, but this was not sufficiently emphasised as to be a priority. He Ara Ora was followed by 2020 Long-term pathway to mental well-being viewed nutrition as being one of a range of factors. No policy framework strategically prioritised diet, nutrition, and healthy food. No governmental obligation or commitment was built into policy to improve access to healthy food or nutrition education. Understanding the science, the relationships, and the drivers of the global epidemic, is ‘outside the work programmes’ of New Zealand’s Ministry of Health and outside the scope of all the related authorities. There is an extraordinary amount of data in the scientific literature, so many case studies, cohort studies, and clinical trials. Popular books are being written, however government agencies remain ignorant. In the meantime, doctors must deal with the suffering in front of them without an adequate toolkit. Doctors and pharmacists are faced with a Hobson’s choice of managing multiple chronic conditions and complex drug cocktails, in patients at younger and younger ages. Ultimately, they are treating a patient whom they recognise will only become sicker, cost the health system more, and suffer more. Currently there is little support for New Zealand medical doctors (known as general practitioners, or GPs) in changing practices and recommendations to support non-pharmaceutical drug treatment approaches. Their medical education does not equip them to recognise the extent to which multiple co-existing conditions may be alleviated or reversed. Doctors are paid to prescribe, to inject, and to screen, not to ameliorate or reverse disease and lessen prescribing. The prescribing of nutrients is discouraged and as doctors do not have nutritional training, they hesitate to prescribe nutrients. Many do not want to risk going outside treatment guidelines. Recent surges in protocols and guidelines for medical doctors reduce flexibility and narrow treatment choices for doctors. If they were to be reported to the Medical Council of New Zealand, they would risk losing their medical license. They would then be unable to practice. Inevitably, without Ministry of Health leadership, medical doctors in New Zealand are unlikely to voluntarily prescribe non-drug modalities such as nutritional options to any meaningful extent, for fear of being reported. Yet some doctors are proactive, such as Dr Glen Davies in Taupo, New Zealand. Some doctors are in a better ‘place’ to work to alleviate and reverse long-term conditions. They may be later in their career, with 10-20 years of research into metabolism, dietary nutrition, and patient care, and motivated to guide a patient through a personal care regime which might alleviate or reverse a patient’s suffering. Barriers include resourcing. Doctors aren’t paid for reversing disease and taking patients off medications. Doctors witness daily the hopelessness felt by their patients in dealing with chronic conditions in their short 15-minute consultations, and the vigilance required for dealing with adverse drug effects. Drug non-compliance is associated with adverse effects suffered by patients. Yet without wrap-around support changing treatments, even if it has potential to alleviate multiple conditions, to reduce symptoms, lower prescribing and therefore lessen side effects, is just too uncertain. They saw what happened to disobedient doctors during Covid-19. Given such context, what are we to do? Have open public discussions about doctor-patient relationships and trust. Inform and overlay such conversations by drawing attention to the foundational Hippocratic Oath made by doctors, to first do no harm. Questions can be asked. If patients were to understand that diet may be an underlying driver of multiple conditions, and a change in diet and improvement in micronutrient status might alleviate suffering – would patients be more likely to change? Economically, if wrap-around services were provided in clinics to support dietary change, would less harm occur to patients from worsening conditions that accompany many diseases (such as Type 2 diabetes) and the ever-present problem of drug side-effects? Would education and wrap-around services in early childhood and youth delay or prevent the onset of multimorbid diagnoses? Is it more ethical to give young people a choice of treatment? Could doctors prescribe dietary changes and multinutrients and support change with wrap-around support when children and young people are first diagnosed with a mental health condition – from the clinic, to school, to after school? If that doesn’t work, then prescribe pharmaceutical drugs. Should children and young people be educated to appreciate the extent to which their consumption of ultra-processed food likely drives their metabolic and mental health conditions? Not just in a blithe ‘eat healthy’ fashion that patently avoids discussing addiction. Through deeper policy mechanisms, including cooking classes and nutritional biology by the implementation of nourishing, low-carbohydrate cooked school lunches. With officials uninformed, it’s easy to see why funding for Green Prescriptions that would support dietary changes have sputtered out. It’s easy to understand why neither the Ministry of Health nor Pharmac have proactively sourced multi-nutrient treatments that improve resilience to stress and trauma for low-income young people. Why there’s no discussion on a lower side-effect risk for multinutrient treatments. Why are there no policies in the education curriculum diving into the relationship between ultra-processed food and mental and physical health? It’s not in the work programme. There’s another surfacing dilemma. Currently, if doctors tell their patients that there is very good evidence that their disease or syndrome could be reversed, and this information is not held as factual information by New Zealand’s Ministry of Health – do doctors risk being accused of spreading misinformation? Government agencies have pivoted in the past 5 years to focus intensively on the problem of dis- and misinformation. New Zealand’s disinformation project states that Disinformation is false or modified information knowingly and deliberately shared to cause harm or achieve a broader aim. Misinformation is information that is false or misleading, though not created or shared with the direct intention of causing harm. Unfortunately, as we see, there is no division inside the Ministry of Health that reviews the latest evidence in the scientific literature, to ensure that policy decisions correctly reflect the latest evidence. There is no scientific agency outside the Ministry of Health that has flexibility and the capacity to undertake autonomous, long-term monitoring and research in nutrition, diet, and health. There is no independent, autonomous, public health research facility with sufficient long-term funding to translate dietary and nutritional evidence into policy, particularly if it contradicted current policy positions. Despite excellent research being undertaken, it is highly controlled, ad hoc, and frequently short-term. Problematically, there is no resourcing for those scientists to meaningfully feedback that information to either the Ministry of Health or to Members of Parliament and government Ministers. Dietary guidelines can become locked in, and contradictions can fail to be chewed over. Without the capacity to address errors, information can become outdated and misleading. Government agencies and elected members – from local councils all the way up to government Ministers, are dependent on being informed by the Ministry of Health, when it comes to government policy. When it comes to complex health conditions, and alleviating and reversing metabolic or mental illness, based on different patient capacity – from socio-economic, to cultural, to social, and taking into account capacity for change, what is sound, evidence-based information and what is misinformation? In the impasse, who can we trust? Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Author J.R. Bruning is a consultant sociologist (B.Bus.Agribusiness; MA Sociology) based in New Zealand. Her work explores governance cultures, policy and the production of scientific and technical knowledge. Her Master’s thesis explored the ways science policy creates barriers to funding, stymying scientists’ efforts to explore upstream drivers of harm. Bruning is a trustee of Physicians & Scientists for Global Responsibility (PSGR.org.nz). Papers and writing can be found at TalkingRisk.NZ and at JRBruning.Substack.com and at Talking Risk on Rumble. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/the-silent-shame-of-health-institutions/
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    The Silent Shame of Health Institutions ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    There is no scientific agency outside the Ministry of Health that has flexibility and the capacity to undertake autonomous, long-term monitoring and research in nutrition, diet and health.
    0 Comments 0 Shares 10480 Views
  • The WHO Wants to Rule the World
    Ramesh Thakur
    The World Health Organisation (WHO) will present two new texts for adoption by its governing body, the World Health Assembly comprising delegates from 194 member states, in Geneva on 27 May–1 June. The new pandemic treaty needs a two-thirds majority for approval and, if and once adopted, will come into effect after 40 ratifications.

    The amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) can be adopted by a simple majority and will be binding on all states unless they recorded reservations by the end of last year. Because they will be changes to an existing agreement that states have already signed, the amendments do not require any follow-up ratification. The WHO describes the IHR as ‘an instrument of international law that is legally-binding’ on its 196 states parties, including the 194 WHO member states, even if they voted against it. Therein lies its promise and its threat.

    The new regime will change the WHO from a technical advisory organisation into a supra-national public health authority exercising quasi-legislative and executive powers over states; change the nature of the relationship between citizens, business enterprises, and governments domestically, and also between governments and other governments and the WHO internationally; and shift the locus of medical practice from the doctor-patient consultation in the clinic to public health bureaucrats in capital cities and WHO headquarters in Geneva and its six regional offices.

    From net zero to mass immigration and identity politics, the ‘expertocracy’ elite is in alliance with the global technocratic elite against majority national sentiment. The Covid years gave the elites a valuable lesson in how to exercise effective social control and they mean to apply it across all contentious issues.

    The changes to global health governance architecture must be understood in this light. It represents the transformation of the national security, administrative, and surveillance state into a globalised biosecurity state. But they are encountering pushback in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, and most recently Ireland. We can but hope that the resistance will spread to rejecting the WHO power grab.

    Addressing the World Governments Summit in Dubai on 12 February, WHO Director-General (DG) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attacked ‘the litany of lies and conspiracy theories’ about the agreement that ‘are utterly, completely, categorically false. The pandemic agreement will not give WHO any power over any state or any individual, for that matter.’ He insisted that critics are ‘either uninformed or lying.’ Could it be instead that, relying on aides, he himself has either not read or not understood the draft? The alternative explanation for his spray at the critics is that he is gaslighting us all.

    The Gostin, Klock, and Finch Paper

    In the Hastings Center Report “Making the World Safer and Fairer in Pandemics,” published on 23 December, Lawrence Gostin, Kevin Klock, and Alexandra Finch attempt to provide the justification to underpin the proposed new IHR and treaty instruments as ‘transformative normative and financial reforms that could reimagine pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.’

    The three authors decry the voluntary compliance under the existing ‘amorphous and unenforceable’ IHR regulations as ‘a critical shortcoming.’ And they concede that ‘While advocates have pressed for health-related human rights to be included in the pandemic agreement, the current draft does not do so.’ Directly contradicting the DG’s denial as quoted above, they describe the new treaty as ‘legally binding’. This is repeated several pages later:

    …the best way to contain transnational outbreaks is through international cooperation, led multilaterally through the WHO. That may require all states to forgo some level of sovereignty in exchange for enhanced safety and fairness.

    What gives their analysis significance is that, as explained in the paper itself, Gostin is ‘actively involved in WHO processes for a pandemic agreement and IHR reform’ as the director of the WHO Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law and a member of the WHO Review Committee on IHR amendments.

    The WHO as the World’s Guidance and Coordinating Authority

    The IHR amendments will expand the situations that constitute a public health emergency, grant the WHO additional emergency powers, and extend state duties to build ‘core capacities’ of surveillance to detect, assess, notify, and report events that could constitute an emergency.

    Under the new accords, the WHO would function as the guidance and coordinating authority for the world. The DG will become more powerful than the UN Secretary-General. The existing language of ‘should’ is replaced in many places by the imperative ‘shall,’ of non-binding recommendations with countries will ‘undertake to follow’ the guidance. And ‘full respect for the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons’ will be changed to principles of ‘equity’ and ‘inclusivity’ with different requirements for rich and poor countries, bleeding financial resources and pharmaceutical products from industrialised to developing countries.

    The WHO is first of all an international bureaucracy and only secondly a collective body of medical and health experts. Its Covid performance was not among its finest. Its credibility was badly damaged by tardiness in raising the alarm; by its acceptance and then rejection of China’s claim that there was no risk of human-human transmission; by the failure to hold China accountable for destroying evidence of the pandemic’s origins; by the initial investigation that whitewashed the origins of the virus; by flip-flops on masks and lockdowns; by ignoring the counterexample of Sweden that rejected lockdowns with no worse health outcomes and far better economic, social, and educational outcomes; and by the failure to stand up for children’s developmental, educational, social, and mental health rights and welfare.

    With a funding model where 87 percent of the budget comes from voluntary contributions from the rich countries and private donors like the Gates Foundation, and 77 percent is for activities specified by them, the WHO has effectively ‘become a system of global public health patronage’, write Ben and Molly Kingsley of the UK children’s rights campaign group UsForThem. Human Rights Watch says the process has been ‘disproportionately guided by corporate demands and the policy positions of high-income governments seeking to protect the power of private actors in health including the pharmaceutical industry.’ The victims of this Catch-22 lack of accountability will be the peoples of the world.

    Much of the new surveillance network in a model divided into pre-, in, and post-pandemic periods will be provided by private and corporate interests that will profit from the mass testing and pharmaceutical interventions. According to Forbes, the net worth of Bill Gates jumped by one-third from $96.5 billion in 2019 to $129 billion in 2022: philanthropy can be profitable. Article 15.2 of the draft pandemic treaty requires states to set up ‘no fault vaccine-injury compensation schemes,’ conferring immunity on Big Pharma against liability, thereby codifying the privatisation of profits and the socialisation of risks.

    The changes would confer extraordinary new powers on the WHO’s DG and regional directors and mandate governments to implement their recommendations. This will result in a major expansion of the international health bureaucracy under the WHO, for example new implementation and compliance committees; shift the centre of gravity from the common deadliest diseases (discussed below) to relatively rare pandemic outbreaks (five including Covid in the last 120 years); and give the WHO authority to direct resources (money, pharmaceutical products, intellectual property rights) to itself and to other governments in breach of sovereign and copyright rights.

    Considering the impact of the amendments on national decision-making and mortgaging future generations to internationally determined spending obligations, this calls for an indefinite pause in the process until parliaments have done due diligence and debated the potentially far-reaching obligations.

    Yet disappointingly, relatively few countries have expressed reservations and few parliamentarians seem at all interested. We may pay a high price for the rise of careerist politicians whose primary interest is self-advancement, ministers who ask bureaucrats to draft replies to constituents expressing concern that they often sign without reading either the original letter or the reply in their name, and officials who disdain the constraints of democratic decision-making and accountability. Ministers relying on technical advice from staffers when officials are engaged in a silent coup against elected representatives give power without responsibility to bureaucrats while relegating ministers to being in office but not in power, with political accountability sans authority.

    US President Donald Trump and Australian and UK Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson were representative of national leaders who had lacked the science literacy, intellectual heft, moral clarity, and courage of conviction to stand up to their technocrats. It was a period of Yes, Prime Minister on steroids, with Sir Humphrey Appleby winning most of the guerrilla campaign waged by the permanent civil service against the transient and clueless Prime Minister Jim Hacker.

    At least some Australian, American, British, and European politicians have recently expressed concern at the WHO-centred ‘command and control’ model of a public health system, and the public spending and redistributive implications of the two proposed international instruments. US Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) warned on 5 February that ‘far too little scrutiny has been given, far too few questions asked as to what this legally binding agreement or treaty means to health policy in the United States and elsewhere.’

    Like Smith and Wenstrup, the most common criticism levelled has been that this represents a power grab at the cost of national sovereignty. Speaking in parliament in November, Australia’s Liberal Senator Alex Antic dubbed the effort a ‘WHO d’etat’.

    A more accurate reading may be that it represents collusion between the WHO and the richest countries, home to the biggest pharmaceutical companies, to dilute accountability for decisions, taken in the name of public health, that profit a narrow elite. The changes will lock in the seamless rule of the technocratic-managerial elite at both the national and the international levels. Yet the WHO edicts, although legally binding in theory, will be unenforceable against the most powerful countries in practice.

    Moreover, the new regime aims to eliminate transparency and critical scrutiny by criminalising any opinion that questions the official narrative from the WHO and governments, thereby elevating them to the status of dogma. The pandemic treaty calls for governments to tackle the ‘infodemics’ of false information, misinformation, disinformation, and even ‘too much information’ (Article 1c). This is censorship. Authorities have no right to be shielded from critical questioning of official information. Freedom of information is a cornerstone of an open and resilient society and a key means to hold authorities to public scrutiny and accountability.

    The changes are an effort to entrench and institutionalise the model of political, social, and messaging control trialled with great success during Covid. The foundational document of the international human rights regime is the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Pandemic management during Covid and in future emergencies threaten some of its core provisions regarding privacy, freedom of opinion and expression, and rights to work, education, peaceful assembly, and association.

    Worst of all, they will create a perverse incentive: the rise of an international bureaucracy whose defining purpose, existence, powers, and budgets will depend on more frequent declarations of actual or anticipated pandemic outbreaks.

    It is a basic axiom of politics that power that can be abused, will be abused – some day, somewhere, by someone. The corollary holds that power once seized is seldom surrendered back voluntarily to the people. Lockdowns, mask and vaccine mandates, travel restrictions, and all the other shenanigans and theatre of the Covid era will likely be repeated on whim. Professor Angus Dalgliesh of London’s St George’s Medical School warns that the WHO ‘wants to inflict this incompetence on us all over again but this time be in total control.’

    Covid in the Context of Africa’s Disease Burden

    In the Hastings Center report referred to earlier, Gostin, Klock, and Finch claim that ‘lower-income countries experienced larger losses and longer-lasting economic setbacks.’ This is a casual elision that shifts the blame for harmful downstream effects away from lockdowns in the futile quest to eradicate the virus, to the virus itself. The chief damage to developing countries was caused by the worldwide shutdown of social life and economic activities and the drastic reduction in international trade.

    The discreet elision aroused my curiosity on the authors’ affiliations. It came as no surprise to read that they lead the O’Neill Institute–Foundation for the National Institutes of Health project on an international instrument for pandemic prevention and preparedness.

    Gostin et al. grounded the urgency for the new accords in the claim that ‘Zoonotic pathogens…are occurring with increasing frequency, enhancing the risk of new pandemics’ and cite research to suggest a threefold increase in ‘extreme pandemics’ over the next decade. In a report entitled “Rational Policy Over Panic,” published by Leeds University in February, a team that included our own David Bell subjected claims of increasing pandemic frequency and disease burden behind the drive to adopt the new treaty and amend the existing IHR to critical scrutiny.

    Specifically, they examined and found wanting a number of assumptions and several references in eight G20, World Bank, and WHO policy documents. On the one hand, the reported increase in natural outbreaks is best explained by technologically more sophisticated diagnostic testing equipment, while the disease burden has been effectively reduced with improved surveillance, response mechanisms, and other public health interventions. Consequently there is no real urgency to rush into the new accords. Instead, governments should take all the time they need to situate pandemic risk in the wider healthcare context and formulate policy tailored to the more accurate risk and interventions matrix.


    The lockdowns were responsible for reversals of decades worth of gains in critical childhood immunisations. UNICEF and WHO estimate that 7.6 million African children under 5 missed out on vaccination in 2021 and another 11 million were under-immunised, ‘making up over 40 percent of the under-immunised and missed children globally.’ How many quality adjusted life years does that add up to, I wonder? But don’t hold your breath that anyone will be held accountable for crimes against African children.

    Earlier this month the Pan-African Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group argued that lockdowns were a ‘class-based and unscientific instrument.’ It accused the WHO of trying to reintroduce ‘classical Western colonialism through the backdoor’ in the form of the new pandemic treaty and the IHR amendments. Medical knowledge and innovations do not come solely from Western capitals and Geneva, but from people and groups who have captured the WHO agenda.

    Lockdowns had caused significant harm to low-income countries, the group said, yet the WHO wanted legal authority to compel member states to comply with its advice in future pandemics, including with respect to vaccine passports and border closures. Instead of bowing to ‘health imperialism,’ it would be preferable for African countries to set their own priorities in alleviating the disease burden of their major killer diseases like cholera, malaria, and yellow fever.

    Europe and the US, comprising a little under ten and over four percent of world population, account for nearly 18 and 17 percent, respectively, of all Covid-related deaths in the world. By contrast Asia, with nearly 60 percent of the world’s people, accounts for 23 percent of all Covid-related deaths. Meantime Africa, with more than 17 percent of global population, has recorded less than four percent of global Covid deaths (Table 1).

    According to a report on the continent’s disease burden published last year by the WHO Regional Office for Africa, Africa’s leading causes of death in 2021 were malaria (593,000 deaths), tuberculosis (501,000), and HIV/AIDS (420,000). The report does not provide the numbers for diarrhoeal deaths for Africa. There are 1.6 million such deaths globally per year, including 440,000 children under 5. And we know that most diarrhoeal deaths occur in Africa and South Asia.

    If we perform a linear extrapolation of 2021 deaths to estimate ballpark figures for the three years 2020–22 inclusive for numbers of Africans killed by these big three, approximately 1.78 million died from malaria, 1.5 million from TB, and 1.26 million from HIV/AIDS. (I exclude 2023 as Covid had faded by then, as can be seen in Table 1). By comparison, the total number of Covid-related deaths across Africa in the three years was 259,000.

    Whether or not the WHO is pursuing a policy of health colonialism, therefore, the Pan-African Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group has a point regarding the grossly exaggerated threat of Covid in the total picture of Africa’s disease burden.

    A shorter version of this was published in The Australian on 11 March

    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
    For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.

    Author

    Ramesh Thakur, a Brownstone Institute Senior Scholar, is a former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, and emeritus professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

    View all posts
    Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work.

    https://brownstone.org/articles/the-who-wants-to-rule-the-world/
    The WHO Wants to Rule the World Ramesh Thakur The World Health Organisation (WHO) will present two new texts for adoption by its governing body, the World Health Assembly comprising delegates from 194 member states, in Geneva on 27 May–1 June. The new pandemic treaty needs a two-thirds majority for approval and, if and once adopted, will come into effect after 40 ratifications. The amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) can be adopted by a simple majority and will be binding on all states unless they recorded reservations by the end of last year. Because they will be changes to an existing agreement that states have already signed, the amendments do not require any follow-up ratification. The WHO describes the IHR as ‘an instrument of international law that is legally-binding’ on its 196 states parties, including the 194 WHO member states, even if they voted against it. Therein lies its promise and its threat. The new regime will change the WHO from a technical advisory organisation into a supra-national public health authority exercising quasi-legislative and executive powers over states; change the nature of the relationship between citizens, business enterprises, and governments domestically, and also between governments and other governments and the WHO internationally; and shift the locus of medical practice from the doctor-patient consultation in the clinic to public health bureaucrats in capital cities and WHO headquarters in Geneva and its six regional offices. From net zero to mass immigration and identity politics, the ‘expertocracy’ elite is in alliance with the global technocratic elite against majority national sentiment. The Covid years gave the elites a valuable lesson in how to exercise effective social control and they mean to apply it across all contentious issues. The changes to global health governance architecture must be understood in this light. It represents the transformation of the national security, administrative, and surveillance state into a globalised biosecurity state. But they are encountering pushback in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, and most recently Ireland. We can but hope that the resistance will spread to rejecting the WHO power grab. Addressing the World Governments Summit in Dubai on 12 February, WHO Director-General (DG) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attacked ‘the litany of lies and conspiracy theories’ about the agreement that ‘are utterly, completely, categorically false. The pandemic agreement will not give WHO any power over any state or any individual, for that matter.’ He insisted that critics are ‘either uninformed or lying.’ Could it be instead that, relying on aides, he himself has either not read or not understood the draft? The alternative explanation for his spray at the critics is that he is gaslighting us all. The Gostin, Klock, and Finch Paper In the Hastings Center Report “Making the World Safer and Fairer in Pandemics,” published on 23 December, Lawrence Gostin, Kevin Klock, and Alexandra Finch attempt to provide the justification to underpin the proposed new IHR and treaty instruments as ‘transformative normative and financial reforms that could reimagine pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.’ The three authors decry the voluntary compliance under the existing ‘amorphous and unenforceable’ IHR regulations as ‘a critical shortcoming.’ And they concede that ‘While advocates have pressed for health-related human rights to be included in the pandemic agreement, the current draft does not do so.’ Directly contradicting the DG’s denial as quoted above, they describe the new treaty as ‘legally binding’. This is repeated several pages later: …the best way to contain transnational outbreaks is through international cooperation, led multilaterally through the WHO. That may require all states to forgo some level of sovereignty in exchange for enhanced safety and fairness. What gives their analysis significance is that, as explained in the paper itself, Gostin is ‘actively involved in WHO processes for a pandemic agreement and IHR reform’ as the director of the WHO Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law and a member of the WHO Review Committee on IHR amendments. The WHO as the World’s Guidance and Coordinating Authority The IHR amendments will expand the situations that constitute a public health emergency, grant the WHO additional emergency powers, and extend state duties to build ‘core capacities’ of surveillance to detect, assess, notify, and report events that could constitute an emergency. Under the new accords, the WHO would function as the guidance and coordinating authority for the world. The DG will become more powerful than the UN Secretary-General. The existing language of ‘should’ is replaced in many places by the imperative ‘shall,’ of non-binding recommendations with countries will ‘undertake to follow’ the guidance. And ‘full respect for the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons’ will be changed to principles of ‘equity’ and ‘inclusivity’ with different requirements for rich and poor countries, bleeding financial resources and pharmaceutical products from industrialised to developing countries. The WHO is first of all an international bureaucracy and only secondly a collective body of medical and health experts. Its Covid performance was not among its finest. Its credibility was badly damaged by tardiness in raising the alarm; by its acceptance and then rejection of China’s claim that there was no risk of human-human transmission; by the failure to hold China accountable for destroying evidence of the pandemic’s origins; by the initial investigation that whitewashed the origins of the virus; by flip-flops on masks and lockdowns; by ignoring the counterexample of Sweden that rejected lockdowns with no worse health outcomes and far better economic, social, and educational outcomes; and by the failure to stand up for children’s developmental, educational, social, and mental health rights and welfare. With a funding model where 87 percent of the budget comes from voluntary contributions from the rich countries and private donors like the Gates Foundation, and 77 percent is for activities specified by them, the WHO has effectively ‘become a system of global public health patronage’, write Ben and Molly Kingsley of the UK children’s rights campaign group UsForThem. Human Rights Watch says the process has been ‘disproportionately guided by corporate demands and the policy positions of high-income governments seeking to protect the power of private actors in health including the pharmaceutical industry.’ The victims of this Catch-22 lack of accountability will be the peoples of the world. Much of the new surveillance network in a model divided into pre-, in, and post-pandemic periods will be provided by private and corporate interests that will profit from the mass testing and pharmaceutical interventions. According to Forbes, the net worth of Bill Gates jumped by one-third from $96.5 billion in 2019 to $129 billion in 2022: philanthropy can be profitable. Article 15.2 of the draft pandemic treaty requires states to set up ‘no fault vaccine-injury compensation schemes,’ conferring immunity on Big Pharma against liability, thereby codifying the privatisation of profits and the socialisation of risks. The changes would confer extraordinary new powers on the WHO’s DG and regional directors and mandate governments to implement their recommendations. This will result in a major expansion of the international health bureaucracy under the WHO, for example new implementation and compliance committees; shift the centre of gravity from the common deadliest diseases (discussed below) to relatively rare pandemic outbreaks (five including Covid in the last 120 years); and give the WHO authority to direct resources (money, pharmaceutical products, intellectual property rights) to itself and to other governments in breach of sovereign and copyright rights. Considering the impact of the amendments on national decision-making and mortgaging future generations to internationally determined spending obligations, this calls for an indefinite pause in the process until parliaments have done due diligence and debated the potentially far-reaching obligations. Yet disappointingly, relatively few countries have expressed reservations and few parliamentarians seem at all interested. We may pay a high price for the rise of careerist politicians whose primary interest is self-advancement, ministers who ask bureaucrats to draft replies to constituents expressing concern that they often sign without reading either the original letter or the reply in their name, and officials who disdain the constraints of democratic decision-making and accountability. Ministers relying on technical advice from staffers when officials are engaged in a silent coup against elected representatives give power without responsibility to bureaucrats while relegating ministers to being in office but not in power, with political accountability sans authority. US President Donald Trump and Australian and UK Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson were representative of national leaders who had lacked the science literacy, intellectual heft, moral clarity, and courage of conviction to stand up to their technocrats. It was a period of Yes, Prime Minister on steroids, with Sir Humphrey Appleby winning most of the guerrilla campaign waged by the permanent civil service against the transient and clueless Prime Minister Jim Hacker. At least some Australian, American, British, and European politicians have recently expressed concern at the WHO-centred ‘command and control’ model of a public health system, and the public spending and redistributive implications of the two proposed international instruments. US Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) warned on 5 February that ‘far too little scrutiny has been given, far too few questions asked as to what this legally binding agreement or treaty means to health policy in the United States and elsewhere.’ Like Smith and Wenstrup, the most common criticism levelled has been that this represents a power grab at the cost of national sovereignty. Speaking in parliament in November, Australia’s Liberal Senator Alex Antic dubbed the effort a ‘WHO d’etat’. A more accurate reading may be that it represents collusion between the WHO and the richest countries, home to the biggest pharmaceutical companies, to dilute accountability for decisions, taken in the name of public health, that profit a narrow elite. The changes will lock in the seamless rule of the technocratic-managerial elite at both the national and the international levels. Yet the WHO edicts, although legally binding in theory, will be unenforceable against the most powerful countries in practice. Moreover, the new regime aims to eliminate transparency and critical scrutiny by criminalising any opinion that questions the official narrative from the WHO and governments, thereby elevating them to the status of dogma. The pandemic treaty calls for governments to tackle the ‘infodemics’ of false information, misinformation, disinformation, and even ‘too much information’ (Article 1c). This is censorship. Authorities have no right to be shielded from critical questioning of official information. Freedom of information is a cornerstone of an open and resilient society and a key means to hold authorities to public scrutiny and accountability. The changes are an effort to entrench and institutionalise the model of political, social, and messaging control trialled with great success during Covid. The foundational document of the international human rights regime is the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Pandemic management during Covid and in future emergencies threaten some of its core provisions regarding privacy, freedom of opinion and expression, and rights to work, education, peaceful assembly, and association. Worst of all, they will create a perverse incentive: the rise of an international bureaucracy whose defining purpose, existence, powers, and budgets will depend on more frequent declarations of actual or anticipated pandemic outbreaks. It is a basic axiom of politics that power that can be abused, will be abused – some day, somewhere, by someone. The corollary holds that power once seized is seldom surrendered back voluntarily to the people. Lockdowns, mask and vaccine mandates, travel restrictions, and all the other shenanigans and theatre of the Covid era will likely be repeated on whim. Professor Angus Dalgliesh of London’s St George’s Medical School warns that the WHO ‘wants to inflict this incompetence on us all over again but this time be in total control.’ Covid in the Context of Africa’s Disease Burden In the Hastings Center report referred to earlier, Gostin, Klock, and Finch claim that ‘lower-income countries experienced larger losses and longer-lasting economic setbacks.’ This is a casual elision that shifts the blame for harmful downstream effects away from lockdowns in the futile quest to eradicate the virus, to the virus itself. The chief damage to developing countries was caused by the worldwide shutdown of social life and economic activities and the drastic reduction in international trade. The discreet elision aroused my curiosity on the authors’ affiliations. It came as no surprise to read that they lead the O’Neill Institute–Foundation for the National Institutes of Health project on an international instrument for pandemic prevention and preparedness. Gostin et al. grounded the urgency for the new accords in the claim that ‘Zoonotic pathogens…are occurring with increasing frequency, enhancing the risk of new pandemics’ and cite research to suggest a threefold increase in ‘extreme pandemics’ over the next decade. In a report entitled “Rational Policy Over Panic,” published by Leeds University in February, a team that included our own David Bell subjected claims of increasing pandemic frequency and disease burden behind the drive to adopt the new treaty and amend the existing IHR to critical scrutiny. Specifically, they examined and found wanting a number of assumptions and several references in eight G20, World Bank, and WHO policy documents. On the one hand, the reported increase in natural outbreaks is best explained by technologically more sophisticated diagnostic testing equipment, while the disease burden has been effectively reduced with improved surveillance, response mechanisms, and other public health interventions. Consequently there is no real urgency to rush into the new accords. Instead, governments should take all the time they need to situate pandemic risk in the wider healthcare context and formulate policy tailored to the more accurate risk and interventions matrix. The lockdowns were responsible for reversals of decades worth of gains in critical childhood immunisations. UNICEF and WHO estimate that 7.6 million African children under 5 missed out on vaccination in 2021 and another 11 million were under-immunised, ‘making up over 40 percent of the under-immunised and missed children globally.’ How many quality adjusted life years does that add up to, I wonder? But don’t hold your breath that anyone will be held accountable for crimes against African children. Earlier this month the Pan-African Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group argued that lockdowns were a ‘class-based and unscientific instrument.’ It accused the WHO of trying to reintroduce ‘classical Western colonialism through the backdoor’ in the form of the new pandemic treaty and the IHR amendments. Medical knowledge and innovations do not come solely from Western capitals and Geneva, but from people and groups who have captured the WHO agenda. Lockdowns had caused significant harm to low-income countries, the group said, yet the WHO wanted legal authority to compel member states to comply with its advice in future pandemics, including with respect to vaccine passports and border closures. Instead of bowing to ‘health imperialism,’ it would be preferable for African countries to set their own priorities in alleviating the disease burden of their major killer diseases like cholera, malaria, and yellow fever. Europe and the US, comprising a little under ten and over four percent of world population, account for nearly 18 and 17 percent, respectively, of all Covid-related deaths in the world. By contrast Asia, with nearly 60 percent of the world’s people, accounts for 23 percent of all Covid-related deaths. Meantime Africa, with more than 17 percent of global population, has recorded less than four percent of global Covid deaths (Table 1). According to a report on the continent’s disease burden published last year by the WHO Regional Office for Africa, Africa’s leading causes of death in 2021 were malaria (593,000 deaths), tuberculosis (501,000), and HIV/AIDS (420,000). The report does not provide the numbers for diarrhoeal deaths for Africa. There are 1.6 million such deaths globally per year, including 440,000 children under 5. And we know that most diarrhoeal deaths occur in Africa and South Asia. If we perform a linear extrapolation of 2021 deaths to estimate ballpark figures for the three years 2020–22 inclusive for numbers of Africans killed by these big three, approximately 1.78 million died from malaria, 1.5 million from TB, and 1.26 million from HIV/AIDS. (I exclude 2023 as Covid had faded by then, as can be seen in Table 1). By comparison, the total number of Covid-related deaths across Africa in the three years was 259,000. Whether or not the WHO is pursuing a policy of health colonialism, therefore, the Pan-African Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group has a point regarding the grossly exaggerated threat of Covid in the total picture of Africa’s disease burden. A shorter version of this was published in The Australian on 11 March Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Author Ramesh Thakur, a Brownstone Institute Senior Scholar, is a former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, and emeritus professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/the-who-wants-to-rule-the-world/
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    The WHO Wants to Rule the World ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    The World Health Organisation (WHO) will present two new texts for adoption by its governing body, the World Health Assembly comprising delegates from 194 member states, in Geneva on 27 May–1 June.
    0 Comments 0 Shares 11119 Views
  • Ignorance, Stupidity, or Malice?
    Rob Jenkins
    A major topic of conversation at the recent Brownstone retreat was whether the people who locked us down and then mandated an experimental gene therapy, along with their supporters and enablers, were motivated primarily by stupidity or malice. I’d like to propose a third option: ignorance. In my view, all three played a part in the Covid debacle.

    I believe—I choose to believe—that many of the people who are to some degree responsible for the devastation of the last four years—particularly the millions of Americans who allowed it to happen because they docilely went along—were simply ignorant. They accepted what they were told in March 2020 about the virulence and lethality of the virus. They fell for the fake videos of Chinese citizens keeling over in the streets. They watched in horror as what appeared to be freezer trucks sat parked outside New York hospitals. They assumed the government wouldn’t be sending military hospital ships to New York and Los Angeles if the disease wasn’t ravaging those cities. And they eagerly embraced the notion that, if we all just stayed home for two weeks, we could actually “flatten the curve.”

    I confess: I fell into this category initially, for about those first two weeks. I’m blessed (or maybe cursed) with a natural skepticism and fortunate to have found, early on, alternative news sources that were reporting the truth—or at least trying to get at it. So I began to suspect, as “two weeks” stretched to infinity, that we were being had. But most Westerners have been conditioned to believe whatever the government and the media tell them, without questioning. Those people bought into the indefinite forced isolation and the social distancing and the Zoom school and the grocery delivery because they were ignorant. They didn’t really understand what was happening.

    That includes, by the way, many in positions of authority and responsibility, like medical doctors and nurses, teachers and administrators, religious leaders, and local elected officials. Maybe even some elected officials at the national level. They swallowed the official narrative, too. I’m convinced most of these people honestly believed they were doing the right thing, saving lives, when in fact they were doing nothing of the sort because, as we now know, none of those “mitigation strategies” had any effect on the virus. But to be completely fair to them—and I think it’s important to be fair, however angry we might be at the consequences of their behavior—they were acting out of ignorance.

    Of course, at some point, ignorance begins to bleed over into stupidity—perhaps at the point where people could have known better, and maybe even should have known better. Then their ignorance, which is a legitimate excuse for bad behavior, becomes willful. And willful ignorance is a form of stupidity, which is not an excuse, especially not for those we entrust with important decisions that affect all our lives.

