• https://writinganessay.org/2024/04/09/native-land-act-of-1913-essay/
    https://writinganessay.org/2024/04/09/native-land-act-of-1913-essay/
    0 Comments 0 Shares 142 Views
  • CASE 01 - Autopsy proven myocarditis death in AUSTRALIA
    Barrack Heights NSW, AUSTRALIA - Roberto Garin was only 52 when he ‘died suddenly’ on 28 July 2021. The healthy father of two teenagers began feeling ill 48 hours after his first Pfizer shot and dropped dead in front of his terrified wife Kirsti six days later while she was on the phone to paramedics.
    Garin’s family immediately suspected the vaccine caused his death. Kirsti was told her husband was the first person to die after a Pfizer shot. In fact, 176 deaths following Pfizer jabs had already been reported to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), starting in the first week of the vaccine rollout.
    But when Kirsti shared her concerns with filmmaker Alan Hashem, who released the video together with the accounts of other vaccine injuries and deaths, it unleashed a storm.
    ‘Misinformation researchers’ published by the ABC dismissed Kirsti’s ‘claims her 52-year-old husband died from “sudden onset myocarditis” after receiving the Pfizer vaccine’ because it didn’t ‘square with official data’.
    Yet that was exactly what forensic pathologist Bernard l’Ons wrote in a brilliant report on his autopsy stating that the deceased’s heart showed a clear transition to severe giant cell myocarditis that could be ‘histologically dated to the time period of the Covid-19 mRNA vaccination’ and it was ‘reasonable to state that the deceased’s previously undiagnosed cardiac sarcoidosis may have transitioned to a fulminating myocarditis as a result of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccination’ noting that myocarditis had been reported in reactions to the Pfizer vaccine. L’Ons proposed a mechanism by which the vaccine could trigger fatal myocarditis and advised that a possible therapeutic implication was that sarcoid patients be given an echocardiogram to detect whether their heart was affected in which case alternative vaccination types could be considered.
    All of this was ignored by the TGA which refuses to admit to this day that any death can be attributed to a Pfizer vaccine and was parroted by the ABC. The TGA did admit that as of 22 August it had received ‘235 reports of suspected myocarditis, (inflammation of the heart muscle) and/or pericarditis (inflammation of the membrane around the heart) following vaccination’ with Pfizer but said, ‘These reports reflect the observations of the people reporting them and have not been confirmed as having been caused by the vaccine,’ and that ‘some events may be coincidental and would have happened anyway, regardless of vaccination.’
    This is a particularly misleading statement. Four out of five reports to the TGA are submitted not by random ‘people’, but by highly qualified health professionals and in Garin’s case by a forensic pathologist.
    Why would the TGA dismiss these reports? That’s a question Associate Professor Michael Nissen could perhaps shed light on. He was appointed to the TGA in February 2021, just as the Covid-19 vaccines were rolled out, to lead its Signal Investigation Unit which investigates safety issues that arise with vaccines in adverse reports or are raised by international regulators or the medical literature.
    Prior to his appointment, Nissen was the Director of Scientific Affairs and Public Health at GSK Vaccines from October 2014 to January 2021, a period during which GSK and Pfizer entered into a joint venture. Nissen worked concurrently in hospital-based medical care and academia. He has led over 40 clinical trials and authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications including vaccine studies. In all these areas pharmaceutical companies are a major source of funding.
    The TGA is sensitive about managing conflicts of interest for advisory committee members but offers no guidance on its website with regard to staff members although presumably the same principles should, at least in theory, apply. It notes that shares, involvement in clinical trials, employment, contracts, consultancies, grants, sponsorships, board memberships and so on, may give rise to a conflict of interest.
    Robert Clancy, an Emeritus Professor of Pathology at the University of Newcastle Medical School and a member of the Australian Academy of Science’s Covid-19 Expert Database wrote in Quadrant online last week that ‘the power of the pharmaceutical industry and its pervasive influence at every level of political and medical decision-making’ has been underestimated in shaping the pandemic narrative which has been driven by commercial imperatives to such an extent that it has crushed scientific debate.
    Clancy recounts that his approach to the College of Pathology (of which he was a Senior Fellow, a foundation Professor of Pathology, and past-Chairman of the College committee for undergraduate pathology education) calling for a national study to determine whether Covid vaccination was responsible for the increase in excess mortality in Australia and elsewhere by developing a protocol for post-mortems ‘to answer what is arguably the most important question facing medicine’ met with a rejection and a suggestion to take it instead to the TGA.
    Nowadays, dying suddenly has become ominously familiar. According to a new film Died Suddenly available as of this week to stream via Twitter, in the last 18 months, the term ‘Died Suddenly’ has risen to the very top of ‘most searched’ Google terms. The film documents the surge in excess mortality in highly vaccinated countries. Dr. Peter McCullough, internist, cardiologist, epidemiologist, and one of the top five most-published, and most censored, medical researchers in the US, says that sudden death frequently occurs because the heart has been damaged by inflammation caused by Covid vaccines.
    Papers that Pfizer and the Food and Drug Administration tried to hide for 75 years show that Pfizer knew in 2020 that myocarditis and pericarditis could be caused by its vaccine.
    And in the Pfizer trial in Argentina, a report on a healthy 36-year old  participant – Augusto German Roux – who developed pericarditis immediately after his second Pfizer jab, mysteriously disappeared from the published trial results.
    The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) belatedly published a warning about myocarditis and pericarditis in September this year.
    It was too late for Garin. Had his doctors known, his life might have been saved. His grieving family have still not received a cent in compensation. But Pfizer has apparently grossed nearly $100 billion from its sales of Covid-19 vaccines and treatments.
    Rebecca Weisser is an independent journalist.
    ======


    https://open.substack.com/pub/makismd/p/mrna-injury-stories-australian-dad?r=29hg4d&utm_medium=ios
    CASE 01 - Autopsy proven myocarditis death in AUSTRALIA Barrack Heights NSW, AUSTRALIA - Roberto Garin was only 52 when he ‘died suddenly’ on 28 July 2021. The healthy father of two teenagers began feeling ill 48 hours after his first Pfizer shot and dropped dead in front of his terrified wife Kirsti six days later while she was on the phone to paramedics. Garin’s family immediately suspected the vaccine caused his death. Kirsti was told her husband was the first person to die after a Pfizer shot. In fact, 176 deaths following Pfizer jabs had already been reported to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), starting in the first week of the vaccine rollout. But when Kirsti shared her concerns with filmmaker Alan Hashem, who released the video together with the accounts of other vaccine injuries and deaths, it unleashed a storm. ‘Misinformation researchers’ published by the ABC dismissed Kirsti’s ‘claims her 52-year-old husband died from “sudden onset myocarditis” after receiving the Pfizer vaccine’ because it didn’t ‘square with official data’. Yet that was exactly what forensic pathologist Bernard l’Ons wrote in a brilliant report on his autopsy stating that the deceased’s heart showed a clear transition to severe giant cell myocarditis that could be ‘histologically dated to the time period of the Covid-19 mRNA vaccination’ and it was ‘reasonable to state that the deceased’s previously undiagnosed cardiac sarcoidosis may have transitioned to a fulminating myocarditis as a result of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccination’ noting that myocarditis had been reported in reactions to the Pfizer vaccine. L’Ons proposed a mechanism by which the vaccine could trigger fatal myocarditis and advised that a possible therapeutic implication was that sarcoid patients be given an echocardiogram to detect whether their heart was affected in which case alternative vaccination types could be considered. All of this was ignored by the TGA which refuses to admit to this day that any death can be attributed to a Pfizer vaccine and was parroted by the ABC. The TGA did admit that as of 22 August it had received ‘235 reports of suspected myocarditis, (inflammation of the heart muscle) and/or pericarditis (inflammation of the membrane around the heart) following vaccination’ with Pfizer but said, ‘These reports reflect the observations of the people reporting them and have not been confirmed as having been caused by the vaccine,’ and that ‘some events may be coincidental and would have happened anyway, regardless of vaccination.’ This is a particularly misleading statement. Four out of five reports to the TGA are submitted not by random ‘people’, but by highly qualified health professionals and in Garin’s case by a forensic pathologist. Why would the TGA dismiss these reports? That’s a question Associate Professor Michael Nissen could perhaps shed light on. He was appointed to the TGA in February 2021, just as the Covid-19 vaccines were rolled out, to lead its Signal Investigation Unit which investigates safety issues that arise with vaccines in adverse reports or are raised by international regulators or the medical literature. Prior to his appointment, Nissen was the Director of Scientific Affairs and Public Health at GSK Vaccines from October 2014 to January 2021, a period during which GSK and Pfizer entered into a joint venture. Nissen worked concurrently in hospital-based medical care and academia. He has led over 40 clinical trials and authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications including vaccine studies. In all these areas pharmaceutical companies are a major source of funding. The TGA is sensitive about managing conflicts of interest for advisory committee members but offers no guidance on its website with regard to staff members although presumably the same principles should, at least in theory, apply. It notes that shares, involvement in clinical trials, employment, contracts, consultancies, grants, sponsorships, board memberships and so on, may give rise to a conflict of interest. Robert Clancy, an Emeritus Professor of Pathology at the University of Newcastle Medical School and a member of the Australian Academy of Science’s Covid-19 Expert Database wrote in Quadrant online last week that ‘the power of the pharmaceutical industry and its pervasive influence at every level of political and medical decision-making’ has been underestimated in shaping the pandemic narrative which has been driven by commercial imperatives to such an extent that it has crushed scientific debate. Clancy recounts that his approach to the College of Pathology (of which he was a Senior Fellow, a foundation Professor of Pathology, and past-Chairman of the College committee for undergraduate pathology education) calling for a national study to determine whether Covid vaccination was responsible for the increase in excess mortality in Australia and elsewhere by developing a protocol for post-mortems ‘to answer what is arguably the most important question facing medicine’ met with a rejection and a suggestion to take it instead to the TGA. Nowadays, dying suddenly has become ominously familiar. According to a new film Died Suddenly available as of this week to stream via Twitter, in the last 18 months, the term ‘Died Suddenly’ has risen to the very top of ‘most searched’ Google terms. The film documents the surge in excess mortality in highly vaccinated countries. Dr. Peter McCullough, internist, cardiologist, epidemiologist, and one of the top five most-published, and most censored, medical researchers in the US, says that sudden death frequently occurs because the heart has been damaged by inflammation caused by Covid vaccines. Papers that Pfizer and the Food and Drug Administration tried to hide for 75 years show that Pfizer knew in 2020 that myocarditis and pericarditis could be caused by its vaccine. And in the Pfizer trial in Argentina, a report on a healthy 36-year old  participant – Augusto German Roux – who developed pericarditis immediately after his second Pfizer jab, mysteriously disappeared from the published trial results. The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) belatedly published a warning about myocarditis and pericarditis in September this year. It was too late for Garin. Had his doctors known, his life might have been saved. His grieving family have still not received a cent in compensation. But Pfizer has apparently grossed nearly $100 billion from its sales of Covid-19 vaccines and treatments. Rebecca Weisser is an independent journalist. ====== https://open.substack.com/pub/makismd/p/mrna-injury-stories-australian-dad?r=29hg4d&utm_medium=ios
    Angry
    1
    0 Comments 1 Shares 9843 Views
  • 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 23542 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 14420 Views
  • ‘No, dear. I will never leave Gaza.’
    I tried to convince my parents to leave Gaza, but my father’s resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly. The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes.