    The definition of stupidity proposed by UC Berkeley economist Carlo Cipolla in 1976 seems relevant in this context: “A stupid person is one who causes losses to another person or group while deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.” (You can find a nice summary of Cipolla’s theory here.) In other words, stupid people do stupid things for no reason. They harm other people, and they don’t even get anything out of it. They might even harm themselves in the process—“shooting themselves in the foot,” as we sometimes say, or “cutting off their nose to spite their face.” That is indeed the height of stupidity.

    This definition certainly applies to many, many of the Covidians, including quite a few who (if we want to be generous) started out as merely ignorant. Over time, their perhaps understandable ignorance morphed into stupidity as they held on stubbornly to masking, distancing, and school closures despite literal mountains of evidence that none of those had any salutary effect. And most of them didn’t even benefit from their stubborn, stupid refusal to acknowledge reality. Yes, some did, and we’ll get to them in a moment. But most didn’t. In many cases, they embarrassed themselves, damaged their careers, lost businesses and personal relationships, and for what? So they could yell at the rest of us about masks? That’s pretty stupid.

    Also instructive here is Cipolla’s Second Law of Stupidity: “The probability that a certain person is stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.” In other words, stupidity, as he defines it, is more or less evenly distributed throughout the population. It has nothing to do with intelligence, education, or income level. There are stupid doctors, lawyers, and college professors, just as there are stupid plumbers and ditch diggers. If anything, the former groups are somewhat more likely to contain stupid people. It all comes down to a person’s willingness to do things that make no sense, things that harm others—aka, stupid things—despite not getting anything out of it and perhaps even losing in the bargain.

    And then there are the people who actually DO benefit from the harm they cause to others. They exhibit many of the same behaviors as the stupid people, except that they actually get something out of it—money, fame, power. Cipolla refers to these people—those who harm others for their own benefit—as “bandits.” Most of the best-known Covidians, the biggest names in media, government, “public health,” and the pharmaceuticals industry, fall into this category. They initiated, enforced, and supported policies that seemingly made no sense, and they came away smelling like roses. They became the toast of the media circuit, earned cushy sinecures, and expanded their bank accounts by millions.

    The main difference between stupid people and bandits, according to Cipolla, is that the latter’s actions actually make sense, once you understand what they’re trying to accomplish. If a person knocks you down for no reason—well, that’s just stupid. But if they knock you down and then take your wallet, that makes sense. You understand why they knocked you down, even if you don’t like it any better. Moreover, you can to some degree adjust for the actions of “bandits”—for instance, by staying out of the bad part of town, where someone might knock you down and take your wallet. But if you’re at a mall in a nice suburb, and people are just knocking you down for no apparent reason, there’s no way to plan for that.

    The problem with stupidity, says Cipolla, is two-fold. First, we consistently “underestimate the number of stupid people in circulation.” We assume the vast majority of people will act rationally under most circumstances, but—as we’ve seen plainly over the last four years—that turns out not to be true. Many behave irrationally much of the time, and it appears that a majority will do so in a time of crisis.

    Second, as Cipolla points out, the stupid people are if anything more dangerous than the bandits, mostly for the reasons cited above: There are a lot more of them, and it’s nearly impossible to account for them. You can have a perfectly good plan to address some emergency—like, say, a pandemic—and the stupid people will blow it up for no good reason. Sure, malicious bad actors will make off with the treasury, if they can, but that has always been the case. I mean, is anybody really surprised that Albert Bourla added millions to his net worth? Or that Anthony Fauci now has a cushy job teaching at Georgetown? Yes, it’s frustrating and disgusting. There’s no doubt they were among the main architects of this disaster, as well as its main beneficiaries. But none of that is, or was, completely unexpected. Bandits gonna bandit.

    What has been most frustrating to me over the past couple of years has been the way that millions of otherwise normal people—including friends, relatives and colleagues, as well as store clerks, flight attendants, and random people on the streets—have behaved so stupidly. A surprising number continue to do so, embarrassing themselves by haranguing the rest of us about masks and “vaccines,” alienating everyone in sight, making life more difficult for themselves and others even though they gain nothing by it.

    So yes, the four-year debacle that is our collective Covid response is attributable in part to ignorance and in part to malice. But worse than either of those, and far more damaging to society in the long term, has been the sheer stupidity—humanity’s capacity for which I will never again underestimate.

    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
    For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.

    Author

    Rob Jenkins is an associate professor of English at Georgia State University – Perimeter College and a Higher Education Fellow at Campus Reform. He is the author or co-author of six books, including Think Better, Write Better, Welcome to My Classroom, and The 9 Virtues of Exceptional Leaders. In addition to Brownstone and Campus Reform, he has written for Townhall, The Daily Wire, American Thinker, PJ Media, The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. The opinions expressed here are his own.

    View all posts
    Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work.

    https://brownstone.org/articles/ignorance-stupidity-or-malice/
    Ignorance, Stupidity, or Malice? Rob Jenkins A major topic of conversation at the recent Brownstone retreat was whether the people who locked us down and then mandated an experimental gene therapy, along with their supporters and enablers, were motivated primarily by stupidity or malice. I’d like to propose a third option: ignorance. In my view, all three played a part in the Covid debacle. I believe—I choose to believe—that many of the people who are to some degree responsible for the devastation of the last four years—particularly the millions of Americans who allowed it to happen because they docilely went along—were simply ignorant. They accepted what they were told in March 2020 about the virulence and lethality of the virus. They fell for the fake videos of Chinese citizens keeling over in the streets. They watched in horror as what appeared to be freezer trucks sat parked outside New York hospitals. They assumed the government wouldn’t be sending military hospital ships to New York and Los Angeles if the disease wasn’t ravaging those cities. And they eagerly embraced the notion that, if we all just stayed home for two weeks, we could actually “flatten the curve.” I confess: I fell into this category initially, for about those first two weeks. I’m blessed (or maybe cursed) with a natural skepticism and fortunate to have found, early on, alternative news sources that were reporting the truth—or at least trying to get at it. So I began to suspect, as “two weeks” stretched to infinity, that we were being had. But most Westerners have been conditioned to believe whatever the government and the media tell them, without questioning. Those people bought into the indefinite forced isolation and the social distancing and the Zoom school and the grocery delivery because they were ignorant. They didn’t really understand what was happening. That includes, by the way, many in positions of authority and responsibility, like medical doctors and nurses, teachers and administrators, religious leaders, and local elected officials. Maybe even some elected officials at the national level. They swallowed the official narrative, too. I’m convinced most of these people honestly believed they were doing the right thing, saving lives, when in fact they were doing nothing of the sort because, as we now know, none of those “mitigation strategies” had any effect on the virus. But to be completely fair to them—and I think it’s important to be fair, however angry we might be at the consequences of their behavior—they were acting out of ignorance. Of course, at some point, ignorance begins to bleed over into stupidity—perhaps at the point where people could have known better, and maybe even should have known better. Then their ignorance, which is a legitimate excuse for bad behavior, becomes willful. And willful ignorance is a form of stupidity, which is not an excuse, especially not for those we entrust with important decisions that affect all our lives. The definition of stupidity proposed by UC Berkeley economist Carlo Cipolla in 1976 seems relevant in this context: “A stupid person is one who causes losses to another person or group while deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.” (You can find a nice summary of Cipolla’s theory here.) In other words, stupid people do stupid things for no reason. They harm other people, and they don’t even get anything out of it. They might even harm themselves in the process—“shooting themselves in the foot,” as we sometimes say, or “cutting off their nose to spite their face.” That is indeed the height of stupidity. This definition certainly applies to many, many of the Covidians, including quite a few who (if we want to be generous) started out as merely ignorant. Over time, their perhaps understandable ignorance morphed into stupidity as they held on stubbornly to masking, distancing, and school closures despite literal mountains of evidence that none of those had any salutary effect. And most of them didn’t even benefit from their stubborn, stupid refusal to acknowledge reality. Yes, some did, and we’ll get to them in a moment. But most didn’t. In many cases, they embarrassed themselves, damaged their careers, lost businesses and personal relationships, and for what? So they could yell at the rest of us about masks? That’s pretty stupid. Also instructive here is Cipolla’s Second Law of Stupidity: “The probability that a certain person is stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.” In other words, stupidity, as he defines it, is more or less evenly distributed throughout the population. It has nothing to do with intelligence, education, or income level. There are stupid doctors, lawyers, and college professors, just as there are stupid plumbers and ditch diggers. If anything, the former groups are somewhat more likely to contain stupid people. It all comes down to a person’s willingness to do things that make no sense, things that harm others—aka, stupid things—despite not getting anything out of it and perhaps even losing in the bargain. And then there are the people who actually DO benefit from the harm they cause to others. They exhibit many of the same behaviors as the stupid people, except that they actually get something out of it—money, fame, power. Cipolla refers to these people—those who harm others for their own benefit—as “bandits.” Most of the best-known Covidians, the biggest names in media, government, “public health,” and the pharmaceuticals industry, fall into this category. They initiated, enforced, and supported policies that seemingly made no sense, and they came away smelling like roses. They became the toast of the media circuit, earned cushy sinecures, and expanded their bank accounts by millions. The main difference between stupid people and bandits, according to Cipolla, is that the latter’s actions actually make sense, once you understand what they’re trying to accomplish. If a person knocks you down for no reason—well, that’s just stupid. But if they knock you down and then take your wallet, that makes sense. You understand why they knocked you down, even if you don’t like it any better. Moreover, you can to some degree adjust for the actions of “bandits”—for instance, by staying out of the bad part of town, where someone might knock you down and take your wallet. But if you’re at a mall in a nice suburb, and people are just knocking you down for no apparent reason, there’s no way to plan for that. The problem with stupidity, says Cipolla, is two-fold. First, we consistently “underestimate the number of stupid people in circulation.” We assume the vast majority of people will act rationally under most circumstances, but—as we’ve seen plainly over the last four years—that turns out not to be true. Many behave irrationally much of the time, and it appears that a majority will do so in a time of crisis. Second, as Cipolla points out, the stupid people are if anything more dangerous than the bandits, mostly for the reasons cited above: There are a lot more of them, and it’s nearly impossible to account for them. You can have a perfectly good plan to address some emergency—like, say, a pandemic—and the stupid people will blow it up for no good reason. Sure, malicious bad actors will make off with the treasury, if they can, but that has always been the case. I mean, is anybody really surprised that Albert Bourla added millions to his net worth? Or that Anthony Fauci now has a cushy job teaching at Georgetown? Yes, it’s frustrating and disgusting. There’s no doubt they were among the main architects of this disaster, as well as its main beneficiaries. But none of that is, or was, completely unexpected. Bandits gonna bandit. What has been most frustrating to me over the past couple of years has been the way that millions of otherwise normal people—including friends, relatives and colleagues, as well as store clerks, flight attendants, and random people on the streets—have behaved so stupidly. A surprising number continue to do so, embarrassing themselves by haranguing the rest of us about masks and “vaccines,” alienating everyone in sight, making life more difficult for themselves and others even though they gain nothing by it. So yes, the four-year debacle that is our collective Covid response is attributable in part to ignorance and in part to malice. But worse than either of those, and far more damaging to society in the long term, has been the sheer stupidity—humanity’s capacity for which I will never again underestimate. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Author Rob Jenkins is an associate professor of English at Georgia State University – Perimeter College and a Higher Education Fellow at Campus Reform. He is the author or co-author of six books, including Think Better, Write Better, Welcome to My Classroom, and The 9 Virtues of Exceptional Leaders. In addition to Brownstone and Campus Reform, he has written for Townhall, The Daily Wire, American Thinker, PJ Media, The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. The opinions expressed here are his own. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/ignorance-stupidity-or-malice/
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    Ignorance, Stupidity, or Malice? ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    So yes, the four-year debacle that is our collective Covid response is attributable in part to ignorance and in part to malice.
    Like
    1
    0 Comments 1 Shares 6642 Views
  • Judaism: Satanism, Sorcery and Black Magic | VT Foreign Policy
    February 23, 2024
    VT Condemns the ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINIANS by USA/Israel

    $ 280 BILLION US TAXPAYER DOLLARS INVESTED since 1948 in US/Israeli Ethnic Cleansing and Occupation Operation; $ 150B direct "aid" and $ 130B in "Offense" contracts
    Source: Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. and US Department of State.



    …by Jonas E. Alexis, Eric Gajewski, and Michael Hoffman

    Jonas E. Alexis: You have just published an article by Michael Hoffman, author of Judaism Discovered, and it almost certainly will ruffle people’s feathers because it goes into the dark world of Judaism, Cabbala and Freemasonry. E. Michael Jones has an entire chapter of this topic in his study The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Impact on World History.[1]

    According to Jones, Jewish revolutionaries were using secret societies such as Freemasonry and the Rosicrucian to bring down Western Civilization during the French Revolution. Voltaire himself was a Freemason and was indirectly aiding Judaism when he said: “Let the real Philosophers unite in a brotherhood like the Freemasons; let them assemble together and support each other, and let them be faithful to the association.”[2] Jones writes,

    “The theological foundation of the French Revolution becomes clear when Barruel’s exposition of Masonic ritual. The philosophes began their assault on the ancient regime by subverting morals, but the goal was always theological. Freemasonry’s attack on Christ was inspired by the Talmudic literature in the Cabala…Freemasonry is ultimately Judaizing.”[3]

    Is there a lot of Judaizing going on today?

    Eric Gajewski: This article and analysis by Mr Hoffman is timely. We must understand that from a Catholic’s perspective “Israel” or Zion was always a reference to the Catholic Church not some sort of “puppet state of Israel” created by those who truly hate Our Lord. Their “messiah” to come is not ours.

    Yet how many supposed Christians do you know are following this heresy? Certainly, the majority of “Christians” in America are. Now, we see in the news talk of a rebuilt third temple. You see many “Christians” getting excited because they think the second coming of Christ is coming. Ehh…wrong!

    Who is behind the New World Order? The answer becomes obvious after some basic study. We are moving out of a truly Catholic society right into the arms of the Antichrist himself. Let us recall the words of Rabbi Waton:

    “Judaism is communism, internationalism, the universal brotherhood of man, the emancipation of the working class and the human society. It is with these spiritual weapons that the Jews will conquer the world and the human race. The races and the nations will cheerfully submit to the spiritual power of Judaism, and all will become Jews….”

    Everybody should be able to see the evil principles in place and it should no longer surprise anyone at this point to see the further persecution of Catholicism/Christianity. It is time to draw a line in the sand.

    Michael Hoffman: The Kabbalah (“reception”), is a series of books of magic and mysticism. The canon has not been strictly defined although the rabbinic consensus names the Zohar as the most important volume. Another book, Sefer Yetzirah is a guide to black magic in Judaism.

    Zoharic studies in English have been advanced exponentially by the recent publication of Daniel Matt’s uncensored translation of all of the volumes traditionally associated with the Zohar.

    The descriptive term “Satanic” is overworked in this age of the Internet and “desktop” publishing. We do not propose to employ it casually or imprecisely. The Kabbalah is fundamentally Satanic in its theological orientation…

    The Kabbalah is attributed to the Rabbi Shimon ben Yoahi who wrote, “Even the best of the gentiles should all be killed.”

    Like the Talmud of Babylon, it is reputed to be derived form an Oral Law which God gave to Moses on Sinai in addition to the Written Law. In a cryptic passage from a book of the Kabbalah (Tikkunei Zohar 1:27b), buried within a double-entendre, is a reference to the Mishnah (first book of the Talmud) actually being “the burial place of Moses.” Furthermore, the rabbinic authors of the Mishnah admit to each other that their teachings and laws have “scant scriptural basis.”

    Judaics under Kabbalistic auspices are said to be under the dominion of the sitra ahra (“evil inclination”).

    SECRET MEANINGS, SEX CULT

    Kabbalistic exegesis of the Old Testament predicates a secret meaning that can be discerned by assigning each word of the Hebrew Bible a number through a process known as gematria, and then combining these numbers corresponding to letters, creating a new Bible unknown to the masses.

    The Kabbalah makes reference to the evil forces that will control Israel “in the secrecy of the steep,” when the spirits of the former zealots reincarnate on earth, forsaking their post-Second Temple exile to take up residence in Jerusalem yet again.[4]

    In Kabbalistic terms, “Evil forces attach themselves to holiness.”

    Patently, what is being called “holy” is not in accord with any Christian understanding of holiness, but rather in the pagan (Tantric) understanding that “defilement is a source of holiness.” That Jerusalem is the gateway to hell is celebrated in this mystical Kabbalistic sense, since it was known to and admitted by the rabbinate for centuries, that the evil forces are “most powerful in the Land of Israel, particularly in Jerusalem,” with the land’s “awesome powers” facilitating the process of demon worship and the resulting acquisition of material power on earth.[5]

    The Babylonian Talmud claims that the forbidden tree in the Garden from which Adam ate was a fig: “Rabbi Nehemiah holds that the tree of which Adam ate was the fig tree” (BT Berakoth 40a). The Kabbalah teaches that the leaves of this fig tree conveyed powers of sorcery and magic (Zohar 1:56b Bereshit).

    Consequently, in the rabbinic mind, the aprons worn by Adam and Eve, being made from the leaves of the fig tree, were garments that gave the wearers magical powers. These aprons made from fig leaves had the power to give the bearer the ability to enjoy “the fruits of the world-to-come” in the here-and-now. (BT Bava Metzia 114b). It is with this rabbinic understanding that Freemasons and Mormons wear these aprons in their own rituals.[6]

    The Zohar states that by black magic, Adam cut in half the divine unity of the god and goddess. Adam was formerly a giant, but after his sin his physical proportions were shrunk by God and “his erect stature diminished by one hundred cubits.” (Zohar 1:53b). In the fertile rabbinic imagination, most of the Book of Genesis, when taken literally, is misleading.

    In Zohar 1:36a Bereshit, an account is given of the temptation of Eve in Genesis 3: 4-6: “Eat from it and you will really be like Elohim, knowing good and evil.” After quoting this text, the Zohar reports that “Rabbi Yehudah said, This is not what the serpent said. For if he had said, ‘With this tree the Blessed Holy One created the world,’ it would have been a correct statement.

    What the serpent said was actually this: ‘The Blessed Holy One ate from this tree and then created the world…Eat from it and you will be creating worlds.””Zoharic Kabbalah…is centered on a blatantly erotic interpretation of the Godhead, dividing the functions of the sefirot into male and female sides. The Zohar includes multiple interpretations built around a concept of God’s ‘genitals.’

    Using a phrase in Isaiah, ‘behold the King in his beauty,’ (33:17) as its springboard, the Zohar interprets the word for yofi, ‘beauty’ as a euphemism for a divine member. Tikkuni Zohar explicitly claims the ‘divine image’ that God bestowed upon man (but not upon woman) was the penis (I: 62b, 94b). The Zohar also interprets a passage from Job, ‘In my flesh I see God,’ as a reference to the human penis being in ‘the image of God’…this supernal phallus is manifest in one or the other of two other sefirot, Tifferet…and Yesod…”[7]

    REDEMPTION THROUGH EVIL

    Judaism secretly teaches, as have the occult secret societies throughout the ages (in our time, Hindu Tantrism and the Ordo Templi Orientis or OTO), that the mystic can find redemption through a heroic willingness to do evil for the sake of a subsequent redemptive ascent to the highest spiritual good; immersion in the lowest of the low thus becomes a path to redemption: “…the concept of the descent of the Zaddiq, which is better known by the Hebrew phrase, Yeridah zorekh Aliyah, namely the descent for the sake of the ascent, the transgression for the sake of repentance…Much attention has been paid to this model because of its essential affinities with Zoharic and Lurianic Kabbalah…this model was a very important one in Hasidic thought…”[8]

    In other words, the rabbinic doctrine that evil can be redeemed by embracing it, was in circulation in early Hasidism until it threatened to expose the whole truth about the rabbinic religion, after which damage control was instituted through the familiar deception system of permissible dissimulation through dispensational revelation.

    In Hasidic Judaism’s first dispensation, the founding era of the Baal Shem Tov (early to mid-eighteenth century) and the disciples who came immediately in his wake, the grossest superstitions and the darkest dimensions of Babylonian Judaism were popularized among the Judaic masses, including the teaching that the “Jew” was to redeem the 288 “holy sparks” that exist in wicked thoughts (mahashavot zarot) and actions, by meditating upon them and implementing them, with the ostensible goal of “elevating” them.

    There was a sustained outcry, however, against this teaching from the rabbis of the non-Hasidic, “Mithnagdim” school, who complained bitterly that the Hasidim were “…popularizing mystical concepts that hitherto had zealously been kept concealed by the rabbis.” The complaint by the Mithnagdim has been represented to the outside world as a principled protest against excessive mysticism which “distorts” the austere Mosaic purity of rabbinic Judaism.

    Various forms of black magic (what Moshe Idel is pleased to call “the ancient Jewish mystical ascent as performed by the ‘descenders to the Merkavah”), superstition, goddess-worship, reincarnation and idolatry incontrovertibly comprise the under-publicized, formative core of Judaism’s oral traditions, and have exerted a profound influence on the rabbis since their sojourn in Babylon eighteen hundred years ago.[9]

    One of the oldest repositories of Babylonian magic in Judaism are the texts, Sifrei ha-Iyyun, the Sefer ha-Bahir and the Hilkoth Yesirah (also known as the Sefer Yetzirah), circa 200 A.D.; the earliest extant copy of the latter is the Genizah ms., tenth century. “…the practice associated with this school of thought is magical/theurgic, even including the attempt to make a golem.”[10]

    The “strand of earlier tradition is that of Merkavah mysticism. Merkavah designates a form of visionary mystical praxis that reaches back into the Hellenistic era but was still alive as late as tenth-century Babylonia…the old Merkavah and magical literature was preserved among the earliest Ashkenazic Jews…”[11]

    The best way for readers to acquaint themselves with the Kabbalah is to read the Zohar in the Matt translation. Two representative quotes from that volume are:

    “The evil impulse is good, and without the evil impulse, Israel cannot prevail in the world” (Zohar 161a); and: “Israel must make sacrifices to Satan so that he will leave Jerusalem unmolested.”

    Jonas E. Alexis: This “evil impulse” has never died out, and over the centuries has jumped around from place to place and movement to movement and has taken different forms and variations.

    It manifested itself briefly in fourteenth-century Spain when usury was used at an exorbitant rate, which ended up suppressing the peasants and provoking anti-Jewish reactions in the region. It sent shockwaves across much of Europe during the Hussite rebellion in the fifteenth century. It reached its pinnacle during the Peasant Revolt in the sixteenth century when judaizing Christians ended up smearing excrement on crucifixes and vandalizing and destroying churches and monasteries.

    In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the revolutionary spirit produced false Jewish messiahs such as Shabbatai Zevi (1626-1676), who spearheaded the Sabbatean movement, and later produced staunch disciples and lesser known messiahs such as Barukhia Russo, Miguel Cardoso, Mordecai Mokia, Lobele Prossnitz, and Jacob Joseph Frank, compounding disaster on disaster.

    The revolutionary spirit swept Europe in the nineteenth century with the rise of Marxism, which was the ideological brainchild of Karl Marx and Moses Hess. In the nineteenth century, it showed itself in much of Europe and sections in America in the sex industry, which was largely a Jewish enterprise—an enterprise which gave rise to Hitler’s negative conception of the Jews.



    As we have seen earlier, this same “evil impulse” almost destroyed Berlin in the 1920s and 30s through moral corruption and degradation, but…

    [1] E. Michael Jones, The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Impact on World History (South Bend: Fidelity Press, 2008), chapter twelve, particularly pages 539-550.

    [2] Quoted in ibid., 546.

    [3] Ibid.

    [4] Zohar 184b.

    [5] Yehezkel Rabinowitz, Knesset Yehezkel (Bunden, 1913), p. 52. Moshe Halamish, “The Land of Israel innKabbalah” in A. Ravitsky (ed.), Eretz Yisrael, pp. 215-232. H.E. Shapira, Divrei Torah, 5:24; 6:25. Mendel Piekarz, Hasidut Polin. Jeremiah 32:31-32: “For this city (Jerusalem) hath been to me as a provocation of mine anger and of my fury from the day that they built it even unto this day; that I should remove it from before my face. Because of all the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah, which they have done to provoke me to anger, they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”

    [6] Cf. John L. Brooke, The Refiner’s Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology (Cambridge University Press, 1994) and Lance S. Owens, “Joseph Smith and Kabbalah: The Occult Connection,” in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Fall 1994. Smith enraged his brother Freemasons by incorporating secret Kabbalistic rituals in Mormon ceremonies. His occult church was seen as a growing rival to masonic power. In Carthage, Illinois in 1844, he was surrounded by a masonic mob (almost always described by establishment historians generically, as simply “a mob”), and out of awareness of its masonic personnel, Smith made the gesture of the masonic signal of distress, and shouted the code words, “Will no one help the widow’s son?” Faithful to their orders however, his erstwhile masonic-assassin brethren killed him on the spot. Cf. E. Cecil McGavin, Mormonism and Masonry (Bookcraft Publishers, 1956).

    [7] Rabbi Geoffrey W. Dennis, The Encyclopedia of Jewish Myth, Magic and Mysticism (2007), p. 199.

    [8] Idel, Hasidism Between Ecstasy and Magic, p. 103.

    [9] Ithamar Gruenwald, Israel Oriental Studies 1 (1971): pp. 132-177 and Temerin, vol. 7 (Jerusalem, 1972) pp.101-139. Gershom Scholem, Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism and Talmudic Tradition (Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1965.

    [10] Daniel Matt, Zohar [Stanford, University 2004], v. 1. xxxvii].

    [11] Ibid., D. Matt, pp. xxxvi-xxxvii.


    ATTENTION READERS

    We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed
    In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion.

    About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy
    Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT.

    https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/02/judaism-satanism-sorcery-and-black-magic/
    Judaism: Satanism, Sorcery and Black Magic | VT Foreign Policy February 23, 2024 VT Condemns the ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINIANS by USA/Israel $ 280 BILLION US TAXPAYER DOLLARS INVESTED since 1948 in US/Israeli Ethnic Cleansing and Occupation Operation; $ 150B direct "aid" and $ 130B in "Offense" contracts Source: Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. and US Department of State. …by Jonas E. Alexis, Eric Gajewski, and Michael Hoffman Jonas E. Alexis: You have just published an article by Michael Hoffman, author of Judaism Discovered, and it almost certainly will ruffle people’s feathers because it goes into the dark world of Judaism, Cabbala and Freemasonry. E. Michael Jones has an entire chapter of this topic in his study The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Impact on World History.[1] According to Jones, Jewish revolutionaries were using secret societies such as Freemasonry and the Rosicrucian to bring down Western Civilization during the French Revolution. Voltaire himself was a Freemason and was indirectly aiding Judaism when he said: “Let the real Philosophers unite in a brotherhood like the Freemasons; let them assemble together and support each other, and let them be faithful to the association.”[2] Jones writes, “The theological foundation of the French Revolution becomes clear when Barruel’s exposition of Masonic ritual. The philosophes began their assault on the ancient regime by subverting morals, but the goal was always theological. Freemasonry’s attack on Christ was inspired by the Talmudic literature in the Cabala…Freemasonry is ultimately Judaizing.”[3] Is there a lot of Judaizing going on today? Eric Gajewski: This article and analysis by Mr Hoffman is timely. We must understand that from a Catholic’s perspective “Israel” or Zion was always a reference to the Catholic Church not some sort of “puppet state of Israel” created by those who truly hate Our Lord. Their “messiah” to come is not ours. Yet how many supposed Christians do you know are following this heresy? Certainly, the majority of “Christians” in America are. Now, we see in the news talk of a rebuilt third temple. You see many “Christians” getting excited because they think the second coming of Christ is coming. Ehh…wrong! Who is behind the New World Order? The answer becomes obvious after some basic study. We are moving out of a truly Catholic society right into the arms of the Antichrist himself. Let us recall the words of Rabbi Waton: “Judaism is communism, internationalism, the universal brotherhood of man, the emancipation of the working class and the human society. It is with these spiritual weapons that the Jews will conquer the world and the human race. The races and the nations will cheerfully submit to the spiritual power of Judaism, and all will become Jews….” Everybody should be able to see the evil principles in place and it should no longer surprise anyone at this point to see the further persecution of Catholicism/Christianity. It is time to draw a line in the sand. Michael Hoffman: The Kabbalah (“reception”), is a series of books of magic and mysticism. The canon has not been strictly defined although the rabbinic consensus names the Zohar as the most important volume. Another book, Sefer Yetzirah is a guide to black magic in Judaism. Zoharic studies in English have been advanced exponentially by the recent publication of Daniel Matt’s uncensored translation of all of the volumes traditionally associated with the Zohar. The descriptive term “Satanic” is overworked in this age of the Internet and “desktop” publishing. We do not propose to employ it casually or imprecisely. The Kabbalah is fundamentally Satanic in its theological orientation… The Kabbalah is attributed to the Rabbi Shimon ben Yoahi who wrote, “Even the best of the gentiles should all be killed.” Like the Talmud of Babylon, it is reputed to be derived form an Oral Law which God gave to Moses on Sinai in addition to the Written Law. In a cryptic passage from a book of the Kabbalah (Tikkunei Zohar 1:27b), buried within a double-entendre, is a reference to the Mishnah (first book of the Talmud) actually being “the burial place of Moses.” Furthermore, the rabbinic authors of the Mishnah admit to each other that their teachings and laws have “scant scriptural basis.” Judaics under Kabbalistic auspices are said to be under the dominion of the sitra ahra (“evil inclination”). SECRET MEANINGS, SEX CULT Kabbalistic exegesis of the Old Testament predicates a secret meaning that can be discerned by assigning each word of the Hebrew Bible a number through a process known as gematria, and then combining these numbers corresponding to letters, creating a new Bible unknown to the masses. The Kabbalah makes reference to the evil forces that will control Israel “in the secrecy of the steep,” when the spirits of the former zealots reincarnate on earth, forsaking their post-Second Temple exile to take up residence in Jerusalem yet again.[4] In Kabbalistic terms, “Evil forces attach themselves to holiness.” Patently, what is being called “holy” is not in accord with any Christian understanding of holiness, but rather in the pagan (Tantric) understanding that “defilement is a source of holiness.” That Jerusalem is the gateway to hell is celebrated in this mystical Kabbalistic sense, since it was known to and admitted by the rabbinate for centuries, that the evil forces are “most powerful in the Land of Israel, particularly in Jerusalem,” with the land’s “awesome powers” facilitating the process of demon worship and the resulting acquisition of material power on earth.[5] The Babylonian Talmud claims that the forbidden tree in the Garden from which Adam ate was a fig: “Rabbi Nehemiah holds that the tree of which Adam ate was the fig tree” (BT Berakoth 40a). The Kabbalah teaches that the leaves of this fig tree conveyed powers of sorcery and magic (Zohar 1:56b Bereshit). Consequently, in the rabbinic mind, the aprons worn by Adam and Eve, being made from the leaves of the fig tree, were garments that gave the wearers magical powers. These aprons made from fig leaves had the power to give the bearer the ability to enjoy “the fruits of the world-to-come” in the here-and-now. (BT Bava Metzia 114b). It is with this rabbinic understanding that Freemasons and Mormons wear these aprons in their own rituals.[6] The Zohar states that by black magic, Adam cut in half the divine unity of the god and goddess. Adam was formerly a giant, but after his sin his physical proportions were shrunk by God and “his erect stature diminished by one hundred cubits.” (Zohar 1:53b). In the fertile rabbinic imagination, most of the Book of Genesis, when taken literally, is misleading. In Zohar 1:36a Bereshit, an account is given of the temptation of Eve in Genesis 3: 4-6: “Eat from it and you will really be like Elohim, knowing good and evil.” After quoting this text, the Zohar reports that “Rabbi Yehudah said, This is not what the serpent said. For if he had said, ‘With this tree the Blessed Holy One created the world,’ it would have been a correct statement. What the serpent said was actually this: ‘The Blessed Holy One ate from this tree and then created the world…Eat from it and you will be creating worlds.””Zoharic Kabbalah…is centered on a blatantly erotic interpretation of the Godhead, dividing the functions of the sefirot into male and female sides. The Zohar includes multiple interpretations built around a concept of God’s ‘genitals.’ Using a phrase in Isaiah, ‘behold the King in his beauty,’ (33:17) as its springboard, the Zohar interprets the word for yofi, ‘beauty’ as a euphemism for a divine member. Tikkuni Zohar explicitly claims the ‘divine image’ that God bestowed upon man (but not upon woman) was the penis (I: 62b, 94b). The Zohar also interprets a passage from Job, ‘In my flesh I see God,’ as a reference to the human penis being in ‘the image of God’…this supernal phallus is manifest in one or the other of two other sefirot, Tifferet…and Yesod…”[7] REDEMPTION THROUGH EVIL Judaism secretly teaches, as have the occult secret societies throughout the ages (in our time, Hindu Tantrism and the Ordo Templi Orientis or OTO), that the mystic can find redemption through a heroic willingness to do evil for the sake of a subsequent redemptive ascent to the highest spiritual good; immersion in the lowest of the low thus becomes a path to redemption: “…the concept of the descent of the Zaddiq, which is better known by the Hebrew phrase, Yeridah zorekh Aliyah, namely the descent for the sake of the ascent, the transgression for the sake of repentance…Much attention has been paid to this model because of its essential affinities with Zoharic and Lurianic Kabbalah…this model was a very important one in Hasidic thought…”[8] In other words, the rabbinic doctrine that evil can be redeemed by embracing it, was in circulation in early Hasidism until it threatened to expose the whole truth about the rabbinic religion, after which damage control was instituted through the familiar deception system of permissible dissimulation through dispensational revelation. In Hasidic Judaism’s first dispensation, the founding era of the Baal Shem Tov (early to mid-eighteenth century) and the disciples who came immediately in his wake, the grossest superstitions and the darkest dimensions of Babylonian Judaism were popularized among the Judaic masses, including the teaching that the “Jew” was to redeem the 288 “holy sparks” that exist in wicked thoughts (mahashavot zarot) and actions, by meditating upon them and implementing them, with the ostensible goal of “elevating” them. There was a sustained outcry, however, against this teaching from the rabbis of the non-Hasidic, “Mithnagdim” school, who complained bitterly that the Hasidim were “…popularizing mystical concepts that hitherto had zealously been kept concealed by the rabbis.” The complaint by the Mithnagdim has been represented to the outside world as a principled protest against excessive mysticism which “distorts” the austere Mosaic purity of rabbinic Judaism. Various forms of black magic (what Moshe Idel is pleased to call “the ancient Jewish mystical ascent as performed by the ‘descenders to the Merkavah”), superstition, goddess-worship, reincarnation and idolatry incontrovertibly comprise the under-publicized, formative core of Judaism’s oral traditions, and have exerted a profound influence on the rabbis since their sojourn in Babylon eighteen hundred years ago.[9] One of the oldest repositories of Babylonian magic in Judaism are the texts, Sifrei ha-Iyyun, the Sefer ha-Bahir and the Hilkoth Yesirah (also known as the Sefer Yetzirah), circa 200 A.D.; the earliest extant copy of the latter is the Genizah ms., tenth century. “…the practice associated with this school of thought is magical/theurgic, even including the attempt to make a golem.”[10] The “strand of earlier tradition is that of Merkavah mysticism. Merkavah designates a form of visionary mystical praxis that reaches back into the Hellenistic era but was still alive as late as tenth-century Babylonia…the old Merkavah and magical literature was preserved among the earliest Ashkenazic Jews…”[11] The best way for readers to acquaint themselves with the Kabbalah is to read the Zohar in the Matt translation. Two representative quotes from that volume are: “The evil impulse is good, and without the evil impulse, Israel cannot prevail in the world” (Zohar 161a); and: “Israel must make sacrifices to Satan so that he will leave Jerusalem unmolested.” Jonas E. Alexis: This “evil impulse” has never died out, and over the centuries has jumped around from place to place and movement to movement and has taken different forms and variations. It manifested itself briefly in fourteenth-century Spain when usury was used at an exorbitant rate, which ended up suppressing the peasants and provoking anti-Jewish reactions in the region. It sent shockwaves across much of Europe during the Hussite rebellion in the fifteenth century. It reached its pinnacle during the Peasant Revolt in the sixteenth century when judaizing Christians ended up smearing excrement on crucifixes and vandalizing and destroying churches and monasteries. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the revolutionary spirit produced false Jewish messiahs such as Shabbatai Zevi (1626-1676), who spearheaded the Sabbatean movement, and later produced staunch disciples and lesser known messiahs such as Barukhia Russo, Miguel Cardoso, Mordecai Mokia, Lobele Prossnitz, and Jacob Joseph Frank, compounding disaster on disaster. The revolutionary spirit swept Europe in the nineteenth century with the rise of Marxism, which was the ideological brainchild of Karl Marx and Moses Hess. In the nineteenth century, it showed itself in much of Europe and sections in America in the sex industry, which was largely a Jewish enterprise—an enterprise which gave rise to Hitler’s negative conception of the Jews. As we have seen earlier, this same “evil impulse” almost destroyed Berlin in the 1920s and 30s through moral corruption and degradation, but… [1] E. Michael Jones, The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Impact on World History (South Bend: Fidelity Press, 2008), chapter twelve, particularly pages 539-550. [2] Quoted in ibid., 546. [3] Ibid. [4] Zohar 184b. [5] Yehezkel Rabinowitz, Knesset Yehezkel (Bunden, 1913), p. 52. Moshe Halamish, “The Land of Israel innKabbalah” in A. Ravitsky (ed.), Eretz Yisrael, pp. 215-232. H.E. Shapira, Divrei Torah, 5:24; 6:25. Mendel Piekarz, Hasidut Polin. Jeremiah 32:31-32: “For this city (Jerusalem) hath been to me as a provocation of mine anger and of my fury from the day that they built it even unto this day; that I should remove it from before my face. Because of all the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah, which they have done to provoke me to anger, they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” [6] Cf. John L. Brooke, The Refiner’s Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology (Cambridge University Press, 1994) and Lance S. Owens, “Joseph Smith and Kabbalah: The Occult Connection,” in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Fall 1994. Smith enraged his brother Freemasons by incorporating secret Kabbalistic rituals in Mormon ceremonies. His occult church was seen as a growing rival to masonic power. In Carthage, Illinois in 1844, he was surrounded by a masonic mob (almost always described by establishment historians generically, as simply “a mob”), and out of awareness of its masonic personnel, Smith made the gesture of the masonic signal of distress, and shouted the code words, “Will no one help the widow’s son?” Faithful to their orders however, his erstwhile masonic-assassin brethren killed him on the spot. Cf. E. Cecil McGavin, Mormonism and Masonry (Bookcraft Publishers, 1956). [7] Rabbi Geoffrey W. Dennis, The Encyclopedia of Jewish Myth, Magic and Mysticism (2007), p. 199. [8] Idel, Hasidism Between Ecstasy and Magic, p. 103. [9] Ithamar Gruenwald, Israel Oriental Studies 1 (1971): pp. 132-177 and Temerin, vol. 7 (Jerusalem, 1972) pp.101-139. Gershom Scholem, Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism and Talmudic Tradition (Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1965. [10] Daniel Matt, Zohar [Stanford, University 2004], v. 1. xxxvii]. [11] Ibid., D. Matt, pp. xxxvi-xxxvii. ATTENTION READERS We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion. About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT. https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/02/judaism-satanism-sorcery-and-black-magic/
    WWW.VTFOREIGNPOLICY.COM
    Judaism: Satanism, Sorcery and Black Magic
    …by Jonas E. Alexis, Eric Gajewski, and Michael Hoffman Jonas E. Alexis: You have just published an article by Michael Hoffman, author of Judaism Discovered, and it almost certainly will ruffle people’s feathers because it goes into the dark world of Judaism, Cabbala and Freemasonry. E. Michael Jones has an entire chapter of...
    0 Comments 0 Shares 19074 Views
  • The DOJ Quietly Prosecutes the Covid Resistance
    Brownstone Institute
    Midwives in New York and plastic surgeons in Utah didn’t close schools, shutter businesses, or add trillions of dollars to the national debt, yet they are the primary targets of the Biden DOJ’s Covid prosecution.

    Court documents reveal how the Department of Justice has dedicated hundreds of thousands of dollars in resources to prosecuting Americans who forged Covid vaccination statuses, according to a new report from David Zweig.

    The feds have used undercover agents to take down midwives and local doctors who forged vaccine cards. Many of the “criminals” had no profit motive; they objected to the mandates based on ideological principles or medical concerns, and they needed cards to participate in society.

    Zweig highlights cases that have been brought as late as spring 2022, “long after it was widely known that the vaccines did not stop infection or transmission, which was the only ethical and logistical justification for mandates.”

    More than ever, it is clear that the calls to “move on” from Covid are reserved for protecting those who implemented tyranny.

    Politicians like Gavin Newsom, who celebrated their acquisition of dictatorial powers in 2020, demand forgiveness for eviscerating the Bill of Rights. In the Atlantic, Professor Emily Oster called for a “pandemic amnesty” after advocating for vaccine mandates for employees and students, school closures, “full lockdowns” over the holidays, and universal masking. “Let’s focus on the future,” she insists.

    The Biden White House has largely adapted this strategy; substituting foreign conflicts as its new justifications for exorbitant foreign spending and widespread domestic censorship.

    With the presumptive nomination of President Trump in the Republican Party, citizens’ hope for answers on the Covid response hinges on Robert Kennedy, Jr.’s participation in the presidential debates. Both parties will work to ensure that does not happen.

    In effect, the powerful have already enjoyed a pandemic amnesty. Politicians have not lost their power nor faced a serious inquiry into their malfeasance. Pharmaceutical companies received government-sponsored immunity from lawsuits while pocketing billions of dollars from federal, state, and local mandates. The apparati behind the Covid response remain intact with little threat to their continued acquisition of power.

    But the “focus on the future” does not extend to those who resisted the Covid hegemon. “The mandates were so feared and loathed by significant and diverse numbers of citizens that they were willing to become criminals rather than comply,” Zweig explains.

    The Biden Department of Justice will not give dissidents the courtesy of a pandemic amnesty. Instead, the targets of the regime will join the ranks of Americans punished by the Department of Justice for their resistance while nondescript bureaucratic tyrants continue their careers unscathed.

    The damage to the nation, however, cannot be glossed over. Learning loss, business closures, vaccine injuries, the erosion of trust in all major institutions, trillions of dollars added to the national debt, trillions more in collateral damage, and the institution of a censorship state will take decades to fix, if possible at all.

    But there is no indication that the powerful will be held accountable for the damage they imposed. Instead, the Biden Administration has decided to target citizens who resisted its irrational edicts. The same edicts for which they insist they must be granted an “amnesty.” Such actions only increase the devastation from a disastrous policy response.

    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
    For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.

    Author

    The Brownstone Institute for Social and Economic Research is a nonprofit organization conceived of in May 2021 in support of a society that minimizes the role of violence in public life.

    View all posts
    Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work.

    https://brownstone.org/articles/the-doj-quietly-prosecutes-the-covid-resistance/
    The DOJ Quietly Prosecutes the Covid Resistance Brownstone Institute Midwives in New York and plastic surgeons in Utah didn’t close schools, shutter businesses, or add trillions of dollars to the national debt, yet they are the primary targets of the Biden DOJ’s Covid prosecution. Court documents reveal how the Department of Justice has dedicated hundreds of thousands of dollars in resources to prosecuting Americans who forged Covid vaccination statuses, according to a new report from David Zweig. The feds have used undercover agents to take down midwives and local doctors who forged vaccine cards. Many of the “criminals” had no profit motive; they objected to the mandates based on ideological principles or medical concerns, and they needed cards to participate in society. Zweig highlights cases that have been brought as late as spring 2022, “long after it was widely known that the vaccines did not stop infection or transmission, which was the only ethical and logistical justification for mandates.” More than ever, it is clear that the calls to “move on” from Covid are reserved for protecting those who implemented tyranny. Politicians like Gavin Newsom, who celebrated their acquisition of dictatorial powers in 2020, demand forgiveness for eviscerating the Bill of Rights. In the Atlantic, Professor Emily Oster called for a “pandemic amnesty” after advocating for vaccine mandates for employees and students, school closures, “full lockdowns” over the holidays, and universal masking. “Let’s focus on the future,” she insists. The Biden White House has largely adapted this strategy; substituting foreign conflicts as its new justifications for exorbitant foreign spending and widespread domestic censorship. With the presumptive nomination of President Trump in the Republican Party, citizens’ hope for answers on the Covid response hinges on Robert Kennedy, Jr.’s participation in the presidential debates. Both parties will work to ensure that does not happen. In effect, the powerful have already enjoyed a pandemic amnesty. Politicians have not lost their power nor faced a serious inquiry into their malfeasance. Pharmaceutical companies received government-sponsored immunity from lawsuits while pocketing billions of dollars from federal, state, and local mandates. The apparati behind the Covid response remain intact with little threat to their continued acquisition of power. But the “focus on the future” does not extend to those who resisted the Covid hegemon. “The mandates were so feared and loathed by significant and diverse numbers of citizens that they were willing to become criminals rather than comply,” Zweig explains. The Biden Department of Justice will not give dissidents the courtesy of a pandemic amnesty. Instead, the targets of the regime will join the ranks of Americans punished by the Department of Justice for their resistance while nondescript bureaucratic tyrants continue their careers unscathed. The damage to the nation, however, cannot be glossed over. Learning loss, business closures, vaccine injuries, the erosion of trust in all major institutions, trillions of dollars added to the national debt, trillions more in collateral damage, and the institution of a censorship state will take decades to fix, if possible at all. But there is no indication that the powerful will be held accountable for the damage they imposed. Instead, the Biden Administration has decided to target citizens who resisted its irrational edicts. The same edicts for which they insist they must be granted an “amnesty.” Such actions only increase the devastation from a disastrous policy response. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Author The Brownstone Institute for Social and Economic Research is a nonprofit organization conceived of in May 2021 in support of a society that minimizes the role of violence in public life. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/the-doj-quietly-prosecutes-the-covid-resistance/
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    The DOJ Quietly Prosecutes the Covid Resistance ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    There is no indication that the powerful will be held accountable for the damage they imposed. Instead, the Biden Administration has decided to target citizens who resisted its irrational edicts.
    Angry
    1
    0 Comments 1 Shares 8398 Views
  • German Scientists Uncover Evidence that EU Pfizer-BioNTech Batches Included Placebos
    Robert Kogon
    German scientists have uncovered startling evidence that a substantial portion of the batches of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine deployed in the European Union may in fact have consisted of placebos – and hence were not even subjected to quality-control testing by the German agency which was in principle responsible for approving their release.

    The scientists, Dr. Gerald Dyker, Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Ruhr University Bochum, and Dr. Jörg Matysik, Professor of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Leipzig, are part of a group of five German-speaking scientists who have been publicly raising questions about the quality and safety of the BioNTech vaccine (as it is known in Germany) for the last year and a half.

    They recently appeared on the Punkt.Preradovic online program of the German journalist Milena Preradovic to discuss batch variability. Their starting point was the recent Danish study showing enormous variation in the adverse events associated with different batches of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or BNT162b2 per its scientific codename. The below figure from the Danish study illustrates this variation.


    It shows that the batches used in Denmark, which are represented by the points in the graph, essentially break down into three groups.

    The “green batches” clustered around the green line have a moderate or moderately-high level of adverse events associated with them. In the discussion with Preradovic, Gerald Dyker takes the example of the green point furthest to the right.

    As he explains, it represents the batch that was used the most in Denmark, with somewhat over 800,000 doses having been administered. These 800,000 doses are associated with around 2,000 suspected adverse events, which gives a reporting rate of one suspected adverse event per approximately 400 doses. As Dyker puts it, “That’s not a small amount if we compare to what we know otherwise from influenza vaccines.” According to Dyker’s calculation, the green batches account for more than 60 percent of the Danish sample.

    There are then the “blue batches” clustered around the blue line, which are obviously associated with an extraordinarily high level of adverse events. As Dyker notes, no more than 80,000 doses of any of the blue batches were administered in Denmark – suggesting that these especially bad batches may perhaps have been quietly pulled from the market by public health authorities.

    Nonetheless, these batches had as many as 8,000 suspected adverse events associated with them. Eight thousand out of 80,000 doses would give a reporting rate of one suspected adverse event for every ten doses – and Dyker notes that some of the blue batches are indeed associated with a reporting rate of as high as one suspected adverse event for every six doses!

    On Dyker’s calculation, the blue batches represent less than 5 percent of the total number of doses included in the Danish study. Nonetheless, they are associated with nearly 50 percent of the 579 deaths recorded in the sample.

    Finally, we have the “yellow batches” clustered around the yellow line, which, as can be seen above, barely gets off the x-axis. On Dyker’s calculation, the yellow batches represent around 30 percent of the total. Dyker notes that they include batches comprising some 200,000 administered doses which are associated with literally zero suspected adverse events.

    As Dyker puts it, “malicious” observers might note that “this is how placebos would look.”

    And malicious observers might be right. For Dyker and Matysik compared the batch numbers contained in the Danish study with publicly available information on the batches approved for release, and they made the startling discovery that almost none of the harmless batches, unlike the very-bad and not-so-bad batches, appear to have been subject to any quality-control testing at all.

    Unbeknownst to most observers, it is precisely the German regulatory agency, the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), which is, in principle, responsible for quality control of all the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine supply in the EU. (The institute is named after the German immunologist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Ehrlich, not, of course, the Stanford biology professor of the same name.)

    This reflects the fact that the actual legal manufacturer of the vaccine, as well as the marketing authorization holder in the EU, is the German company BioNTech, not its more well-known American partner Pfizer. (See here for related documentation.)

    Dyker and Matysik found that the PEI had tested and approved for release all the very bad “blue” batches, the overwhelming majority of the not-so-bad “green” batches, but almost none of the harmless “yellow” batches – as if the PEI knew in advance that these batches were unproblematic.

    This is shown in the below slide from Dyker’s presentation during the Punkt.Preradovic interview. The title reads: “Which batches from the Danish study did the Paul Ehrlich Institute test and approve for release?”

    In the PEI column of each of the tables, “ja” means, of course, that the batch was tested, “nein” means that it was not. Note that only the first batch in the “yellow” table was tested.


    The caption under that table reads: “The PEI did not generally regard testing of the harmless ‘yellow batches’ as necessary.”

    As Dyker put it, with notable restraint, “this would support the initial suspicion that they are maybe in fact something like placebos.”

    Or, in short, to paraphrase the German scientists’ findings on the variability of the Pfizer-BioNTech batches, it would appear that the good was bad, the bad was very bad, and the very good was saline solution.

    (The full Punkt.Preradovic interview with Gerald Dyker and Jörg Matysik is available here in German with English subtitles. The above translations are by the author.)

    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
    For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.

    Author

    Robert Kogon is the pen name of a widely-published journalist covering European affairs.

    View all posts
    Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work.

    'German scientists have uncovered startling evidence that a substantial portion of the batches of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine deployed in the European Union may in fact have consisted of placebos – and hence were not even subjected to quality-control testing by the German agency which was in principle responsible for approving their release.'

    "The scientists, Dr. Gerald Dyker, Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Ruhr University Bochum, and Dr. Jörg Matysik, Professor of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Leipzig, are part of a group of five German-speaking scientists who have been publicly raising questions about the quality and safety of the BioNTech vaccine (as it is known in Germany) for the last year and a half. 
    They recently appeared on the Punkt.Preradovic online program of the German journalist Milena Preradovic to discuss batch variability. Their starting point was the recent Danish study showing enormous variation in the adverse events associated with different batches of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or BNT162b2 per its scientific codename."

    https://brownstone.org/articles/scientists-uncover-evidence-eu-pfizer-biontech-batches-included-placebos/

    ➡️ Boost RobinMG 🚀
    German Scientists Uncover Evidence that EU Pfizer-BioNTech Batches Included Placebos Robert Kogon German scientists have uncovered startling evidence that a substantial portion of the batches of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine deployed in the European Union may in fact have consisted of placebos – and hence were not even subjected to quality-control testing by the German agency which was in principle responsible for approving their release. The scientists, Dr. Gerald Dyker, Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Ruhr University Bochum, and Dr. Jörg Matysik, Professor of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Leipzig, are part of a group of five German-speaking scientists who have been publicly raising questions about the quality and safety of the BioNTech vaccine (as it is known in Germany) for the last year and a half. They recently appeared on the Punkt.Preradovic online program of the German journalist Milena Preradovic to discuss batch variability. Their starting point was the recent Danish study showing enormous variation in the adverse events associated with different batches of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or BNT162b2 per its scientific codename. The below figure from the Danish study illustrates this variation. It shows that the batches used in Denmark, which are represented by the points in the graph, essentially break down into three groups. The “green batches” clustered around the green line have a moderate or moderately-high level of adverse events associated with them. In the discussion with Preradovic, Gerald Dyker takes the example of the green point furthest to the right. As he explains, it represents the batch that was used the most in Denmark, with somewhat over 800,000 doses having been administered. These 800,000 doses are associated with around 2,000 suspected adverse events, which gives a reporting rate of one suspected adverse event per approximately 400 doses. As Dyker puts it, “That’s not a small amount if we compare to what we know otherwise from influenza vaccines.” According to Dyker’s calculation, the green batches account for more than 60 percent of the Danish sample. There are then the “blue batches” clustered around the blue line, which are obviously associated with an extraordinarily high level of adverse events. As Dyker notes, no more than 80,000 doses of any of the blue batches were administered in Denmark – suggesting that these especially bad batches may perhaps have been quietly pulled from the market by public health authorities. Nonetheless, these batches had as many as 8,000 suspected adverse events associated with them. Eight thousand out of 80,000 doses would give a reporting rate of one suspected adverse event for every ten doses – and Dyker notes that some of the blue batches are indeed associated with a reporting rate of as high as one suspected adverse event for every six doses! On Dyker’s calculation, the blue batches represent less than 5 percent of the total number of doses included in the Danish study. Nonetheless, they are associated with nearly 50 percent of the 579 deaths recorded in the sample. Finally, we have the “yellow batches” clustered around the yellow line, which, as can be seen above, barely gets off the x-axis. On Dyker’s calculation, the yellow batches represent around 30 percent of the total. Dyker notes that they include batches comprising some 200,000 administered doses which are associated with literally zero suspected adverse events. As Dyker puts it, “malicious” observers might note that “this is how placebos would look.” And malicious observers might be right. For Dyker and Matysik compared the batch numbers contained in the Danish study with publicly available information on the batches approved for release, and they made the startling discovery that almost none of the harmless batches, unlike the very-bad and not-so-bad batches, appear to have been subject to any quality-control testing at all. Unbeknownst to most observers, it is precisely the German regulatory agency, the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), which is, in principle, responsible for quality control of all the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine supply in the EU. (The institute is named after the German immunologist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Ehrlich, not, of course, the Stanford biology professor of the same name.) This reflects the fact that the actual legal manufacturer of the vaccine, as well as the marketing authorization holder in the EU, is the German company BioNTech, not its more well-known American partner Pfizer. (See here for related documentation.) Dyker and Matysik found that the PEI had tested and approved for release all the very bad “blue” batches, the overwhelming majority of the not-so-bad “green” batches, but almost none of the harmless “yellow” batches – as if the PEI knew in advance that these batches were unproblematic. This is shown in the below slide from Dyker’s presentation during the Punkt.Preradovic interview. The title reads: “Which batches from the Danish study did the Paul Ehrlich Institute test and approve for release?” In the PEI column of each of the tables, “ja” means, of course, that the batch was tested, “nein” means that it was not. Note that only the first batch in the “yellow” table was tested. The caption under that table reads: “The PEI did not generally regard testing of the harmless ‘yellow batches’ as necessary.” As Dyker put it, with notable restraint, “this would support the initial suspicion that they are maybe in fact something like placebos.” Or, in short, to paraphrase the German scientists’ findings on the variability of the Pfizer-BioNTech batches, it would appear that the good was bad, the bad was very bad, and the very good was saline solution. (The full Punkt.Preradovic interview with Gerald Dyker and Jörg Matysik is available here in German with English subtitles. The above translations are by the author.) Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Author Robert Kogon is the pen name of a widely-published journalist covering European affairs. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. 'German scientists have uncovered startling evidence that a substantial portion of the batches of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine deployed in the European Union may in fact have consisted of placebos – and hence were not even subjected to quality-control testing by the German agency which was in principle responsible for approving their release.' "The scientists, Dr. Gerald Dyker, Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Ruhr University Bochum, and Dr. Jörg Matysik, Professor of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Leipzig, are part of a group of five German-speaking scientists who have been publicly raising questions about the quality and safety of the BioNTech vaccine (as it is known in Germany) for the last year and a half.  They recently appeared on the Punkt.Preradovic online program of the German journalist Milena Preradovic to discuss batch variability. Their starting point was the recent Danish study showing enormous variation in the adverse events associated with different batches of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or BNT162b2 per its scientific codename." https://brownstone.org/articles/scientists-uncover-evidence-eu-pfizer-biontech-batches-included-placebos/ ➡️ Boost RobinMG 🚀
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    German Scientists Uncover Evidence that EU Pfizer-BioNTech Batches Included Placebos ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    Scientists have uncovered evidence that batches of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine deployed in the EU may have consisted of placebos
    0 Comments 0 Shares 5555 Views
  • Covid mRNA Vaccines Required No Safety Oversight
    Debbie Lerman
    When everyone from the President to your primary care doctor declared loudly and wholeheartedly in December 2020 that the newly FDA-authorized Covid mRNA vaccines were “safe and effective” – what were those claims based on?

    In this article, I will review the contractual and regulatory framework applied by the US government to the initial development, manufacture, and acquisition of the Covid mRNA shots. I will use the BioNTech/Pfizer agreements to illustrate the process.

    The analysis will show that:

    The Covid mRNA vaccines were acquired and authorized through mechanisms designed to rush medical countermeasures to the military during emergencies involving weapons of mass destruction.
    These mechanisms did not require the application of, or adherence to, any laws or regulations related to vaccine development or manufacturing.
    The FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization for the vaccines was based on clinical trials and manufacturing processes conducted with no binding legal standards, no legally proscribed safety oversight or regulation, and no legal redress from the manufacturer for potential harms. (This last point is being challenged in multiple court cases, so far to no avail.)
    What all of this means is that none of the laws or regulations that we count on to protect us from potentially harmful, or deadly, medical products was applied to the Covid mRNA vaccines. The assertion of “safe and effective” was based entirely on aspirations, opinions, beliefs, and presumptions of government employees.

    In Part 1 of this article I will provide a summary of the main contractual and legal points and explain how they excluded any requirements for regulatory oversight. In Part 2, I will go through a detailed analysis of the underlying documentation.

    Contractual Framework for Covid mRNA Vaccines

    When the US government entered into its Covid vaccine agreement with Pfizer, which was acting on behalf of the BioNTech/Pfizer partnership, in July 2020, the agreement encompassed a minimum of 100 million doses of a “vaccine to prevent COVID-19” and a payment of at least $1.95 billion. The agreement also allowed for future procurement of hundreds of millions of additional doses.

    That’s a lot of money for a lot of items, especially since the vaccines had not yet been tested, approved, or manufactured to scale and, as the agreement stated, were purely “aspirational.”

    Obviously, this is not normal procedure. But, then, those were not normal times. The government declared that we were “at war” with a catastrophically dangerous virus that would kill millions and millions of people of all ages unless we could develop “medical countermeasures” (a military term) and get everyone to take them as quickly as possible.

    In keeping with the declaration of war, it was a military framework that was used for acquiring the aspirational products that became known as Covid mRNA vaccines.

    Military Acquisition

    The government side to the agreement with Pfizer was the Department of Defense (DoD), represented by a convoluted chain of parties, each operating as a subcontractor, or co-contractor, for the next.

    You’ll find details about the role of each of these military procurement groups in Part 2 of this article. The important point to recognize is that all of these bodies are charged exclusively with military objectives: “ensuring military readiness,” “enhancing the mission effectiveness of military personnel,” and “supporting the Army and Unified Land Operations, anytime, anywhere.”

    This is crucial, because the laws and procedures governing military procurement have a very different set of assumptions and cost-benefit considerations than those used in civil society.

    In fact, agencies governing civilian and public health, like the NIH, NIAID and HHS, do not have the authority to grant certain types of special acquisition contracts, which is why the Covid vaccine contracts had to be overseen by the Department of Defense.

    Thus, HHS “partnered” with DoD to “leverage DoD’s OTA authorities … which HHS lacked.” [ref]

    What are “OTA authorities?”

    Other Transaction Authority/Agreement (OTA)

    (NOTE: OTA is used interchangeably to refer to Other Transaction Agreement and Other Transaction Authority.)

    The OTA is a procurement method that, according to Department of Defense guidelines, has been used since 1958 to “permit a federal agency to enter into transactions other than contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements.”

    What types of transactions are we talking about?

    First and foremost, the OTA acquisition structure “operates outside the Federal Acquisition Regulations.” This means no federal laws related to government purchases apply to OTAs. Such laws generally involve things like ensuring competition, accounting standards, cost management, record-keeping and labor practices. For purchases of medical products, they also include things like oversight of research on human subjects and privacy laws.

    Why is it a good idea to bypass all these acquisition regulations? For the military, OTAs can provide “access to state-of-the-art technology solutions from traditional and non-traditional defense contractors.” More specifically, according to DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), OTAs are designed to “avoid many of the hurdles that scare away private industry,” including “burdensome regulations.”

    The second defining aspect of OTAs is that they apply to projects that are

    …directly relevant to enhancing the mission effectiveness of personnel of the Department of Defense or improving platforms, systems, components, or materials proposed to be acquired or developed by the Department of Defense, or to improvement of platforms, systems, components, or materials in use by the armed forces.

    In other words, OTA is not a pathway for government acquisitions primarily intended for civilian populations.

    In fact, from the time of OTA inception in 1958 until Covid, the vast majority of OTAs were awarded for weapons, military supplies, and information technologies. For example, in an overview from 2013-2018, the top OTAs dealt with underwater weapons, ground vehicles, rocket propulsion systems, and “technologies related to the use of the electromagnetic spectrum or the information that rides on it.”

    What About OTAs for Medical Products?

    In 2015, DoD announced the establishment of the CBRN Medical Countermeasure Consortium, whose purpose was to use the OTA acquisition pathway to “work with DoD to develop FDA licensed chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear medical countermeasures.”

    Broadly speaking, this included “prototype technologies for therapeutic medical countermeasures targeting viral, bacterial, and biological toxin targets of interest to the DoD.” Furthermore, such technologies could include “animal models of viral, bacterial or biological toxin disease and pathogenesis, assays, diagnostic technologies, or other platform technologies.”

    Note that there is a mention of FDA licensing, which means a medical product cannot be purchased through OTA without any FDA involvement. The extent of that involvement will be discussed in the section on Regulations below.

    But before we get to the FDA, just looking at what an OTA can be applied to, it does not look like manufacturing 100 million doses of anything is even in the ballpark.

    Pfizer’s Other Transaction Agreement (OTA)

    DoD can make three types of agreements under OTA: research, prototypes, and manufacturing. Importantly, according to National Defense Magazine, the agreements (which are “other than contracts”) are supposed to start with prototypes and then move “from prototypes to production contracts.” In other words, you start with an OTA for a prototype and then get an actual production contract.

    In contrast, the agreement between Pfizer and the US government, routed through the Department of Defense and the CBRN Medical Countermeasure Consortium, classified what Pfizer agreed to deliver as a “prototype project” and “manufacturing demonstration.” As stated in the agreement:

    The intent of this prototype project is to demonstrate that Pfizer has the business and logistics capability to manufacture 100M doses of its currently unapproved mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine for the Government [(b)(4) redaction]

    So the military acquisition branch of the government is paying Pfizer to show that it can manufacture 100 million doses of a never-before produced or tested product, while also acquiring those 100 million doses, and potentially hundreds of millions more. The “prototype” somehow includes not just the manufacturing process, but also the 100 million doses created through that process.

    Nowhere in the history of Other Transaction Agreements is there anything remotely resembling this conflation of a prototype (“a preliminary model of something,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary) and the manufacturing of millions of exemplars of that prototype. Actually, it is unclear from the wording of the OTA whether the “prototype” applies to the mRNA Covid vaccine, the mRNA platform for manufacturing the vaccine, the actual manufacturing of 100 million vaccines, or all of the above.

    Regulatory Framework for Covid mRNA Vaccines

    What about regulatory oversight of the development and manufacturing processes?

    For pharmaceutical products, like vaccines, this would include: 1) clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the products, and 2) compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices to ensure what is in each dose is actually what is supposed to be in each dose.

    Who is responsible for this type of oversight in the context of Pfizer’s OTA?

    Pfizer will meet the necessary FDA requirements for conducting ongoing and planned clinical trials, and with its collaboration partner, BioNTech, will seek FDA approval or authorization for the vaccine, assuming the clinical data supports such application for approval or authorization.

    What are the FDA requirements “for approval or authorization?”

    According to the Pfizer OTA, those requirements are whatever it takes to “grant an Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) under Section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.”

    In fact, the two regulations applied to the authorization of the Pfizer mRNA Covid vaccines were EUA and its partner, the PREP Act, which grants legal immunity from prosecution to anyone who has anything to do with the vaccines, unless they commit outright fraud.

    Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)

    EUA is a very special way to authorize a medical countermeasure in very specific types of emergencies. It was designed, according to the Department of Justice, to quickly make available effective vaccines and treatments against – among other CBRN agents – potential biowarfare/bioterror agents like anthrax, botulinum toxin, Ebola, and plague.

    As explained in Harvard Law’s Bill of Health, “Ultimately, it was the War on Terror that would give rise to emergency use authorization.” The article continues,

    The record indicates that Congress was focused on the threat of bioterror specifically, not on preparing for a naturally-occurring pandemic.

    You can read about the details of EUA regulations in part 2 of this article. In summary, an Emergency Use Authorization can be granted by the Food and Drug Administration once the HHS and/or DoD have declared that there is an attack, threat of an attack, or national security threat created by a CBRN agent (a weapon of mass destruction).

    Significantly, as the Harvard Law article explains, EUA was not intended to cover brand-new vaccines:

    The only vaccine ever to have received an EUA prior to the current pandemic was AVA, an anthrax vaccine that had already been formally approved for other purposes.

    This is extremely important: EUA was meant for dire situations of warfare or terrorism, not to protect the entire population from naturally occurring pathogens. For this reason, EUA products do not require the type of legal safety oversight that is applied in civilian contexts by the FDA.

    And without adherence to legal safety standards in clinical trials and manufacturing, there is no way of knowing whether the products, in this case the Covid mRNA vaccines, are actually safe.

    No Legal or Regulatory Standards Apply to the FDA’s Decision to Grant EUA

    Here’s the kicker about EUA: because it was intended to be issued only in war and WMD-related emergencies, there are no legal requirements for how it is issued, beyond the determination of the FDA that such authorization is appropriate. No legal standards for how clinical trials are conducted. No laws regulating the manufacturing processes. Only “reasonable beliefs” based on whatever evidence is available to the FDA at the time that it makes its determination.

    This is how it is described in U.S. Code 360bbb-3, which covers EUA:

    Criteria for issuance of authorization

    An agent referred to in a declaration [by the HHS Secretary] can cause a serious or life-threatening disease or condition
    Based on the totality of scientific evidence available to the Secretary, including data from adequate and well-controlled clinical trials, if available, it is reasonable to believe that
    The product may be effective in diagnosing, treating or preventing such disease or condition
    The known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks, taking into consideration the material threat posed by the CBRN agent(s)
    There is no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the product
    In Its EUA Guidance for Industry and Other Stakeholders, the FDA recommends that EUA applications contain information about clinical trials, manufacturing processes, potential risks, etc. Crucially, as stated at the top of every page, these are merely “nonbinding recommendations.”

    It’s up to the EUA applicant to decide what information to submit, and it’s up to the FDA to decide whether that information meets the “statutory requirements” (as stated above).

    PREP Act

    If you agree to develop, manufacture, and sell hundreds of millions of aspirational products to the government under the contract-like Other Transaction Agreement and bioterror-contingent Emergency Use Authorization, you need very good liability protection.

    This is provided by the PREP (Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness) Act that was designed to go hand-in-hand with EUA. Again, it is possible to envision a bioterrorism scenario, like an anthrax attack, in which the government needs to get lots of countermeasures very quickly. Many people will inevitably die in the attack, but if there’s a chance that the countermeasure will work, it needs to get made and distributed as quickly as possible. If it has some bad side effects, or even if it kills some people, one could argue that the manufacturer should not be held liable.

    Clearly, this was never intended to apply to a new, untested vaccine used to counter a naturally occurring virus in hundreds of millions of people.

    What, then, are the standards for determining the necessity of a PREP Act declaration?

    Here’s how the Health and Human Services (HHS) website describes the factors considered by the HHS Secretary:

    In deciding whether to issue a PREP Act Declaration, HHS must consider the desirability of encouraging the design, development, clinical testing or investigation, manufacture, labeling, distribution, formulation, packaging, marketing, promotion, sale, purchase, donation, dispensing, prescribing, administering, licensing, and use of the countermeasure recommended in the Declaration. HHS may also consider other relevant factors.

    As with the EUA determination, there are no legally binding standards or directives for issuing a PREP Act. If the products made under EUA cause harm or death, no one involved in making or administering those products can be held accountable, as long as there is accompanying PREP Act protection.

    Conclusion

    The BioNTech/Pfizer Covid mRNA vaccines were authorized for use in the entire population of the United States based on the application of the following sequence of agreements and determinations:

    Department of Defense uses “contract-like” Other Transaction Authority (OTA) to buy aspirational products. DoD is not responsible for overseeing clinical trials or manufacturing. Pfizer is responsible for getting authorization from the FDA.
    The FDA is permitted to issue Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to Pfizer for mRNA vaccines because the HHS Secretary declares that there is an emergency that warrants EUA.
    FDA makes its EUA determination based on whatever evidence and considerations it feels are appropriate, given the emergency situation. There are no legal standards that apply to the FDA’s considerations, except that it believes the product may be effective, the benefits outweigh the risks based on available information, and there is no alternative product.
    The Health and Human Services Secretary grants total legal immunity through the PREP Act to anyone involved in developing, making, shipping, or administering the vaccines, based on his determination that there is an emergency that justifies this action.
    That’s what the “safe and effective” claim for the BioNTech/Pfizer Covid mRNA vaccines was based on in December 2020, when millions of people – including children and pregnant women – were mandated to take the injections. Objectors were ridiculed, silenced, ostracized, and fired. Harms and deaths were, and continue to be, covered up, uninvestigated, and uncounted.

    Questions About the Legality of the EUA for Covid mRNA Vaccines

    It sounds like something in this whole process must be illegal, right?

    So far, trying to charge pharmaceutical companies with wrongdoing related to Covid vaccines has failed, because the EUA + PREP combo means they were not required to apply any legal/regulatory standards to their clinical studies or manufacturing processes.

    But what about the government?

    Since the OTA, EUA, and PREP regulations are intended for use during a catastrophic CBRN emergency, we might ask ourselves: did the US government believe SARS-CoV-2 was an engineered potential bioweapon? Did the government use what we might consider an extra-legal (in civilian terms) acquisition and authorization process based on the assumption that the entire population was threatened by the equivalent of a bioterrorism or biowarfare attack? It sure seems like they did. And if so, did they have a legal obligation to inform the public of this situation in order to resort to the OTA and EUA procurement and authorization pathway?

    Moreover, even if the government considered Covid-19 to be a disease caused by a potential bioterror agent, how could the HHS Secretary justify an Emergency Use Authorization that required him to determine that “there is a public health emergency that has a significant potential to affect national security” when it was known that Covid-19 was deadly almost exclusively in old and infirm populations?

    In December 2020 the following facts were known about Covid-19 without a reasonable doubt:

    The infection fatality rate (IFR) for the entire population was less than 1%.
    The IFR for anyone under 55 was 0.01% or lower.
    The IFR for children was near zero.
    [ref][ref][ref][ref][ref][ref]

    A disease that has significant potential to affect national security has to be very severe, especially in its effect on the military. Yet in December 2020 military-aged people were known to be at nearly no risk from Covid-19. And still the HHS Secretary determined that there was an emergency that warranted EUA for the mRNA vaccines. And all military personnel were mandated to get the injections.

    I hope that by publishing this information as widely as possible we can eventually find a way to demand some measure of accountability.

    Acknowledgements

    Sasha Latypova and Katherine Watt have been trying to draw attention to this shocking legal and regulatory framework for a long time. I am deeply grateful for, and indebted to, their in-depth research and tireless work to disseminate this information.

    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
    For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.

    Author

    Debbie Lerman, 2023 Brownstone Fellow, has a degree in English from Harvard. She is a retired science writer and a practicing artist in Philadelphia, PA.