    Ghada HaniaMarch 30, 2024
    A Palestinian man sits near the damage to a building after an overnight Israeli air raid in Rafah, southern Gaza, March 29, 2024. (Photo: Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images)
    A Palestinian man sits near the damage to a building after an overnight Israeli air raid in Rafah, southern Gaza, March 29, 2024. (Photo: Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images)
    I sip my coffee, pondering whether my mother has enough coffee stocked at home. Recognizing the importance of this question, especially during the sacred month of Ramadan when she typically begins her fast with a sip of coffee, a ritual I have mirrored, I resolve to call her via WhatsApp.

    Dialing her number, I encounter the frustration of a phone call that fails to connect, indicating a lack of internet service. Undeterred, I make my way to the nearby supermarket, where I top up my phone with 60 RM, the maximum allowed per charge. With experience guiding me, I opt for three charges, estimating that 180 units should afford me about a 35-minute conversation.

    Each call to my mother serves as a conduit for updates on her well-being, my father’s health, and the overall status of our extended family, all residing together in one apartment.

    During Ramadan, these conversations delve into her preparations for breaking the fast. Perhaps this time, she’s managed to procure budget-friendly alternatives from the market, steering away from the monotony of canned meals like beans, hummus, or tuna, and perhaps opting for cherished dishes like chicken maqloubeh or mloukhiyyeh, beloved by both herself and our family.

    As the phone finally rings after multiple attempts, I eagerly await my mother’s answer. When she finally picks up on the fifth try, I greet her affectionately, “Hello, my love. How are you?”

    “I am fine, my dear Ghadoosh,” she responds, using her term of endearment for me.

    I ask about her third-day iftar meal, to which she replies, “Today, we’re preparing beans with lemon and tomato, served alongside saj bread.”

    “You know we’ve finished building a clay oven on the roof of the house, and we use it to bake bread.”

    “Oh, that sounds good, Mom. Bon appétit,” I replied, understanding how monotonous it can be to eat the same meal for more than 100 days.

    Concerned about her health, especially given her diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), I ask about her condition. She acknowledges her discomfort, expressing gratitude for the doctor’s recommendations to avoid certain foods. Unfortunately, everything the doctor recommended is either unavailable or too expensive to afford.

    As our conversation progresses, the familiar sound of her voice brings comfort, even amidst the backdrop of challenges we face. Every time we talk, there’s a quiet sadness that hangs in the air, partly because of the miles between us and the heavy load of worries we both carry.

    “All praises to Allah,” my mother began, her voice tinged with discomfort. “I have persistent abdominal pain, but it’s bearable. It will pass,” she reassured me.

    Responding like a concerned physician, I rushed to advise her, “Mom, please pay careful attention to your diet and hydration during Ramadan. Make sure you drink plenty of water and consume nourishing foods like dates, while avoiding anything that exacerbates your discomfort. Choose light, healthy meals like thyme and cheese with bread, and incorporate olive oil. If canned foods like hummus, beans, or chickpeas make you feel tired or worsen your symptoms, refrain from eating them. Your well-being is paramount, so take care of yourself, my love. Remember to say bismillah before each meal, and trust in Allah for strength and healing.”

    “Okay, my love. Don’t worry,” she responded, her tone conveying gratitude for my concern.

    “How is your husband and his family?” she inquired. “How is your mother-in-law? Please convey my regards to them, and I hope we can meet soon once the war ends, Allah willing, if we are still alive on that day.”

    “Oh, mom, please don’t say that. May all negativity fade away. May Allah safeguard you and bring us all together again.”

    My husband’s family and I are unable to communicate with each other within Gaza due to poor connectivity. Therefore, when I speak to my husband’s relatives, I extend greetings from my family, and when I converse with my own family, I convey greetings from my husband’s family.

    “How are my sisters, mom? Have you been in touch with Sara? Did you manage to visit Mona?” I asked anxiously.

    “Sara is still in Gaza with her kids, husband, and his family. They’re facing immense struggles to find food and water. I’ve only managed to contact her once during these difficult months. Sadly, the call was abruptly cut off, and I couldn’t even say goodbye,” my mom explained with a heavy heart.

    “Mona and her family are living in a tent in Khan Younis. The conditions are harsh — when it rains, the tent floods, and when it stops, the sand’s smell makes them sick,” she continued.

    “We’ve had limited contact with your sisters, Ghada. Last week, we were able to confirm Sara’s well-being through one of your father’s cousins in Gaza. However, you know there’s a famine in the north. May Allah ease their hardships,” my mom said tearfully.

    After composing herself, she added, “Mona visited us briefly yesterday. Thankfully, she and her kids are doing okay. Don’t worry, dear.”

    “Don’t cry, mom. Let’s pray. It’s our most powerful tool. May Allah alleviate their suffering, guide us all, and bring an end to this war. May the situation improve,” I reassured her.

    The wail of an ambulance interrupted our conversation. My mother’s voice, usually composed, now shook with emotion as she recounted the struggles since being forcibly displaced from Gaza City to Rafah. Reflecting on our decision to settle in Rafah in my uncle’s home due to the lack of available housing, she expressed her sorrow, “If we had a home in Gaza, we would never have left, Ghada. They’ve destroyed everything in Gaza: the trees, the stones, the streets. There’s nothing left, my dear. The city has transformed; you wouldn’t recognize it.”

    “Inshallah everything will improve, mom. We’ll rebuild the city again,” I said optimistically.

    She replied softly, “Inshallah, dear.”

    I broached the topic of leaving Gaza for Malaysia, but his resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly, revealing a depth of sentiment I hadn’t fully grasped before.
    I seized the opportunity to speak to my father, eagerly greeting him, “Hello, Dad. How are you?”

    His warm voice comforted me, assuring me, “Everything is good, dear. Don’t worry. We’re in good spirits, and as long as we have each other, we’ll be fine.”

    “How much is the fish per kilo?” I asked. My father has always had a deep love for fish, enjoying it day after day before the war.

    He replied with sadness, “The price for a kilo of sardines is around 130 shekels. That’s the cheapest rate in the market. Prices have increased tenfold.”

    Despite his assurances, I couldn’t shake the heavy burden weighing on my heart. “May Allah protect you, dear Baba,” I said, my voice trembling with emotion. “I know it’s not easy, but please stay steadfast. Your strength gives me hope.”

    I broached the topic of leaving Gaza for Malaysia, but his resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly, revealing a depth of sentiment I hadn’t fully grasped before.

    “We’ve purchased tents in case the situation deteriorates further. We’ll relocate to Nuseirat refugee camp or Deir al-Balah,” he added.

    The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes. Despite my efforts to offer comfort, I couldn’t shake the sense of helplessness that settled over me, leaving me feeling powerless to ease their suffering.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/no-dear-i-will-never-leave-gaza/
    ‘No, dear. I will never leave Gaza.’ I tried to convince my parents to leave Gaza, but my father’s resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly. The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes. Ghada HaniaMarch 30, 2024 A Palestinian man sits near the damage to a building after an overnight Israeli air raid in Rafah, southern Gaza, March 29, 2024. (Photo: Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images) A Palestinian man sits near the damage to a building after an overnight Israeli air raid in Rafah, southern Gaza, March 29, 2024. (Photo: Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images) I sip my coffee, pondering whether my mother has enough coffee stocked at home. Recognizing the importance of this question, especially during the sacred month of Ramadan when she typically begins her fast with a sip of coffee, a ritual I have mirrored, I resolve to call her via WhatsApp. Dialing her number, I encounter the frustration of a phone call that fails to connect, indicating a lack of internet service. Undeterred, I make my way to the nearby supermarket, where I top up my phone with 60 RM, the maximum allowed per charge. With experience guiding me, I opt for three charges, estimating that 180 units should afford me about a 35-minute conversation. Each call to my mother serves as a conduit for updates on her well-being, my father’s health, and the overall status of our extended family, all residing together in one apartment. During Ramadan, these conversations delve into her preparations for breaking the fast. Perhaps this time, she’s managed to procure budget-friendly alternatives from the market, steering away from the monotony of canned meals like beans, hummus, or tuna, and perhaps opting for cherished dishes like chicken maqloubeh or mloukhiyyeh, beloved by both herself and our family. As the phone finally rings after multiple attempts, I eagerly await my mother’s answer. When she finally picks up on the fifth try, I greet her affectionately, “Hello, my love. How are you?” “I am fine, my dear Ghadoosh,” she responds, using her term of endearment for me. I ask about her third-day iftar meal, to which she replies, “Today, we’re preparing beans with lemon and tomato, served alongside saj bread.” “You know we’ve finished building a clay oven on the roof of the house, and we use it to bake bread.” “Oh, that sounds good, Mom. Bon appétit,” I replied, understanding how monotonous it can be to eat the same meal for more than 100 days. Concerned about her health, especially given her diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), I ask about her condition. She acknowledges her discomfort, expressing gratitude for the doctor’s recommendations to avoid certain foods. Unfortunately, everything the doctor recommended is either unavailable or too expensive to afford. As our conversation progresses, the familiar sound of her voice brings comfort, even amidst the backdrop of challenges we face. Every time we talk, there’s a quiet sadness that hangs in the air, partly because of the miles between us and the heavy load of worries we both carry. “All praises to Allah,” my mother began, her voice tinged with discomfort. “I have persistent abdominal pain, but it’s bearable. It will pass,” she reassured me. Responding like a concerned physician, I rushed to advise her, “Mom, please pay careful attention to your diet and hydration during Ramadan. Make sure you drink plenty of water and consume nourishing foods like dates, while avoiding anything that exacerbates your discomfort. Choose light, healthy meals like thyme and cheese with bread, and incorporate olive oil. If canned foods like hummus, beans, or chickpeas make you feel tired or worsen your symptoms, refrain from eating them. Your well-being is paramount, so take care of yourself, my love. Remember to say bismillah before each meal, and trust in Allah for strength and healing.” “Okay, my love. Don’t worry,” she responded, her tone conveying gratitude for my concern. “How is your husband and his family?” she inquired. “How is your mother-in-law? Please convey my regards to them, and I hope we can meet soon once the war ends, Allah willing, if we are still alive on that day.” “Oh, mom, please don’t say that. May all negativity fade away. May Allah safeguard you and bring us all together again.” My husband’s family and I are unable to communicate with each other within Gaza due to poor connectivity. Therefore, when I speak to my husband’s relatives, I extend greetings from my family, and when I converse with my own family, I convey greetings from my husband’s family. “How are my sisters, mom? Have you been in touch with Sara? Did you manage to visit Mona?” I asked anxiously. “Sara is still in Gaza with her kids, husband, and his family. They’re facing immense struggles to find food and water. I’ve only managed to contact her once during these difficult months. Sadly, the call was abruptly cut off, and I couldn’t even say goodbye,” my mom explained with a heavy heart. “Mona and her family are living in a tent in Khan Younis. The conditions are harsh — when it rains, the tent floods, and when it stops, the sand’s smell makes them sick,” she continued. “We’ve had limited contact with your sisters, Ghada. Last week, we were able to confirm Sara’s well-being through one of your father’s cousins in Gaza. However, you know there’s a famine in the north. May Allah ease their hardships,” my mom said tearfully. After composing herself, she added, “Mona visited us briefly yesterday. Thankfully, she and her kids are doing okay. Don’t worry, dear.” “Don’t cry, mom. Let’s pray. It’s our most powerful tool. May Allah alleviate their suffering, guide us all, and bring an end to this war. May the situation improve,” I reassured her. The wail of an ambulance interrupted our conversation. My mother’s voice, usually composed, now shook with emotion as she recounted the struggles since being forcibly displaced from Gaza City to Rafah. Reflecting on our decision to settle in Rafah in my uncle’s home due to the lack of available housing, she expressed her sorrow, “If we had a home in Gaza, we would never have left, Ghada. They’ve destroyed everything in Gaza: the trees, the stones, the streets. There’s nothing left, my dear. The city has transformed; you wouldn’t recognize it.” “Inshallah everything will improve, mom. We’ll rebuild the city again,” I said optimistically. She replied softly, “Inshallah, dear.” I broached the topic of leaving Gaza for Malaysia, but his resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly, revealing a depth of sentiment I hadn’t fully grasped before. I seized the opportunity to speak to my father, eagerly greeting him, “Hello, Dad. How are you?” His warm voice comforted me, assuring me, “Everything is good, dear. Don’t worry. We’re in good spirits, and as long as we have each other, we’ll be fine.” “How much is the fish per kilo?” I asked. My father has always had a deep love for fish, enjoying it day after day before the war. He replied with sadness, “The price for a kilo of sardines is around 130 shekels. That’s the cheapest rate in the market. Prices have increased tenfold.” Despite his assurances, I couldn’t shake the heavy burden weighing on my heart. “May Allah protect you, dear Baba,” I said, my voice trembling with emotion. “I know it’s not easy, but please stay steadfast. Your strength gives me hope.” I broached the topic of leaving Gaza for Malaysia, but his resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly, revealing a depth of sentiment I hadn’t fully grasped before. “We’ve purchased tents in case the situation deteriorates further. We’ll relocate to Nuseirat refugee camp or Deir al-Balah,” he added. The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes. Despite my efforts to offer comfort, I couldn’t shake the sense of helplessness that settled over me, leaving me feeling powerless to ease their suffering. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/no-dear-i-will-never-leave-gaza/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘No, dear. I will never leave Gaza.’
    I tried to convince my parents to leave Gaza, but my father’s resolute refusal caught me off guard. “No, dear. I will never leave Gaza,” he stated firmly. The weight of our conversation lingered long after we said our goodbyes.
    0 Comments 0 Shares 7853 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 14058 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 8362 Views
  • Australia challenged on ‘moral failure’ of weapons trade with Israel
    Regular protests have been taking place outside Australian firms making crucial components for the F-35 fighter jet.

    Ali MC
    Protesters sitting outside the HTA factory in the Melbourne suburbs,. There is a large placard reading 'Stop arming Israel"
    Weekly protests have been taking place for months [Ali MC/Al Jazeera]
    Melbourne, Australia – Israel’s continued assault on Gaza has highlighted a hidden yet crucial component of the world’s weapons manufacturing industry – suburban Australia.

    Tucked away in Melbourne’s industrial north, Heat Treatment Australia (HTA) is an Australian company that plays a vital role in the production of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters; the same model that Israel is using to bomb Gaza.

    Weekly protests of about 200 people have been taking place for months outside the nondescript factory, where heat treatment is applied to strengthen components for the fighter jet a product of US military giant Lockheed Martin.

    While protesters have sometimes brought production to a halt with their pickets, they remain concerned about what’s going on inside factories like HTA.

    “We decided to hold the community picket to disrupt workers, and we were successful in stopping work for the day,” Nathalie Farah, protest organiser with local group Hume for Palestine, told Al Jazeera. “We consider this to be a win.”

    “Australia is absolutely complicit in the genocide that is happening,” said 26-year-old Farah, who is of Syrian and Palestinian origin. “Which is contrary to what the government might have us believe.”

    More than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched its war in Gaza six months ago after Hamas killed more than 1,000 people in a surprise attack on Israel. The war, being investigated as a genocide by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), has left hundreds of thousands on the brink of starvation, according to the United Nations.

    HTA – which did not respond to Al Jazeera for comment – is just one of an increasing number of companies in Australia engaged in the weapons manufacturing industry.

    Community organiser Nathalie Farah. She's wearing a Palestinian scarf and a black T-shirt saying Australia.
    Nathalie Farah has been organising regular protests outside HTA’s factory [Ali MC/Al Jazeera]
    According to Lockheed Martin, “Every F-35 built contains some Australian parts and components,” with more than 70 Australian companies having export contracts valued at a total 4.13 billion Australian dollars ($2.69bn).

    Protesters have also picketed Rosebank Engineering, in Melbourne’s southeast, the world’s only producer of the F-35’s “uplock actuator system”, a crucial component of the aircraft’s bomb bay doors.

    Sign up for Al Jazeera

    Weekly Newsletter


    protected by reCAPTCHA
    Defence industry push

    In recent years, the Australian government has sought to increase defence exports to boost the country’s flagging manufacturing industry.

    In 2018, former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Australia aimed to become one of the world’s top 10 defence exporters within a decade. It is currently 30th in global arms production, according to the Stockholm International Peace Institute.

    It is an aspiration that appears set to continue under the government of Anthony Albanese after it concluded a more than one-billion-Australian-dollar deal with Germany to supply more than 100 Boxer Heavy Weapon Carrier vehicles in 2023 – Australia’s single biggest defence industry deal.

    Since the Gaza war began, the industry and its business relationship with Israel have come increasingly under the spotlight.

    Last month, Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles insisted that there were “no exports of weapons from Australia to Israel and there haven’t been for many, many years”.

    However, between 2016 and 2023 the Australian government approved some 322 export permits for military and dual-use equipment to Israel.

    The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s own data – available to the public online – shows that Australian exports of “arms and ammunition” to Israel totalled $15.5 million Australian dollars ($10.1m) over the same period of time.

    Officials now appear to be slowing the export of military equipment to Israel.

    In a recent interview with Australia’s national broadcaster ABC, the Minister for International Development and the Pacific Pat Conroy insisted the country was “not exporting military equipment to Israel” and clarified this meant “military weapons, things like bombs”.

    However, defence exports from Australia fall into two categories, items specifically for military use – such as Boxer Heavy Weapons vehicles for Germany – and so-called ‘dual use’ products, such as radar or communications systems, that can have both civilian and military uses.

    Australia’s Department of Defence did not respond to Al Jazeera’s requests about whether the halt to defence exports to Israel also included dual-use items.

    What is certain is that companies such as HTA and Rosebank Engineering are continuing to manufacture components for the F-35, despite the risk of deployment in what South Africa told the International Court of Justice in December amounted to “genocidal acts“.

    In the Netherlands – where parts for the jet are also manufactured – an appeal court last month ordered the Dutch government to block such exports to Israel citing the risk of breaching international law.

    The Australian government has also come under scrutiny for its lax “end-use controls” on the weapons and components it exports.

    As such, while the F-35 components are exported to US parent company Lockheed Martin, their ultimate use is largely outside Australia’s legal purview.

    Lauren Sanders, senior research fellow on law and the future of war at the University of Queensland, told Al Jazeera that the “on-selling of components and military equipment through third party states is a challenge to global export controls.

    “Once something is out of a state’s control, it becomes more difficult to trace, and to prevent it being passed on to another country,” she said.

    Sanders said Australia’s “end use controls” were deficient in comparison with other exporters such as the United States.

    “The US has hundreds of dedicated staff – with appropriate legal authority to investigate – to chase down potential end-use breaches,” she said.

    “Australia does not have the same kind of end-use controls in place in its legislation, nor does it have the same enforcement resources that the US does.”

    A protester carrying a Palestinian flag at a picket outside an Australian arms company. They have wrapped a Palesinian scarf around their face so only their eyes are visible, Other protesters are behind them. They have placards. Some are sitting on the ground.
    The protesters say they will continue their action until manufacturing of F-35 components is stopped [Ali MC/Al Jazeera]
    In fact, under legislation passed in November 2023, permits for defence goods are no longer required for exports to the United Kingdom and the US under the AUKUS security agreement.

    In a statement, the government argued the exemption would “deliver 614 million [Australian dollars; $401m] in value to the Australian economy over 10 years, by reducing costs to local businesses and unlocking investment opportunities with our AUKUS partners”.

    International law

    This new legislation may provide more opportunities for Australian weapons manufacturers, such as NIOA, a privately owned munitions company that makes bullets at a factory in Benalla, a small rural town in Australia’s southeast.

    The largest supplier of munitions to the Australian Defence Force, NIOA – which did not respond to Al Jazeera for comment – also has aspirations to break into the US weapons market.

    At a recent business conference, CEO Robert Nioa said that “the goal is to establish greater production capabilities in both countries so that Australia can be an alternative source of supply of weapons in times of conflict for the Australian and US militaries”.

    Greens Senator David Shoebridge told Al Jazeera that the government needed to “publicly and immediately refute the plan to become a top 10 global arms dealer and then to provide full transparency on all Australian arms exports including end users.

    “While governments in the Netherlands and the UK are facing legal challenges because of their role in the global supply chain, the Australian Labor government just keeps handing over weapons parts as though no genocide was happening,” he said. “It’s an appalling moral failure, and it is almost certainly a gross breach of international law.”

    The Australian government also recently announced a 917 million Australian dollar ($598m) deal with controversial Israeli company Elbit Systems.

    A court in the Netherlands hearing a case brought in relation to military exports. The room is wood panelled and there is a portrait on the wall.
    The Dutch government has faced legal action over the export of F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel [File: Piroschka van de Wouw/Reuters]
    Elbit has come under fire for its sale of defence equipment to the Myanmar military regime, continuing sales even after the military, which seized power in a 2021 coup, was accused of gross human rights violations – including attacks on civilians – by the United Nations and others.

    Despite a recent joint announcement between the Australian and UK governments for an “immediate cessation of fighting” in Gaza, some say Australia needs to go further and cut defence ties with Israel altogether.

    “The Australian government must listen to the growing public calls for peace and end Australia’s two-way arms trade with Israel,” Shoebridge said. “The Albanese government is rewarding and financing the Israeli arms industry just at the moment they are arming a genocide.”