    View all posts
    Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work.

    https://brownstone.org/articles/covid-mrna-vaccines-required-no-safety-oversight/
    Covid mRNA Vaccines Required No Safety Oversight Debbie Lerman When everyone from the President to your primary care doctor declared loudly and wholeheartedly in December 2020 that the newly FDA-authorized Covid mRNA vaccines were “safe and effective” – what were those claims based on? In this article, I will review the contractual and regulatory framework applied by the US government to the initial development, manufacture, and acquisition of the Covid mRNA shots. I will use the BioNTech/Pfizer agreements to illustrate the process. The analysis will show that: The Covid mRNA vaccines were acquired and authorized through mechanisms designed to rush medical countermeasures to the military during emergencies involving weapons of mass destruction. These mechanisms did not require the application of, or adherence to, any laws or regulations related to vaccine development or manufacturing. The FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization for the vaccines was based on clinical trials and manufacturing processes conducted with no binding legal standards, no legally proscribed safety oversight or regulation, and no legal redress from the manufacturer for potential harms. (This last point is being challenged in multiple court cases, so far to no avail.) What all of this means is that none of the laws or regulations that we count on to protect us from potentially harmful, or deadly, medical products was applied to the Covid mRNA vaccines. The assertion of “safe and effective” was based entirely on aspirations, opinions, beliefs, and presumptions of government employees. In Part 1 of this article I will provide a summary of the main contractual and legal points and explain how they excluded any requirements for regulatory oversight. In Part 2, I will go through a detailed analysis of the underlying documentation. Contractual Framework for Covid mRNA Vaccines When the US government entered into its Covid vaccine agreement with Pfizer, which was acting on behalf of the BioNTech/Pfizer partnership, in July 2020, the agreement encompassed a minimum of 100 million doses of a “vaccine to prevent COVID-19” and a payment of at least $1.95 billion. The agreement also allowed for future procurement of hundreds of millions of additional doses. That’s a lot of money for a lot of items, especially since the vaccines had not yet been tested, approved, or manufactured to scale and, as the agreement stated, were purely “aspirational.” Obviously, this is not normal procedure. But, then, those were not normal times. The government declared that we were “at war” with a catastrophically dangerous virus that would kill millions and millions of people of all ages unless we could develop “medical countermeasures” (a military term) and get everyone to take them as quickly as possible. In keeping with the declaration of war, it was a military framework that was used for acquiring the aspirational products that became known as Covid mRNA vaccines. Military Acquisition The government side to the agreement with Pfizer was the Department of Defense (DoD), represented by a convoluted chain of parties, each operating as a subcontractor, or co-contractor, for the next. You’ll find details about the role of each of these military procurement groups in Part 2 of this article. The important point to recognize is that all of these bodies are charged exclusively with military objectives: “ensuring military readiness,” “enhancing the mission effectiveness of military personnel,” and “supporting the Army and Unified Land Operations, anytime, anywhere.” This is crucial, because the laws and procedures governing military procurement have a very different set of assumptions and cost-benefit considerations than those used in civil society. In fact, agencies governing civilian and public health, like the NIH, NIAID and HHS, do not have the authority to grant certain types of special acquisition contracts, which is why the Covid vaccine contracts had to be overseen by the Department of Defense. Thus, HHS “partnered” with DoD to “leverage DoD’s OTA authorities … which HHS lacked.” [ref] What are “OTA authorities?” Other Transaction Authority/Agreement (OTA) (NOTE: OTA is used interchangeably to refer to Other Transaction Agreement and Other Transaction Authority.) The OTA is a procurement method that, according to Department of Defense guidelines, has been used since 1958 to “permit a federal agency to enter into transactions other than contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements.” What types of transactions are we talking about? First and foremost, the OTA acquisition structure “operates outside the Federal Acquisition Regulations.” This means no federal laws related to government purchases apply to OTAs. Such laws generally involve things like ensuring competition, accounting standards, cost management, record-keeping and labor practices. For purchases of medical products, they also include things like oversight of research on human subjects and privacy laws. Why is it a good idea to bypass all these acquisition regulations? For the military, OTAs can provide “access to state-of-the-art technology solutions from traditional and non-traditional defense contractors.” More specifically, according to DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), OTAs are designed to “avoid many of the hurdles that scare away private industry,” including “burdensome regulations.” The second defining aspect of OTAs is that they apply to projects that are …directly relevant to enhancing the mission effectiveness of personnel of the Department of Defense or improving platforms, systems, components, or materials proposed to be acquired or developed by the Department of Defense, or to improvement of platforms, systems, components, or materials in use by the armed forces. In other words, OTA is not a pathway for government acquisitions primarily intended for civilian populations. In fact, from the time of OTA inception in 1958 until Covid, the vast majority of OTAs were awarded for weapons, military supplies, and information technologies. For example, in an overview from 2013-2018, the top OTAs dealt with underwater weapons, ground vehicles, rocket propulsion systems, and “technologies related to the use of the electromagnetic spectrum or the information that rides on it.” What About OTAs for Medical Products? In 2015, DoD announced the establishment of the CBRN Medical Countermeasure Consortium, whose purpose was to use the OTA acquisition pathway to “work with DoD to develop FDA licensed chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear medical countermeasures.” Broadly speaking, this included “prototype technologies for therapeutic medical countermeasures targeting viral, bacterial, and biological toxin targets of interest to the DoD.” Furthermore, such technologies could include “animal models of viral, bacterial or biological toxin disease and pathogenesis, assays, diagnostic technologies, or other platform technologies.” Note that there is a mention of FDA licensing, which means a medical product cannot be purchased through OTA without any FDA involvement. The extent of that involvement will be discussed in the section on Regulations below. But before we get to the FDA, just looking at what an OTA can be applied to, it does not look like manufacturing 100 million doses of anything is even in the ballpark. Pfizer’s Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) DoD can make three types of agreements under OTA: research, prototypes, and manufacturing. Importantly, according to National Defense Magazine, the agreements (which are “other than contracts”) are supposed to start with prototypes and then move “from prototypes to production contracts.” In other words, you start with an OTA for a prototype and then get an actual production contract. In contrast, the agreement between Pfizer and the US government, routed through the Department of Defense and the CBRN Medical Countermeasure Consortium, classified what Pfizer agreed to deliver as a “prototype project” and “manufacturing demonstration.” As stated in the agreement: The intent of this prototype project is to demonstrate that Pfizer has the business and logistics capability to manufacture 100M doses of its currently unapproved mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine for the Government [(b)(4) redaction] So the military acquisition branch of the government is paying Pfizer to show that it can manufacture 100 million doses of a never-before produced or tested product, while also acquiring those 100 million doses, and potentially hundreds of millions more. The “prototype” somehow includes not just the manufacturing process, but also the 100 million doses created through that process. Nowhere in the history of Other Transaction Agreements is there anything remotely resembling this conflation of a prototype (“a preliminary model of something,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary) and the manufacturing of millions of exemplars of that prototype. Actually, it is unclear from the wording of the OTA whether the “prototype” applies to the mRNA Covid vaccine, the mRNA platform for manufacturing the vaccine, the actual manufacturing of 100 million vaccines, or all of the above. Regulatory Framework for Covid mRNA Vaccines What about regulatory oversight of the development and manufacturing processes? For pharmaceutical products, like vaccines, this would include: 1) clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the products, and 2) compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices to ensure what is in each dose is actually what is supposed to be in each dose. Who is responsible for this type of oversight in the context of Pfizer’s OTA? Pfizer will meet the necessary FDA requirements for conducting ongoing and planned clinical trials, and with its collaboration partner, BioNTech, will seek FDA approval or authorization for the vaccine, assuming the clinical data supports such application for approval or authorization. What are the FDA requirements “for approval or authorization?” According to the Pfizer OTA, those requirements are whatever it takes to “grant an Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) under Section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.” In fact, the two regulations applied to the authorization of the Pfizer mRNA Covid vaccines were EUA and its partner, the PREP Act, which grants legal immunity from prosecution to anyone who has anything to do with the vaccines, unless they commit outright fraud. Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) EUA is a very special way to authorize a medical countermeasure in very specific types of emergencies. It was designed, according to the Department of Justice, to quickly make available effective vaccines and treatments against – among other CBRN agents – potential biowarfare/bioterror agents like anthrax, botulinum toxin, Ebola, and plague. As explained in Harvard Law’s Bill of Health, “Ultimately, it was the War on Terror that would give rise to emergency use authorization.” The article continues, The record indicates that Congress was focused on the threat of bioterror specifically, not on preparing for a naturally-occurring pandemic. You can read about the details of EUA regulations in part 2 of this article. In summary, an Emergency Use Authorization can be granted by the Food and Drug Administration once the HHS and/or DoD have declared that there is an attack, threat of an attack, or national security threat created by a CBRN agent (a weapon of mass destruction). Significantly, as the Harvard Law article explains, EUA was not intended to cover brand-new vaccines: The only vaccine ever to have received an EUA prior to the current pandemic was AVA, an anthrax vaccine that had already been formally approved for other purposes. This is extremely important: EUA was meant for dire situations of warfare or terrorism, not to protect the entire population from naturally occurring pathogens. For this reason, EUA products do not require the type of legal safety oversight that is applied in civilian contexts by the FDA. And without adherence to legal safety standards in clinical trials and manufacturing, there is no way of knowing whether the products, in this case the Covid mRNA vaccines, are actually safe. No Legal or Regulatory Standards Apply to the FDA’s Decision to Grant EUA Here’s the kicker about EUA: because it was intended to be issued only in war and WMD-related emergencies, there are no legal requirements for how it is issued, beyond the determination of the FDA that such authorization is appropriate. No legal standards for how clinical trials are conducted. No laws regulating the manufacturing processes. Only “reasonable beliefs” based on whatever evidence is available to the FDA at the time that it makes its determination. This is how it is described in U.S. Code 360bbb-3, which covers EUA: Criteria for issuance of authorization An agent referred to in a declaration [by the HHS Secretary] can cause a serious or life-threatening disease or condition Based on the totality of scientific evidence available to the Secretary, including data from adequate and well-controlled clinical trials, if available, it is reasonable to believe that The product may be effective in diagnosing, treating or preventing such disease or condition The known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks, taking into consideration the material threat posed by the CBRN agent(s) There is no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the product In Its EUA Guidance for Industry and Other Stakeholders, the FDA recommends that EUA applications contain information about clinical trials, manufacturing processes, potential risks, etc. Crucially, as stated at the top of every page, these are merely “nonbinding recommendations.” It’s up to the EUA applicant to decide what information to submit, and it’s up to the FDA to decide whether that information meets the “statutory requirements” (as stated above). PREP Act If you agree to develop, manufacture, and sell hundreds of millions of aspirational products to the government under the contract-like Other Transaction Agreement and bioterror-contingent Emergency Use Authorization, you need very good liability protection. This is provided by the PREP (Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness) Act that was designed to go hand-in-hand with EUA. Again, it is possible to envision a bioterrorism scenario, like an anthrax attack, in which the government needs to get lots of countermeasures very quickly. Many people will inevitably die in the attack, but if there’s a chance that the countermeasure will work, it needs to get made and distributed as quickly as possible. If it has some bad side effects, or even if it kills some people, one could argue that the manufacturer should not be held liable. Clearly, this was never intended to apply to a new, untested vaccine used to counter a naturally occurring virus in hundreds of millions of people. What, then, are the standards for determining the necessity of a PREP Act declaration? Here’s how the Health and Human Services (HHS) website describes the factors considered by the HHS Secretary: In deciding whether to issue a PREP Act Declaration, HHS must consider the desirability of encouraging the design, development, clinical testing or investigation, manufacture, labeling, distribution, formulation, packaging, marketing, promotion, sale, purchase, donation, dispensing, prescribing, administering, licensing, and use of the countermeasure recommended in the Declaration. HHS may also consider other relevant factors. As with the EUA determination, there are no legally binding standards or directives for issuing a PREP Act. If the products made under EUA cause harm or death, no one involved in making or administering those products can be held accountable, as long as there is accompanying PREP Act protection. Conclusion The BioNTech/Pfizer Covid mRNA vaccines were authorized for use in the entire population of the United States based on the application of the following sequence of agreements and determinations: Department of Defense uses “contract-like” Other Transaction Authority (OTA) to buy aspirational products. DoD is not responsible for overseeing clinical trials or manufacturing. Pfizer is responsible for getting authorization from the FDA. The FDA is permitted to issue Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to Pfizer for mRNA vaccines because the HHS Secretary declares that there is an emergency that warrants EUA. FDA makes its EUA determination based on whatever evidence and considerations it feels are appropriate, given the emergency situation. There are no legal standards that apply to the FDA’s considerations, except that it believes the product may be effective, the benefits outweigh the risks based on available information, and there is no alternative product. The Health and Human Services Secretary grants total legal immunity through the PREP Act to anyone involved in developing, making, shipping, or administering the vaccines, based on his determination that there is an emergency that justifies this action. That’s what the “safe and effective” claim for the BioNTech/Pfizer Covid mRNA vaccines was based on in December 2020, when millions of people – including children and pregnant women – were mandated to take the injections. Objectors were ridiculed, silenced, ostracized, and fired. Harms and deaths were, and continue to be, covered up, uninvestigated, and uncounted. Questions About the Legality of the EUA for Covid mRNA Vaccines It sounds like something in this whole process must be illegal, right? So far, trying to charge pharmaceutical companies with wrongdoing related to Covid vaccines has failed, because the EUA + PREP combo means they were not required to apply any legal/regulatory standards to their clinical studies or manufacturing processes. But what about the government? Since the OTA, EUA, and PREP regulations are intended for use during a catastrophic CBRN emergency, we might ask ourselves: did the US government believe SARS-CoV-2 was an engineered potential bioweapon? Did the government use what we might consider an extra-legal (in civilian terms) acquisition and authorization process based on the assumption that the entire population was threatened by the equivalent of a bioterrorism or biowarfare attack? It sure seems like they did. And if so, did they have a legal obligation to inform the public of this situation in order to resort to the OTA and EUA procurement and authorization pathway? Moreover, even if the government considered Covid-19 to be a disease caused by a potential bioterror agent, how could the HHS Secretary justify an Emergency Use Authorization that required him to determine that “there is a public health emergency that has a significant potential to affect national security” when it was known that Covid-19 was deadly almost exclusively in old and infirm populations? In December 2020 the following facts were known about Covid-19 without a reasonable doubt: The infection fatality rate (IFR) for the entire population was less than 1%. The IFR for anyone under 55 was 0.01% or lower. The IFR for children was near zero. [ref][ref][ref][ref][ref][ref] A disease that has significant potential to affect national security has to be very severe, especially in its effect on the military. Yet in December 2020 military-aged people were known to be at nearly no risk from Covid-19. And still the HHS Secretary determined that there was an emergency that warranted EUA for the mRNA vaccines. And all military personnel were mandated to get the injections. I hope that by publishing this information as widely as possible we can eventually find a way to demand some measure of accountability. Acknowledgements Sasha Latypova and Katherine Watt have been trying to draw attention to this shocking legal and regulatory framework for a long time. I am deeply grateful for, and indebted to, their in-depth research and tireless work to disseminate this information. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Author Debbie Lerman, 2023 Brownstone Fellow, has a degree in English from Harvard. She is a retired science writer and a practicing artist in Philadelphia, PA. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/covid-mrna-vaccines-required-no-safety-oversight/
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    Covid mRNA Vaccines Required No Safety Oversight ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    The FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization for the vaccines was based on clinical trials and manufacturing processes conducted with no binding legal standards, no legally proscribed safety oversight or regulation, and no legal redress from the manufacturer for potential harms. (This last point is being challenged in multiple court cases, so far to no avail.)
    0 Comments 0 Shares 12025 Views
  • Covid mRNA Vaccines Required No Safety Oversight: Part Two
    Debbie Lerman
    In part one of this article, I reviewed the contractual and regulatory framework applied by the US government to the initial development, manufacture, and acquisition of the Covid mRNA shots, using the BioNTech/Pfizer agreements to illustrate the process.

    I showed that Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) was granted to these products based on clinical trials and manufacturing processes conducted with

    no binding legal standards,
    no legally proscribed safety oversight or regulation, and
    no legal redress from the manufacturer for potential harms.
    In this follow-up article, I will provide a detailed analysis of the underlying documentation.

    Other Transaction Authority/Agreement (OTA): A Military Acquisition Pathway

    The agreement between the US government, represented by the Department of Defense (DoD), and Pfizer, representing the BioNTech/Pfizer partnership, in July 2020, for the purchase of a “vaccine to prevent COVID-19” was not an ordinary acquisition contract.

    It was an agreement under Other Transaction Authority (OTA) – an acquisition pathway that, according to Department of Defense guidelines, has been used since 1958 to “permit a federal agency to enter into transactions other than contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements.”

    [BOLDFACE ADDED]

    A thorough review of the use of OTA by the DoD, including its statutory history, can be found in the February 22, 2019 Congressional Research Service report. This report, along with every other discussion of OTA, specifies that it is an alternative acquisition path for defense and military purposes. It is not intended, nor has it ever been used before Covid, for anything intended primarily for civilian use.

    If you look for OTA laws in the US Code, this is the path you will go down:

    Armed Forces -> General Military Law -> Acquisition -> Research and Engineering -> Agreements -> Authority of the DoD to carry out certain prototype projects

    This legal pathway very clearly shows that OTA laws are intended for acquisition of research and engineering prototypes for the armed forces.

    According to the DARPA website,

    The Department of Defense has authority for three different types of OTs: (1) research OTs, (2) prototype OTs, and (3) production OTs.

    These three types of OTs represent three stages of initial research, development of a prototype, and eventual production.

    Within those three types, there are specific categories of projects to which OTA can apply:

    Originally, according to the OTA Overview provided by the DoD, the Other Transaction Authority was “limited to apply to weapons or weapon systems proposed to be acquired or developed by the DoD.”
    OTA was later expanded to include “any prototype project directly related to enhancing the mission effectiveness of military personnel and the supporting platforms, systems, components, or materials proposed to be acquired or developed by the DoD, or to improvement of platforms, systems, components, or materials in use by the Armed Forces.”
    So far, none of that sounds like an acquisition pathway for millions of novel medical products intended primarily for civilian use.

    Is There any Exception for Civilian Use of OTA That Might Apply to Covid mRNA Vaccines?

    The FY2004 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 108-136) contained a section that gave Other Transaction Authority to “the head of an executive agency who engages in basic research, applied research, advanced research, and development projects” that “have the potential to facilitate defense against or recovery from terrorism or nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological attack.”

    This provision was extended until 2018, but does not appear to have been extended beyond that year. Also, note that even in this exceptional case of non-DoD use of OTA, the situation must involve terrorism or an attack with weapons of mass destruction (CBRN).

    What Other OTA Laws Might Apply?

    The 2019 CRS report cited above provides this chart, showing that a few non-DoD agencies have some OTA or related authorities:


    According to this table, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has some research and development (R&D) Other Transaction Authorities. The law pertaining to the OT Authority of HHS is 42 U.S.C. §247d-7e.

    Where is this law housed and what does it say?

    The Public Health and Welfare -> Public Health Service -> General Powers and Duties -> Federal-State Cooperation -> Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) -> Transaction Authorities

    So there is a place in the law related to civilian health and welfare where OTA might be applicable, although it is valid only for research and development, not prototypes or manufacturing.

    The law states that the BARDA secretary has OT Authority

    with respect to a product that is or may become a qualified countermeasure or a qualified pandemic or epidemic product, activities that predominantly—

    (i) are conducted after basic research and preclinical development of the product; and

    (ii) are related to manufacturing the product on a commercial scale and in a form that satisfies the regulatory requirements under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act [21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.] or under section 262 of this title.

    [BOLDFACE ADDED]

    The “regulatory requirements” enumerated in the law mean that it would be impossible for BARDA/HHS to enter into agreements – even just R&D – for any medical products (like the mRNA vaccines) that did not undergo rigorous safety testing and strict manufacturing oversight.

    HHS “Partnership” with DoD Circumvented Civilian Protection Laws

    To summarize the predicament of Other Transaction Authority/Agreements with respect to civilian authorities, in general, and Covid mRNA vaccines, in particular:

    OTA was written and codified as a way for the military to acquire weapons and other necessary systems and equipment without a lot of bureaucratic red tape. It covers research and development, prototypes, and subsequent manufacturing.
    The only OTA for a public health agency is for the HHS and it only covers Research & Development, not prototypes or manufacturing.
    Even the R&D OTA given to the HHS still requires products to be manufactured “in a form that satisfies the regulatory requirements” for drug and vaccine safety.
    In other words: There is no way HHS could have used its very limited OTA to sign contracts for hundreds of millions of novel medical products.

    So what did HHS do?

    As the Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted in its July 2021 report on “Covid-19 Contracting:” HHS “partnered” with DoD to “leverage DoD’s OTA authorities…which HHS lacked.” (p. 24)

    What are DoD’s OT Authorities for Medical Products?

    As discussed, OTA is intended to help the military get equipment and technology without lots of bureaucratic hassle. None of the original laws pertaining to OTA mentioned anything other than “platforms, systems, components, or materials” intended to “enhance the mission effectiveness of military personnel.”

    But five years before Covid, an exceptional use of OTA was introduced:

    In 2015, DoD announced the establishment of the CBRN Medical Countermeasure Consortium, whose purpose was to use the OTA acquisition pathway to “work with DoD to develop FDA licensed chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear medical countermeasures.” [FDA = Food & Drug Administration]

    As described in the 2015 announcement, this included “prototype technologies for therapeutic medical countermeasures targeting viral, bacterial, and biological toxin targets of interest to the DoD.” The list of agents included the top biowarfare pathogens, such as anthrax, ebola, and marburg.

    The announcement went on to specify that “enabling technologies can include animal models of viral, bacterial or biological toxin disease and pathogenesis (multiple routes of exposure), assays, diagnostic technologies or other platform technologies that can be applied to development of approved or licensed MCMs [medical countermeasures].”

    Although this still does not sound anything like the production of 100 million novel vaccines for civilian use, it does provide more leeway for OTA than the very limited Other Transaction Authority given to HHS.

    While the HHS OTA requires adherence to extensive development and manufacturing regulations, the OTA pathway for the DoD to develop medical countermeasures requires only “FDA licensure.”

    Thus, using DoD Other Transaction Authorities, it would theoretically be possible to bypass any safety regulations – depending on the requirements for FDA licensing of an OTA-generated product. As we will see, in the case of the Covid mRNA vaccines, Emergency Use Authorization was granted, requiring no legal safety oversight at all.

    Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)

    Here’s how the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) describes its EUA powers:

    Section 564 of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360bbb–3) allows FDA to strengthen public health protections against biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological agents.

    With this EUA authority, FDA can help ensure that medical countermeasures may be used in emergencies to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions caused by biological, chemical, nuclear, or radiological agents when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives (among other criteria).

    It’s extremely important to understand that these EUA powers were granted in 2004 under very specific circumstances related to preparedness for attacks by weapons of mass destruction, otherwise known as CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) agents.

    As explained in Harvard Law’s Bill of Health,

    Ultimately, it was the War on Terror that would give rise to emergency use authorization. After the events of September 11, 2001 and subsequent anthrax mail attacks, Congress enacted the Project Bioshield Act of 2004. The act called for billions of dollars in appropriations for purchasing vaccines in preparation for a bioterror attack, and for stockpiling of emergency countermeasures. To be able to act rapidly in an emergency, Congress allowed FDA to authorize formally unapproved products for emergency use against a threat to public health and safety (subject to a declaration of emergency by HHS). The record indicates that Congress was focused on the threat of bioterror specifically, not on preparing for a naturally-occurring pandemic.

    The wording of the EUA law underscores the fact that it was intended for use in situations involving weapons of mass destruction. Here are the 4 situations in which EUA can be issued:

    a determination by the Secretary of Homeland Security that there is a domestic emergency, or a significant potential for a domestic emergency, involving a heightened risk of attack with a biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent or agents;
    a determination by the Secretary of Defense that there is a military emergency, or a significant potential for a military emergency, involving a heightened risk to United States military forces, including personnel operating under the authority of Title 10 or Title 50, of attack with—
    a biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent or agents; or
    an agent or agents that may cause, or are otherwise associated with, an imminently life-threatening and specific risk to United States military forces;
    a determination by the Secretary that there is a public health emergency, or a significant potential for a public health emergency, that affects, or has a significant potential to affect, national security or the health and security of United States citizens living abroad, and that involves a biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent or agents, or a disease or condition that may be attributable to such agent or agents; or
    the identification of a material threat pursuant to section 319F–2 of the Public Health Service Act [42 U.S.C. 247d–6b] sufficient to affect national security or the health and security of United States citizens living abroad.
    Nowhere in these four situations is there any mention of a naturally occurring epidemic, pandemic, or any other kind of public health situation that is not caused by “biological, chemical, radiological or nuclear agent/s.”

    Could SARS-CoV-2 qualify as such an agent?

    If you look for the definition of “biological agents” in the US Legal Code, you will go down the following pathway:

    Crimes and Criminal Procedure -> Crimes -> Biological Weapons -> Definitions

    So in the context of United States law, the term “biological agents” means biological weapons, and the use of such agents/weapons is regarded as a crime.

    Wikipedia provides this definition:

    A biological agent (also called bio-agent, biological threat agent, biological warfare agent, biological weapon, or bioweapon) is a bacterium, virus, protozoan, parasite, fungus, or toxin that can be used purposefully as a weapon in bioterrorism or biological warfare (BW).

    On What Legal Basis was EUA Issued for Covid mRNA Vaccines?

    It would seem, based on the laws regarding EUA, that none of the four possible situations described in the law could be applied to a product intended to prevent or treat a disease caused by a naturally occurring pathogen.

    Nevertheless, this law was used to authorize the mRNA Covid vaccines.

    Given the four choices listed in the EUA law, the one that was used for Covid “countermeasures” was

    C) a determination by the Secretary that there is a public health emergency, or a significant potential for a public health emergency, that affects, or has a significant potential to affect, national security or the health and security of United States citizens living abroad, and that involves a biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent or agents, or a disease or condition that may be attributable to such agent or agents.

    When applied specifically to Covid, this is how it was worded:

    the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) determined that there is a public health emergency that has a significant potential to affect national security or the health and security of United States citizens living abroad, and that involves the virus that causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)…

    There is no doubt here that “the virus that causes COVID-19” is deemed to be the equivalent of “a biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent or agents.”

    It is also important to note that the EUA “determination of a public health emergency” is completely separate from, and not in any way reliant on, any other public health emergency declarations, like the ones that were made by the WHO, the US government, and the President at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    So even when the WHO, the US government, and the President declare that the pandemic is over, there can still be Emergency Use Authorization if the HHS Secretary continues to claim that the situation described in section C) exists.

    Looking at all of the EUAs for hundreds of Covid-related medical products, it is very difficult to see how the HHS secretary could justify the claim that “there is a public health emergency that has a significant potential to affect national security or the health and security of US citizens living abroad” in most, if not all, of these cases.

    Additional “Statutory Criteria” for FDA to Grant Emergency Use Authorization

    Once the HHS Secretary declares that there is a public health emergency that warrants EUA, based on one of the four situations listed in the law, there are four more “statutory criteria” that have to be met in order for the FDA to issue the EUA. Here’s how the FDA explains these requirements:

    Serious or Life-Threatening Disease or Condition
    For FDA to issue an EUA, the CBRN agent(s) referred to in the HHS Secretary’s EUA declaration must be capable of causing a serious or life-threatening disease or condition.

    NOTE: This criterion repeats the specification of a CBRN agent, which is legally defined as a weapon used in committing a crime.

    Evidence of Effectiveness
    Medical products that may be considered for an EUA are those that “may be effective” to prevent, diagnose, or treat serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions that can be caused by a CBRN agent(s) identified in the HHS Secretary’s declaration of emergency or threat of emergency under section 564(b).

    The “may be effective” standard for EUAs provides for a lower level of evidence than the “effectiveness” standard that FDA uses for product approvals. FDA intends to assess the potential effectiveness of a possible EUA product on a case-by-case basis using a risk-benefit analysis, as explained below.

    [BOLDFACE ADDED]

    LEGAL QUESTION: How can anyone legally claim that a product authorized under EUA is “safe and effective” if the legal standard for EUA is “may be effective” and the FDA declares that this is a “lower level of evidence” than the standard used for regular product approvals?

    Risk-Benefit Analysis
    A product may be considered for an EUA if the Commissioner determines that the known and potential benefits of the product, when used to diagnose, prevent, or treat the identified disease or condition, outweigh the known and potential risks of the product.

    In determining whether the known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks, FDA intends to look at the totality of the scientific evidence to make an overall risk-benefit determination. Such evidence, which could arise from a variety of sources, may include (but is not limited to): results of domestic and foreign clinical trials, in vivo efficacy data from animal models, and in vitro data, available for FDA consideration. FDA will also assess the quality and quantity of the available evidence, given the current state of scientific knowledge.

    [BOLDFACE ADDED]

    LEGAL NOTE: There is no legal standard and there are no legal definitions for what it means for “known and potential benefits” to outweigh “known and potential risks.” There is also no qualitative or quantitative legal definition for what constitutes acceptable “available evidence” upon which the risk-benefit analysis “may be” based. There could be zero actual evidence, but a belief that a product has a lot of potential benefit and not a lot of potential risk, and that would satisfy this “statutory requirement.”

    No Alternatives
    For FDA to issue an EUA, there must be no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the candidate product for diagnosing, preventing, or treating the disease or condition. A potential alternative product may be considered “unavailable” if there are insufficient supplies of the approved alternative to fully meet the emergency need.

    LEGAL QUERY: Aside from the egregious and potentially criminal vilification/outlawing of alternative Covid-19 treatments like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, at what point was there an approved alternative for “preventing Covid-19” (the only thing the mRNA vaccines were purchased to do) – Paxlovid, for instance – which would render an EUA for the mRNA vaccines no longer legal?

    Here’s how all of these “statutory criteria” were satisfied in the actual Emergency Use Authorization for the BioNTEch/Pfizer Covid mRNA vaccines:

    I have concluded that the emergency use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID‑19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 when administered as described in the Scope of Authorization (Section II) meets the criteria for issuance of an authorization under Section 564(c) of the Act, because:

    SARS-CoV-2 can cause a serious or life-threatening disease or condition, including severe respiratory illness, to humans infected by this virus;
    Based on the totality of scientific evidence available to FDA, it is reasonable to believe that Pfizer-BioNTech COVID‑19 Vaccine may be effective in preventing COVID-19, and that, when used under the conditions described in this authorization, the known and potential benefits of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID‑19 Vaccine when used to prevent COVID-19 outweigh its known and potential risks; and
    There is no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the emergency use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID‑19 Vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
    [BOLDFACE ADDED]

    NOTE: The only context in which the FDA weighed the potential benefits and risks of the vaccine, and in which the FDA determined it “may be effective” was in preventing Covid-19.

    There is no consideration, no evidence of actual or potential benefit, and no determination that there is any potential effectiveness for the vaccine to do anything else, including: lowering the risk of severe disease, lowering the risk of hospitalization, lowering the risk of death, lowering the risk of any conditions actually or potentially related to Covid-19.

    THEREFORE, one might reasonably question the legality of any claims that the vaccine is “safe and effective” in the context of anything other than “when used to prevent COVID-19” – which the vaccines were known NOT TO DO very soon after they were introduced.

    If people were told the BioNTech/Pfizer mRNA vaccines were “safe and effective” at anything other than preventing Covid-19, and if they were threatened with any consequences for failure to take the vaccine for anything other than preventing Covid-19, might they have a legitimate argument that they were illegally coerced into taking an unapproved product under fraudulent claims?

    Third-Tier Requirements for EUA for Unapproved Products

    Once we have the EUA-specific emergency declaration, and once the FDA declares that the product may be effective and that whatever evidence is available (from zero to infinity) shows that its benefits outweigh its risks (as determined by whatever the FDA thinks those might be), there is one more layer of non-safety, non-efficacy related regulation.

    Here’s how a 2018 Congressional Research Service report on EUA explains this:

    FFDCA §564 directs FDA to impose certain required conditions in an EUA and allows for additional discretionary conditions where appropriate. The required conditions vary depending upon whether the EUA is for an unapproved product or for an unapproved use of an approved product. For an unapproved product, the conditions of use must:

    (1) ensure that health care professionals administering the product receive required information;

    (2) ensure that individuals to whom the product is administered receive required information;

    (3) provide for the monitoring and reporting of adverse events associated with the product; and

    (4) provide for record-keeping and reporting by the manufacturer.

    LEGAL QUESTION: What exactly is the “required information?” We know that people were informed that the vaccines were given Emergency Use Authorization. But were they told that this means “a lower level of evidence” than is required for “safe and effective” claims on other medical products? Were they informed that there are different levels of “safe and effective” depending on whether a product has EUA or another type of authorization?

    NOTE: The law requires that there be a way to monitor and report adverse events. However, it does not state who monitors, what the standards are for reporting, and what the threshold is for taking action based on the reports.

    EUA Compared to Every Other Drug/Vaccines Approval Pathway

    As researcher/writer Sasha Latypova has pointed out, many people were confused by EUA, because it sounds a lot like EAU, which stands for “Expanded Access Use.” This is a type of authorization given to medical products when there is urgent need by a particular group of patients (e.g., Stage IV cancer patients whose life expectancy is measured in months) who are willing to risk adverse events and even death in exchange for access to an experimental treatment.

    Emergency Use Authorization is in no way related to, nor does it bear any resemblance to, Expanded Access Use.

    The various legal pathways for authorizing medical products are neatly presented in a table highlighted by legal researcher Katherine Watt. The table is part of a 2020 presentation for an FDA-CDC Joint Learning Session: Regulatory Updates on Use of Medical Countermeasures.


    Comparison of Access Mechanisms
    This table shows very clearly that the EUA process is unlikely to provide information regarding product effectiveness, is not designed to provide evidence of safety, is not likely to provide useful information to benefit future patients, involves no systematic data collection, requires no retrospective studies, no informed consent, and no institutional review board.

    Moreover, in a 2009 Institute of Medicine of the National Academic publication, also highlighted by Watt, entitled “Medical Countermeasures: Dispensing Emergency Use Authorization and the Postal Model – Workshop Summary” we find this statement on p. 28:

    It is important to recognize that an EUA is not part of the development pathway; it is an entirely separate entity that is used only during emergency situations and is not part of the drug approval process.

    Does this mean that approvals of Covid-19 countermeasures that were based on EUAs were illegal? Does it mean that there is no legal way to claim an EUA product is “safe and effective” because it is NOT PART OF THE DRUG APPROVAL PROCESS?

    Conclusion

    It is eminently apparent, given all the information in this article, and in the preceding Part 1, that the BioNTach/Pfizer Covid mRNA vaccines were developed, manufactured, and authorized under military laws reserved for emergency situations involving biological warfare/terrorism, not naturally occurring diseases affecting the entire civilian population.

    Therefore, the adherence to regulations and oversight that we expect to find when a product is deemed “safe and effective” for the entire civilian population was not legally required.

    Can this analysis be used to challenge the legality of the “safe and effective” claim by those government officials who knew what EUA entailed? Are there other legal ramifications?

    I hope so.

    Importantly, in legal challenges to Covid mRNA vaccines brought so far, there have been no rulings (that I am aware of) on whether military law, like OTA and EUA, can be applied to civilian situations. However, there has been a statement by District Court Judge Michael Truncale, in his dismissal of the case of whistleblower Brook Jackson v. Ventavia and Pfizer, that is important to keep in mind.

    Here the judge acknowledges that the agreement for the BioNTech/Pfizer mRNA vaccines was a military OTA, but he refuses to rule on its applicability to the non-military circumstances (naturally occurring disease, 100 million doses mostly not for military use) under which it was issued:

    The fact that both military personnel and civilians received the vaccine does not indicate that acquiring the vaccine was irrelevant to enhancing the military’s mission effectiveness. More importantly, Ms. Jackson is in effect asking this Court to overrule the DoD’s decision to exercise Other Transaction Authority to purchase Pfizer’s vaccine. But as the United States Supreme Court has long emphasized, the “complex subtle, and professional decisions as to the composition, training, equipping, and control of a military force are essentially professional military judgments.” Gilligan v. Morgan, 413 U.S. 1, 10 (1973). Thus, it is “difficult to conceive of an area of governmental activity in which the courts have less competence.” Id. This Court will not veto the DoD’s judgments concerning mission effectiveness during a national emergency.

    This is just one of many legal hurdles that remain in the battle to ultimately outlaw all mRNA products approved during the Covid-19 emergency, and any subsequent mRNA products whose approval was based on the Covid-19 approval process.

    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
    For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.