    Protests have continued both at the HTA factory in Melbourne and their premises in Brisbane, with organisers pledging to continue until the company stops manufacturing components for the F-35.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/3/28/australia-challenged-on-moral-failure-of-weapons-trade-with-israel
    Australia challenged on ‘moral failure’ of weapons trade with Israel Regular protests have been taking place outside Australian firms making crucial components for the F-35 fighter jet. Ali MC Protesters sitting outside the HTA factory in the Melbourne suburbs,. There is a large placard reading 'Stop arming Israel" Weekly protests have been taking place for months [Ali MC/Al Jazeera] Melbourne, Australia – Israel’s continued assault on Gaza has highlighted a hidden yet crucial component of the world’s weapons manufacturing industry – suburban Australia. Tucked away in Melbourne’s industrial north, Heat Treatment Australia (HTA) is an Australian company that plays a vital role in the production of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters; the same model that Israel is using to bomb Gaza. Weekly protests of about 200 people have been taking place for months outside the nondescript factory, where heat treatment is applied to strengthen components for the fighter jet a product of US military giant Lockheed Martin. While protesters have sometimes brought production to a halt with their pickets, they remain concerned about what’s going on inside factories like HTA. “We decided to hold the community picket to disrupt workers, and we were successful in stopping work for the day,” Nathalie Farah, protest organiser with local group Hume for Palestine, told Al Jazeera. “We consider this to be a win.” “Australia is absolutely complicit in the genocide that is happening,” said 26-year-old Farah, who is of Syrian and Palestinian origin. “Which is contrary to what the government might have us believe.” More than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched its war in Gaza six months ago after Hamas killed more than 1,000 people in a surprise attack on Israel. The war, being investigated as a genocide by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), has left hundreds of thousands on the brink of starvation, according to the United Nations. HTA – which did not respond to Al Jazeera for comment – is just one of an increasing number of companies in Australia engaged in the weapons manufacturing industry. Community organiser Nathalie Farah. She's wearing a Palestinian scarf and a black T-shirt saying Australia. Nathalie Farah has been organising regular protests outside HTA’s factory [Ali MC/Al Jazeera] According to Lockheed Martin, “Every F-35 built contains some Australian parts and components,” with more than 70 Australian companies having export contracts valued at a total 4.13 billion Australian dollars ($2.69bn). Protesters have also picketed Rosebank Engineering, in Melbourne’s southeast, the world’s only producer of the F-35’s “uplock actuator system”, a crucial component of the aircraft’s bomb bay doors. Sign up for Al Jazeera Weekly Newsletter protected by reCAPTCHA Defence industry push In recent years, the Australian government has sought to increase defence exports to boost the country’s flagging manufacturing industry. In 2018, former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Australia aimed to become one of the world’s top 10 defence exporters within a decade. It is currently 30th in global arms production, according to the Stockholm International Peace Institute. It is an aspiration that appears set to continue under the government of Anthony Albanese after it concluded a more than one-billion-Australian-dollar deal with Germany to supply more than 100 Boxer Heavy Weapon Carrier vehicles in 2023 – Australia’s single biggest defence industry deal. Since the Gaza war began, the industry and its business relationship with Israel have come increasingly under the spotlight. Last month, Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles insisted that there were “no exports of weapons from Australia to Israel and there haven’t been for many, many years”. However, between 2016 and 2023 the Australian government approved some 322 export permits for military and dual-use equipment to Israel. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s own data – available to the public online – shows that Australian exports of “arms and ammunition” to Israel totalled $15.5 million Australian dollars ($10.1m) over the same period of time. Officials now appear to be slowing the export of military equipment to Israel. In a recent interview with Australia’s national broadcaster ABC, the Minister for International Development and the Pacific Pat Conroy insisted the country was “not exporting military equipment to Israel” and clarified this meant “military weapons, things like bombs”. However, defence exports from Australia fall into two categories, items specifically for military use – such as Boxer Heavy Weapons vehicles for Germany – and so-called ‘dual use’ products, such as radar or communications systems, that can have both civilian and military uses. Australia’s Department of Defence did not respond to Al Jazeera’s requests about whether the halt to defence exports to Israel also included dual-use items. What is certain is that companies such as HTA and Rosebank Engineering are continuing to manufacture components for the F-35, despite the risk of deployment in what South Africa told the International Court of Justice in December amounted to “genocidal acts“. In the Netherlands – where parts for the jet are also manufactured – an appeal court last month ordered the Dutch government to block such exports to Israel citing the risk of breaching international law. The Australian government has also come under scrutiny for its lax “end-use controls” on the weapons and components it exports. As such, while the F-35 components are exported to US parent company Lockheed Martin, their ultimate use is largely outside Australia’s legal purview. Lauren Sanders, senior research fellow on law and the future of war at the University of Queensland, told Al Jazeera that the “on-selling of components and military equipment through third party states is a challenge to global export controls. “Once something is out of a state’s control, it becomes more difficult to trace, and to prevent it being passed on to another country,” she said. Sanders said Australia’s “end use controls” were deficient in comparison with other exporters such as the United States. “The US has hundreds of dedicated staff – with appropriate legal authority to investigate – to chase down potential end-use breaches,” she said. “Australia does not have the same kind of end-use controls in place in its legislation, nor does it have the same enforcement resources that the US does.” A protester carrying a Palestinian flag at a picket outside an Australian arms company. They have wrapped a Palesinian scarf around their face so only their eyes are visible, Other protesters are behind them. They have placards. Some are sitting on the ground. The protesters say they will continue their action until manufacturing of F-35 components is stopped [Ali MC/Al Jazeera] In fact, under legislation passed in November 2023, permits for defence goods are no longer required for exports to the United Kingdom and the US under the AUKUS security agreement. In a statement, the government argued the exemption would “deliver 614 million [Australian dollars; $401m] in value to the Australian economy over 10 years, by reducing costs to local businesses and unlocking investment opportunities with our AUKUS partners”. International law This new legislation may provide more opportunities for Australian weapons manufacturers, such as NIOA, a privately owned munitions company that makes bullets at a factory in Benalla, a small rural town in Australia’s southeast. The largest supplier of munitions to the Australian Defence Force, NIOA – which did not respond to Al Jazeera for comment – also has aspirations to break into the US weapons market. At a recent business conference, CEO Robert Nioa said that “the goal is to establish greater production capabilities in both countries so that Australia can be an alternative source of supply of weapons in times of conflict for the Australian and US militaries”. Greens Senator David Shoebridge told Al Jazeera that the government needed to “publicly and immediately refute the plan to become a top 10 global arms dealer and then to provide full transparency on all Australian arms exports including end users. “While governments in the Netherlands and the UK are facing legal challenges because of their role in the global supply chain, the Australian Labor government just keeps handing over weapons parts as though no genocide was happening,” he said. “It’s an appalling moral failure, and it is almost certainly a gross breach of international law.” The Australian government also recently announced a 917 million Australian dollar ($598m) deal with controversial Israeli company Elbit Systems. A court in the Netherlands hearing a case brought in relation to military exports. The room is wood panelled and there is a portrait on the wall. The Dutch government has faced legal action over the export of F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel [File: Piroschka van de Wouw/Reuters] Elbit has come under fire for its sale of defence equipment to the Myanmar military regime, continuing sales even after the military, which seized power in a 2021 coup, was accused of gross human rights violations – including attacks on civilians – by the United Nations and others. Despite a recent joint announcement between the Australian and UK governments for an “immediate cessation of fighting” in Gaza, some say Australia needs to go further and cut defence ties with Israel altogether. “The Australian government must listen to the growing public calls for peace and end Australia’s two-way arms trade with Israel,” Shoebridge said. “The Albanese government is rewarding and financing the Israeli arms industry just at the moment they are arming a genocide.” Protests have continued both at the HTA factory in Melbourne and their premises in Brisbane, with organisers pledging to continue until the company stops manufacturing components for the F-35. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/3/28/australia-challenged-on-moral-failure-of-weapons-trade-with-israel
    WWW.ALJAZEERA.COM
    Australia challenged on ‘moral failure’ of weapons trade with Israel
    Regular protests have been taking place outside Australian firms making crucial components for the F-35 fighter jet.
    Like
    1
    1 Comments 0 Shares 6976 Views
  • New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging

    SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol are considering merging into AltSignals tokens, targeting a $7.5 billion valuation.
    The merger, led by SingularityNET’s Ben Goertzel and Fetch.ai’s Humayun Sheikh, aims to create a decentralized AI alternative.
    Operational independence will be maintained post-merger, reflecting a trend toward democratizing AI access.
    Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to witness a landmark development as three major protocols, SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol, engage in discussions to merge their tokens into a unified AltSignals token (ASI), potentially boasting a fully diluted valuation of $7.5 billion.
    New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging
    New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging 2
    Read more: SingularityNET Review: Detailed About The Project, Will It Explode With AI Trend?

    SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol Eye Merger With AltSignals Token
    Bloomberg reported on March 27 that the merger aims to establish a decentralized alternative in the AI domain, countering the dominance of tech giants. Pending community approval, the deal could be officially announced as early as Wednesday.

    The collaborative effort seeks to form the largest open-sourced, independent player in AI research and development, affirming a commitment to capitalizing on the AI surge and fostering decentralized infrastructure at scale. SingularityNET CEO Ben Goertzel is scheduled to lead the newly formed Superintelligence Collective, with Fetch.ai CEO Humayun Sheikh serving as chairman.


    AI Trends Are Attracting Attention
    Despite the merger and the establishment of the AltSignals token, SingularityNET, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol will maintain operational autonomy, operating as distinct entities within the collective. This strategic move underscores a broader industry trend toward democratizing AI access, challenging the dominance of corporate giants like Alphabet and Microsoft.

    The convergence of these leading AI platforms mirrors a broader trend within the crypto market, where entities are increasingly exploring opportunities in AI development. Notably, Tether, a prominent stablecoin issuer, has recently announced plans to venture into open-source AI models, highlighting a growing synergy between AI and blockchain technologies in addressing real-world challenges.
    New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol are considering merging into AltSignals tokens, targeting a $7.5 billion valuation. The merger, led by SingularityNET’s Ben Goertzel and Fetch.ai’s Humayun Sheikh, aims to create a decentralized AI alternative. Operational independence will be maintained post-merger, reflecting a trend toward democratizing AI access. Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to witness a landmark development as three major protocols, SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol, engage in discussions to merge their tokens into a unified AltSignals token (ASI), potentially boasting a fully diluted valuation of $7.5 billion. New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging 2 Read more: SingularityNET Review: Detailed About The Project, Will It Explode With AI Trend? SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol Eye Merger With AltSignals Token Bloomberg reported on March 27 that the merger aims to establish a decentralized alternative in the AI domain, countering the dominance of tech giants. Pending community approval, the deal could be officially announced as early as Wednesday. The collaborative effort seeks to form the largest open-sourced, independent player in AI research and development, affirming a commitment to capitalizing on the AI surge and fostering decentralized infrastructure at scale. SingularityNET CEO Ben Goertzel is scheduled to lead the newly formed Superintelligence Collective, with Fetch.ai CEO Humayun Sheikh serving as chairman. AI Trends Are Attracting Attention Despite the merger and the establishment of the AltSignals token, SingularityNET, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol will maintain operational autonomy, operating as distinct entities within the collective. This strategic move underscores a broader industry trend toward democratizing AI access, challenging the dominance of corporate giants like Alphabet and Microsoft. The convergence of these leading AI platforms mirrors a broader trend within the crypto market, where entities are increasingly exploring opportunities in AI development. Notably, Tether, a prominent stablecoin issuer, has recently announced plans to venture into open-source AI models, highlighting a growing synergy between AI and blockchain technologies in addressing real-world challenges.
    Like
    1
    0 Comments 0 Shares 3880 Views
  • New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging

    SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol are considering merging into AltSignals tokens, targeting a $7.5 billion valuation.
    The merger, led by SingularityNET’s Ben Goertzel and Fetch.ai’s Humayun Sheikh, aims to create a decentralized AI alternative.
    Operational independence will be maintained post-merger, reflecting a trend toward democratizing AI access.
    Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to witness a landmark development as three major protocols, SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol, engage in discussions to merge their tokens into a unified AltSignals token (ASI), potentially boasting a fully diluted valuation of $7.5 billion.
    New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging
    New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging 2
    Read more: SingularityNET Review: Detailed About The Project, Will It Explode With AI Trend?

    SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol Eye Merger With AltSignals Token
    Bloomberg reported on March 27 that the merger aims to establish a decentralized alternative in the AI domain, countering the dominance of tech giants. Pending community approval, the deal could be officially announced as early as Wednesday.

    The collaborative effort seeks to form the largest open-sourced, independent player in AI research and development, affirming a commitment to capitalizing on the AI surge and fostering decentralized infrastructure at scale. SingularityNET CEO Ben Goertzel is scheduled to lead the newly formed Superintelligence Collective, with Fetch.ai CEO Humayun Sheikh serving as chairman.


    AI Trends Are Attracting Attention
    Despite the merger and the establishment of the AltSignals token, SingularityNET, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol will maintain operational autonomy, operating as distinct entities within the collective. This strategic move underscores a broader industry trend toward democratizing AI access, challenging the dominance of corporate giants like Alphabet and Microsoft.

    The convergence of these leading AI platforms mirrors a broader trend within the crypto market, where entities are increasingly exploring opportunities in AI development. Notably, Tether, a prominent stablecoin issuer, has recently announced plans to venture into open-source AI models, highlighting a growing synergy between AI and blockchain technologies in addressing real-world challenges.
    New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol are considering merging into AltSignals tokens, targeting a $7.5 billion valuation. The merger, led by SingularityNET’s Ben Goertzel and Fetch.ai’s Humayun Sheikh, aims to create a decentralized AI alternative. Operational independence will be maintained post-merger, reflecting a trend toward democratizing AI access. Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to witness a landmark development as three major protocols, SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol, engage in discussions to merge their tokens into a unified AltSignals token (ASI), potentially boasting a fully diluted valuation of $7.5 billion. New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging New AltSignals Tokens Could Be Launched With SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Merging 2 Read more: SingularityNET Review: Detailed About The Project, Will It Explode With AI Trend? SingularityNet, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol Eye Merger With AltSignals Token Bloomberg reported on March 27 that the merger aims to establish a decentralized alternative in the AI domain, countering the dominance of tech giants. Pending community approval, the deal could be officially announced as early as Wednesday. The collaborative effort seeks to form the largest open-sourced, independent player in AI research and development, affirming a commitment to capitalizing on the AI surge and fostering decentralized infrastructure at scale. SingularityNET CEO Ben Goertzel is scheduled to lead the newly formed Superintelligence Collective, with Fetch.ai CEO Humayun Sheikh serving as chairman. AI Trends Are Attracting Attention Despite the merger and the establishment of the AltSignals token, SingularityNET, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol will maintain operational autonomy, operating as distinct entities within the collective. This strategic move underscores a broader industry trend toward democratizing AI access, challenging the dominance of corporate giants like Alphabet and Microsoft. The convergence of these leading AI platforms mirrors a broader trend within the crypto market, where entities are increasingly exploring opportunities in AI development. Notably, Tether, a prominent stablecoin issuer, has recently announced plans to venture into open-source AI models, highlighting a growing synergy between AI and blockchain technologies in addressing real-world challenges.
    Like
    2
    0 Comments 0 Shares 4043 Views
  • The story of Yazan Kafarneh, the boy who starved to death in Gaza
    Tareq S. HajjajMarch 25, 2024
    Yazan Kafarneh after dying of starvation. (Photo: Rabee' Abu Naqirah)
    Yazan Kafarneh after dying of starvation. (Photo: Rabee’ Abu Naqirah)
    This is not a photo of a mummy or an embalmed body retrieved from one of Gaza’s ancient cemeteries. This is a photo of Yazan Kafarneh, a child who died of severe malnutrition during Israel’s genocidal war on the Gaza Strip.

    Yazan’s family now lives in the Rab’a School in the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood in Rafah City. His father, Sharif Kafarneh, along with his mother, Marwa, and his three younger brothers, had fled Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza early on in the war.

    Yazan Kafarneh died at the age of nine, the eldest of four brothers — Mouin, 6, Ramzi, 4, and Muhammad, born during the war in a shelter four months ago.

    Advertisement

    Watch now: ANGELA DAVIS on Witnessing Palestine with Frank Barat
    Living in conditions not fit for human habitation, the grieving family had witnessed Yazan’s death before their eyes. It didn’t happen all at once but unfolded gradually over time, his frail body wasting away one day after another until there was nothing left of Yazan but skin and bones.

    Sharif was unable to do anything for his son. He died due to a congenital illness that required a special dietary regimen to keep him healthy. Israel’s systematic prevention of food from reaching the civilian population in Gaza meant that severe malnutrition — suffered by most children in the besieged enclave — in the case of Yazan meant death.

    “We first left from Beit Hanoun to Jabalia refugee camp,” Sharif told Mondoweiss. “Then the occupation called us again and warned us against staying where we were. So we left for Gaza City. Then, the occupation forced us to flee further south, and we did.”

    Yazan Kafarneh's parents and three brothers in their shelter in Rafah. (Photo: Tareq Hajjaj/Mondoweiss)
    Sharif Kafarneh’ (left), his wife Marwa (right), and their three surviving sons (center) in their shelter in Rafah. (Photo: Tareq Hajjaj/Mondoweiss)
    “If it weren’t for Yazan, I would have never left my home,” Sharif maintained. “Yazan required special care and nutrition.”

    Yazan suffered from a congenital form of muscular atrophy that made movement and speech difficult, but Sharif said that it never caused him much grief in his nine short years before the war.

    “He just had advanced nutritional needs,” Sharif explained. “But getting that food for him was never an issue before the war.”

    It was a point of pride for Sharif that he, a taxi driver, had never left his child wanting or deprived.

    “That changed in the war. The specific foods that he needed were cut off,” he said. “For instance, Yazan had to have milk and bananas for dinner every day. He can’t go a day without it, and sometimes he can have only bananas. This is what the doctors told us.”

    “After the war, I couldn’t get a single banana,” Sharif continued. “And for lunch, he had to have boiled vegetables and fruits that were pureed in a blender. We had no electricity for the blender, and there were no fruits or vegetables anymore.”

    As for breakfast, Yazan’s regimen demanded that he eat eggs. “Of course, there aren’t any more eggs in Rafah City,” Sharif said. “No fruits, no vegetables, no eggs, no bananas, nothing.”

    “But our child’s needs were never a problem for us,” Sharif rushed to add. “We loved taking care of him. He was the spoiled child of the family, and his younger brothers loved him and took care of him, too. God gave me a living so I could take care of him.”

    Due to his special needs, charitable societies used to visit Yazan’s home in Beit Hanoun before the war, providing various treatments such as physical therapy and speech therapy. All in all, Yazan had a functional, happy childhood.

    ‘He got thinner and thinner’

    The family continued to take care of Yazan throughout the war. They tried to make do with what they could find, trying as much as possible to find alternatives to the foods Yazan required. “I replaced bananas with halawa [a tahini-based confection], and I replaced eggs with bread soaked in tea,” Sharif said. “But these foods did not contain the nutrients that Yazan needed.”

    In addition to his nutritional needs, Yazan had specific medicines to take. Sharif used to bring him brain and muscle stimulants that helped him stay alive and mobile, allowing him to move around and crawl throughout their home. Those medicines ran out during the second week of the war.

    With the lack of nutrition and medication, his health took a turn for the worse. “I noticed him getting sick, and his body was becoming emaciated,” Sharif recounts. “He got thinner and thinner.”

    His family took him to al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah, where his health continued to deteriorate over the course of eleven days.

    “Even after we took him to the hospital, they couldn’t do anything for him,” Sharif continued. “All they were able to give him were IV fluids, and when his situation got worse, the hospital staff placed a feeding tube in his nose.”

    “My son required a tube with a 14-unit measurement, but all the hospital had was an 8-unit,” he added.

    When asked what was the most important factor that led to the deterioration of his son’s condition, Sharif said that it was the environment he lived in. “Before the war, he was in the right environment. After, everything was wrong. He was in his own home, but then he was uprooted to a shelter in Rafah.”

    “The situation we’re living in isn’t fit for humans, let alone a sick child,” Sharif explained. “In the camps, people would light fires to keep themselves warm, but the smoke would cause Yazan to cough and suffocate, and we weren’t able to tell them to turn their fires off because everyone was so cold.”

    Dr. Muhammad al-Sabe’, a pediatric surgeon in Rafah who works at the al-Awda, al-Najjar, and al-Kuwaiti hospitals, took a special interest in Yazan’s case.

    “The harsh conditions Yazan had to endure, including malnutrition, were the main factors contributing to the deterioration of his health and his ultimate death,” Dr. al-Sabe’ told Mondoweiss. “This is a genetic and congenital illness, and it requires special care every day, including specific proteins, IV medicines, and daily physical therapy, which isn’t available at Rafah.”

    “If things don’t change, if they stay the way they are, we’re going to witness mass death among children.”
    Dr. Muhammad al-Sabe’normal
    Dr. al-Sabe’ said that most foods administered to patients who cannot feed themselves through feeding tubes are unavailable in Gaza. “The occupation prevents these specific foods and medicines from coming in,” he explained. “Including a medicine called Ensure.”

    Ensure is a special nutritional supplement used in medical settings for what is called “enteral nutrition” — feeding patients through a nasal tube.

    “Special treatment for patients, especially children, is nonexistent,” Dr. al-Sabe’ added. “We don’t even have diapers, let alone baby formula and nutritional supplements.”

    “If things don’t change, if they stay the way they are, we’re going to witness mass death among children,” he stressed. “If any child doesn’t receive nutrition for an entire week, that child will eventually die. And even if malnourished children are eventually provided with nutrition, they will likely suffer lifelong health consequences.”

    “If medicine is cut off from children who need it for one week, this will also likely lead to their death,” he continued.

    Yazan Kafarneh after dying of starvation. (Photo: Rabee' Abu Naqirah)
    Images of Yazan Kafarneh’s emaciated body circulated widely on social media. (Photo: Rabee’ Abu Naqirah)
    Children disproportionately affected by famine

    According to a UNICEF humanitarian situation report on March 22, 2.23 million people in Gaza suffer at least from “acute food insecurity,” while half of that population (1.1 million people) suffers from “catastrophic food insecurity,” meaning that “famine is imminent for half of the population.”

    An earlier report in December 2023 had already concluded that all children in Gaza under five years old (estimated to be 335,000 children) are “at high risk of severe malnutrition and preventable death.” UNICEF’s most recent March 22 report estimates that the famine threshold for “acute food insecurity” has already been “far exceeded,” while it is highly likely that the famine threshold for “acute malnutrition” has also been exceeded. Moreover, UNICEF said that the Famine Review Committee predicted that famine would manifest in Gaza anywhere between March and May of this year.

    Dr. al-Sabe’ stresses that such dire conditions disproportionately affect children, who have advanced nutritional needs compared to adults.

    “Their bodies are weak, and they don’t have large stores of muscle and fat,” he explained. “Even one day of no food for a young child will lead to consequences that are difficult to control in the future.”

    “An adult male may go a week without food before signs of malnutrition begin to show,” he continued. “Not so with children. Their muscle mass increases whenever they eat, which in turn leads to a greater need for nutrients.”

    The lack of nutrients means that children will grow weak, the pediatric surgeon said, and that they will quickly begin to exhibit symptoms such as fatigue, sleepiness, diarrhea, vomiting, anemia, sunken eyes, and joint pains. For the same reason, Dr. al-Sabe maintained, children also respond to treatment fairly quickly — but “on the condition that they have not experienced malnutrition for more than a week.”

    After one week, reversing the effects of malnutrition becomes much more difficult. Al-Sabe’ asserts that children’s digestive tracts will slow down, they might begin to suffer from kidney failure, and their bellies can swell with fluids.

    That is what is particularly devastating for Gaza — over 335,000 children have undergone varying degrees of extreme malnutrition for months on end. The consequences are difficult to fathom on a population-wide level and for future generations. As of the time of writing, over 30 children have already died due to malnutrition in northern Gaza, but the real number is likely much higher given the lack of reporting in many areas in the north.

    ‘He didn’t need a miracle to save him’

    Yazan’s mother, Marwa Kafarneh, could barely contain her tears as she spoke of her son.