    Author

    Debbie Lerman, 2023 Brownstone Fellow, has a degree in English from Harvard. She is a retired science writer and a practicing artist in Philadelphia, PA.

    View all posts
    Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work.

    https://brownstone.org/articles/covid-mrna-vaccines-required-no-safety-oversight-part-two/
    Covid mRNA Vaccines Required No Safety Oversight: Part Two Debbie Lerman In part one of this article, I reviewed the contractual and regulatory framework applied by the US government to the initial development, manufacture, and acquisition of the Covid mRNA shots, using the BioNTech/Pfizer agreements to illustrate the process. I showed that Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) was granted to these products based on clinical trials and manufacturing processes conducted with no binding legal standards, no legally proscribed safety oversight or regulation, and no legal redress from the manufacturer for potential harms. In this follow-up article, I will provide a detailed analysis of the underlying documentation. Other Transaction Authority/Agreement (OTA): A Military Acquisition Pathway The agreement between the US government, represented by the Department of Defense (DoD), and Pfizer, representing the BioNTech/Pfizer partnership, in July 2020, for the purchase of a “vaccine to prevent COVID-19” was not an ordinary acquisition contract. It was an agreement under Other Transaction Authority (OTA) – an acquisition pathway that, according to Department of Defense guidelines, has been used since 1958 to “permit a federal agency to enter into transactions other than contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements.” [BOLDFACE ADDED] A thorough review of the use of OTA by the DoD, including its statutory history, can be found in the February 22, 2019 Congressional Research Service report. This report, along with every other discussion of OTA, specifies that it is an alternative acquisition path for defense and military purposes. It is not intended, nor has it ever been used before Covid, for anything intended primarily for civilian use. If you look for OTA laws in the US Code, this is the path you will go down: Armed Forces -> General Military Law -> Acquisition -> Research and Engineering -> Agreements -> Authority of the DoD to carry out certain prototype projects This legal pathway very clearly shows that OTA laws are intended for acquisition of research and engineering prototypes for the armed forces. According to the DARPA website, The Department of Defense has authority for three different types of OTs: (1) research OTs, (2) prototype OTs, and (3) production OTs. These three types of OTs represent three stages of initial research, development of a prototype, and eventual production. Within those three types, there are specific categories of projects to which OTA can apply: Originally, according to the OTA Overview provided by the DoD, the Other Transaction Authority was “limited to apply to weapons or weapon systems proposed to be acquired or developed by the DoD.” OTA was later expanded to include “any prototype project directly related to enhancing the mission effectiveness of military personnel and the supporting platforms, systems, components, or materials proposed to be acquired or developed by the DoD, or to improvement of platforms, systems, components, or materials in use by the Armed Forces.” So far, none of that sounds like an acquisition pathway for millions of novel medical products intended primarily for civilian use. Is There any Exception for Civilian Use of OTA That Might Apply to Covid mRNA Vaccines? The FY2004 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 108-136) contained a section that gave Other Transaction Authority to “the head of an executive agency who engages in basic research, applied research, advanced research, and development projects” that “have the potential to facilitate defense against or recovery from terrorism or nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological attack.” This provision was extended until 2018, but does not appear to have been extended beyond that year. Also, note that even in this exceptional case of non-DoD use of OTA, the situation must involve terrorism or an attack with weapons of mass destruction (CBRN). What Other OTA Laws Might Apply? The 2019 CRS report cited above provides this chart, showing that a few non-DoD agencies have some OTA or related authorities: According to this table, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has some research and development (R&D) Other Transaction Authorities. The law pertaining to the OT Authority of HHS is 42 U.S.C. §247d-7e. Where is this law housed and what does it say? The Public Health and Welfare -> Public Health Service -> General Powers and Duties -> Federal-State Cooperation -> Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) -> Transaction Authorities So there is a place in the law related to civilian health and welfare where OTA might be applicable, although it is valid only for research and development, not prototypes or manufacturing. The law states that the BARDA secretary has OT Authority with respect to a product that is or may become a qualified countermeasure or a qualified pandemic or epidemic product, activities that predominantly— (i) are conducted after basic research and preclinical development of the product; and (ii) are related to manufacturing the product on a commercial scale and in a form that satisfies the regulatory requirements under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act [21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.] or under section 262 of this title. [BOLDFACE ADDED] The “regulatory requirements” enumerated in the law mean that it would be impossible for BARDA/HHS to enter into agreements – even just R&D – for any medical products (like the mRNA vaccines) that did not undergo rigorous safety testing and strict manufacturing oversight. HHS “Partnership” with DoD Circumvented Civilian Protection Laws To summarize the predicament of Other Transaction Authority/Agreements with respect to civilian authorities, in general, and Covid mRNA vaccines, in particular: OTA was written and codified as a way for the military to acquire weapons and other necessary systems and equipment without a lot of bureaucratic red tape. It covers research and development, prototypes, and subsequent manufacturing. The only OTA for a public health agency is for the HHS and it only covers Research & Development, not prototypes or manufacturing. Even the R&D OTA given to the HHS still requires products to be manufactured “in a form that satisfies the regulatory requirements” for drug and vaccine safety. In other words: There is no way HHS could have used its very limited OTA to sign contracts for hundreds of millions of novel medical products. So what did HHS do? As the Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted in its July 2021 report on “Covid-19 Contracting:” HHS “partnered” with DoD to “leverage DoD’s OTA authorities…which HHS lacked.” (p. 24) What are DoD’s OT Authorities for Medical Products? As discussed, OTA is intended to help the military get equipment and technology without lots of bureaucratic hassle. None of the original laws pertaining to OTA mentioned anything other than “platforms, systems, components, or materials” intended to “enhance the mission effectiveness of military personnel.” But five years before Covid, an exceptional use of OTA was introduced: In 2015, DoD announced the establishment of the CBRN Medical Countermeasure Consortium, whose purpose was to use the OTA acquisition pathway to “work with DoD to develop FDA licensed chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear medical countermeasures.” [FDA = Food & Drug Administration] As described in the 2015 announcement, this included “prototype technologies for therapeutic medical countermeasures targeting viral, bacterial, and biological toxin targets of interest to the DoD.” The list of agents included the top biowarfare pathogens, such as anthrax, ebola, and marburg. The announcement went on to specify that “enabling technologies can include animal models of viral, bacterial or biological toxin disease and pathogenesis (multiple routes of exposure), assays, diagnostic technologies or other platform technologies that can be applied to development of approved or licensed MCMs [medical countermeasures].” Although this still does not sound anything like the production of 100 million novel vaccines for civilian use, it does provide more leeway for OTA than the very limited Other Transaction Authority given to HHS. While the HHS OTA requires adherence to extensive development and manufacturing regulations, the OTA pathway for the DoD to develop medical countermeasures requires only “FDA licensure.” Thus, using DoD Other Transaction Authorities, it would theoretically be possible to bypass any safety regulations – depending on the requirements for FDA licensing of an OTA-generated product. As we will see, in the case of the Covid mRNA vaccines, Emergency Use Authorization was granted, requiring no legal safety oversight at all. Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Here’s how the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) describes its EUA powers: Section 564 of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360bbb–3) allows FDA to strengthen public health protections against biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological agents. With this EUA authority, FDA can help ensure that medical countermeasures may be used in emergencies to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions caused by biological, chemical, nuclear, or radiological agents when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives (among other criteria). It’s extremely important to understand that these EUA powers were granted in 2004 under very specific circumstances related to preparedness for attacks by weapons of mass destruction, otherwise known as CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) agents. As explained in Harvard Law’s Bill of Health, Ultimately, it was the War on Terror that would give rise to emergency use authorization. After the events of September 11, 2001 and subsequent anthrax mail attacks, Congress enacted the Project Bioshield Act of 2004. The act called for billions of dollars in appropriations for purchasing vaccines in preparation for a bioterror attack, and for stockpiling of emergency countermeasures. To be able to act rapidly in an emergency, Congress allowed FDA to authorize formally unapproved products for emergency use against a threat to public health and safety (subject to a declaration of emergency by HHS). The record indicates that Congress was focused on the threat of bioterror specifically, not on preparing for a naturally-occurring pandemic. The wording of the EUA law underscores the fact that it was intended for use in situations involving weapons of mass destruction. Here are the 4 situations in which EUA can be issued: a determination by the Secretary of Homeland Security that there is a domestic emergency, or a significant potential for a domestic emergency, involving a heightened risk of attack with a biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent or agents; a determination by the Secretary of Defense that there is a military emergency, or a significant potential for a military emergency, involving a heightened risk to United States military forces, including personnel operating under the authority of Title 10 or Title 50, of attack with— a biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent or agents; or an agent or agents that may cause, or are otherwise associated with, an imminently life-threatening and specific risk to United States military forces; a determination by the Secretary that there is a public health emergency, or a significant potential for a public health emergency, that affects, or has a significant potential to affect, national security or the health and security of United States citizens living abroad, and that involves a biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent or agents, or a disease or condition that may be attributable to such agent or agents; or the identification of a material threat pursuant to section 319F–2 of the Public Health Service Act [42 U.S.C. 247d–6b] sufficient to affect national security or the health and security of United States citizens living abroad. Nowhere in these four situations is there any mention of a naturally occurring epidemic, pandemic, or any other kind of public health situation that is not caused by “biological, chemical, radiological or nuclear agent/s.” Could SARS-CoV-2 qualify as such an agent? If you look for the definition of “biological agents” in the US Legal Code, you will go down the following pathway: Crimes and Criminal Procedure -> Crimes -> Biological Weapons -> Definitions So in the context of United States law, the term “biological agents” means biological weapons, and the use of such agents/weapons is regarded as a crime. Wikipedia provides this definition: A biological agent (also called bio-agent, biological threat agent, biological warfare agent, biological weapon, or bioweapon) is a bacterium, virus, protozoan, parasite, fungus, or toxin that can be used purposefully as a weapon in bioterrorism or biological warfare (BW). On What Legal Basis was EUA Issued for Covid mRNA Vaccines? It would seem, based on the laws regarding EUA, that none of the four possible situations described in the law could be applied to a product intended to prevent or treat a disease caused by a naturally occurring pathogen. Nevertheless, this law was used to authorize the mRNA Covid vaccines. Given the four choices listed in the EUA law, the one that was used for Covid “countermeasures” was C) a determination by the Secretary that there is a public health emergency, or a significant potential for a public health emergency, that affects, or has a significant potential to affect, national security or the health and security of United States citizens living abroad, and that involves a biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent or agents, or a disease or condition that may be attributable to such agent or agents. When applied specifically to Covid, this is how it was worded: the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) determined that there is a public health emergency that has a significant potential to affect national security or the health and security of United States citizens living abroad, and that involves the virus that causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)… There is no doubt here that “the virus that causes COVID-19” is deemed to be the equivalent of “a biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent or agents.” It is also important to note that the EUA “determination of a public health emergency” is completely separate from, and not in any way reliant on, any other public health emergency declarations, like the ones that were made by the WHO, the US government, and the President at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. So even when the WHO, the US government, and the President declare that the pandemic is over, there can still be Emergency Use Authorization if the HHS Secretary continues to claim that the situation described in section C) exists. Looking at all of the EUAs for hundreds of Covid-related medical products, it is very difficult to see how the HHS secretary could justify the claim that “there is a public health emergency that has a significant potential to affect national security or the health and security of US citizens living abroad” in most, if not all, of these cases. Additional “Statutory Criteria” for FDA to Grant Emergency Use Authorization Once the HHS Secretary declares that there is a public health emergency that warrants EUA, based on one of the four situations listed in the law, there are four more “statutory criteria” that have to be met in order for the FDA to issue the EUA. Here’s how the FDA explains these requirements: Serious or Life-Threatening Disease or Condition For FDA to issue an EUA, the CBRN agent(s) referred to in the HHS Secretary’s EUA declaration must be capable of causing a serious or life-threatening disease or condition. NOTE: This criterion repeats the specification of a CBRN agent, which is legally defined as a weapon used in committing a crime. Evidence of Effectiveness Medical products that may be considered for an EUA are those that “may be effective” to prevent, diagnose, or treat serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions that can be caused by a CBRN agent(s) identified in the HHS Secretary’s declaration of emergency or threat of emergency under section 564(b). The “may be effective” standard for EUAs provides for a lower level of evidence than the “effectiveness” standard that FDA uses for product approvals. FDA intends to assess the potential effectiveness of a possible EUA product on a case-by-case basis using a risk-benefit analysis, as explained below. [BOLDFACE ADDED] LEGAL QUESTION: How can anyone legally claim that a product authorized under EUA is “safe and effective” if the legal standard for EUA is “may be effective” and the FDA declares that this is a “lower level of evidence” than the standard used for regular product approvals? Risk-Benefit Analysis A product may be considered for an EUA if the Commissioner determines that the known and potential benefits of the product, when used to diagnose, prevent, or treat the identified disease or condition, outweigh the known and potential risks of the product. In determining whether the known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks, FDA intends to look at the totality of the scientific evidence to make an overall risk-benefit determination. Such evidence, which could arise from a variety of sources, may include (but is not limited to): results of domestic and foreign clinical trials, in vivo efficacy data from animal models, and in vitro data, available for FDA consideration. FDA will also assess the quality and quantity of the available evidence, given the current state of scientific knowledge. [BOLDFACE ADDED] LEGAL NOTE: There is no legal standard and there are no legal definitions for what it means for “known and potential benefits” to outweigh “known and potential risks.” There is also no qualitative or quantitative legal definition for what constitutes acceptable “available evidence” upon which the risk-benefit analysis “may be” based. There could be zero actual evidence, but a belief that a product has a lot of potential benefit and not a lot of potential risk, and that would satisfy this “statutory requirement.” No Alternatives For FDA to issue an EUA, there must be no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the candidate product for diagnosing, preventing, or treating the disease or condition. A potential alternative product may be considered “unavailable” if there are insufficient supplies of the approved alternative to fully meet the emergency need. LEGAL QUERY: Aside from the egregious and potentially criminal vilification/outlawing of alternative Covid-19 treatments like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, at what point was there an approved alternative for “preventing Covid-19” (the only thing the mRNA vaccines were purchased to do) – Paxlovid, for instance – which would render an EUA for the mRNA vaccines no longer legal? Here’s how all of these “statutory criteria” were satisfied in the actual Emergency Use Authorization for the BioNTEch/Pfizer Covid mRNA vaccines: I have concluded that the emergency use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID‑19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 when administered as described in the Scope of Authorization (Section II) meets the criteria for issuance of an authorization under Section 564(c) of the Act, because: SARS-CoV-2 can cause a serious or life-threatening disease or condition, including severe respiratory illness, to humans infected by this virus; Based on the totality of scientific evidence available to FDA, it is reasonable to believe that Pfizer-BioNTech COVID‑19 Vaccine may be effective in preventing COVID-19, and that, when used under the conditions described in this authorization, the known and potential benefits of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID‑19 Vaccine when used to prevent COVID-19 outweigh its known and potential risks; and There is no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the emergency use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID‑19 Vaccine to prevent COVID-19. [BOLDFACE ADDED] NOTE: The only context in which the FDA weighed the potential benefits and risks of the vaccine, and in which the FDA determined it “may be effective” was in preventing Covid-19. There is no consideration, no evidence of actual or potential benefit, and no determination that there is any potential effectiveness for the vaccine to do anything else, including: lowering the risk of severe disease, lowering the risk of hospitalization, lowering the risk of death, lowering the risk of any conditions actually or potentially related to Covid-19. THEREFORE, one might reasonably question the legality of any claims that the vaccine is “safe and effective” in the context of anything other than “when used to prevent COVID-19” – which the vaccines were known NOT TO DO very soon after they were introduced. If people were told the BioNTech/Pfizer mRNA vaccines were “safe and effective” at anything other than preventing Covid-19, and if they were threatened with any consequences for failure to take the vaccine for anything other than preventing Covid-19, might they have a legitimate argument that they were illegally coerced into taking an unapproved product under fraudulent claims? Third-Tier Requirements for EUA for Unapproved Products Once we have the EUA-specific emergency declaration, and once the FDA declares that the product may be effective and that whatever evidence is available (from zero to infinity) shows that its benefits outweigh its risks (as determined by whatever the FDA thinks those might be), there is one more layer of non-safety, non-efficacy related regulation. Here’s how a 2018 Congressional Research Service report on EUA explains this: FFDCA §564 directs FDA to impose certain required conditions in an EUA and allows for additional discretionary conditions where appropriate. The required conditions vary depending upon whether the EUA is for an unapproved product or for an unapproved use of an approved product. For an unapproved product, the conditions of use must: (1) ensure that health care professionals administering the product receive required information; (2) ensure that individuals to whom the product is administered receive required information; (3) provide for the monitoring and reporting of adverse events associated with the product; and (4) provide for record-keeping and reporting by the manufacturer. LEGAL QUESTION: What exactly is the “required information?” We know that people were informed that the vaccines were given Emergency Use Authorization. But were they told that this means “a lower level of evidence” than is required for “safe and effective” claims on other medical products? Were they informed that there are different levels of “safe and effective” depending on whether a product has EUA or another type of authorization? NOTE: The law requires that there be a way to monitor and report adverse events. However, it does not state who monitors, what the standards are for reporting, and what the threshold is for taking action based on the reports. EUA Compared to Every Other Drug/Vaccines Approval Pathway As researcher/writer Sasha Latypova has pointed out, many people were confused by EUA, because it sounds a lot like EAU, which stands for “Expanded Access Use.” This is a type of authorization given to medical products when there is urgent need by a particular group of patients (e.g., Stage IV cancer patients whose life expectancy is measured in months) who are willing to risk adverse events and even death in exchange for access to an experimental treatment. Emergency Use Authorization is in no way related to, nor does it bear any resemblance to, Expanded Access Use. The various legal pathways for authorizing medical products are neatly presented in a table highlighted by legal researcher Katherine Watt. The table is part of a 2020 presentation for an FDA-CDC Joint Learning Session: Regulatory Updates on Use of Medical Countermeasures. Comparison of Access Mechanisms This table shows very clearly that the EUA process is unlikely to provide information regarding product effectiveness, is not designed to provide evidence of safety, is not likely to provide useful information to benefit future patients, involves no systematic data collection, requires no retrospective studies, no informed consent, and no institutional review board. Moreover, in a 2009 Institute of Medicine of the National Academic publication, also highlighted by Watt, entitled “Medical Countermeasures: Dispensing Emergency Use Authorization and the Postal Model – Workshop Summary” we find this statement on p. 28: It is important to recognize that an EUA is not part of the development pathway; it is an entirely separate entity that is used only during emergency situations and is not part of the drug approval process. Does this mean that approvals of Covid-19 countermeasures that were based on EUAs were illegal? Does it mean that there is no legal way to claim an EUA product is “safe and effective” because it is NOT PART OF THE DRUG APPROVAL PROCESS? Conclusion It is eminently apparent, given all the information in this article, and in the preceding Part 1, that the BioNTach/Pfizer Covid mRNA vaccines were developed, manufactured, and authorized under military laws reserved for emergency situations involving biological warfare/terrorism, not naturally occurring diseases affecting the entire civilian population. Therefore, the adherence to regulations and oversight that we expect to find when a product is deemed “safe and effective” for the entire civilian population was not legally required. Can this analysis be used to challenge the legality of the “safe and effective” claim by those government officials who knew what EUA entailed? Are there other legal ramifications? I hope so. Importantly, in legal challenges to Covid mRNA vaccines brought so far, there have been no rulings (that I am aware of) on whether military law, like OTA and EUA, can be applied to civilian situations. However, there has been a statement by District Court Judge Michael Truncale, in his dismissal of the case of whistleblower Brook Jackson v. Ventavia and Pfizer, that is important to keep in mind. Here the judge acknowledges that the agreement for the BioNTech/Pfizer mRNA vaccines was a military OTA, but he refuses to rule on its applicability to the non-military circumstances (naturally occurring disease, 100 million doses mostly not for military use) under which it was issued: The fact that both military personnel and civilians received the vaccine does not indicate that acquiring the vaccine was irrelevant to enhancing the military’s mission effectiveness. More importantly, Ms. Jackson is in effect asking this Court to overrule the DoD’s decision to exercise Other Transaction Authority to purchase Pfizer’s vaccine. But as the United States Supreme Court has long emphasized, the “complex subtle, and professional decisions as to the composition, training, equipping, and control of a military force are essentially professional military judgments.” Gilligan v. Morgan, 413 U.S. 1, 10 (1973). Thus, it is “difficult to conceive of an area of governmental activity in which the courts have less competence.” Id. This Court will not veto the DoD’s judgments concerning mission effectiveness during a national emergency. This is just one of many legal hurdles that remain in the battle to ultimately outlaw all mRNA products approved during the Covid-19 emergency, and any subsequent mRNA products whose approval was based on the Covid-19 approval process. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Author Debbie Lerman, 2023 Brownstone Fellow, has a degree in English from Harvard. She is a retired science writer and a practicing artist in Philadelphia, PA. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/covid-mrna-vaccines-required-no-safety-oversight-part-two/
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    Covid mRNA Vaccines Required No Safety Oversight: Part Two ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    It is eminently apparent, given all the information in this article, and in the preceding Part 1, that the BioNTach/Pfizer Covid mRNA vaccines were developed, manufactured, and authorized under military laws reserved for emergency situations involving biological warfare/terrorism, not naturally occurring diseases affecting the entire civilian population.
    0 Comments 0 Shares 11705 Views
  • Ten New Year’s Resolutions to Restore Medical Freedom
    Clayton J. Baker, MD
    As 2023 staggers to its conclusion, leaving behind a world of brutal wars, tenuous economies, corrupt governments, and tyrannical elites, perhaps the most unsettling aspect of the year’s end is a strange silence.

    Some things always generate plenty of noise. The 2024 US Presidential election promises to be even more hysterical than the last two. It will probably be a rematch, pitting a widely hated octogenarian incumbent President with obvious, rapidly progressing dementia against a widely hated late-septuagenarian former President facing dozens of felony indictments. Still almost a year away, the commotion surrounding this impending showdown of the senescent is already continuous, cacophonous, and confounding.

    However, regarding the most important historical event since World War II, there is almost total silence.

    The Covid-19 debacle is the defining event of the 21st century. It is at once the worst act of biological warfare in human history and the greatest mass violation of civil liberties since the Iron Curtain. Even more importantly, it is the self-evident template for the establishment of the technocratic soft-core totalitarianism advocated by globalist entities such as the World Health Organization and the World Economic Forum.

    And yet virtually no one in the mainstream will discuss it. The legacy media shows near zero curiosity regarding Covid’s origins, the disastrous response, or the toxic vaccines.

    Both the Biden and Trump camps pretend it never happened. Out of the 4 Republican debates held to date, only one question has been asked about Covid vaccines. And that single exchange, between journalist Megyn Kelly and candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, was mysteriously blacked out, even from supposedly “free speech” platform Rumble’s livestream of the event, with Rumble’s CEO later blaming the blackout on “the source feed from a 3rd party” which he did not name. Nothing to see here.

    Among the other presidential candidates, former Democrat Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Republican Ron DeSantis have spoken up repeatedly and honestly about Covid. As a result, they have both been aggressively reviled and ostracized by both the mainstream media and the establishments of both political parties.

    Advocates for civil rights in general, and for medical freedom in particular, should be deeply disturbed by this attempt to cast the whole Covid-19 catastrophe down the memory hole. Medical freedom is rapidly developing as a philosophical, intellectual, and ethical concept. However, theoretical efforts to promote medical freedom – and by extension, to re-enforce all fundamental civil liberties – will come to naught if the greatest assault on freedom in modern history is allowed to be forgotten, and the perpetrators are allowed to continue as if nothing happened.

    As a prominent man once asked: “What is to be done?” In my attempt to answer that question, here are 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Medical Freedom advocates.

    1. Speak the Truth About Covid at Every Opportunity.

    Honest and informed citizens, politicians, and public figures must plainly tell truthful narratives about Covid every chance they get. A brief, factual account might sound something like this:

    a. SARS CoV-2 is a man-made bioweapon developed through US Government funding, which got out of the lab and into the human population.

    b. The mRNA Covid vaccines are essentially pre-planned antidotes to that bioweapon, which were hastily produced and aggressively pushed on the population for profit, with an appalling and criminal disregard for safety.

    c. The lockdowns, masking, school closures, mandates, censorship, scapegoating, etc., were deliberate and illegal assaults on citizens’ civil rights – blatant power grabs that governments made under the pretense of a declared emergency.

    Medical freedom advocates must explain to people that they have been repeatedly lied to for the past 4 years, by virtually every authority. Then, tell them the truth – coolly, rationally, and politely. If they don’t want to hear it, tell them anyway.

    For decades, every citizen in modern Western society has been browbeaten with leftist and globalist propaganda, ranging from countless Global Warming false prophecies, to risible DEI nonsense, to Baskin-Robbinsesque gender insanity, to fascistic vaccine absolutism. Then came Covid. At this late date, it is reasonable and salutary to present one’s neighbor with a brief smattering of truth.

    2. Encourage and Petition Politicians to Commit to Medical Freedom Policies.

    The Pharma industry spent a reported $379 million on political lobbying in 2022 alone. It’s going to take a lot of grassroots work with politicians to combat the pernicious influence of that much purchased influence.

    There is evidence that this can be done. People such as Dr. Mary Talley Bowden in Texas are leading the way in this regard. As of December 23, 2023, Bowden and colleagues have convinced 40 candidates and 25 elected officials from 17 states to publicly state that “the Covid shots must be pulled off the market.” Per Dr. Bowden, “many of these are also pledging not to take donations from Big Pharma.”

    Those committed to medical freedom should set all their elected officials and relevant appointed government bureaucrats on speed dial. These individuals in positions of power – at all levels, local to national – must hear regularly from their constituents. Constituents must tell these people exactly what they know, as well as what they want. It is now up to constituents to teach their officials the facts about the world.

    As Andrew Lowenthal has demonstrated in detail, the Censorship Industrial Complex is real, and because of it, many elected officials and bureaucrats suffer from the same lack of accurate information on policy matters as the majority of their constituents.

    3. Work to Outlaw all Gain-of-Function Research.

    All research regarding the genetic manipulation of viruses needs to end. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and others have pointed out that such research is really bioweapons research, in which our tax dollars are misused to fund the development of a bioweapon and its antidote vaccine in concert. In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis and the state legislature have passed laws banning gain-of-function research in that state.

    The Covid era displayed in high relief the disastrous wages of such “research.” It needs to be completely outlawed everywhere, and all labs involved in such work, from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, to the Ralph Baric lab at the University of North Carolina, to illegal labs in the rural USA or allegedly in places like the Ukraine, need to be permanently shut down.

    Key to achieving this is not falling prey to the intentionally confusing semantic arguments about what technically constitutes “Gain-of-function” and what doesn’t. The word games Anthony Fauci played with Congress need to be called out as the dishonest prevarications they are, and rejected as a defense for those involved in such wicked “research.” (Of note, the Florida laws included language to prevent this deception, outlawing all “enhanced potential pandemic pathogen research.”)

    4. Work to Get the USA out of the World Health Organization.

    The WHO’s newly proposed pandemic agreement and amendments to the existing International Health Regulations (IHR) unfortunately are bald-faced, bad-faith attempts to usurp power from sovereign nations by an unelected globalist elite, all in the nebulous name of “global health.”

    As David Bell and Thi Thuy Van Dinh have written, despite claims by WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus that “no country will cede any sovereignty to [the] WHO,” in fact

    The documents propose a transfer of decision-making power to the WHO regarding basic aspects of societal function, which countries undertake to enact.
    The WHO Director-General will have sole authority to decide when and where they are applied.
    The proposals are intended to be binding under international law.
    Furthermore, the proposed amendments to the IHR will change WHO directives during declared health emergencies from non-binding recommendations to dictates with the force of international law. As Bell and Dinh state, “It seems outrageous from a human rights perspective that the amendments will enable the WHO to dictate countries to require individual medical examinations and vaccinations whenever it declares a pandemic.”

    And the potential incursions to medical freedom hardly end there, potentially including all the items in Article 18 of the existing IHR, which already directly contradict the UN’s own Universal Declaration of Human Rights in multiple places.

    Most current debate on the matter surrounds the question of whether individual countries should accept or reject these proposals. However, in the wake of the Covid disaster, the WHO’s current proposals reveal that its intention is not to step back, learn from the catastrophe, and account for the mistakes it and other authorities made. Rather, it seeks to consolidate its own power by permanently encoding the top-down, public-health-by-totalitarian-diktat approach that caused so much destruction. Not only these policies, but the organization proposing them should be categorically rejected.

    The WHO is a classic wolf in sheep’s clothing. It is an unelected globalist cabal of profiteering elites, heavily funded by Bill Gates and closely associated with the World Economic Forum. It is engaged in blatant political power-grabbing while masquerading as a benevolent public health institution.

    It is insufficient for nations to merely reject the WHO’s proposed pandemic agreement and amendments to its IHR. The USA and every sovereign nation should leave the WHO entirely, and medical freedom advocates should lead the way in the struggle to make this happen.

    5. Join the Fight to Remove the Covid mRNA Vaccines From the Market.

    The Covid-19 mRNA vaccines have demonstrated toxicities far more common, more varied, and more severe than numerous conventional medicines that have been appropriately pulled from the market in the past. Dr. Peter McCollough and numerous other leaders in the fight for medical freedom have rightly called for the Covid mRNA vaccines to be removed from the market.

    Despite the intense efforts of Big Pharma, the growing Censorship Industrial Complex, and captured government agencies, public awareness of the numerous and often deadly toxicities of the Covid mRNA injections is growing.

    This is reflected in both reduced public “uptake” for recurrent “boosters” per CDC data and the falling stock price of Pfizer, Inc. A small but growing number of politicians, as described above, are committing to the fight to remove the vaccines from the market, demonstrating that this is becoming a tenable and perhaps winning political position to hold.

    Encouraging as these trends may be, they are insufficient on their own. Medical freedom advocates should speak out supporting the removal of the Covid mRNA vaccines from the market. They should recruit, support, and vote for elected officials and candidates taking this position, and support legal actions toward this goal.

    6. Push for a Moratorium on the mRNA-Based Pharmaceutical Platform as a Whole.

    Even if the Covid mRNA vaccines are removed from the market, a widely overlooked corollary question remains: how much of the toxicity from these products is Covid-specific, i.e. due to the spike protein, and how much is due to the deeply problematic and incompletely understood mRNA platform itself?

    There is certainly plenty of toxicity to go around, as numerous mechanisms of injury have been identified from these injections. These include toxicities to the heart, immune system, skin, reproductive organs, blood clotting cascade, and cancer promotion, among others. It is willful denial at best and criminal negligence at worst to assume that the mRNA platform does not contribute to these problems.

    mRNA vaccines are currently in use in food animals, notably swine. Furthermore on its own website, Moderna describes a pipeline of mRNA vaccines currently in development for Influenza, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Norovirus, Lyme disease, Zika virus, Nipah virus, Monkeypox, and others. Meanwhile, the trial for its EBV vaccine has reportedly been halted in adolescents due to a case of – you guessed it – myocarditis.

    The human population will soon be inundated with mRNA-based drugs on a scale and with an imposed intensity that will make the Covid era seem positively quaint. The safety record for the sole mRNA product currently in human use – the Covid vaccines – is abysmal.

    A moratorium of at least several years, combined with an open, thorough, and publicly debated inquiry into the likely and possible toxicities inherent to the mRNA platform is essential to human safety, and if done, will save countless lives in coming years.

    7. Work to Have the 1986 Vaccine Act Repealed.

    The toxicity of vaccines was so well-established even decades ago, that a Federal law – the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986 (42 U.S.C. §§ 300aa-1 to 300aa-34) was passed to specifically exempt vaccine manufacturers from product liability, based on the legal principle that vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe” products.

    Since the 1986 NCVIA act protecting vaccine manufacturers from liability, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of vaccines on the market, as well as the number of vaccines added to the CDC vaccine schedules, with the number of vaccines on the CDC Child and Adolescent schedule rising from 7 in 1986 to 21 in 2023.

    The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986 should be repealed, returning vaccines to the same liability status as other drugs.

    8. Work to End Vaccine Mandates at Every Level of Society.

    According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in the 2019-20 academic year there were 3,982 degree-granting colleges and universities in the United States. In the fall of 2021, all but approximately 600 of these institutions mandated Covid-19 vaccination for their students.

    Since then, nearly all such institutions have dropped their student Covid vaccine mandates. However, at this writing, 71 colleges and universities, or approximately 1.7%, continue to mandate the Covid vaccines for students to attend.

    The number of mandating schools reduced gradually, largely through the intense, extremely labor intensive work of a very few small, newly-formed, grassroots organizations like No College Mandates. While the effectiveness of such efforts is undeniable, the 71 holdouts (which include “elite” institutions such as Harvard and Johns Hopkins) demonstrate just how deeply entrenched the mandating of vaccines remains in certain segments of society.

    As a result of the hubris and abuse it displayed during Covid, the entire vaccine mega-industry has suffered tremendous (and richly deserved) damage to its formerly unquestioned, “safe and effective” image. However, from education to healthcare to the military, gains made against vaccine mandates have been partial and temporary at most. A concerted effort to further educate the public about the immense problems with vaccines and to restore individual choice must be joined by a great many more people if this fundamental imposition on basic bodily autonomy is to be overcome.

    9. Work to End Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Pharmaceuticals.

    The United States is one of only 2 countries in the world that allows direct-to-consumer advertising of pharmaceuticals. The dangers of this utterly ill-advised policy are multiple.

    First, as we all can see by simply turning on the television, Big Pharma abuses this privilege to aggressively yet seductively hawk every product it feels it can make a buck off of. The “pill for every ill” mindset shifts into hyperdrive, with an expensive, proprietary, pharmacological cure for everything from your morbid obesity to your “bent carrot.” The situation on social media is, if anything, even worse.

    It is no coincidence that black markets for overhyped, purported wonder drugs such as semaglutide develop, nor that dangerous misuse, such as thousands of reported overdoses have been reported. Perhaps more importantly, direct-to-consumer advertising provides Big Pharma with a convenient and legal way to capture media. Big Pharma was the second-largest television advertising industry in 2021, spending $5.6 billion. No legacy media outlet dares to go against the wishes of those providing that level of funding. This effectively muzzles any and all dissenting voices from appearing on those platforms.

    A free society requires freedom of the press and media. The Covid era has demonstrated that direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising stifles freedom of the press and media to a dangerous and unacceptable degree.

    10. Play Offense.

    If all you do is play defense, the best result you can hope for is a draw. During the lockdowns, with courts closed, businesses shuttered, and citizens isolated from one another, it was extremely difficult to mount even a solid defense against the gross incursions on our civil rights. A few courageous individuals, often acting alone and at tremendous personal cost, managed to counterpunch effectively. Their contributions to saving our “free” societies (if indeed they are eventually saved) will perhaps never be adequately recognized.

    Today, despite the mainstream silence, the tide is turning in favor of medical freedom and civil liberties in multiple areas. It is time for the masses to join in and help those who managed to make these early advances, and who continue to fight on behalf of all citizens.

    For example, New York attorney Bobbie Anne Cox continues her David v. Goliath legal struggle to defeat Governor Kathy Hochul’s extralegal and grossly unconstitutional quarantine camp order. This case may eventually reach the Supreme Court. I don’t want to declare that Ms. Cox can’t do it alone, because that’s pretty much what she has done so far, and having followed that case, I wouldn’t bet against her. But hell, even Hercules had a sidekick. Medical freedom advocates would do well by actively and generously supporting her.

    After surviving his own trial by fire, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has announced a lawsuit against Pfizer for “unlawfully misrepresenting the Covid-19 vaccine’s effectiveness, and attempting to censor public discussion of the product.” Citizens of other states would do well to aggressively petition their attorneys general to take similar action, including removing the mRNA vaccines from the market in their states on the grounds of their demonstrated adulteration with potentially harmful DNA.

    If medical freedom advocates want the concept to prevail, they must go on offense. Get involved. There is no need to reinvent the wheel at this point. Adopt one or more of the organizations or causes above as your personal project, join, and contribute. Add your light to the sum of light, and the darkness will not overcome it.

    In summary, those of us seeking to secure and ensure medical freedom for ourselves and future generations must become vocal, persistent advocates, as well as courageous people of action. Furthermore, we must not allow the abuses and evils of the Covid era to vanish down the memory hole, which of course is exactly what every politician, bureaucrat, Deep State apparatchik, and globalist elite who perpetrated those deeds wants to happen. Some cliches are true, and this is one of them: if we allow ourselves to forget history, we will be doomed to repeat it.