    “He was a normal boy despite his illness,” she told Mondoweiss. “He played with his brothers. He crawled and moved about, and he could open closets and use the phone, and he would watch things on it for hours.”

    “He could have lived a long life, a normal life,” she continued. “His father would have brought him everything that he needed. He wouldn’t have had to feel hungry for even a single day.”

    When she saw that the images of her son’s emaciated body had gone viral on social media, Marwa said that she preferred death over looking at the photos. “My eldest son died in front of my eyes, in front of all of our eyes,” she said. “We weren’t able to save him. And he didn’t need a miracle to save him either. All he needed was the food that we’ve always been able to provide for him.”

    Reflecting as she cried, she added: “But finding that food in Gaza today takes nothing less than a miracle.”

    Tareq S. Hajjaj
    Tareq S. Hajjaj is the Mondoweiss Gaza Correspondent and a member of the Palestinian Writers Union. He studied English Literature at Al-Azhar University in Gaza. He started his career in journalism in 2015, working as a news writer and translator for the local newspaper Donia al-Watan. He has reported for Elbadi, Middle East Eye, and Al-Monitor. Follow him on Twitter at @Tareqshajjaj.

    BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever.

    Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses.

    Support our journalists with a donation today.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/the-story-of-yazan-kafarneh-the-boy-who-starved-to-death-in-gaza/
    The story of Yazan Kafarneh, the boy who starved to death in Gaza Tareq S. HajjajMarch 25, 2024 Yazan Kafarneh after dying of starvation. (Photo: Rabee' Abu Naqirah) Yazan Kafarneh after dying of starvation. (Photo: Rabee’ Abu Naqirah) This is not a photo of a mummy or an embalmed body retrieved from one of Gaza’s ancient cemeteries. This is a photo of Yazan Kafarneh, a child who died of severe malnutrition during Israel’s genocidal war on the Gaza Strip. Yazan’s family now lives in the Rab’a School in the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood in Rafah City. His father, Sharif Kafarneh, along with his mother, Marwa, and his three younger brothers, had fled Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza early on in the war. Yazan Kafarneh died at the age of nine, the eldest of four brothers — Mouin, 6, Ramzi, 4, and Muhammad, born during the war in a shelter four months ago. Advertisement Watch now: ANGELA DAVIS on Witnessing Palestine with Frank Barat Living in conditions not fit for human habitation, the grieving family had witnessed Yazan’s death before their eyes. It didn’t happen all at once but unfolded gradually over time, his frail body wasting away one day after another until there was nothing left of Yazan but skin and bones. Sharif was unable to do anything for his son. He died due to a congenital illness that required a special dietary regimen to keep him healthy. Israel’s systematic prevention of food from reaching the civilian population in Gaza meant that severe malnutrition — suffered by most children in the besieged enclave — in the case of Yazan meant death. “We first left from Beit Hanoun to Jabalia refugee camp,” Sharif told Mondoweiss. “Then the occupation called us again and warned us against staying where we were. So we left for Gaza City. Then, the occupation forced us to flee further south, and we did.” Yazan Kafarneh's parents and three brothers in their shelter in Rafah. (Photo: Tareq Hajjaj/Mondoweiss) Sharif Kafarneh’ (left), his wife Marwa (right), and their three surviving sons (center) in their shelter in Rafah. (Photo: Tareq Hajjaj/Mondoweiss) “If it weren’t for Yazan, I would have never left my home,” Sharif maintained. “Yazan required special care and nutrition.” Yazan suffered from a congenital form of muscular atrophy that made movement and speech difficult, but Sharif said that it never caused him much grief in his nine short years before the war. “He just had advanced nutritional needs,” Sharif explained. “But getting that food for him was never an issue before the war.” It was a point of pride for Sharif that he, a taxi driver, had never left his child wanting or deprived. “That changed in the war. The specific foods that he needed were cut off,” he said. “For instance, Yazan had to have milk and bananas for dinner every day. He can’t go a day without it, and sometimes he can have only bananas. This is what the doctors told us.” “After the war, I couldn’t get a single banana,” Sharif continued. “And for lunch, he had to have boiled vegetables and fruits that were pureed in a blender. We had no electricity for the blender, and there were no fruits or vegetables anymore.” As for breakfast, Yazan’s regimen demanded that he eat eggs. “Of course, there aren’t any more eggs in Rafah City,” Sharif said. “No fruits, no vegetables, no eggs, no bananas, nothing.” “But our child’s needs were never a problem for us,” Sharif rushed to add. “We loved taking care of him. He was the spoiled child of the family, and his younger brothers loved him and took care of him, too. God gave me a living so I could take care of him.” Due to his special needs, charitable societies used to visit Yazan’s home in Beit Hanoun before the war, providing various treatments such as physical therapy and speech therapy. All in all, Yazan had a functional, happy childhood. ‘He got thinner and thinner’ The family continued to take care of Yazan throughout the war. They tried to make do with what they could find, trying as much as possible to find alternatives to the foods Yazan required. “I replaced bananas with halawa [a tahini-based confection], and I replaced eggs with bread soaked in tea,” Sharif said. “But these foods did not contain the nutrients that Yazan needed.” In addition to his nutritional needs, Yazan had specific medicines to take. Sharif used to bring him brain and muscle stimulants that helped him stay alive and mobile, allowing him to move around and crawl throughout their home. Those medicines ran out during the second week of the war. With the lack of nutrition and medication, his health took a turn for the worse. “I noticed him getting sick, and his body was becoming emaciated,” Sharif recounts. “He got thinner and thinner.” His family took him to al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah, where his health continued to deteriorate over the course of eleven days. “Even after we took him to the hospital, they couldn’t do anything for him,” Sharif continued. “All they were able to give him were IV fluids, and when his situation got worse, the hospital staff placed a feeding tube in his nose.” “My son required a tube with a 14-unit measurement, but all the hospital had was an 8-unit,” he added. When asked what was the most important factor that led to the deterioration of his son’s condition, Sharif said that it was the environment he lived in. “Before the war, he was in the right environment. After, everything was wrong. He was in his own home, but then he was uprooted to a shelter in Rafah.” “The situation we’re living in isn’t fit for humans, let alone a sick child,” Sharif explained. “In the camps, people would light fires to keep themselves warm, but the smoke would cause Yazan to cough and suffocate, and we weren’t able to tell them to turn their fires off because everyone was so cold.” Dr. Muhammad al-Sabe’, a pediatric surgeon in Rafah who works at the al-Awda, al-Najjar, and al-Kuwaiti hospitals, took a special interest in Yazan’s case. “The harsh conditions Yazan had to endure, including malnutrition, were the main factors contributing to the deterioration of his health and his ultimate death,” Dr. al-Sabe’ told Mondoweiss. “This is a genetic and congenital illness, and it requires special care every day, including specific proteins, IV medicines, and daily physical therapy, which isn’t available at Rafah.” “If things don’t change, if they stay the way they are, we’re going to witness mass death among children.” Dr. Muhammad al-Sabe’normal Dr. al-Sabe’ said that most foods administered to patients who cannot feed themselves through feeding tubes are unavailable in Gaza. “The occupation prevents these specific foods and medicines from coming in,” he explained. “Including a medicine called Ensure.” Ensure is a special nutritional supplement used in medical settings for what is called “enteral nutrition” — feeding patients through a nasal tube. “Special treatment for patients, especially children, is nonexistent,” Dr. al-Sabe’ added. “We don’t even have diapers, let alone baby formula and nutritional supplements.” “If things don’t change, if they stay the way they are, we’re going to witness mass death among children,” he stressed. “If any child doesn’t receive nutrition for an entire week, that child will eventually die. And even if malnourished children are eventually provided with nutrition, they will likely suffer lifelong health consequences.” “If medicine is cut off from children who need it for one week, this will also likely lead to their death,” he continued. Yazan Kafarneh after dying of starvation. (Photo: Rabee' Abu Naqirah) Images of Yazan Kafarneh’s emaciated body circulated widely on social media. (Photo: Rabee’ Abu Naqirah) Children disproportionately affected by famine According to a UNICEF humanitarian situation report on March 22, 2.23 million people in Gaza suffer at least from “acute food insecurity,” while half of that population (1.1 million people) suffers from “catastrophic food insecurity,” meaning that “famine is imminent for half of the population.” An earlier report in December 2023 had already concluded that all children in Gaza under five years old (estimated to be 335,000 children) are “at high risk of severe malnutrition and preventable death.” UNICEF’s most recent March 22 report estimates that the famine threshold for “acute food insecurity” has already been “far exceeded,” while it is highly likely that the famine threshold for “acute malnutrition” has also been exceeded. Moreover, UNICEF said that the Famine Review Committee predicted that famine would manifest in Gaza anywhere between March and May of this year. Dr. al-Sabe’ stresses that such dire conditions disproportionately affect children, who have advanced nutritional needs compared to adults. “Their bodies are weak, and they don’t have large stores of muscle and fat,” he explained. “Even one day of no food for a young child will lead to consequences that are difficult to control in the future.” “An adult male may go a week without food before signs of malnutrition begin to show,” he continued. “Not so with children. Their muscle mass increases whenever they eat, which in turn leads to a greater need for nutrients.” The lack of nutrients means that children will grow weak, the pediatric surgeon said, and that they will quickly begin to exhibit symptoms such as fatigue, sleepiness, diarrhea, vomiting, anemia, sunken eyes, and joint pains. For the same reason, Dr. al-Sabe maintained, children also respond to treatment fairly quickly — but “on the condition that they have not experienced malnutrition for more than a week.” After one week, reversing the effects of malnutrition becomes much more difficult. Al-Sabe’ asserts that children’s digestive tracts will slow down, they might begin to suffer from kidney failure, and their bellies can swell with fluids. That is what is particularly devastating for Gaza — over 335,000 children have undergone varying degrees of extreme malnutrition for months on end. The consequences are difficult to fathom on a population-wide level and for future generations. As of the time of writing, over 30 children have already died due to malnutrition in northern Gaza, but the real number is likely much higher given the lack of reporting in many areas in the north. ‘He didn’t need a miracle to save him’ Yazan’s mother, Marwa Kafarneh, could barely contain her tears as she spoke of her son. “He was a normal boy despite his illness,” she told Mondoweiss. “He played with his brothers. He crawled and moved about, and he could open closets and use the phone, and he would watch things on it for hours.” “He could have lived a long life, a normal life,” she continued. “His father would have brought him everything that he needed. He wouldn’t have had to feel hungry for even a single day.” When she saw that the images of her son’s emaciated body had gone viral on social media, Marwa said that she preferred death over looking at the photos. “My eldest son died in front of my eyes, in front of all of our eyes,” she said. “We weren’t able to save him. And he didn’t need a miracle to save him either. All he needed was the food that we’ve always been able to provide for him.” Reflecting as she cried, she added: “But finding that food in Gaza today takes nothing less than a miracle.” Tareq S. Hajjaj Tareq S. Hajjaj is the Mondoweiss Gaza Correspondent and a member of the Palestinian Writers Union. He studied English Literature at Al-Azhar University in Gaza. He started his career in journalism in 2015, working as a news writer and translator for the local newspaper Donia al-Watan. He has reported for Elbadi, Middle East Eye, and Al-Monitor. Follow him on Twitter at @Tareqshajjaj. BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever. Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses. Support our journalists with a donation today. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/the-story-of-yazan-kafarneh-the-boy-who-starved-to-death-in-gaza/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    The story of Yazan Kafarneh, the boy who starved to death in Gaza
    9-year-old Yazan Kafarneh died of a congenital illness turned deadly by severe malnutrition under Israel’s genocidal siege. “He didn’t need a miracle to save him,” cries his mother. “All he needed was the food we’ve always been able to provide him.”
    Sad
    1
    0 Comments 0 Shares 8902 Views
  • NEW ARTICLE: The Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton has been diagnosed with Cancer - there is a high probability she has Turbo Cancer, caused by COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines she took in 2021.

    What are the most likely mRNA Induced Turbo Cancers that would require major abdominal surgery and "preventative chemotherapy"?

    1. Turbo Colon Cancer - one of most common
    2. Turbo Ovarian Cancer - on the rise, poor prognosis
    3. Turbo Uterine Cancer - endometrial or sarcoma
    4. Rare Turbo Cancers - appendix, gallbladder, pancreas, gastric

    I go through each of these Turbo Cancer scenarios in detail in my article.

    Turbo Colon Cancer would be the most common scenario, it is the top 5 cancer that occurs following vaccination with Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines.

    Turbo Colon Cancer is skyrocketing and presents now in younger and younger men and women. It grows rapidly and often doesn't respond to standard chemotherapy and radiotherapy regimens. Immunotherapy also doesn't work, which tends to shock Oncologists.

    Turbo Ovarian Cancer is on the rise in younger women. These often present as ovarian cysts and in many cases are initially assumed to be benign.

    Many cases of Turbo Ovarian Cancer have been ignored by doctors until they were so large that they had to be surgically removed - and only then is cancer discovered. These have a poor prognosis.

    Turbo Uterine cancer is also skyrocketing and this could present with abdominal pain or bleeding, and thought initially to be benign tumors like fibroids. These are either endometrial cancers or sarcomas.

    Rare Turbo Cancers in the abdomen would include appendix, gallbladder, pancreas, gastric, liver.

    Appendix can present as appendicitis, gallbladder as acute cholecystitis - upon removal, cancer can be discovered, hidden and unexpected. These are not "major abdominal surgeries", however, so they are less likely.

    My hypothesis and concern is that the major abdominal surgery The Princess of Wales had was a total hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and the cancer is either an Ovarian cancer or a Uterine cancer that was discovered unexpectedly after pathological examination of the surgical specimen.

    The need for "preventative chemotherapy" suggests a Turbo Ovarian Cancer, or a more advanced stage Turbo Uterine Cancer (or more aggressive subtypes such as Uterine carcinosarcomas, clear cell cancers, or serous cancers) which would also require chemotherapy.

    If The Princess of Wales is suffering from Turbo Ovarian Cancer or an advanced or aggressive Turbo Uterine Cancer, she will need a much more comprehensive Cancer Treatment plan than her UK Oncologists will offer her.

    Turbo Cancers in general don't respond to standard chemotherapy, radiotherapy or immunotherapy regimens.

    This is especially true for Turbo Ovarian Cancers.

    The Princess will need a Treatment plan that addresses some of the unique characteristics of mRNA Induced Turbo Cancer.

    This will include a spike protein “detoxification” protocol (that involves spike protein breakdown agents such as Nattokinase and spike protein binding agents with anti-cancer properties such as Quercetin, Olive Leaf, Nigella Sativa or Curcumin)

    as well as an “Alternative treatment plan” that includes high dose Ivermectin and high dose Fenbendazole/Mebendazole/Albendazole.

    She must also eliminate sugar from her diet, as cancer thrives on sugar, and consider certain foods with powerful anti-cancer properties (Soursop, Turkey Tail mushroom, etc are great examples)

    I hope The Princess of Wales can surround herself with doctors who didn’t abandon their Hippocratic Oath during the COVID-19 pandemic (unfortunately vast majority did, including virtually all Oncologists).

    She also needs doctors who understand the very real and dangerous phenomenon of COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Induced Turbo Cancer.

    William Makis MD

    ROBINMG
    NEW ARTICLE: The Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton has been diagnosed with Cancer - there is a high probability she has Turbo Cancer, caused by COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines she took in 2021. What are the most likely mRNA Induced Turbo Cancers that would require major abdominal surgery and "preventative chemotherapy"? 1. Turbo Colon Cancer - one of most common 2. Turbo Ovarian Cancer - on the rise, poor prognosis 3. Turbo Uterine Cancer - endometrial or sarcoma 4. Rare Turbo Cancers - appendix, gallbladder, pancreas, gastric I go through each of these Turbo Cancer scenarios in detail in my article. Turbo Colon Cancer would be the most common scenario, it is the top 5 cancer that occurs following vaccination with Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines. Turbo Colon Cancer is skyrocketing and presents now in younger and younger men and women. It grows rapidly and often doesn't respond to standard chemotherapy and radiotherapy regimens. Immunotherapy also doesn't work, which tends to shock Oncologists. Turbo Ovarian Cancer is on the rise in younger women. These often present as ovarian cysts and in many cases are initially assumed to be benign. Many cases of Turbo Ovarian Cancer have been ignored by doctors until they were so large that they had to be surgically removed - and only then is cancer discovered. These have a poor prognosis. Turbo Uterine cancer is also skyrocketing and this could present with abdominal pain or bleeding, and thought initially to be benign tumors like fibroids. These are either endometrial cancers or sarcomas. Rare Turbo Cancers in the abdomen would include appendix, gallbladder, pancreas, gastric, liver. Appendix can present as appendicitis, gallbladder as acute cholecystitis - upon removal, cancer can be discovered, hidden and unexpected. These are not "major abdominal surgeries", however, so they are less likely. My hypothesis and concern is that the major abdominal surgery The Princess of Wales had was a total hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and the cancer is either an Ovarian cancer or a Uterine cancer that was discovered unexpectedly after pathological examination of the surgical specimen. The need for "preventative chemotherapy" suggests a Turbo Ovarian Cancer, or a more advanced stage Turbo Uterine Cancer (or more aggressive subtypes such as Uterine carcinosarcomas, clear cell cancers, or serous cancers) which would also require chemotherapy. If The Princess of Wales is suffering from Turbo Ovarian Cancer or an advanced or aggressive Turbo Uterine Cancer, she will need a much more comprehensive Cancer Treatment plan than her UK Oncologists will offer her. Turbo Cancers in general don't respond to standard chemotherapy, radiotherapy or immunotherapy regimens. This is especially true for Turbo Ovarian Cancers. The Princess will need a Treatment plan that addresses some of the unique characteristics of mRNA Induced Turbo Cancer. This will include a spike protein “detoxification” protocol (that involves spike protein breakdown agents such as Nattokinase and spike protein binding agents with anti-cancer properties such as Quercetin, Olive Leaf, Nigella Sativa or Curcumin) as well as an “Alternative treatment plan” that includes high dose Ivermectin and high dose Fenbendazole/Mebendazole/Albendazole. She must also eliminate sugar from her diet, as cancer thrives on sugar, and consider certain foods with powerful anti-cancer properties (Soursop, Turkey Tail mushroom, etc are great examples) I hope The Princess of Wales can surround herself with doctors who didn’t abandon their Hippocratic Oath during the COVID-19 pandemic (unfortunately vast majority did, including virtually all Oncologists). She also needs doctors who understand the very real and dangerous phenomenon of COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Induced Turbo Cancer. William Makis MD ROBINMG 🚀
    Sad
    1
    0 Comments 0 Shares 2493 Views
  • "It is obviously un-American for the government to develop a ‘hit list’ of citizens to mute in the public square through secret pressure on communications monopolies."

    This Country Can't Afford A SCOTUS Weak On Internet Censorship
    Joy Pullmann
    The Biden administration attempted to distract the Supreme Court from the voluminous evidence of federal abuse of Americans’ speech rights during oral arguments in Murthy v. Missouri Monday. It sounded like several justices followed the feds’ waving red flag.

    “The government may not use coercive threats to suppress speech, but it is entitled to speak for itself by informing, persuading, or criticizing private speakers,” said Biden administration lawyer Brian Fletcher in his opening remarks. He and several justices asserted government speech prerogatives that would flip the Constitution upside down.

    The government doesn’t have constitutional rights. Constitutional rights belong to the people and restrain the government. The people’s right to speak may not be abridged. Government officials’ speaking, in their official capacities, may certainly be abridged. Indeed, it often must be, precisely to restrict officials from abusing the state’s monopoly on violence to bully citizens into serfdom.

    It is obviously un-American and unconstitutional for the government to develop a “hit list” of citizens to mute in the public square through secret pressure on communications monopolies beholden to the government for their monopoly powers. There is simply no way it’s “protected speech” for the feds to use intermediaries to silence anyone who disagrees with them on internet forums where the majority of the nation’s political organizing and information dissemination occurs.

    Bullying, Not the Bully Pulpit

    What’s happening is not government expressing its views to media, or “encouraging press to suppress their own speech,” as Justice Elena Kagan put it. This is government bullying third parties to suppress Americans’ speech that officials dislike.

    In the newspaper analogy, it would be like government threatening an IRS audit or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigation, or pulling the business license of The Washington Post if the Post published an op-ed from Jay Bhattacharya. As Norwood v. Harrison established in 1973, that’s blatantly unconstitutional. Government cannot “induce, encourage or promote private persons to accomplish what it is constitutionally forbidden to accomplish.”

    Yet, notes Matt Taibbi, some justices and Fletcher “re-framed the outing of extravagantly funded, ongoing content-flagging programs, designed by veterans of foreign counterterrorism operations and targeting the domestic population, as a debate about what Fletcher called ‘classic bully pulpit exhortations.’”

    Every Fake Excuse for Censorship Is Already Illegal

    We have laws against all the harms the government and several justices put forth as excuses for government censorship. Terrorism is illegal. Promoting terrorism is illegal, as an incitement to treason and violence. Inciting children to injure or murder themselves by jumping out windows — a “hypothetical” brought up by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson and discussed at length in oral arguments — is illegal.

    If someone is spreading terrorist incitements to violence on Facebook, law enforcement needs to go after the terrorist plotters, not Facebook. Just like it’s unjust to punish gun, knife, and tire iron manufacturers for the people who use their products to murder, it’s unjust and unconstitutional for government to effectively commandeer Facebook under the pretext of all the evils people use it to spread. If they have a problem with those evils, they should address those evils directly, not pressure Facebook to do what they can’t get through Congress like it’s some kind of substitute legislature.

    It’s also ridiculous to, as Jackson and Fletcher did in oral argument, assume that the government is the only possible solution to every social ill. Do these hypothetically window-jumping children not have parents? Teachers? Older siblings? Neighbors? Would the social media companies not have an interest in preventing their products from being used to promote death, and wouldn’t that be an easy thing to explain publicly? Apparently, Jackson couldn’t conceive of any other solution to problems like these than government censorship, when our society has handled far bigger problems like war, pandemics, and foreign invasion without government censorship for 250 years!

    Voters Auditing Government Is Exactly How Our System Should Work

    Fletcher described it as a “problem” that in this case, “two states and five individuals are trying to use the Article III courts to audit all of the executive branch’s communications with and about social media platforms.” That’s called transparency, and it’s only a problem if the government is trying to escape accountability to voters for its actions.

    The people have a fundamental right to audit what their government is doing with public positions, institutions, and funds! How do we have government by consent of the governed if the people can have no idea what their government is doing?

    Under federal laws, all communications like those this lawsuit uncovered are public records. Yet these public records are really hard to get. The executive branch has been effectively nullifying open records laws by absurdly lengthening disclosure times — to as long as 636 days — increasingly forcing citizens to wage expensive lawsuits to get federal agencies to cough up records years beyond the legal deadline.