    Covid-19 was the defining event of the century. It was a destructive, deadly catastrophe, but it does have one remarkable silver lining. It peeled the veneer off our governments, institutions, corporations, and society as a whole. It revealed how the powerful plan to strip us of our freedoms – medical and otherwise. We now know what we face. May we, the ordinary citizens, have the courage and intelligence to act effectively to regain and retain our freedoms, dignity, and fundamental human rights.

    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
    For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.

    Author

    C.J. Baker, M.D. is an internal medicine physician with a quarter century in clinical practice. He has held numerous academic medical appointments, and his work has appeared in many journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine. From 2012 to 2018 he was Clinical Associate Professor of Medical Humanities and Bioethics at the University of Rochester.

    View all posts
    Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work.

    https://brownstone.org/articles/ten-new-years-resolutions-to-restore-medical-freedom/
    Ten New Year’s Resolutions to Restore Medical Freedom Clayton J. Baker, MD As 2023 staggers to its conclusion, leaving behind a world of brutal wars, tenuous economies, corrupt governments, and tyrannical elites, perhaps the most unsettling aspect of the year’s end is a strange silence. Some things always generate plenty of noise. The 2024 US Presidential election promises to be even more hysterical than the last two. It will probably be a rematch, pitting a widely hated octogenarian incumbent President with obvious, rapidly progressing dementia against a widely hated late-septuagenarian former President facing dozens of felony indictments. Still almost a year away, the commotion surrounding this impending showdown of the senescent is already continuous, cacophonous, and confounding. However, regarding the most important historical event since World War II, there is almost total silence. The Covid-19 debacle is the defining event of the 21st century. It is at once the worst act of biological warfare in human history and the greatest mass violation of civil liberties since the Iron Curtain. Even more importantly, it is the self-evident template for the establishment of the technocratic soft-core totalitarianism advocated by globalist entities such as the World Health Organization and the World Economic Forum. And yet virtually no one in the mainstream will discuss it. The legacy media shows near zero curiosity regarding Covid’s origins, the disastrous response, or the toxic vaccines. Both the Biden and Trump camps pretend it never happened. Out of the 4 Republican debates held to date, only one question has been asked about Covid vaccines. And that single exchange, between journalist Megyn Kelly and candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, was mysteriously blacked out, even from supposedly “free speech” platform Rumble’s livestream of the event, with Rumble’s CEO later blaming the blackout on “the source feed from a 3rd party” which he did not name. Nothing to see here. Among the other presidential candidates, former Democrat Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Republican Ron DeSantis have spoken up repeatedly and honestly about Covid. As a result, they have both been aggressively reviled and ostracized by both the mainstream media and the establishments of both political parties. Advocates for civil rights in general, and for medical freedom in particular, should be deeply disturbed by this attempt to cast the whole Covid-19 catastrophe down the memory hole. Medical freedom is rapidly developing as a philosophical, intellectual, and ethical concept. However, theoretical efforts to promote medical freedom – and by extension, to re-enforce all fundamental civil liberties – will come to naught if the greatest assault on freedom in modern history is allowed to be forgotten, and the perpetrators are allowed to continue as if nothing happened. As a prominent man once asked: “What is to be done?” In my attempt to answer that question, here are 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Medical Freedom advocates. 1. Speak the Truth About Covid at Every Opportunity. Honest and informed citizens, politicians, and public figures must plainly tell truthful narratives about Covid every chance they get. A brief, factual account might sound something like this: a. SARS CoV-2 is a man-made bioweapon developed through US Government funding, which got out of the lab and into the human population. b. The mRNA Covid vaccines are essentially pre-planned antidotes to that bioweapon, which were hastily produced and aggressively pushed on the population for profit, with an appalling and criminal disregard for safety. c. The lockdowns, masking, school closures, mandates, censorship, scapegoating, etc., were deliberate and illegal assaults on citizens’ civil rights – blatant power grabs that governments made under the pretense of a declared emergency. Medical freedom advocates must explain to people that they have been repeatedly lied to for the past 4 years, by virtually every authority. Then, tell them the truth – coolly, rationally, and politely. If they don’t want to hear it, tell them anyway. For decades, every citizen in modern Western society has been browbeaten with leftist and globalist propaganda, ranging from countless Global Warming false prophecies, to risible DEI nonsense, to Baskin-Robbinsesque gender insanity, to fascistic vaccine absolutism. Then came Covid. At this late date, it is reasonable and salutary to present one’s neighbor with a brief smattering of truth. 2. Encourage and Petition Politicians to Commit to Medical Freedom Policies. The Pharma industry spent a reported $379 million on political lobbying in 2022 alone. It’s going to take a lot of grassroots work with politicians to combat the pernicious influence of that much purchased influence. There is evidence that this can be done. People such as Dr. Mary Talley Bowden in Texas are leading the way in this regard. As of December 23, 2023, Bowden and colleagues have convinced 40 candidates and 25 elected officials from 17 states to publicly state that “the Covid shots must be pulled off the market.” Per Dr. Bowden, “many of these are also pledging not to take donations from Big Pharma.” Those committed to medical freedom should set all their elected officials and relevant appointed government bureaucrats on speed dial. These individuals in positions of power – at all levels, local to national – must hear regularly from their constituents. Constituents must tell these people exactly what they know, as well as what they want. It is now up to constituents to teach their officials the facts about the world. As Andrew Lowenthal has demonstrated in detail, the Censorship Industrial Complex is real, and because of it, many elected officials and bureaucrats suffer from the same lack of accurate information on policy matters as the majority of their constituents. 3. Work to Outlaw all Gain-of-Function Research. All research regarding the genetic manipulation of viruses needs to end. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and others have pointed out that such research is really bioweapons research, in which our tax dollars are misused to fund the development of a bioweapon and its antidote vaccine in concert. In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis and the state legislature have passed laws banning gain-of-function research in that state. The Covid era displayed in high relief the disastrous wages of such “research.” It needs to be completely outlawed everywhere, and all labs involved in such work, from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, to the Ralph Baric lab at the University of North Carolina, to illegal labs in the rural USA or allegedly in places like the Ukraine, need to be permanently shut down. Key to achieving this is not falling prey to the intentionally confusing semantic arguments about what technically constitutes “Gain-of-function” and what doesn’t. The word games Anthony Fauci played with Congress need to be called out as the dishonest prevarications they are, and rejected as a defense for those involved in such wicked “research.” (Of note, the Florida laws included language to prevent this deception, outlawing all “enhanced potential pandemic pathogen research.”) 4. Work to Get the USA out of the World Health Organization. The WHO’s newly proposed pandemic agreement and amendments to the existing International Health Regulations (IHR) unfortunately are bald-faced, bad-faith attempts to usurp power from sovereign nations by an unelected globalist elite, all in the nebulous name of “global health.” As David Bell and Thi Thuy Van Dinh have written, despite claims by WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus that “no country will cede any sovereignty to [the] WHO,” in fact The documents propose a transfer of decision-making power to the WHO regarding basic aspects of societal function, which countries undertake to enact. The WHO Director-General will have sole authority to decide when and where they are applied. The proposals are intended to be binding under international law. Furthermore, the proposed amendments to the IHR will change WHO directives during declared health emergencies from non-binding recommendations to dictates with the force of international law. As Bell and Dinh state, “It seems outrageous from a human rights perspective that the amendments will enable the WHO to dictate countries to require individual medical examinations and vaccinations whenever it declares a pandemic.” And the potential incursions to medical freedom hardly end there, potentially including all the items in Article 18 of the existing IHR, which already directly contradict the UN’s own Universal Declaration of Human Rights in multiple places. Most current debate on the matter surrounds the question of whether individual countries should accept or reject these proposals. However, in the wake of the Covid disaster, the WHO’s current proposals reveal that its intention is not to step back, learn from the catastrophe, and account for the mistakes it and other authorities made. Rather, it seeks to consolidate its own power by permanently encoding the top-down, public-health-by-totalitarian-diktat approach that caused so much destruction. Not only these policies, but the organization proposing them should be categorically rejected. The WHO is a classic wolf in sheep’s clothing. It is an unelected globalist cabal of profiteering elites, heavily funded by Bill Gates and closely associated with the World Economic Forum. It is engaged in blatant political power-grabbing while masquerading as a benevolent public health institution. It is insufficient for nations to merely reject the WHO’s proposed pandemic agreement and amendments to its IHR. The USA and every sovereign nation should leave the WHO entirely, and medical freedom advocates should lead the way in the struggle to make this happen. 5. Join the Fight to Remove the Covid mRNA Vaccines From the Market. The Covid-19 mRNA vaccines have demonstrated toxicities far more common, more varied, and more severe than numerous conventional medicines that have been appropriately pulled from the market in the past. Dr. Peter McCollough and numerous other leaders in the fight for medical freedom have rightly called for the Covid mRNA vaccines to be removed from the market. Despite the intense efforts of Big Pharma, the growing Censorship Industrial Complex, and captured government agencies, public awareness of the numerous and often deadly toxicities of the Covid mRNA injections is growing. This is reflected in both reduced public “uptake” for recurrent “boosters” per CDC data and the falling stock price of Pfizer, Inc. A small but growing number of politicians, as described above, are committing to the fight to remove the vaccines from the market, demonstrating that this is becoming a tenable and perhaps winning political position to hold. Encouraging as these trends may be, they are insufficient on their own. Medical freedom advocates should speak out supporting the removal of the Covid mRNA vaccines from the market. They should recruit, support, and vote for elected officials and candidates taking this position, and support legal actions toward this goal. 6. Push for a Moratorium on the mRNA-Based Pharmaceutical Platform as a Whole. Even if the Covid mRNA vaccines are removed from the market, a widely overlooked corollary question remains: how much of the toxicity from these products is Covid-specific, i.e. due to the spike protein, and how much is due to the deeply problematic and incompletely understood mRNA platform itself? There is certainly plenty of toxicity to go around, as numerous mechanisms of injury have been identified from these injections. These include toxicities to the heart, immune system, skin, reproductive organs, blood clotting cascade, and cancer promotion, among others. It is willful denial at best and criminal negligence at worst to assume that the mRNA platform does not contribute to these problems. mRNA vaccines are currently in use in food animals, notably swine. Furthermore on its own website, Moderna describes a pipeline of mRNA vaccines currently in development for Influenza, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Norovirus, Lyme disease, Zika virus, Nipah virus, Monkeypox, and others. Meanwhile, the trial for its EBV vaccine has reportedly been halted in adolescents due to a case of – you guessed it – myocarditis. The human population will soon be inundated with mRNA-based drugs on a scale and with an imposed intensity that will make the Covid era seem positively quaint. The safety record for the sole mRNA product currently in human use – the Covid vaccines – is abysmal. A moratorium of at least several years, combined with an open, thorough, and publicly debated inquiry into the likely and possible toxicities inherent to the mRNA platform is essential to human safety, and if done, will save countless lives in coming years. 7. Work to Have the 1986 Vaccine Act Repealed. The toxicity of vaccines was so well-established even decades ago, that a Federal law – the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986 (42 U.S.C. §§ 300aa-1 to 300aa-34) was passed to specifically exempt vaccine manufacturers from product liability, based on the legal principle that vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe” products. Since the 1986 NCVIA act protecting vaccine manufacturers from liability, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of vaccines on the market, as well as the number of vaccines added to the CDC vaccine schedules, with the number of vaccines on the CDC Child and Adolescent schedule rising from 7 in 1986 to 21 in 2023. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986 should be repealed, returning vaccines to the same liability status as other drugs. 8. Work to End Vaccine Mandates at Every Level of Society. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in the 2019-20 academic year there were 3,982 degree-granting colleges and universities in the United States. In the fall of 2021, all but approximately 600 of these institutions mandated Covid-19 vaccination for their students. Since then, nearly all such institutions have dropped their student Covid vaccine mandates. However, at this writing, 71 colleges and universities, or approximately 1.7%, continue to mandate the Covid vaccines for students to attend. The number of mandating schools reduced gradually, largely through the intense, extremely labor intensive work of a very few small, newly-formed, grassroots organizations like No College Mandates. While the effectiveness of such efforts is undeniable, the 71 holdouts (which include “elite” institutions such as Harvard and Johns Hopkins) demonstrate just how deeply entrenched the mandating of vaccines remains in certain segments of society. As a result of the hubris and abuse it displayed during Covid, the entire vaccine mega-industry has suffered tremendous (and richly deserved) damage to its formerly unquestioned, “safe and effective” image. However, from education to healthcare to the military, gains made against vaccine mandates have been partial and temporary at most. A concerted effort to further educate the public about the immense problems with vaccines and to restore individual choice must be joined by a great many more people if this fundamental imposition on basic bodily autonomy is to be overcome. 9. Work to End Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Pharmaceuticals. The United States is one of only 2 countries in the world that allows direct-to-consumer advertising of pharmaceuticals. The dangers of this utterly ill-advised policy are multiple. First, as we all can see by simply turning on the television, Big Pharma abuses this privilege to aggressively yet seductively hawk every product it feels it can make a buck off of. The “pill for every ill” mindset shifts into hyperdrive, with an expensive, proprietary, pharmacological cure for everything from your morbid obesity to your “bent carrot.” The situation on social media is, if anything, even worse. It is no coincidence that black markets for overhyped, purported wonder drugs such as semaglutide develop, nor that dangerous misuse, such as thousands of reported overdoses have been reported. Perhaps more importantly, direct-to-consumer advertising provides Big Pharma with a convenient and legal way to capture media. Big Pharma was the second-largest television advertising industry in 2021, spending $5.6 billion. No legacy media outlet dares to go against the wishes of those providing that level of funding. This effectively muzzles any and all dissenting voices from appearing on those platforms. A free society requires freedom of the press and media. The Covid era has demonstrated that direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising stifles freedom of the press and media to a dangerous and unacceptable degree. 10. Play Offense. If all you do is play defense, the best result you can hope for is a draw. During the lockdowns, with courts closed, businesses shuttered, and citizens isolated from one another, it was extremely difficult to mount even a solid defense against the gross incursions on our civil rights. A few courageous individuals, often acting alone and at tremendous personal cost, managed to counterpunch effectively. Their contributions to saving our “free” societies (if indeed they are eventually saved) will perhaps never be adequately recognized. Today, despite the mainstream silence, the tide is turning in favor of medical freedom and civil liberties in multiple areas. It is time for the masses to join in and help those who managed to make these early advances, and who continue to fight on behalf of all citizens. For example, New York attorney Bobbie Anne Cox continues her David v. Goliath legal struggle to defeat Governor Kathy Hochul’s extralegal and grossly unconstitutional quarantine camp order. This case may eventually reach the Supreme Court. I don’t want to declare that Ms. Cox can’t do it alone, because that’s pretty much what she has done so far, and having followed that case, I wouldn’t bet against her. But hell, even Hercules had a sidekick. Medical freedom advocates would do well by actively and generously supporting her. After surviving his own trial by fire, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has announced a lawsuit against Pfizer for “unlawfully misrepresenting the Covid-19 vaccine’s effectiveness, and attempting to censor public discussion of the product.” Citizens of other states would do well to aggressively petition their attorneys general to take similar action, including removing the mRNA vaccines from the market in their states on the grounds of their demonstrated adulteration with potentially harmful DNA. If medical freedom advocates want the concept to prevail, they must go on offense. Get involved. There is no need to reinvent the wheel at this point. Adopt one or more of the organizations or causes above as your personal project, join, and contribute. Add your light to the sum of light, and the darkness will not overcome it. In summary, those of us seeking to secure and ensure medical freedom for ourselves and future generations must become vocal, persistent advocates, as well as courageous people of action. Furthermore, we must not allow the abuses and evils of the Covid era to vanish down the memory hole, which of course is exactly what every politician, bureaucrat, Deep State apparatchik, and globalist elite who perpetrated those deeds wants to happen. Some cliches are true, and this is one of them: if we allow ourselves to forget history, we will be doomed to repeat it. Covid-19 was the defining event of the century. It was a destructive, deadly catastrophe, but it does have one remarkable silver lining. It peeled the veneer off our governments, institutions, corporations, and society as a whole. It revealed how the powerful plan to strip us of our freedoms – medical and otherwise. We now know what we face. May we, the ordinary citizens, have the courage and intelligence to act effectively to regain and retain our freedoms, dignity, and fundamental human rights. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Author C.J. Baker, M.D. is an internal medicine physician with a quarter century in clinical practice. He has held numerous academic medical appointments, and his work has appeared in many journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine. From 2012 to 2018 he was Clinical Associate Professor of Medical Humanities and Bioethics at the University of Rochester. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/ten-new-years-resolutions-to-restore-medical-freedom/
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    Ten New Year’s Resolutions to Restore Medical Freedom ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    As 2023 staggers to its conclusion, leaving behind a world of brutal wars, tenuous economies, corrupt governments, and tyrannical elites, perhaps the most unsettling aspect of the year’s end is a strange silence.
    Like
    Love
    3
    3 Comments 1 Shares 25936 Views
  • Ten New Year’s Resolutions to Restore Medical Freedom
    Clayton J. Baker, MD
    As 2023 staggers to its conclusion, leaving behind a world of brutal wars, tenuous economies, corrupt governments, and tyrannical elites, perhaps the most unsettling aspect of the year’s end is a strange silence.

    Some things always generate plenty of noise. The 2024 US Presidential election promises to be even more hysterical than the last two. It will probably be a rematch, pitting a widely hated octogenarian incumbent President with obvious, rapidly progressing dementia against a widely hated late-septuagenarian former President facing dozens of felony indictments. Still almost a year away, the commotion surrounding this impending showdown of the senescent is already continuous, cacophonous, and confounding.

    However, regarding the most important historical event since World War II, there is almost total silence.

    The Covid-19 debacle is the defining event of the 21st century. It is at once the worst act of biological warfare in human history and the greatest mass violation of civil liberties since the Iron Curtain. Even more importantly, it is the self-evident template for the establishment of the technocratic soft-core totalitarianism advocated by globalist entities such as the World Health Organization and the World Economic Forum.

    And yet virtually no one in the mainstream will discuss it. The legacy media shows near zero curiosity regarding Covid’s origins, the disastrous response, or the toxic vaccines.

    Both the Biden and Trump camps pretend it never happened. Out of the 4 Republican debates held to date, only one question has been asked about Covid vaccines. And that single exchange, between journalist Megyn Kelly and candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, was mysteriously blacked out, even from supposedly “free speech” platform Rumble’s livestream of the event, with Rumble’s CEO later blaming the blackout on “the source feed from a 3rd party” which he did not name. Nothing to see here.

    Among the other presidential candidates, former Democrat Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Republican Ron DeSantis have spoken up repeatedly and honestly about Covid. As a result, they have both been aggressively reviled and ostracized by both the mainstream media and the establishments of both political parties.

    Advocates for civil rights in general, and for medical freedom in particular, should be deeply disturbed by this attempt to cast the whole Covid-19 catastrophe down the memory hole. Medical freedom is rapidly developing as a philosophical, intellectual, and ethical concept. However, theoretical efforts to promote medical freedom – and by extension, to re-enforce all fundamental civil liberties – will come to naught if the greatest assault on freedom in modern history is allowed to be forgotten, and the perpetrators are allowed to continue as if nothing happened.

    As a prominent man once asked: “What is to be done?” In my attempt to answer that question, here are 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Medical Freedom advocates.

    1. Speak the Truth About Covid at Every Opportunity.

    Honest and informed citizens, politicians, and public figures must plainly tell truthful narratives about Covid every chance they get. A brief, factual account might sound something like this:

    a. SARS CoV-2 is a man-made bioweapon developed through US Government funding, which got out of the lab and into the human population.

    b. The mRNA Covid vaccines are essentially pre-planned antidotes to that bioweapon, which were hastily produced and aggressively pushed on the population for profit, with an appalling and criminal disregard for safety.

    c. The lockdowns, masking, school closures, mandates, censorship, scapegoating, etc., were deliberate and illegal assaults on citizens’ civil rights – blatant power grabs that governments made under the pretense of a declared emergency.

    Medical freedom advocates must explain to people that they have been repeatedly lied to for the past 4 years, by virtually every authority. Then, tell them the truth – coolly, rationally, and politely. If they don’t want to hear it, tell them anyway.

    For decades, every citizen in modern Western society has been browbeaten with leftist and globalist propaganda, ranging from countless Global Warming false prophecies, to risible DEI nonsense, to Baskin-Robbinsesque gender insanity, to fascistic vaccine absolutism. Then came Covid. At this late date, it is reasonable and salutary to present one’s neighbor with a brief smattering of truth.

    2. Encourage and Petition Politicians to Commit to Medical Freedom Policies.

    The Pharma industry spent a reported $379 million on political lobbying in 2022 alone. It’s going to take a lot of grassroots work with politicians to combat the pernicious influence of that much purchased influence.

    There is evidence that this can be done. People such as Dr. Mary Talley Bowden in Texas are leading the way in this regard. As of December 23, 2023, Bowden and colleagues have convinced 40 candidates and 25 elected officials from 17 states to publicly state that “the Covid shots must be pulled off the market.” Per Dr. Bowden, “many of these are also pledging not to take donations from Big Pharma.”

    Those committed to medical freedom should set all their elected officials and relevant appointed government bureaucrats on speed dial. These individuals in positions of power – at all levels, local to national – must hear regularly from their constituents. Constituents must tell these people exactly what they know, as well as what they want. It is now up to constituents to teach their officials the facts about the world.

    As Andrew Lowenthal has demonstrated in detail, the Censorship Industrial Complex is real, and because of it, many elected officials and bureaucrats suffer from the same lack of accurate information on policy matters as the majority of their constituents.

    3. Work to Outlaw all Gain-of-Function Research.

    All research regarding the genetic manipulation of viruses needs to end. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and others have pointed out that such research is really bioweapons research, in which our tax dollars are misused to fund the development of a bioweapon and its antidote vaccine in concert. In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis and the state legislature have passed laws banning gain-of-function research in that state.

    The Covid era displayed in high relief the disastrous wages of such “research.” It needs to be completely outlawed everywhere, and all labs involved in such work, from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, to the Ralph Baric lab at the University of North Carolina, to illegal labs in the rural USA or allegedly in places like the Ukraine, need to be permanently shut down.

    Key to achieving this is not falling prey to the intentionally confusing semantic arguments about what technically constitutes “Gain-of-function” and what doesn’t. The word games Anthony Fauci played with Congress need to be called out as the dishonest prevarications they are, and rejected as a defense for those involved in such wicked “research.” (Of note, the Florida laws included language to prevent this deception, outlawing all “enhanced potential pandemic pathogen research.”)

    4. Work to Get the USA out of the World Health Organization.

    The WHO’s newly proposed pandemic agreement and amendments to the existing International Health Regulations (IHR) unfortunately are bald-faced, bad-faith attempts to usurp power from sovereign nations by an unelected globalist elite, all in the nebulous name of “global health.”

    As David Bell and Thi Thuy Van Dinh have written, despite claims by WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus that “no country will cede any sovereignty to [the] WHO,” in fact

    The documents propose a transfer of decision-making power to the WHO regarding basic aspects of societal function, which countries undertake to enact.
    The WHO Director-General will have sole authority to decide when and where they are applied.
    The proposals are intended to be binding under international law.
    Furthermore, the proposed amendments to the IHR will change WHO directives during declared health emergencies from non-binding recommendations to dictates with the force of international law. As Bell and Dinh state, “It seems outrageous from a human rights perspective that the amendments will enable the WHO to dictate countries to require individual medical examinations and vaccinations whenever it declares a pandemic.”

    And the potential incursions to medical freedom hardly end there, potentially including all the items in Article 18 of the existing IHR, which already directly contradict the UN’s own Universal Declaration of Human Rights in multiple places.

    Most current debate on the matter surrounds the question of whether individual countries should accept or reject these proposals. However, in the wake of the Covid disaster, the WHO’s current proposals reveal that its intention is not to step back, learn from the catastrophe, and account for the mistakes it and other authorities made. Rather, it seeks to consolidate its own power by permanently encoding the top-down, public-health-by-totalitarian-diktat approach that caused so much destruction. Not only these policies, but the organization proposing them should be categorically rejected.

    The WHO is a classic wolf in sheep’s clothing. It is an unelected globalist cabal of profiteering elites, heavily funded by Bill Gates and closely associated with the World Economic Forum. It is engaged in blatant political power-grabbing while masquerading as a benevolent public health institution.

    It is insufficient for nations to merely reject the WHO’s proposed pandemic agreement and amendments to its IHR. The USA and every sovereign nation should leave the WHO entirely, and medical freedom advocates should lead the way in the struggle to make this happen.

    5. Join the Fight to Remove the Covid mRNA Vaccines From the Market.

    The Covid-19 mRNA vaccines have demonstrated toxicities far more common, more varied, and more severe than numerous conventional medicines that have been appropriately pulled from the market in the past. Dr. Peter McCollough and numerous other leaders in the fight for medical freedom have rightly called for the Covid mRNA vaccines to be removed from the market.

    Despite the intense efforts of Big Pharma, the growing Censorship Industrial Complex, and captured government agencies, public awareness of the numerous and often deadly toxicities of the Covid mRNA injections is growing.

    This is reflected in both reduced public “uptake” for recurrent “boosters” per CDC data and the falling stock price of Pfizer, Inc. A small but growing number of politicians, as described above, are committing to the fight to remove the vaccines from the market, demonstrating that this is becoming a tenable and perhaps winning political position to hold.

    Encouraging as these trends may be, they are insufficient on their own. Medical freedom advocates should speak out supporting the removal of the Covid mRNA vaccines from the market. They should recruit, support, and vote for elected officials and candidates taking this position, and support legal actions toward this goal.

    6. Push for a Moratorium on the mRNA-Based Pharmaceutical Platform as a Whole.

    Even if the Covid mRNA vaccines are removed from the market, a widely overlooked corollary question remains: how much of the toxicity from these products is Covid-specific, i.e. due to the spike protein, and how much is due to the deeply problematic and incompletely understood mRNA platform itself?

    There is certainly plenty of toxicity to go around, as numerous mechanisms of injury have been identified from these injections. These include toxicities to the heart, immune system, skin, reproductive organs, blood clotting cascade, and cancer promotion, among others. It is willful denial at best and criminal negligence at worst to assume that the mRNA platform does not contribute to these problems.

    mRNA vaccines are currently in use in food animals, notably swine. Furthermore on its own website, Moderna describes a pipeline of mRNA vaccines currently in development for Influenza, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Norovirus, Lyme disease, Zika virus, Nipah virus, Monkeypox, and others. Meanwhile, the trial for its EBV vaccine has reportedly been halted in adolescents due to a case of – you guessed it – myocarditis.

    The human population will soon be inundated with mRNA-based drugs on a scale and with an imposed intensity that will make the Covid era seem positively quaint. The safety record for the sole mRNA product currently in human use – the Covid vaccines – is abysmal.

    A moratorium of at least several years, combined with an open, thorough, and publicly debated inquiry into the likely and possible toxicities inherent to the mRNA platform is essential to human safety, and if done, will save countless lives in coming years.

    7. Work to Have the 1986 Vaccine Act Repealed.

    The toxicity of vaccines was so well-established even decades ago, that a Federal law – the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986 (42 U.S.C. §§ 300aa-1 to 300aa-34) was passed to specifically exempt vaccine manufacturers from product liability, based on the legal principle that vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe” products.

    Since the 1986 NCVIA act protecting vaccine manufacturers from liability, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of vaccines on the market, as well as the number of vaccines added to the CDC vaccine schedules, with the number of vaccines on the CDC Child and Adolescent schedule rising from 7 in 1986 to 21 in 2023.

    The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986 should be repealed, returning vaccines to the same liability status as other drugs.

    8. Work to End Vaccine Mandates at Every Level of Society.

    According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in the 2019-20 academic year there were 3,982 degree-granting colleges and universities in the United States. In the fall of 2021, all but approximately 600 of these institutions mandated Covid-19 vaccination for their students.

    Since then, nearly all such institutions have dropped their student Covid vaccine mandates. However, at this writing, 71 colleges and universities, or approximately 1.7%, continue to mandate the Covid vaccines for students to attend.

    The number of mandating schools reduced gradually, largely through the intense, extremely labor intensive work of a very few small, newly-formed, grassroots organizations like No College Mandates. While the effectiveness of such efforts is undeniable, the 71 holdouts (which include “elite” institutions such as Harvard and Johns Hopkins) demonstrate just how deeply entrenched the mandating of vaccines remains in certain segments of society.

    As a result of the hubris and abuse it displayed during Covid, the entire vaccine mega-industry has suffered tremendous (and richly deserved) damage to its formerly unquestioned, “safe and effective” image. However, from education to healthcare to the military, gains made against vaccine mandates have been partial and temporary at most. A concerted effort to further educate the public about the immense problems with vaccines and to restore individual choice must be joined by a great many more people if this fundamental imposition on basic bodily autonomy is to be overcome.

    9. Work to End Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Pharmaceuticals.

    The United States is one of only 2 countries in the world that allows direct-to-consumer advertising of pharmaceuticals. The dangers of this utterly ill-advised policy are multiple.

    First, as we all can see by simply turning on the television, Big Pharma abuses this privilege to aggressively yet seductively hawk every product it feels it can make a buck off of. The “pill for every ill” mindset shifts into hyperdrive, with an expensive, proprietary, pharmacological cure for everything from your morbid obesity to your “bent carrot.” The situation on social media is, if anything, even worse.

    It is no coincidence that black markets for overhyped, purported wonder drugs such as semaglutide develop, nor that dangerous misuse, such as thousands of reported overdoses have been reported. Perhaps more importantly, direct-to-consumer advertising provides Big Pharma with a convenient and legal way to capture media. Big Pharma was the second-largest television advertising industry in 2021, spending $5.6 billion. No legacy media outlet dares to go against the wishes of those providing that level of funding. This effectively muzzles any and all dissenting voices from appearing on those platforms.

    A free society requires freedom of the press and media. The Covid era has demonstrated that direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising stifles freedom of the press and media to a dangerous and unacceptable degree.

    10. Play Offense.

    If all you do is play defense, the best result you can hope for is a draw. During the lockdowns, with courts closed, businesses shuttered, and citizens isolated from one another, it was extremely difficult to mount even a solid defense against the gross incursions on our civil rights. A few courageous individuals, often acting alone and at tremendous personal cost, managed to counterpunch effectively. Their contributions to saving our “free” societies (if indeed they are eventually saved) will perhaps never be adequately recognized.

    Today, despite the mainstream silence, the tide is turning in favor of medical freedom and civil liberties in multiple areas. It is time for the masses to join in and help those who managed to make these early advances, and who continue to fight on behalf of all citizens.

    For example, New York attorney Bobbie Anne Cox continues her David v. Goliath legal struggle to defeat Governor Kathy Hochul’s extralegal and grossly unconstitutional quarantine camp order. This case may eventually reach the Supreme Court. I don’t want to declare that Ms. Cox can’t do it alone, because that’s pretty much what she has done so far, and having followed that case, I wouldn’t bet against her. But hell, even Hercules had a sidekick. Medical freedom advocates would do well by actively and generously supporting her.

    After surviving his own trial by fire, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has announced a lawsuit against Pfizer for “unlawfully misrepresenting the Covid-19 vaccine’s effectiveness, and attempting to censor public discussion of the product.” Citizens of other states would do well to aggressively petition their attorneys general to take similar action, including removing the mRNA vaccines from the market in their states on the grounds of their demonstrated adulteration with potentially harmful DNA.

    If medical freedom advocates want the concept to prevail, they must go on offense. Get involved. There is no need to reinvent the wheel at this point. Adopt one or more of the organizations or causes above as your personal project, join, and contribute. Add your light to the sum of light, and the darkness will not overcome it.

    In summary, those of us seeking to secure and ensure medical freedom for ourselves and future generations must become vocal, persistent advocates, as well as courageous people of action. Furthermore, we must not allow the abuses and evils of the Covid era to vanish down the memory hole, which of course is exactly what every politician, bureaucrat, Deep State apparatchik, and globalist elite who perpetrated those deeds wants to happen. Some cliches are true, and this is one of them: if we allow ourselves to forget history, we will be doomed to repeat it.

    Covid-19 was the defining event of the century. It was a destructive, deadly catastrophe, but it does have one remarkable silver lining. It peeled the veneer off our governments, institutions, corporations, and society as a whole. It revealed how the powerful plan to strip us of our freedoms – medical and otherwise. We now know what we face. May we, the ordinary citizens, have the courage and intelligence to act effectively to regain and retain our freedoms, dignity, and fundamental human rights.

    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
    For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.

    Author

    C.J. Baker, M.D. is an internal medicine physician with a quarter century in clinical practice. He has held numerous academic medical appointments, and his work has appeared in many journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine. From 2012 to 2018 he was Clinical Associate Professor of Medical Humanities and Bioethics at the University of Rochester.

    View all posts
    Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work.

    https://brownstone.org/articles/ten-new-years-resolutions-to-restore-medical-freedom/
    Ten New Year’s Resolutions to Restore Medical Freedom Clayton J. Baker, MD As 2023 staggers to its conclusion, leaving behind a world of brutal wars, tenuous economies, corrupt governments, and tyrannical elites, perhaps the most unsettling aspect of the year’s end is a strange silence. Some things always generate plenty of noise. The 2024 US Presidential election promises to be even more hysterical than the last two. It will probably be a rematch, pitting a widely hated octogenarian incumbent President with obvious, rapidly progressing dementia against a widely hated late-septuagenarian former President facing dozens of felony indictments. Still almost a year away, the commotion surrounding this impending showdown of the senescent is already continuous, cacophonous, and confounding. However, regarding the most important historical event since World War II, there is almost total silence. The Covid-19 debacle is the defining event of the 21st century. It is at once the worst act of biological warfare in human history and the greatest mass violation of civil liberties since the Iron Curtain. Even more importantly, it is the self-evident template for the establishment of the technocratic soft-core totalitarianism advocated by globalist entities such as the World Health Organization and the World Economic Forum. And yet virtually no one in the mainstream will discuss it. The legacy media shows near zero curiosity regarding Covid’s origins, the disastrous response, or the toxic vaccines. Both the Biden and Trump camps pretend it never happened. Out of the 4 Republican debates held to date, only one question has been asked about Covid vaccines. And that single exchange, between journalist Megyn Kelly and candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, was mysteriously blacked out, even from supposedly “free speech” platform Rumble’s livestream of the event, with Rumble’s CEO later blaming the blackout on “the source feed from a 3rd party” which he did not name. Nothing to see here. Among the other presidential candidates, former Democrat Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Republican Ron DeSantis have spoken up repeatedly and honestly about Covid. As a result, they have both been aggressively reviled and ostracized by both the mainstream media and the establishments of both political parties. Advocates for civil rights in general, and for medical freedom in particular, should be deeply disturbed by this attempt to cast the whole Covid-19 catastrophe down the memory hole. Medical freedom is rapidly developing as a philosophical, intellectual, and ethical concept. However, theoretical efforts to promote medical freedom – and by extension, to re-enforce all fundamental civil liberties – will come to naught if the greatest assault on freedom in modern history is allowed to be forgotten, and the perpetrators are allowed to continue as if nothing happened. As a prominent man once asked: “What is to be done?” In my attempt to answer that question, here are 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Medical Freedom advocates. 1. Speak the Truth About Covid at Every Opportunity. Honest and informed citizens, politicians, and public figures must plainly tell truthful narratives about Covid every chance they get. A brief, factual account might sound something like this: a. SARS CoV-2 is a man-made bioweapon developed through US Government funding, which got out of the lab and into the human population. b. The mRNA Covid vaccines are essentially pre-planned antidotes to that bioweapon, which were hastily produced and aggressively pushed on the population for profit, with an appalling and criminal disregard for safety. c. The lockdowns, masking, school closures, mandates, censorship, scapegoating, etc., were deliberate and illegal assaults on citizens’ civil rights – blatant power grabs that governments made under the pretense of a declared emergency. Medical freedom advocates must explain to people that they have been repeatedly lied to for the past 4 years, by virtually every authority. Then, tell them the truth – coolly, rationally, and politely. If they don’t want to hear it, tell them anyway. For decades, every citizen in modern Western society has been browbeaten with leftist and globalist propaganda, ranging from countless Global Warming false prophecies, to risible DEI nonsense, to Baskin-Robbinsesque gender insanity, to fascistic vaccine absolutism. Then came Covid. At this late date, it is reasonable and salutary to present one’s neighbor with a brief smattering of truth. 2. Encourage and Petition Politicians to Commit to Medical Freedom Policies. The Pharma industry spent a reported $379 million on political lobbying in 2022 alone. It’s going to take a lot of grassroots work with politicians to combat the pernicious influence of that much purchased influence. There is evidence that this can be done. People such as Dr. Mary Talley Bowden in Texas are leading the way in this regard. As of December 23, 2023, Bowden and colleagues have convinced 40 candidates and 25 elected officials from 17 states to publicly state that “the Covid shots must be pulled off the market.” Per Dr. Bowden, “many of these are also pledging not to take donations from Big Pharma.” Those committed to medical freedom should set all their elected officials and relevant appointed government bureaucrats on speed dial. These individuals in positions of power – at all levels, local to national – must hear regularly from their constituents. Constituents must tell these people exactly what they know, as well as what they want. It is now up to constituents to teach their officials the facts about the world. As Andrew Lowenthal has demonstrated in detail, the Censorship Industrial Complex is real, and because of it, many elected officials and bureaucrats suffer from the same lack of accurate information on policy matters as the majority of their constituents. 3. Work to Outlaw all Gain-of-Function Research. All research regarding the genetic manipulation of viruses needs to end. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and others have pointed out that such research is really bioweapons research, in which our tax dollars are misused to fund the development of a bioweapon and its antidote vaccine in concert. In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis and the state legislature have passed laws banning gain-of-function research in that state. The Covid era displayed in high relief the disastrous wages of such “research.” It needs to be completely outlawed everywhere, and all labs involved in such work, from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, to the Ralph Baric lab at the University of North Carolina, to illegal labs in the rural USA or allegedly in places like the Ukraine, need to be permanently shut down. Key to achieving this is not falling prey to the intentionally confusing semantic arguments about what technically constitutes “Gain-of-function” and what doesn’t. The word games Anthony Fauci played with Congress need to be called out as the dishonest prevarications they are, and rejected as a defense for those involved in such wicked “research.” (Of note, the Florida laws included language to prevent this deception, outlawing all “enhanced potential pandemic pathogen research.”) 4. Work to Get the USA out of the World Health Organization. The WHO’s newly proposed pandemic agreement and amendments to the existing International Health Regulations (IHR) unfortunately are bald-faced, bad-faith attempts to usurp power from sovereign nations by an unelected globalist elite, all in the nebulous name of “global health.” As David Bell and Thi Thuy Van Dinh have written, despite claims by WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus that “no country will cede any sovereignty to [the] WHO,” in fact The documents propose a transfer of decision-making power to the WHO regarding basic aspects of societal function, which countries undertake to enact. The WHO Director-General will have sole authority to decide when and where they are applied. The proposals are intended to be binding under international law. Furthermore, the proposed amendments to the IHR will change WHO directives during declared health emergencies from non-binding recommendations to dictates with the force of international law. As Bell and Dinh state, “It seems outrageous from a human rights perspective that the amendments will enable the WHO to dictate countries to require individual medical examinations and vaccinations whenever it declares a pandemic.” And the potential incursions to medical freedom hardly end there, potentially including all the items in Article 18 of the existing IHR, which already directly contradict the UN’s own Universal Declaration of Human Rights in multiple places. Most current debate on the matter surrounds the question of whether individual countries should accept or reject these proposals. However, in the wake of the Covid disaster, the WHO’s current proposals reveal that its intention is not to step back, learn from the catastrophe, and account for the mistakes it and other authorities made. Rather, it seeks to consolidate its own power by permanently encoding the top-down, public-health-by-totalitarian-diktat approach that caused so much destruction. Not only these policies, but the organization proposing them should be categorically rejected. The WHO is a classic wolf in sheep’s clothing. It is an unelected globalist cabal of profiteering elites, heavily funded by Bill Gates and closely associated with the World Economic Forum. It is engaged in blatant political power-grabbing while masquerading as a benevolent public health institution. It is insufficient for nations to merely reject the WHO’s proposed pandemic agreement and amendments to its IHR. The USA and every sovereign nation should leave the WHO entirely, and medical freedom advocates should lead the way in the struggle to make this happen. 5. Join the Fight to Remove the Covid mRNA Vaccines From the Market. The Covid-19 mRNA vaccines have demonstrated toxicities far more common, more varied, and more severe than numerous conventional medicines that have been appropriately pulled from the market in the past. Dr. Peter McCollough and numerous other leaders in the fight for medical freedom have rightly called for the Covid mRNA vaccines to be removed from the market. Despite the intense efforts of Big Pharma, the growing Censorship Industrial Complex, and captured government agencies, public awareness of the numerous and often deadly toxicities of the Covid mRNA injections is growing. This is reflected in both reduced public “uptake” for recurrent “boosters” per CDC data and the falling stock price of Pfizer, Inc. A small but growing number of politicians, as described above, are committing to the fight to remove the vaccines from the market, demonstrating that this is becoming a tenable and perhaps winning political position to hold. Encouraging as these trends may be, they are insufficient on their own. Medical freedom advocates should speak out supporting the removal of the Covid mRNA vaccines from the market. They should recruit, support, and vote for elected officials and candidates taking this position, and support legal actions toward this goal. 6. Push for a Moratorium on the mRNA-Based Pharmaceutical Platform as a Whole. Even if the Covid mRNA vaccines are removed from the market, a widely overlooked corollary question remains: how much of the toxicity from these products is Covid-specific, i.e. due to the spike protein, and how much is due to the deeply problematic and incompletely understood mRNA platform itself? There is certainly plenty of toxicity to go around, as numerous mechanisms of injury have been identified from these injections. These include toxicities to the heart, immune system, skin, reproductive organs, blood clotting cascade, and cancer promotion, among others. It is willful denial at best and criminal negligence at worst to assume that the mRNA platform does not contribute to these problems. mRNA vaccines are currently in use in food animals, notably swine. Furthermore on its own website, Moderna describes a pipeline of mRNA vaccines currently in development for Influenza, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Norovirus, Lyme disease, Zika virus, Nipah virus, Monkeypox, and others. Meanwhile, the trial for its EBV vaccine has reportedly been halted in adolescents due to a case of – you guessed it – myocarditis. The human population will soon be inundated with mRNA-based drugs on a scale and with an imposed intensity that will make the Covid era seem positively quaint. The safety record for the sole mRNA product currently in human use – the Covid vaccines – is abysmal. A moratorium of at least several years, combined with an open, thorough, and publicly debated inquiry into the likely and possible toxicities inherent to the mRNA platform is essential to human safety, and if done, will save countless lives in coming years. 7. Work to Have the 1986 Vaccine Act Repealed. The toxicity of vaccines was so well-established even decades ago, that a Federal law – the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986 (42 U.S.C. §§ 300aa-1 to 300aa-34) was passed to specifically exempt vaccine manufacturers from product liability, based on the legal principle that vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe” products. Since the 1986 NCVIA act protecting vaccine manufacturers from liability, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of vaccines on the market, as well as the number of vaccines added to the CDC vaccine schedules, with the number of vaccines on the CDC Child and Adolescent schedule rising from 7 in 1986 to 21 in 2023. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986 should be repealed, returning vaccines to the same liability status as other drugs. 8. Work to End Vaccine Mandates at Every Level of Society. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in the 2019-20 academic year there were 3,982 degree-granting colleges and universities in the United States. In the fall of 2021, all but approximately 600 of these institutions mandated Covid-19 vaccination for their students. Since then, nearly all such institutions have dropped their student Covid vaccine mandates. However, at this writing, 71 colleges and universities, or approximately 1.7%, continue to mandate the Covid vaccines for students to attend. The number of mandating schools reduced gradually, largely through the intense, extremely labor intensive work of a very few small, newly-formed, grassroots organizations like No College Mandates. While the effectiveness of such efforts is undeniable, the 71 holdouts (which include “elite” institutions such as Harvard and Johns Hopkins) demonstrate just how deeply entrenched the mandating of vaccines remains in certain segments of society. As a result of the hubris and abuse it displayed during Covid, the entire vaccine mega-industry has suffered tremendous (and richly deserved) damage to its formerly unquestioned, “safe and effective” image. However, from education to healthcare to the military, gains made against vaccine mandates have been partial and temporary at most. A concerted effort to further educate the public about the immense problems with vaccines and to restore individual choice must be joined by a great many more people if this fundamental imposition on basic bodily autonomy is to be overcome. 9. Work to End Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Pharmaceuticals. The United States is one of only 2 countries in the world that allows direct-to-consumer advertising of pharmaceuticals. The dangers of this utterly ill-advised policy are multiple. First, as we all can see by simply turning on the television, Big Pharma abuses this privilege to aggressively yet seductively hawk every product it feels it can make a buck off of. The “pill for every ill” mindset shifts into hyperdrive, with an expensive, proprietary, pharmacological cure for everything from your morbid obesity to your “bent carrot.” The situation on social media is, if anything, even worse. It is no coincidence that black markets for overhyped, purported wonder drugs such as semaglutide develop, nor that dangerous misuse, such as thousands of reported overdoses have been reported. Perhaps more importantly, direct-to-consumer advertising provides Big Pharma with a convenient and legal way to capture media. Big Pharma was the second-largest television advertising industry in 2021, spending $5.6 billion. No legacy media outlet dares to go against the wishes of those providing that level of funding. This effectively muzzles any and all dissenting voices from appearing on those platforms. A free society requires freedom of the press and media. The Covid era has demonstrated that direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising stifles freedom of the press and media to a dangerous and unacceptable degree. 10. Play Offense. If all you do is play defense, the best result you can hope for is a draw. During the lockdowns, with courts closed, businesses shuttered, and citizens isolated from one another, it was extremely difficult to mount even a solid defense against the gross incursions on our civil rights. A few courageous individuals, often acting alone and at tremendous personal cost, managed to counterpunch effectively. Their contributions to saving our “free” societies (if indeed they are eventually saved) will perhaps never be adequately recognized. Today, despite the mainstream silence, the tide is turning in favor of medical freedom and civil liberties in multiple areas. It is time for the masses to join in and help those who managed to make these early advances, and who continue to fight on behalf of all citizens. For example, New York attorney Bobbie Anne Cox continues her David v. Goliath legal struggle to defeat Governor Kathy Hochul’s extralegal and grossly unconstitutional quarantine camp order. This case may eventually reach the Supreme Court. I don’t want to declare that Ms. Cox can’t do it alone, because that’s pretty much what she has done so far, and having followed that case, I wouldn’t bet against her. But hell, even Hercules had a sidekick. Medical freedom advocates would do well by actively and generously supporting her. After surviving his own trial by fire, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has announced a lawsuit against Pfizer for “unlawfully misrepresenting the Covid-19 vaccine’s effectiveness, and attempting to censor public discussion of the product.” Citizens of other states would do well to aggressively petition their attorneys general to take similar action, including removing the mRNA vaccines from the market in their states on the grounds of their demonstrated adulteration with potentially harmful DNA. If medical freedom advocates want the concept to prevail, they must go on offense. Get involved. There is no need to reinvent the wheel at this point. Adopt one or more of the organizations or causes above as your personal project, join, and contribute. Add your light to the sum of light, and the darkness will not overcome it. In summary, those of us seeking to secure and ensure medical freedom for ourselves and future generations must become vocal, persistent advocates, as well as courageous people of action. Furthermore, we must not allow the abuses and evils of the Covid era to vanish down the memory hole, which of course is exactly what every politician, bureaucrat, Deep State apparatchik, and globalist elite who perpetrated those deeds wants to happen. Some cliches are true, and this is one of them: if we allow ourselves to forget history, we will be doomed to repeat it. Covid-19 was the defining event of the century. It was a destructive, deadly catastrophe, but it does have one remarkable silver lining. It peeled the veneer off our governments, institutions, corporations, and society as a whole. It revealed how the powerful plan to strip us of our freedoms – medical and otherwise. We now know what we face. May we, the ordinary citizens, have the courage and intelligence to act effectively to regain and retain our freedoms, dignity, and fundamental human rights. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Author C.J. Baker, M.D. is an internal medicine physician with a quarter century in clinical practice. He has held numerous academic medical appointments, and his work has appeared in many journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine. From 2012 to 2018 he was Clinical Associate Professor of Medical Humanities and Bioethics at the University of Rochester. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/ten-new-years-resolutions-to-restore-medical-freedom/
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    Ten New Year’s Resolutions to Restore Medical Freedom ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    As 2023 staggers to its conclusion, leaving behind a world of brutal wars, tenuous economies, corrupt governments, and tyrannical elites, perhaps the most unsettling aspect of the year’s end is a strange silence.
    3 Comments 0 Shares 24535 Views
  • The Year that Expertise Collapsed
    Jeffrey A. Tucker
    Getting sick and getting well is part of the human experience at all times in all places. As with other phenomena of human existence, that suggests there is a great deal of embedded knowledge on the topic woven into the fabric of our lives. We aren’t born knowing but we come to know: from our moms and dads, experience of siblings and others, from our own experience, and from medical professionals who deal with the problem daily.

    In a healthy and functioning society, the path toward maintaining personal and public health becomes embedded in the cultural firmament, just like manners, belief systems, and value preferences. It’s not necessary that we think about it constantly; instead it becomes a habit, with much of the knowledge tacit; that is, deployed daily but rarely with full cognizance.

    We could know for certain that there had been a change in the matrix in March 2020 because, seemingly out of nowhere, all of this knowledge was deemed wrong. A new gaggle of experts was in charge, one day to the next. Suddenly, they were everywhere. They were on TV, quoted by all the newspapers, amplified on social media, and on the phone constantly with local officials instructing them on how they must shut down the schools, businesses, playgrounds, churches, and civic gatherings.

    The message was always the same. This time is completely different from anything in our experience or in any previous experience. This time we must adopt a totally new and completely untested paradigm. It comes from models that high-level scientists have deemed correct. It comes from labs. It comes from “germ games” of which none of us are part. If we dare to reject the new teachings for the old, we are doing it wrong. We are the malicious ones. We deserve ridicule, cancellation, silencing, exclusion, and worse.

    It felt like a coup d’etat of sorts. It certainly was an intellectual coup. All wisdom of the past, even that known by public health only months earlier, was deleted from public spaces. Dissent was silenced. Corporate media was absolutely united in celebrating the greatness of people like Fauci, who spoke in strangely circuitous ways that contradicted everything we thought we knew.

    It was exceedingly strange because the people we thought might have stood up to the flash imposition of tyranny somehow vanished. We could hardly meet with others at all, if only to share intuitions that something was wrong. “Social distancing” was more than a method to “slow the spread;” it amounted to comprehensive control of the public mind too.

    The experts instructing us spoke with astonishing certainty about precisely how society should be managed in a pandemic. There were scientific papers, tens of thousands of them, and the storm of credentials was everywhere and out of control. Unless you had a university or lab affiliation and unless you had multiple high-level degrees attached to your name, you could not get a hearing. Folk wisdom was out of the question, even basic things like “sun and outdoors are good for respiratory infections.” Even popular understanding of natural immunity came in for hard ridicule.

    Later it turned out that even top credentialed experts would not be taken seriously if they had the wrong views. This is when the racket became incredibly obvious. It was never really about genuine knowledge. It was about compliance and echoing the approved line. It’s astonishing how many people went along, even with the stupidest of the mandates, such as the distancing stickers everywhere, the ubiquity of Plexiglas, and the dirty masks on every face which were somehow believed to keep people healthy.

    Once the contrary studies started coming out, we would share them and get shouted down. The comment sections of the studies started to be raided by partisan experts who would hone in on small issues and problems and demand and obtain takedowns. Then the contrarian expert would get doxxed, his dean notified, and the faculty turned against the person, lest the department risk funding from Big Pharma or Fauci in the future.

    All the while, we kept thinking that there must be some rationale behind all this madness. It never emerged. It was all intimidation and belligerence and nothing more – arbitrary diktat by big shots who were pretending the entire time.

    The lockdowners and shot mandators were never intellectually serious people. They never much thought about the implications or ramifications of what they were doing. They were just wrecking things mostly for pecuniary gain, job protection, and career advancement, plus it was fun to be in charge. It’s not much more complicated than that.

    In other words, we’ve gradually come to realize that our worst fears were true. All these experts were and are fakes. There have been some hints along the way, such as when North Carolina Health Director Mandy Cohen (now head of the CDC) reported that she and her colleagues were burning up the phone lines to decide whether people should be allowed to participate in sports.

    “She was like, are you gonna let them have professional football?” she said. “And I was like, no. And she’s like, OK neither are we.”

    Another candid moment came five months ago, only recently unearthed by X, when NIH head Francis Collins admitted that he and his colleagues attached “zero value” to whether and to what extent they were disrupting lives, wrecking the economy, and destroying education for kids. He actually said this.

    As it turns out, these experts who ruled our lives, and still do to a great extent, were never what they claimed to be, and never actually possessed knowledge that was superior to what existed within the cultural firmament of society. Instead, all they really had was power and a grand opportunity to play dictator.

    It’s astonishing, truly, and worthy of deep study, when you consider the extent to which and for how long this class of people were able to maintain the illusion of consensus within their ranks. They bamboozled the media all over the world. They tricked vast swaths of the population. They bent all social media algorithms to reflect their views and priorities.

    One explanation comes down to the money trail. That’s a powerful explanation. But it is not the whole of it. Behind the illusion was a terrifying intellectual isolation in which all these people found themselves. They never really encountered people who disagreed. Indeed, part of the way these people had come to conceive of their jobs was to master the art of knowing what to think and when and how. It’s part of the job training to enter the class of experts: mastering the skill of echoing the opinions of others.

    Discovering this to be true is alarming for anyone who holds to older ideals of how intellectual society should conduct itself. We like to imagine that there is a constant clash of ideas, a burning desire to get to the truth, a love of knowledge and data, a passion for gaining a better understanding. That requires, above all else, an openness of mind and a willingness to listen. All of this was overtly and explicitly shut down in March 2020 but it was made easier because all the mechanisms were already in place.

    One of the best books of our time is Tom Harrington’s The Treason of the Experts, published by Brownstone. There is simply not in the present era a more insightful investigation and deconstruction of the sociological sickness of the expert class. Every page is on fire with insight and observation about the intellectual juntas that attempt to rule the public mind in today’s world. It’s a terrifying look at how wildly wrong everything has gone in the world of ideas. A great followup volume is Ramesh Thakur’s Our Enemy, the Government, which reveals all the ways in which the new scientists who were ruling the world weren’t scientific at all.

    Brownstone was born in the midst of the worst of this world. We set out to create something different, not a bubble of ideological/partisan attachment or an enforcement organ of the proper way to think about all issues. Instead, we sought to become a genuine society of thinkers united in a principled attachment to freedom but hugely diverse in specialization and philosophical outlook. It’s one of the few centers where there is genuine interdisciplinary engagement and openness to new perspectives and outlook. All of this is essential to the life of the mind and yet nearly absent in academia, media, and government today.

    We’ve put together a fascinating model for retreats. We choose a comfortable venue where the food and drink are provided and the living quarters are excellent, and bring together 40 or so top experts to present a set of ideas to the whole group. Each speaker gets 15 minutes and that is followed by 15 minutes of engagement from everyone present. Then we go to the next speaker. This goes on all day and the evenings are spent in casual conversation. As the organizer, Brownstone does not pick topics or speakers but rather allows the flow of ideas to emerge organically. This goes on for two and a half days. There is no set agenda, no mandated takeaways, no required action items. There is only unconstrained idea generation and sharing.

    There is a reason why there is such a clamor to attend. It’s the creation of something that all these wonderful people – each person a dissident in his own field – had hoped to encounter in professional life but the reality was always elusive. It’s only three days so hardly Ancient Greece or Vienna in the interwar years but it is an excellent start, and hugely productive and uplifting. It’s amazing what can happen when you combine intelligence, erudition, open minds, and sincere sharing of ideas. From the point of view of government, huge corporations, academia, and all the architects of today’s world of ideas, this is precisely what they do not want.

    The difference between 2023 and, say, five years ago, is that the expertise racket is now out in the open. Vast swaths of society decided to trust the experts for a time. They deployed every power of the state, along with all affiliated institutions in the pseudo-private sector, to browbeat and manipulate the people into panicked compliance with preposterous antics that never had any hope of mitigating disease.

    Look where that got us. The experts have been fully discredited. Is it any wonder that ever more people are skeptical of the same gang’s claims about climate change, diversity, immigration, inflation, education, gender transitions, or anything else pushed today by elite minds? Mass compliance has been replaced by mass incredulity. Trust will not likely return in our lifetimes.

    There is, further, a reason why hardly anyone is surprised that the president of Harvard stands accused of rampant plagiarism or that election officials are deploying sneaky forms of lawfare to keep political renegades off the ballot or that money launderers for the administrative state are getting away with rampant fraud. Graft, kickbacks, bribery, misappropriation, nepotism, favoritism, and outright corruption rule the day in all elite circles.

    In a few weeks, we are going to hear from Anthony Fauci, who will be grilled by a House of Representatives committee on exactly how he claimed to be so sure that there was no lab leak stemming from gain-of-function research being done at a US-baked lab in Wuhan. We’ll see how much attention this testimony gets but, truly, does anyone really believe that he is going to be honest and forthcoming? It is pretty much a consensus these days that he has been up to no good. If he is “the science,” science itself is in grave trouble.

    What a contrast to just a few years ago when Fauci-themed shirts and coffee mugs were big-selling items. He claimed to be the science, and science did rally behind him as if he had all the answers, even though what he advocated contradicted every bit of common wisdom that has always been practiced in every civilized society.

    Three years ago, the expert class went out on the farthest limb one can imagine, daring to replace all social knowledge and embedded cultural experience with their off-the-cuff rationalism and scientistic razzmatazz that ended up serving the industrial interests of large-scale exploiters in tech, media, and pharma. We live in the midst of the rubble they created. It’s no wonder they have been completely discredited.

    To replace them – and this is a long-term strategy and one that unfolds gradually with bold efforts such as that undertaken by Brownstone Institute – we need a new and serious effort to rebuild serious thought based on honesty, sincere engagement across ideological lines, and a genuine commitment to truth and freedom. We have that opportunity right now, and we dare not decline to take up the task with every sense of urgency and passion. As always, your support of our work is greatly appreciated.

    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
    For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.

    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 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.

    View all posts
    Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work.

    https://brownstone.org/articles/the-year-that-expertise-collapsed/
    The Year that Expertise Collapsed Jeffrey A. Tucker Getting sick and getting well is part of the human experience at all times in all places. As with other phenomena of human existence, that suggests there is a great deal of embedded knowledge on the topic woven into the fabric of our lives. We aren’t born knowing but we come to know: from our moms and dads, experience of siblings and others, from our own experience, and from medical professionals who deal with the problem daily. In a healthy and functioning society, the path toward maintaining personal and public health becomes embedded in the cultural firmament, just like manners, belief systems, and value preferences. It’s not necessary that we think about it constantly; instead it becomes a habit, with much of the knowledge tacit; that is, deployed daily but rarely with full cognizance. We could know for certain that there had been a change in the matrix in March 2020 because, seemingly out of nowhere, all of this knowledge was deemed wrong. A new gaggle of experts was in charge, one day to the next. Suddenly, they were everywhere. They were on TV, quoted by all the newspapers, amplified on social media, and on the phone constantly with local officials instructing them on how they must shut down the schools, businesses, playgrounds, churches, and civic gatherings. The message was always the same. This time is completely different from anything in our experience or in any previous experience. This time we must adopt a totally new and completely untested paradigm. It comes from models that high-level scientists have deemed correct. It comes from labs. It comes from “germ games” of which none of us are part. If we dare to reject the new teachings for the old, we are doing it wrong. We are the malicious ones. We deserve ridicule, cancellation, silencing, exclusion, and worse. It felt like a coup d’etat of sorts. It certainly was an intellectual coup. All wisdom of the past, even that known by public health only months earlier, was deleted from public spaces. Dissent was silenced. Corporate media was absolutely united in celebrating the greatness of people like Fauci, who spoke in strangely circuitous ways that contradicted everything we thought we knew. It was exceedingly strange because the people we thought might have stood up to the flash imposition of tyranny somehow vanished. We could hardly meet with others at all, if only to share intuitions that something was wrong. “Social distancing” was more than a method to “slow the spread;” it amounted to comprehensive control of the public mind too. The experts instructing us spoke with astonishing certainty about precisely how society should be managed in a pandemic. There were scientific papers, tens of thousands of them, and the storm of credentials was everywhere and out of control. Unless you had a university or lab affiliation and unless you had multiple high-level degrees attached to your name, you could not get a hearing. Folk wisdom was out of the question, even basic things like “sun and outdoors are good for respiratory infections.” Even popular understanding of natural immunity came in for hard ridicule. Later it turned out that even top credentialed experts would not be taken seriously if they had the wrong views. This is when the racket became incredibly obvious. It was never really about genuine knowledge. It was about compliance and echoing the approved line. It’s astonishing how many people went along, even with the stupidest of the mandates, such as the distancing stickers everywhere, the ubiquity of Plexiglas, and the dirty masks on every face which were somehow believed to keep people healthy. Once the contrary studies started coming out, we would share them and get shouted down. The comment sections of the studies started to be raided by partisan experts who would hone in on small issues and problems and demand and obtain takedowns. Then the contrarian expert would get doxxed, his dean notified, and the faculty turned against the person, lest the department risk funding from Big Pharma or Fauci in the future. All the while, we kept thinking that there must be some rationale behind all this madness. It never emerged. It was all intimidation and belligerence and nothing more – arbitrary diktat by big shots who were pretending the entire time. The lockdowners and shot mandators were never intellectually serious people. They never much thought about the implications or ramifications of what they were doing. They were just wrecking things mostly for pecuniary gain, job protection, and career advancement, plus it was fun to be in charge. It’s not much more complicated than that. In other words, we’ve gradually come to realize that our worst fears were true. All these experts were and are fakes. There have been some hints along the way, such as when North Carolina Health Director Mandy Cohen (now head of the CDC) reported that she and her colleagues were burning up the phone lines to decide whether people should be allowed to participate in sports. “She was like, are you gonna let them have professional football?” she said. “And I was like, no. And she’s like, OK neither are we.” Another candid moment came five months ago, only recently unearthed by X, when NIH head Francis Collins admitted that he and his colleagues attached “zero value” to whether and to what extent they were disrupting lives, wrecking the economy, and destroying education for kids. He actually said this. As it turns out, these experts who ruled our lives, and still do to a great extent, were never what they claimed to be, and never actually possessed knowledge that was superior to what existed within the cultural firmament of society. Instead, all they really had was power and a grand opportunity to play dictator. It’s astonishing, truly, and worthy of deep study, when you consider the extent to which and for how long this class of people were able to maintain the illusion of consensus within their ranks. They bamboozled the media all over the world. They tricked vast swaths of the population. They bent all social media algorithms to reflect their views and priorities. One explanation comes down to the money trail. That’s a powerful explanation. But it is not the whole of it. Behind the illusion was a terrifying intellectual isolation in which all these people found themselves. They never really encountered people who disagreed. Indeed, part of the way these people had come to conceive of their jobs was to master the art of knowing what to think and when and how. It’s part of the job training to enter the class of experts: mastering the skill of echoing the opinions of others. Discovering this to be true is alarming for anyone who holds to older ideals of how intellectual society should conduct itself. We like to imagine that there is a constant clash of ideas, a burning desire to get to the truth, a love of knowledge and data, a passion for gaining a better understanding. That requires, above all else, an openness of mind and a willingness to listen. All of this was overtly and explicitly shut down in March 2020 but it was made easier because all the mechanisms were already in place. One of the best books of our time is Tom Harrington’s The Treason of the Experts, published by Brownstone. There is simply not in the present era a more insightful investigation and deconstruction of the sociological sickness of the expert class. Every page is on fire with insight and observation about the intellectual juntas that attempt to rule the public mind in today’s world. It’s a terrifying look at how wildly wrong everything has gone in the world of ideas. A great followup volume is Ramesh Thakur’s Our Enemy, the Government, which reveals all the ways in which the new scientists who were ruling the world weren’t scientific at all. Brownstone was born in the midst of the worst of this world. We set out to create something different, not a bubble of ideological/partisan attachment or an enforcement organ of the proper way to think about all issues. Instead, we sought to become a genuine society of thinkers united in a principled attachment to freedom but hugely diverse in specialization and philosophical outlook. It’s one of the few centers where there is genuine interdisciplinary engagement and openness to new perspectives and outlook. All of this is essential to the life of the mind and yet nearly absent in academia, media, and government today. We’ve put together a fascinating model for retreats. We choose a comfortable venue where the food and drink are provided and the living quarters are excellent, and bring together 40 or so top experts to present a set of ideas to the whole group. Each speaker gets 15 minutes and that is followed by 15 minutes of engagement from everyone present. Then we go to the next speaker. This goes on all day and the evenings are spent in casual conversation. As the organizer, Brownstone does not pick topics or speakers but rather allows the flow of ideas to emerge organically. This goes on for two and a half days. There is no set agenda, no mandated takeaways, no required action items. There is only unconstrained idea generation and sharing. There is a reason why there is such a clamor to attend. It’s the creation of something that all these wonderful people – each person a dissident in his own field – had hoped to encounter in professional life but the reality was always elusive. It’s only three days so hardly Ancient Greece or Vienna in the interwar years but it is an excellent start, and hugely productive and uplifting. It’s amazing what can happen when you combine intelligence, erudition, open minds, and sincere sharing of ideas. From the point of view of government, huge corporations, academia, and all the architects of today’s world of ideas, this is precisely what they do not want. The difference between 2023 and, say, five years ago, is that the expertise racket is now out in the open. Vast swaths of society decided to trust the experts for a time. They deployed every power of the state, along with all affiliated institutions in the pseudo-private sector, to browbeat and manipulate the people into panicked compliance with preposterous antics that never had any hope of mitigating disease. Look where that got us. The experts have been fully discredited. Is it any wonder that ever more people are skeptical of the same gang’s claims about climate change, diversity, immigration, inflation, education, gender transitions, or anything else pushed today by elite minds? Mass compliance has been replaced by mass incredulity. Trust will not likely return in our lifetimes. There is, further, a reason why hardly anyone is surprised that the president of Harvard stands accused of rampant plagiarism or that election officials are deploying sneaky forms of lawfare to keep political renegades off the ballot or that money launderers for the administrative state are getting away with rampant fraud. Graft, kickbacks, bribery, misappropriation, nepotism, favoritism, and outright corruption rule the day in all elite circles. In a few weeks, we are going to hear from Anthony Fauci, who will be grilled by a House of Representatives committee on exactly how he claimed to be so sure that there was no lab leak stemming from gain-of-function research being done at a US-baked lab in Wuhan. We’ll see how much attention this testimony gets but, truly, does anyone really believe that he is going to be honest and forthcoming? It is pretty much a consensus these days that he has been up to no good. If he is “the science,” science itself is in grave trouble. What a contrast to just a few years ago when Fauci-themed shirts and coffee mugs were big-selling items. He claimed to be the science, and science did rally behind him as if he had all the answers, even though what he advocated contradicted every bit of common wisdom that has always been practiced in every civilized society. Three years ago, the expert class went out on the farthest limb one can imagine, daring to replace all social knowledge and embedded cultural experience with their off-the-cuff rationalism and scientistic razzmatazz that ended up serving the industrial interests of large-scale exploiters in tech, media, and pharma. We live in the midst of the rubble they created. It’s no wonder they have been completely discredited. To replace them – and this is a long-term strategy and one that unfolds gradually with bold efforts such as that undertaken by Brownstone Institute – we need a new and serious effort to rebuild serious thought based on honesty, sincere engagement across ideological lines, and a genuine commitment to truth and freedom. We have that opportunity right now, and we dare not decline to take up the task with every sense of urgency and passion. As always, your support of our work is greatly appreciated. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. 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 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. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/the-year-that-expertise-collapsed/
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    The Year that Expertise Collapsed ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    To replace the expert class, we need a new and serious effort to rebuild serious thought based on honesty, sincere engagement across ideological lines, and a genuine commitment to truth and freedom. We have that opportunity right now, and we dare not decline to take up the task with every sense of urgency and passion. As always, your support of our work is greatly appreciated.
    1 Comments 0 Shares 24974 Views
  • The Immune System and Vaccines are Complicated ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    The Immune System and Vaccines are Complicated
    SHARE | PRINT | EMAIL
    Vaccines are a complicated area, which is because the immune system is immensely complicated. Targeted vaccines have ancillary effects, and it is not possible to predict what they are.

    Professor Peter Aaby’s group has done ground-breaking research on the effects of vaccines in randomized trials and in field studies. His team discovered that all live, attenuated vaccines decrease total mortality whereas some non-live vaccines increase total mortality. There are also gender differences, and the sequence of vaccinations is important. It is best to end with a live vaccine.

    My rule of thumb is that if a vaccine is part of the official vaccination program in some countries and not in others of similar standing, it is not important to get vaccinated. An example is the rotavirus vaccine against diarrhoea, which is not on the childhood program in Denmark even though we had a strong lobby group promoting it.

    The Measles Vaccines
    The measles vaccines are a good example that live, attenuated vaccines decrease total mortality much more than what is possible based on their targeted effect, in this case on preventing measles. In a randomised trial in Bissau, for example, children vaccinated against measles at age 6 months had 70 percent lower mortality than unvaccinated children, and this reduction was not due to prevention of measles infection. The WHO has estimated that there were 128,000 measles deaths globally in 2021, mostly among unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children under the age of 5 years.

    If we do not vaccinate our children against measles, it will lead to many deaths and cases of severe brain damage that could have been avoided. We have a joint responsibility towards each other to ensure we get vaccinated because herd immunity is important. Measles is highly contagious, and to prevent the occurrence of measles epidemics, vaccinating about 95 percent of the population is necessary.

    Annual Influenza Jabs are not Needed
    People all over the world, particularly the elderly, are being nudged by the authorities to get an annual vaccination against influenza, but it is not at all obvious that this is a good idea. In fact, there are several reasons to be skeptical.

    First, the preventive effect is small. Twenty-nine people would need to be vaccinated to avoid one case of influenza-like illness and 71 people to avoid one case of influenza, and the vaccination does not reduce hospital admissions or days off work.

    Second, as the virus mutates quite rapidly, the effect obtained by vaccination will likely be smaller than in the randomized trials.

    Third, the vaccine has negative effects on the immune system. Canadian researchers showed in four different studies that people who received a seasonal influenza vaccine in 2008 had an increased risk of getting infected with another strain in 2009.

    Fourth, all vaccines cause harms, which can potentially be serious. Pandemrix, one of the influenza vaccines used during the 2009-2010 pandemic, caused narcolepsy in children and adolescents with a certain tissue type. Up to several years after vaccination of children and adolescents, people may suddenly start falling asleep while engaging in their normal activities, and there is no cure.

    Fifth, we should always consider the likelihood of getting infected without vaccination. Influenza pandemics are uncommon and rarely involve large portions of the population. In any given year, the likelihood of acquiring influenza if unvaccinated is therefore very small. I never had an influenza vaccination, and my wife, a professor in clinical microbiology, never had one, and together, we have perhaps had influenza twice for 135 years. But we don’t know. When people say they have influenza, it usually just means an influenza-like illness of which there are many, which vaccination does not protect against.

    Some fundamentalists, particularly in the United States and Australia, have mandated influenza vaccination of healthcare workers to protect patients. This violation of informed consent is deeply troubling and unethical. Moreover, a large review about vaccination of healthcare workers caring for elderly people did not find an effect on laboratory-proven influenza, lower respiratory tract infection, hospitalisation, death due to lower respiratory tract illness, or all-cause mortality.

    A researcher mentioned that, “to focus exclusively on the risk posed by unvaccinated workers – treating them as outcasts or, worse, terminating their employment – while overlooking the risk posed by vaccinated workers, potentially jeopardizes patients.” Indeed. Vaccination may provide staff with a false sense of security that might reduce their level of handwashing and potentially increase, rather than decrease, the risk of infecting patients.

    HPV Vaccines: Not a Simple Issue
    When the HPV vaccines were suspected of causing serious neurological harms – postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), and chronic fatigue syndrome – the European Drug Agency cleared the vaccines. However, they did not investigate the issues themselves but let the manufacturers do it for them.

    My research group examined the clinical study reports submitted to the European Medicines Agency and found a significant increase in serious neurological harms. This was surprising because almost everyone in the control groups had been treated with a hepatitis vaccine or a strongly immunogenic adjuvant, which might also cause harms, making it difficult to detect the harms of the HPV vaccines.

    The Cochrane review of the HPV vaccines was incomplete and ignored important evidence of bias. The authors overlooked several adverse events and failed to mention that some of the included trials did not report serious adverse events for the whole trial period. For example, three Gardasil trials with a total of 21,441 girls or women with up to four years follow-up only reported serious adverse events occurring within 14 days post-vaccination even though it takes years in many patients before serious neurological harms get diagnosed.

    The Cochrane authors found more deaths in the HPV vaccine groups than in the comparator groups, and the death rate was significantly increased in women above age 25, risk ratio 2.36 (95 percent confidence interval 1.10 to 5.03). They considered this a chance occurrence since there was no pattern in the causes of death or in the time between vaccine administration and death.

    However, deaths are often miscoded. For example, traumatic head injury and drowning in a bathtub have been described, and this could have been caused by a syncope or near syncope, which is a recognized vaccine harm that can occur at any time. The serious neurological harms seem to be caused by an autoimmune reaction.

    The drug companies, EMA and Cochrane called the trials placebo-controlled, which they weren’t. I find it shocking that vaccines are not tested against placebo or no treatment because this makes it impossible to ever know with certainty what the rare but serious harms are. There is no good reason why vaccines – which are preventative drugs – are not tested in the same rigorous way as other drugs.

    EMA declared that the adjuvants used in the vaccines to boost the immune response are safe, but the five references provided in support of this view were either non-accessible or irrelevant. Furthermore, nothing is safe if it is active. GlaxoSmithKline has stated that its aluminum-based comparator might cause harms, and the clinical study reports show that this is also the case for Merck’s adjuvant.

    The decision-making is not straightforward. The official propaganda has made women believe that cervical cancer is a major threat to their lives, but this cancer only contributes 0.5 percent of all deaths. Thus, very few women can benefit from the HPV vaccines, and since they do not protect against all HPV types, regular screening is still recommended even for women who are vaccinated. As the precursors to cancer are very slow-growing, women can avoid getting cervical cancer if they go to screening. This is more effective than getting vaccinated, but it comes with a price, e.g. conization for cancer precursors increases the risk of preterm birth.

    COVID-19 Vaccines: A Mess
    The story of the COVID-19 vaccines is officially touted as one of success but what stands out is a story of massive deceit and lack of scientific evidence behind many of the recommendations.

    The randomized trials that led to emergency approval of the vaccines showed that only one of 50 severe cases of COVID-19 occurred in the vaccine groups. This makes it likely that the vaccines have saved lives, and meta-analyses of the trials showed that the adenovirus vector vaccines, but not the mRNA vaccines, decreased total mortality significantly.

    The hype has been extreme, however. Among those that have claimed 100 percent efficacy of the vaccines are the FDA, US presidential advisor Anthony Fauci, the Australian government, Science Magazine, Reuters, CNN, US National Public Radio, The Hill, Sky News, Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. The efficacy is closer to 50 percent and many people, including me, have become infected despite having received two or more doses of the vaccine.

    Officials, including US President Joe Biden, once claimed that the vaccines were 100 percent protective against transmission to other people, but now it is widely acknowledged that there is no evidence that the vaccines can prevent transmission.

    The information on the website of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is particularly misleading. The CDC uses industry jargon when claiming that the vaccines are “safe and effective.” It states that “Adults and children may have some side effects from a COVID-19 vaccine, including pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea. These side effects typically resolve after a few days.  Serious side effects are rare but may occur.”

    The link to serious side effects does not lead to any mention of what those are. But we know that the vaccines kill some people, e.g. because they can cause myocarditis, most commonly in young males, and thromboses.

    The CDC recommends “everyone ages 6 months and older get an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against serious illness.” However, children tolerate the infection very well and it is likely harmful to vaccine children against COVID-19. Moreover, boosters may be harmful at any age but this is not popular information either. Facebook censored research and an interview with top vaccine researcher Professor Christine Stabell Benn even though the European Medicines Agency was also worried that COVID-19 vaccine boosters might be “overloading people’s immune systems and leading to fatigue.”

    Facebook also censored research that showed that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines could weaken the immune response and make cells of the immune system “lazy” when it comes to fighting off viral and bacterial infections. Facebook called this research “false information.”

    The Cochrane Collaboration, which has the logo “Trusted information,” did not provide trusted information. The Cochrane authors used industry jargon in the title of their review, “Efficacy and safety of COVID‐19 vaccines,” even though I convinced Cochrane many years ago that we should talk about benefits and harms of the interventions we study, in agreement with the CONSORT guidelines for good reporting of harms in trials, which I coauthored in 2004.

    The Cochrane authors concluded that there is little or no difference in serious adverse events compared to placebo whereas Peter Doshi and colleagues who reanalysed the pivotal mRNA trials found that one additional serious adverse event occurred for every 800 people vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine. Their article, published four months before the Cochrane review, was not cited in it.

    When I studied the pivotal randomised trials, which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine and in the Lancet, I found that essential data on serious and severe harms were missing (see also my freely available book, The Chinese virus: killed millions and scientific freedom).

    Doshi et al.’s criticism of the Cochrane review, which is published within the review itself, is so substantial that it is fair to call the Cochrane review a politically expedient garbage in, garbage out exercise.

    There can be no doubt that the COVID-19 vaccines are much overused and partly to the wrong people. Now that most of us have had the infection, recommending booster after booster seems to be a particularly bad idea.

    Childhood Vaccines
    The childhood vaccination programs differ a lot from country to country. In the US, 17 vaccines are recommended, in Denmark only 10.

    Since vaccinations can weaken the immune system and since some non-live vaccines increase total mortality, it is reasonable to ask if the many vaccinations in the US could result in net harm.

    It is very important to study this possibility, but I am only aware of two researchers who have done it. They did several studies and found that those nations that require more vaccines for their infants have higher infant mortality, neonatal mortality, and under age five mortality. I find this an alarm signal that should lead to other studies as a matter of urgency.

    Censorship
    Censorship is detrimental for scientific debate and scientific advances, and it is harmful for the patients. But for vaccines, it is all over the place.

    Peter Aaby, one of the world’s top vaccine researchers, lectured about vaccines at the opening symposium for my Institute for Scientific Freedom in March 2019. In early November 2021, YouTube removed the video of his lecture. Everything he said was correct and important for people who want to understand what vaccines do. We appealed this outrageous act of censorship, but to no avail, and I therefore uploaded his lecture on my own website.

    In February 2022, a US lawyer wrote a 3-page letter to Susan Wojcicki, Chief Operating Officer, Legal Support, YouTube, asking her to restore Professor Aaby’s video about the beneficial and harmful effects of vaccines so that a healthy conversation surrounding medical science could continue. The lawyer received an automated message saying that the video had violated YouTube’s Community Guidelines, adding that “If you think a Community Guidelines strike was applied to your account in error, you can appeal it.” The lawyer appealed and received no reply.

    In July 2022, Christine Stabel Benn uploaded a videocast with Peter Aaby on YouTube about his research in Africa, which mainly addressed his discovery of the beneficial non-specific effects of measles vaccines. But Aaby also mentioned his interactions with the WHO related to the introduction of a high-titre measles vaccine, which he and his colleagues’ studies had shown increased mortality in girls.

    Initially, the WHO did not react, but when American colleagues confirmed Aaby’s findings in Haiti, the high-titre vaccine was withdrawn. It has been estimated that this vaccine would have cost around 0.5 million lives per year in Africa alone. It is an important lesson that a highly beneficial vaccine that has saved millions of lives can kill millions if used in too high doses. But YouTube quickly removed the videocast due to “inappropriate content.” Censorship kills. It is as simple as that.

    In September 2022, I was interviewed by enGrama in Spain for an hour about organised crime in psychiatry and the drug industry. I spoke about COVID-19 for 5 minutes, which made YouTube instantly eliminate the whole interview. This was utterly ridiculous. What I said was true, but YouTube even refused to allow the interviewers to download their own video. Later, they succeeded to reproduce it via the YouTube Studio and it is now up again, but without the forbidden 5 minutes. I have described verbatim what they were about.

    I was convinced – and still am – that the pandemic was caused by a laboratory leak in Wuhan and that the virus was manufactured there; that repeated vaccinations could weaken the immune response; and that the vaccines can cause serious harm, even death. All of which is considered taboo by social media.

    In September 2023, I launched an evidence-based podcast channel, Broken Medical Science, in collaboration with documentary filmmaker Janus Bang. To avoid censorship, we have our own server but also publish the episodes on social media. I interviewed Professor Martin Kulldorff, one of the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, about “The harmful effects of lockdowns, facemask mandates, censorship, and scientific dishonesty,” and Christine Stabell Benn about “Vaccines, a complicated area. Some decrease total mortality, some increase it, and COVID-19 vaccines are overused.”

    Within 7 minutes after we uploaded these episodes on YouTube, they got this label: “COVID-19 vaccine. Learn about vaccine progress from the WHO.” But some of the WHO’s information was questionable, which we addressed in our newsletter:

    What are the benefits of getting vaccinated against COVID-19?

    One should always ask what the benefits and harms are, of any intervention. The vaccines have killed some people because of myocarditis and thromboses.

    Getting vaccinated could save your life. COVID-19 vaccines have saved millions of lives.

    What is the evidence for this? The vaccines are not particularly effective because the virus mutates.

    Consider continuing to practice protective and preventive behaviours such as keeping a distance, wearing a mask in crowded and poorly ventilated spaces.

    The randomized trials have not found any effect of face masks.

    Even if you have had COVID-19, the WHO still recommends that you get vaccinated after infection because vaccination enhances your protection against severe outcomes of future COVID-19 infection, and you may be protected for longer. Furthermore, hybrid immunity resulting from vaccine and infection may provide superior protection against existing variants of concern.

    This has not been documented, and many researchers doubt that it is correct.

    To ensure optimal protection, it is important to receive COVID-19 vaccine doses and boosters recommended to you by your health authority.

    It has not been documented that boosters are beneficial, and the European Medicines Agency has warned that boosters may be harmful, as they may weaken the immune system.

    In both cases, within a couple of hours, YouTube removed the link to the WHO, with no explanation. We speculate that perhaps YouTube is worried about their reputation. I had interviewed two of the most knowledgeable people in the world about vaccines who, to some extent, contradicted the WHO’s recommendations, based on solid science.

    It is time to change the paradigm about vaccines, and to study them more thoroughly – and their combinations – before they are possibly allowed onto the market.

    A Final Word about Censorship
    My deputy director, PhD Maryanne Demasi, and I have been unable to publish our systematic review of serious harms of the COVID-19 vaccines in a medical journal. This is not because I don’t know how to do research and publish it in good journals. I have published over 100 papers in “the big five” (BMJ, Lancet, JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine and New England Journal of Medicine) and my scientific works have been cited over 190,000 times.


    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
    For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.

    Dr. Peter Gøtzsche co-founded the Cochrane Collaboration, once considered the world’s preeminent independent medical research organization. In 2010 Gøtzsche was named Professor of Clinical Research Design and Analysis at the University of Copenhagen. Gøtzsche has published more than 97 papers in the “big five” medical journals (JAMA, Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, British Medical Journal, and Annals of Internal Medicine). Gøtzsche has also authored books on medical issues including Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime. Following many years of being an outspoken critic of the corruption of science by pharmaceutical companies, Gøtzsche’s membership on the governing board of Cochrane was terminated by its Board of Trustees in September, 2018. Four board resigned in protest.


    https://brownstone.org/articles/the-immune-system-and-vaccines-are-complicated/
    The Immune System and Vaccines are Complicated ⋆ Brownstone Institute The Immune System and Vaccines are Complicated SHARE | PRINT | EMAIL Vaccines are a complicated area, which is because the immune system is immensely complicated. Targeted vaccines have ancillary effects, and it is not possible to predict what they are. Professor Peter Aaby’s group has done ground-breaking research on the effects of vaccines in randomized trials and in field studies. His team discovered that all live, attenuated vaccines decrease total mortality whereas some non-live vaccines increase total mortality. There are also gender differences, and the sequence of vaccinations is important. It is best to end with a live vaccine. My rule of thumb is that if a vaccine is part of the official vaccination program in some countries and not in others of similar standing, it is not important to get vaccinated. An example is the rotavirus vaccine against diarrhoea, which is not on the childhood program in Denmark even though we had a strong lobby group promoting it. The Measles Vaccines The measles vaccines are a good example that live, attenuated vaccines decrease total mortality much more than what is possible based on their targeted effect, in this case on preventing measles. In a randomised trial in Bissau, for example, children vaccinated against measles at age 6 months had 70 percent lower mortality than unvaccinated children, and this reduction was not due to prevention of measles infection. The WHO has estimated that there were 128,000 measles deaths globally in 2021, mostly among unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children under the age of 5 years. If we do not vaccinate our children against measles, it will lead to many deaths and cases of severe brain damage that could have been avoided. We have a joint responsibility towards each other to ensure we get vaccinated because herd immunity is important. Measles is highly contagious, and to prevent the occurrence of measles epidemics, vaccinating about 95 percent of the population is necessary. Annual Influenza Jabs are not Needed People all over the world, particularly the elderly, are being nudged by the authorities to get an annual vaccination against influenza, but it is not at all obvious that this is a good idea. In fact, there are several reasons to be skeptical. First, the preventive effect is small. Twenty-nine people would need to be vaccinated to avoid one case of influenza-like illness and 71 people to avoid one case of influenza, and the vaccination does not reduce hospital admissions or days off work. Second, as the virus mutates quite rapidly, the effect obtained by vaccination will likely be smaller than in the randomized trials. Third, the vaccine has negative effects on the immune system. Canadian researchers showed in four different studies that people who received a seasonal influenza vaccine in 2008 had an increased risk of getting infected with another strain in 2009. Fourth, all vaccines cause harms, which can potentially be serious. Pandemrix, one of the influenza vaccines used during the 2009-2010 pandemic, caused narcolepsy in children and adolescents with a certain tissue type. Up to several years after vaccination of children and adolescents, people may suddenly start falling asleep while engaging in their normal activities, and there is no cure. Fifth, we should always consider the likelihood of getting infected without vaccination. Influenza pandemics are uncommon and rarely involve large portions of the population. In any given year, the likelihood of acquiring influenza if unvaccinated is therefore very small. I never had an influenza vaccination, and my wife, a professor in clinical microbiology, never had one, and together, we have perhaps had influenza twice for 135 years. But we don’t know. When people say they have influenza, it usually just means an influenza-like illness of which there are many, which vaccination does not protect against. Some fundamentalists, particularly in the United States and Australia, have mandated influenza vaccination of healthcare workers to protect patients. This violation of informed consent is deeply troubling and unethical. Moreover, a large review about vaccination of healthcare workers caring for elderly people did not find an effect on laboratory-proven influenza, lower respiratory tract infection, hospitalisation, death due to lower respiratory tract illness, or all-cause mortality. A researcher mentioned that, “to focus exclusively on the risk posed by unvaccinated workers – treating them as outcasts or, worse, terminating their employment – while overlooking the risk posed by vaccinated workers, potentially jeopardizes patients.” Indeed. Vaccination may provide staff with a false sense of security that might reduce their level of handwashing and potentially increase, rather than decrease, the risk of infecting patients. HPV Vaccines: Not a Simple Issue When the HPV vaccines were suspected of causing serious neurological harms – postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), and chronic fatigue syndrome – the European Drug Agency cleared the vaccines. However, they did not investigate the issues themselves but let the manufacturers do it for them. My research group examined the clinical study reports submitted to the European Medicines Agency and found a significant increase in serious neurological harms. This was surprising because almost everyone in the control groups had been treated with a hepatitis vaccine or a strongly immunogenic adjuvant, which might also cause harms, making it difficult to detect the harms of the HPV vaccines. The Cochrane review of the HPV vaccines was incomplete and ignored important evidence of bias. The authors overlooked several adverse events and failed to mention that some of the included trials did not report serious adverse events for the whole trial period. For example, three Gardasil trials with a total of 21,441 girls or women with up to four years follow-up only reported serious adverse events occurring within 14 days post-vaccination even though it takes years in many patients before serious neurological harms get diagnosed. The Cochrane authors found more deaths in the HPV vaccine groups than in the comparator groups, and the death rate was significantly increased in women above age 25, risk ratio 2.36 (95 percent confidence interval 1.10 to 5.03). They considered this a chance occurrence since there was no pattern in the causes of death or in the time between vaccine administration and death. However, deaths are often miscoded. For example, traumatic head injury and drowning in a bathtub have been described, and this could have been caused by a syncope or near syncope, which is a recognized vaccine harm that can occur at any time. The serious neurological harms seem to be caused by an autoimmune reaction. The drug companies, EMA and Cochrane called the trials placebo-controlled, which they weren’t. I find it shocking that vaccines are not tested against placebo or no treatment because this makes it impossible to ever know with certainty what the rare but serious harms are. There is no good reason why vaccines – which are preventative drugs – are not tested in the same rigorous way as other drugs. EMA declared that the adjuvants used in the vaccines to boost the immune response are safe, but the five references provided in support of this view were either non-accessible or irrelevant. Furthermore, nothing is safe if it is active. GlaxoSmithKline has stated that its aluminum-based comparator might cause harms, and the clinical study reports show that this is also the case for Merck’s adjuvant. The decision-making is not straightforward. The official propaganda has made women believe that cervical cancer is a major threat to their lives, but this cancer only contributes 0.5 percent of all deaths. Thus, very few women can benefit from the HPV vaccines, and since they do not protect against all HPV types, regular screening is still recommended even for women who are vaccinated. As the precursors to cancer are very slow-growing, women can avoid getting cervical cancer if they go to screening. This is more effective than getting vaccinated, but it comes with a price, e.g. conization for cancer precursors increases the risk of preterm birth. COVID-19 Vaccines: A Mess The story of the COVID-19 vaccines is officially touted as one of success but what stands out is a story of massive deceit and lack of scientific evidence behind many of the recommendations. The randomized trials that led to emergency approval of the vaccines showed that only one of 50 severe cases of COVID-19 occurred in the vaccine groups. This makes it likely that the vaccines have saved lives, and meta-analyses of the trials showed that the adenovirus vector vaccines, but not the mRNA vaccines, decreased total mortality significantly. The hype has been extreme, however. Among those that have claimed 100 percent efficacy of the vaccines are the FDA, US presidential advisor Anthony Fauci, the Australian government, Science Magazine, Reuters, CNN, US National Public Radio, The Hill, Sky News, Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. The efficacy is closer to 50 percent and many people, including me, have become infected despite having received two or more doses of the vaccine. Officials, including US President Joe Biden, once claimed that the vaccines were 100 percent protective against transmission to other people, but now it is widely acknowledged that there is no evidence that the vaccines can prevent transmission. The information on the website of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is particularly misleading. The CDC uses industry jargon when claiming that the vaccines are “safe and effective.” It states that “Adults and children may have some side effects from a COVID-19 vaccine, including pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea. These side effects typically resolve after a few days.  Serious side effects are rare but may occur.” The link to serious side effects does not lead to any mention of what those are. But we know that the vaccines kill some people, e.g. because they can cause myocarditis, most commonly in young males, and thromboses. The CDC recommends “everyone ages 6 months and older get an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against serious illness.” However, children tolerate the infection very well and it is likely harmful to vaccine children against COVID-19. Moreover, boosters may be harmful at any age but this is not popular information either. Facebook censored research and an interview with top vaccine researcher Professor Christine Stabell Benn even though the European Medicines Agency was also worried that COVID-19 vaccine boosters might be “overloading people’s immune systems and leading to fatigue.” Facebook also censored research that showed that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines could weaken the immune response and make cells of the immune system “lazy” when it comes to fighting off viral and bacterial infections. Facebook called this research “false information.” The Cochrane Collaboration, which has the logo “Trusted information,” did not provide trusted information. The Cochrane authors used industry jargon in the title of their review, “Efficacy and safety of COVID‐19 vaccines,” even though I convinced Cochrane many years ago that we should talk about benefits and harms of the interventions we study, in agreement with the CONSORT guidelines for good reporting of harms in trials, which I coauthored in 2004. The Cochrane authors concluded that there is little or no difference in serious adverse events compared to placebo whereas Peter Doshi and colleagues who reanalysed the pivotal mRNA trials found that one additional serious adverse event occurred for every 800 people vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine. Their article, published four months before the Cochrane review, was not cited in it. When I studied the pivotal randomised trials, which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine and in the Lancet, I found that essential data on serious and severe harms were missing (see also my freely available book, The Chinese virus: killed millions and scientific freedom). Doshi et al.’s criticism of the Cochrane review, which is published within the review itself, is so substantial that it is fair to call the Cochrane review a politically expedient garbage in, garbage out exercise. There can be no doubt that the COVID-19 vaccines are much overused and partly to the wrong people. Now that most of us have had the infection, recommending booster after booster seems to be a particularly bad idea. Childhood Vaccines The childhood vaccination programs differ a lot from country to country. In the US, 17 vaccines are recommended, in Denmark only 10. Since vaccinations can weaken the immune system and since some non-live vaccines increase total mortality, it is reasonable to ask if the many vaccinations in the US could result in net harm. It is very important to study this possibility, but I am only aware of two researchers who have done it. They did several studies and found that those nations that require more vaccines for their infants have higher infant mortality, neonatal mortality, and under age five mortality. I find this an alarm signal that should lead to other studies as a matter of urgency. Censorship Censorship is detrimental for scientific debate and scientific advances, and it is harmful for the patients. But for vaccines, it is all over the place. Peter Aaby, one of the world’s top vaccine researchers, lectured about vaccines at the opening symposium for my Institute for Scientific Freedom in March 2019. In early November 2021, YouTube removed the video of his lecture. Everything he said was correct and important for people who want to understand what vaccines do. We appealed this outrageous act of censorship, but to no avail, and I therefore uploaded his lecture on my own website. In February 2022, a US lawyer wrote a 3-page letter to Susan Wojcicki, Chief Operating Officer, Legal Support, YouTube, asking her to restore Professor Aaby’s video about the beneficial and harmful effects of vaccines so that a healthy conversation surrounding medical science could continue. The lawyer received an automated message saying that the video had violated YouTube’s Community Guidelines, adding that “If you think a Community Guidelines strike was applied to your account in error, you can appeal it.” The lawyer appealed and received no reply. In July 2022, Christine Stabel Benn uploaded a videocast with Peter Aaby on YouTube about his research in Africa, which mainly addressed his discovery of the beneficial non-specific effects of measles vaccines. But Aaby also mentioned his interactions with the WHO related to the introduction of a high-titre measles vaccine, which he and his colleagues’ studies had shown increased mortality in girls. Initially, the WHO did not react, but when American colleagues confirmed Aaby’s findings in Haiti, the high-titre vaccine was withdrawn. It has been estimated that this vaccine would have cost around 0.5 million lives per year in Africa alone. It is an important lesson that a highly beneficial vaccine that has saved millions of lives can kill millions if used in too high doses. But YouTube quickly removed the videocast due to “inappropriate content.” Censorship kills. It is as simple as that. In September 2022, I was interviewed by enGrama in Spain for an hour about organised crime in psychiatry and the drug industry. I spoke about COVID-19 for 5 minutes, which made YouTube instantly eliminate the whole interview. This was utterly ridiculous. What I said was true, but YouTube even refused to allow the interviewers to download their own video. Later, they succeeded to reproduce it via the YouTube Studio and it is now up again, but without the forbidden 5 minutes. I have described verbatim what they were about. I was convinced – and still am – that the pandemic was caused by a laboratory leak in Wuhan and that the virus was manufactured there; that repeated vaccinations could weaken the immune response; and that the vaccines can cause serious harm, even death. All of which is considered taboo by social media. In September 2023, I launched an evidence-based podcast channel, Broken Medical Science, in collaboration with documentary filmmaker Janus Bang. To avoid censorship, we have our own server but also publish the episodes on social media. I interviewed Professor Martin Kulldorff, one of the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, about “The harmful effects of lockdowns, facemask mandates, censorship, and scientific dishonesty,” and Christine Stabell Benn about “Vaccines, a complicated area. Some decrease total mortality, some increase it, and COVID-19 vaccines are overused.” Within 7 minutes after we uploaded these episodes on YouTube, they got this label: “COVID-19 vaccine. Learn about vaccine progress from the WHO.” But some of the WHO’s information was questionable, which we addressed in our newsletter: What are the benefits of getting vaccinated against COVID-19? One should always ask what the benefits and harms are, of any intervention. The vaccines have killed some people because of myocarditis and thromboses. Getting vaccinated could save your life. COVID-19 vaccines have saved millions of lives. What is the evidence for this? The vaccines are not particularly effective because the virus mutates. Consider continuing to practice protective and preventive behaviours such as keeping a distance, wearing a mask in crowded and poorly ventilated spaces. The randomized trials have not found any effect of face masks. Even if you have had COVID-19, the WHO still recommends that you get vaccinated after infection because vaccination enhances your protection against severe outcomes of future COVID-19 infection, and you may be protected for longer. Furthermore, hybrid immunity resulting from vaccine and infection may provide superior protection against existing variants of concern. This has not been documented, and many researchers doubt that it is correct. To ensure optimal protection, it is important to receive COVID-19 vaccine doses and boosters recommended to you by your health authority. It has not been documented that boosters are beneficial, and the European Medicines Agency has warned that boosters may be harmful, as they may weaken the immune system. In both cases, within a couple of hours, YouTube removed the link to the WHO, with no explanation. We speculate that perhaps YouTube is worried about their reputation. I had interviewed two of the most knowledgeable people in the world about vaccines who, to some extent, contradicted the WHO’s recommendations, based on solid science. It is time to change the paradigm about vaccines, and to study them more thoroughly – and their combinations – before they are possibly allowed onto the market. A Final Word about Censorship My deputy director, PhD Maryanne Demasi, and I have been unable to publish our systematic review of serious harms of the COVID-19 vaccines in a medical journal. This is not because I don’t know how to do research and publish it in good journals. I have published over 100 papers in “the big five” (BMJ, Lancet, JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine and New England Journal of Medicine) and my scientific works have been cited over 190,000 times. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Dr. Peter Gøtzsche co-founded the Cochrane Collaboration, once considered the world’s preeminent independent medical research organization. In 2010 Gøtzsche was named Professor of Clinical Research Design and Analysis at the University of Copenhagen. Gøtzsche has published more than 97 papers in the “big five” medical journals (JAMA, Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, British Medical Journal, and Annals of Internal Medicine). Gøtzsche has also authored books on medical issues including Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime. Following many years of being an outspoken critic of the corruption of science by pharmaceutical companies, Gøtzsche’s membership on the governing board of Cochrane was terminated by its Board of Trustees in September, 2018. Four board resigned in protest. https://brownstone.org/articles/the-immune-system-and-vaccines-are-complicated/
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    The Immune System and Vaccines are Complicated ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    Vaccines are a complicated area, which is because the immune system is immensely complicated. Targeted vaccines have ancillary effects, and it is not possible to predict what they are.
    0 Comments 0 Shares 19924 Views
  • Why So Many Countries Followed China’s Lockdown Example
    Ron Brown
    A novel coronavirus that was 10 times deadlier than the flu had gripped the world in 2019. Without a compass to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic, all lessons learned from previous viral pandemics were thrown out the window. The World Health Organization was adamant, “This is not the flu.” Tony Fauci terrified the US House of Representatives with forecasts of disaster. Global populations were defenseless without a vaccine for the novel coronavirus that no one had ever seen before. The only viable defense at the time was to shut down the world.

    China took the lead in lockdowns. Media exported from China showed people dropping dead in the streets. Caskets were piling up. Doors to buildings were sealed to lock in tenants. Throughout the panic, all reasonable alternative assessments of risks from the viral outbreak were ignored, censored, or rejected.

    Nevertheless, I wondered whether a video of a person falling down in the street was really representative of the entire population. Were caskets piling up largely due to families fearing to claim them because of contamination with the virus? I noticed that the front doors to my local mall in Ontario, Canada had also been sealed, just like in China apartment buildings, but this was only to control access through a single entrance to the building, not to seal in customers.

    My first clue that the emergency response to the outbreak of the coronavirus didn’t seem to make sense was when I heard Fauci tell television audiences that if our response seems to be overreacting, then we are probably doing the right thing. What? Since when is overreacting ever the right thing to do? Do generals win wars by overreacting?

    I looked at the numbers that Fauci had presented to the US House of Representatives concerning case and infection fatalities of the coronavirus. They were backwards! His 10-times deadlier prediction was simply a made-up number! This was in March 2020. By May 2020 it was obvious that people were NOT dying at the inflated rate Fauci had predicted.

    I published a paper on Fauci’s coronavirus mortality overestimations: Public Health Lessons Learned From Biases in Coronavirus Mortality Overestimation. But when I mentioned all this to my friends, they responded that the lower than predicted deaths just proved the lockdowns were working. Fauci was off the hook. Back to China.

    WHO/China Joint Mission on Covid-19

    The answer to why countries followed China’s lockdowns is simple. They were told to do so by the World Health Organization (WHO). Why did the WHO tell them to do that? You might want to ask Dr. Bruce Aylward, the Director of the WHO/China Joint Mission on Covid-19 investigating the coronavirus outbreak.

    Aylward noticed a precipitous drop in novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) in China during February 2020. This was before China adopted WHO’s name of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). Upon seeing China’s surveillance data, Aylward announced the spectacular findings to the world and told the world to do what China has done and lock down. But he appeared to make a fundamental epidemiological error by wrongly assuming that the association of China’s lockdowns with lower deaths proved the lockdowns were working (just like my friends had told me).

    Soon after in March 2020, China published its latest case definitions for NCP (Covid-19). In a nutshell, the definitions showed that no one could be declared to have died of the disease unless they had viral pneumonia (a severe acute respiratory illness), and only if no other virus normally associated with viral pneumonia was present, except SARS-CoV-2.

    Coinfections with the coronavirus were not acceptable criteria, and what should have been a broad surveillance case definition with high sensitivity to monitor the spread of the virus within the population narrowed down considerably into an overly specific diagnostic case definition. That pretty much sealed the deal to declare Covid-19 deaths in only single digits for many months during the pandemic throughout China. This super-low outcome impressed Dr. Bruce Aylward enough in February 2020 to implore the world to lock down. Did we ever!

    In the meantime, other countries used case and death definitions that went to the opposite extreme of China’s narrow diagnostic definitions, disseminating overinflated surveillance numbers without adjusting the numbers to remove bias. Even Fauci eventually admitted that reported cases and deaths counted WITH the coronavirus are much higher than cases and deaths counted FROM the coronavirus. Ironically, the WHO had previously published material on the correct use and interpretation of surveillance and diagnostic definitions in infectious disease outbreaks. Aylward didn’t appear to get the memo.

    There is more to the story. Was this even really a novel coronavirus, or just a novel genetic sequence of the coronavirus showing greater detail than previously available? China supposedly received updated genetic sequencing technology in late 2019. They had abandoned surveillance of SARS in 2003 for lack of technology.

    Now they were back in business again by the end of 2019. The team of virologists that reported the genetic sequence of the virus in Wuhan noted that it would be necessary to investigate the epidemiological evidence to guide infection control responses. Who has time for that? Shut it down!

    If the novel coronavirus isn’t really so novel, this would explain why the lockdowns didn’t work. We had already known that lockdowns don’t work in other viral pandemics. Even China eventually gave up its Zero Covid Policy after it was obvious that lockdowns weren’t working. My friends owe me some explanations to justify their lockdown views. Maybe Fauci isn’t off the hook after all.

    For more information on biases in Covid-19 case and death definitions, see my peer-reviewed article with cited references: Biases in COVID-19 Case and Death Definitions: Potential Causes and Consequences.

    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
    For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.

    Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work.


    https://brownstone.org/articles/why-so-many-countries-followed-chinas-lockdown-example/
    Why So Many Countries Followed China’s Lockdown Example Ron Brown A novel coronavirus that was 10 times deadlier than the flu had gripped the world in 2019. Without a compass to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic, all lessons learned from previous viral pandemics were thrown out the window. The World Health Organization was adamant, “This is not the flu.” Tony Fauci terrified the US House of Representatives with forecasts of disaster. Global populations were defenseless without a vaccine for the novel coronavirus that no one had ever seen before. The only viable defense at the time was to shut down the world. China took the lead in lockdowns. Media exported from China showed people dropping dead in the streets. Caskets were piling up. Doors to buildings were sealed to lock in tenants. Throughout the panic, all reasonable alternative assessments of risks from the viral outbreak were ignored, censored, or rejected. Nevertheless, I wondered whether a video of a person falling down in the street was really representative of the entire population. Were caskets piling up largely due to families fearing to claim them because of contamination with the virus? I noticed that the front doors to my local mall in Ontario, Canada had also been sealed, just like in China apartment buildings, but this was only to control access through a single entrance to the building, not to seal in customers. My first clue that the emergency response to the outbreak of the coronavirus didn’t seem to make sense was when I heard Fauci tell television audiences that if our response seems to be overreacting, then we are probably doing the right thing. What? Since when is overreacting ever the right thing to do? Do generals win wars by overreacting? I looked at the numbers that Fauci had presented to the US House of Representatives concerning case and infection fatalities of the coronavirus. They were backwards! His 10-times deadlier prediction was simply a made-up number! This was in March 2020. By May 2020 it was obvious that people were NOT dying at the inflated rate Fauci had predicted. I published a paper on Fauci’s coronavirus mortality overestimations: Public Health Lessons Learned From Biases in Coronavirus Mortality Overestimation. But when I mentioned all this to my friends, they responded that the lower than predicted deaths just proved the lockdowns were working. Fauci was off the hook. Back to China. WHO/China Joint Mission on Covid-19 The answer to why countries followed China’s lockdowns is simple. They were told to do so by the World Health Organization (WHO). Why did the WHO tell them to do that? You might want to ask Dr. Bruce Aylward, the Director of the WHO/China Joint Mission on Covid-19 investigating the coronavirus outbreak. Aylward noticed a precipitous drop in novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) in China during February 2020. This was before China adopted WHO’s name of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). Upon seeing China’s surveillance data, Aylward announced the spectacular findings to the world and told the world to do what China has done and lock down. But he appeared to make a fundamental epidemiological error by wrongly assuming that the association of China’s lockdowns with lower deaths proved the lockdowns were working (just like my friends had told me). Soon after in March 2020, China published its latest case definitions for NCP (Covid-19). In a nutshell, the definitions showed that no one could be declared to have died of the disease unless they had viral pneumonia (a severe acute respiratory illness), and only if no other virus normally associated with viral pneumonia was present, except SARS-CoV-2. Coinfections with the coronavirus were not acceptable criteria, and what should have been a broad surveillance case definition with high sensitivity to monitor the spread of the virus within the population narrowed down considerably into an overly specific diagnostic case definition. That pretty much sealed the deal to declare Covid-19 deaths in only single digits for many months during the pandemic throughout China. This super-low outcome impressed Dr. Bruce Aylward enough in February 2020 to implore the world to lock down. Did we ever! In the meantime, other countries used case and death definitions that went to the opposite extreme of China’s narrow diagnostic definitions, disseminating overinflated surveillance numbers without adjusting the numbers to remove bias. Even Fauci eventually admitted that reported cases and deaths counted WITH the coronavirus are much higher than cases and deaths counted FROM the coronavirus. Ironically, the WHO had previously published material on the correct use and interpretation of surveillance and diagnostic definitions in infectious disease outbreaks. Aylward didn’t appear to get the memo. There is more to the story. Was this even really a novel coronavirus, or just a novel genetic sequence of the coronavirus showing greater detail than previously available? China supposedly received updated genetic sequencing technology in late 2019. They had abandoned surveillance of SARS in 2003 for lack of technology. Now they were back in business again by the end of 2019. The team of virologists that reported the genetic sequence of the virus in Wuhan noted that it would be necessary to investigate the epidemiological evidence to guide infection control responses. Who has time for that? Shut it down! If the novel coronavirus isn’t really so novel, this would explain why the lockdowns didn’t work. We had already known that lockdowns don’t work in other viral pandemics. Even China eventually gave up its Zero Covid Policy after it was obvious that lockdowns weren’t working. My friends owe me some explanations to justify their lockdown views. Maybe Fauci isn’t off the hook after all. For more information on biases in Covid-19 case and death definitions, see my peer-reviewed article with cited references: Biases in COVID-19 Case and Death Definitions: Potential Causes and Consequences. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/why-so-many-countries-followed-chinas-lockdown-example/
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    Why So Many Countries Followed China’s Lockdown Example ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    If the novel coronavirus isn’t really so novel, this would explain why the lockdowns didn’t work. We had already known that lockdowns don’t work in other viral pandemics. Even China eventually gave up its Zero Covid Policy after it was obvious that lockdowns weren’t working.
    0 Comments 0 Shares 6331 Views
More Results