    Congress should pass a law forcing the automatic disclosure of all government communications with tech monopolies that don’t concern actual classified information and “national security” designations, which the government expands unlawfully to avoid transparency. No justice should support government secrecy about its speech pressure efforts outside of legitimate national security actions.

    Government Is So Big, It’s Always Coercive

    Fletcher’s argument also claimed to draw a line between government persuasion and government coercion. The size and minute harassment powers of our government long ago obliterated any such line, if it ever existed. Federal agencies now have the power to try citizens in non-Article III courts, outside constitutional protections for due process. Citizens can be bankrupted long before they finally get to appeal to a real court. That’s why most of them just do whatever the agencies say, even when it’s clearly unlawful.

    Federal agencies demand power over almost every facet of life, from puddles in people’s backyards to the temperature of cheese served in a tiny restaurant. If they put a target on any normal citizen’s back, he goes bankrupt after regulatory torture.

    As Franklin Roosevelt’s “brain trust” planned, government is now the “senior partner” of every business, giving every “request” from government officials automatic coercion power. Federal agencies have six ways from Sunday of getting back at a noncompliant company, from the EEOC to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to the Environmental Protection Agency to Health and Human Services to Securities and Exchange Commission investigations and more. Use an accurate pronoun? Investigation. Hire “one too many” white guys? Investigation.

    TikTok legislation going through Congress right now would codify federal power to seize social media companies accused of being owned by foreign interests. Shortly after he acquired X, Elon Musk faced a regulatory shakedown costing him tens of millions, and more on the way. He has money like that, but the rest of us don’t.

    Speech from a private citizen does not have the threat of violence behind it. Speech from a government official, on the other hand, absolutely does and always has. Government officials have powers that other people don’t, and those powers are easily abused, which is exactly why we have a Constitution. SCOTUS needs to take this crucial context into account, making constitutional protections stronger because the government is far, far outside its constitutional bounds.

    Big tech companies’ very business model depends on government regulators and can be destroyed — or kneecapped — at the stroke of an activist president’s pen. Or, at least, that’s what the president said when Facebook and Twitter didn’t do what he wanted: Section 230 should “immediately be revoked.” This is a president who claims the executive power to unilaterally rewrite laws, ignore laws, and ignore Supreme Court decisions. It’s a president who issues orders as press releases so they go into effect months before they can even begin to be challenged in court.

    Constitutionally Protected Speech Isn’t Terrorism

    If justices buy the administration’s nice-guy pretenses of “concern about terrorism,” and “once in a lifetime pandemic measures,” they didn’t read the briefs in this case and see that is simply a cover for the U.S. government turning counterterrorism tools on its own citizens in an attempt to control election outcomes. This is precisely what the First Amendment was designed to check, and we Americans need our Supreme Court to understand that and act to protect us. Elections mean nothing when the government is secretly keeping voters from talking to each other.

    The Supreme Court may not be able to return the country to full constitutional government by eradicating the almost entirely unconstitutional administrative state. But it should enforce as many constitutional boundaries as possible on such agencies. That clearly includes prohibiting all of government from outsourcing to allegedly “private” organizations actions that would be illegal for the government to take.

    That includes not just coercive instructions to social media companies, but also developing social media censorship tools and organizations as cutouts for the rogue security state that is targeting peaceful citizens instead of actual terrorists. Even false speech is not domestic terrorism, and no clearheaded Supreme Court justice looking at the evidence could let the Biden administration weaponize antiterrorism measures to strip law-abiding Americans of our fundamental human rights.

    Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of six children. Her ebooks include "Classic Books For Young Children," and "101 Strategies For Living Well Amid Inflation." An 18-year education and politics reporter, Joy has testified before nearly two dozen legislatures on education policy and appeared on major media from Fox News to Ben Shapiro to Dennis Prager. Joy is a grateful graduate of the Hillsdale College honors and journalism programs who identifies as native American and gender natural. Her traditionally published books include "The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids," from Encounter Books.


    https://thefederalist.com/2024/03/21/this-country-cannot-afford-a-weak-supreme-court-decision-on-internet-censorship/

    Join @MartinKulldorf
    "It is obviously un-American for the government to develop a ‘hit list’ of citizens to mute in the public square through secret pressure on communications monopolies." This Country Can't Afford A SCOTUS Weak On Internet Censorship Joy Pullmann The Biden administration attempted to distract the Supreme Court from the voluminous evidence of federal abuse of Americans’ speech rights during oral arguments in Murthy v. Missouri Monday. It sounded like several justices followed the feds’ waving red flag. “The government may not use coercive threats to suppress speech, but it is entitled to speak for itself by informing, persuading, or criticizing private speakers,” said Biden administration lawyer Brian Fletcher in his opening remarks. He and several justices asserted government speech prerogatives that would flip the Constitution upside down. The government doesn’t have constitutional rights. Constitutional rights belong to the people and restrain the government. The people’s right to speak may not be abridged. Government officials’ speaking, in their official capacities, may certainly be abridged. Indeed, it often must be, precisely to restrict officials from abusing the state’s monopoly on violence to bully citizens into serfdom. It is obviously un-American and unconstitutional for the government to develop a “hit list” of citizens to mute in the public square through secret pressure on communications monopolies beholden to the government for their monopoly powers. There is simply no way it’s “protected speech” for the feds to use intermediaries to silence anyone who disagrees with them on internet forums where the majority of the nation’s political organizing and information dissemination occurs. Bullying, Not the Bully Pulpit What’s happening is not government expressing its views to media, or “encouraging press to suppress their own speech,” as Justice Elena Kagan put it. This is government bullying third parties to suppress Americans’ speech that officials dislike. In the newspaper analogy, it would be like government threatening an IRS audit or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigation, or pulling the business license of The Washington Post if the Post published an op-ed from Jay Bhattacharya. As Norwood v. Harrison established in 1973, that’s blatantly unconstitutional. Government cannot “induce, encourage or promote private persons to accomplish what it is constitutionally forbidden to accomplish.” Yet, notes Matt Taibbi, some justices and Fletcher “re-framed the outing of extravagantly funded, ongoing content-flagging programs, designed by veterans of foreign counterterrorism operations and targeting the domestic population, as a debate about what Fletcher called ‘classic bully pulpit exhortations.’” Every Fake Excuse for Censorship Is Already Illegal We have laws against all the harms the government and several justices put forth as excuses for government censorship. Terrorism is illegal. Promoting terrorism is illegal, as an incitement to treason and violence. Inciting children to injure or murder themselves by jumping out windows — a “hypothetical” brought up by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson and discussed at length in oral arguments — is illegal. If someone is spreading terrorist incitements to violence on Facebook, law enforcement needs to go after the terrorist plotters, not Facebook. Just like it’s unjust to punish gun, knife, and tire iron manufacturers for the people who use their products to murder, it’s unjust and unconstitutional for government to effectively commandeer Facebook under the pretext of all the evils people use it to spread. If they have a problem with those evils, they should address those evils directly, not pressure Facebook to do what they can’t get through Congress like it’s some kind of substitute legislature. It’s also ridiculous to, as Jackson and Fletcher did in oral argument, assume that the government is the only possible solution to every social ill. Do these hypothetically window-jumping children not have parents? Teachers? Older siblings? Neighbors? Would the social media companies not have an interest in preventing their products from being used to promote death, and wouldn’t that be an easy thing to explain publicly? Apparently, Jackson couldn’t conceive of any other solution to problems like these than government censorship, when our society has handled far bigger problems like war, pandemics, and foreign invasion without government censorship for 250 years! Voters Auditing Government Is Exactly How Our System Should Work Fletcher described it as a “problem” that in this case, “two states and five individuals are trying to use the Article III courts to audit all of the executive branch’s communications with and about social media platforms.” That’s called transparency, and it’s only a problem if the government is trying to escape accountability to voters for its actions. The people have a fundamental right to audit what their government is doing with public positions, institutions, and funds! How do we have government by consent of the governed if the people can have no idea what their government is doing? Under federal laws, all communications like those this lawsuit uncovered are public records. Yet these public records are really hard to get. The executive branch has been effectively nullifying open records laws by absurdly lengthening disclosure times — to as long as 636 days — increasingly forcing citizens to wage expensive lawsuits to get federal agencies to cough up records years beyond the legal deadline. Congress should pass a law forcing the automatic disclosure of all government communications with tech monopolies that don’t concern actual classified information and “national security” designations, which the government expands unlawfully to avoid transparency. No justice should support government secrecy about its speech pressure efforts outside of legitimate national security actions. Government Is So Big, It’s Always Coercive Fletcher’s argument also claimed to draw a line between government persuasion and government coercion. The size and minute harassment powers of our government long ago obliterated any such line, if it ever existed. Federal agencies now have the power to try citizens in non-Article III courts, outside constitutional protections for due process. Citizens can be bankrupted long before they finally get to appeal to a real court. That’s why most of them just do whatever the agencies say, even when it’s clearly unlawful. Federal agencies demand power over almost every facet of life, from puddles in people’s backyards to the temperature of cheese served in a tiny restaurant. If they put a target on any normal citizen’s back, he goes bankrupt after regulatory torture. As Franklin Roosevelt’s “brain trust” planned, government is now the “senior partner” of every business, giving every “request” from government officials automatic coercion power. Federal agencies have six ways from Sunday of getting back at a noncompliant company, from the EEOC to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to the Environmental Protection Agency to Health and Human Services to Securities and Exchange Commission investigations and more. Use an accurate pronoun? Investigation. Hire “one too many” white guys? Investigation. TikTok legislation going through Congress right now would codify federal power to seize social media companies accused of being owned by foreign interests. Shortly after he acquired X, Elon Musk faced a regulatory shakedown costing him tens of millions, and more on the way. He has money like that, but the rest of us don’t. Speech from a private citizen does not have the threat of violence behind it. Speech from a government official, on the other hand, absolutely does and always has. Government officials have powers that other people don’t, and those powers are easily abused, which is exactly why we have a Constitution. SCOTUS needs to take this crucial context into account, making constitutional protections stronger because the government is far, far outside its constitutional bounds. Big tech companies’ very business model depends on government regulators and can be destroyed — or kneecapped — at the stroke of an activist president’s pen. Or, at least, that’s what the president said when Facebook and Twitter didn’t do what he wanted: Section 230 should “immediately be revoked.” This is a president who claims the executive power to unilaterally rewrite laws, ignore laws, and ignore Supreme Court decisions. It’s a president who issues orders as press releases so they go into effect months before they can even begin to be challenged in court. Constitutionally Protected Speech Isn’t Terrorism If justices buy the administration’s nice-guy pretenses of “concern about terrorism,” and “once in a lifetime pandemic measures,” they didn’t read the briefs in this case and see that is simply a cover for the U.S. government turning counterterrorism tools on its own citizens in an attempt to control election outcomes. This is precisely what the First Amendment was designed to check, and we Americans need our Supreme Court to understand that and act to protect us. Elections mean nothing when the government is secretly keeping voters from talking to each other. The Supreme Court may not be able to return the country to full constitutional government by eradicating the almost entirely unconstitutional administrative state. But it should enforce as many constitutional boundaries as possible on such agencies. That clearly includes prohibiting all of government from outsourcing to allegedly “private” organizations actions that would be illegal for the government to take. That includes not just coercive instructions to social media companies, but also developing social media censorship tools and organizations as cutouts for the rogue security state that is targeting peaceful citizens instead of actual terrorists. Even false speech is not domestic terrorism, and no clearheaded Supreme Court justice looking at the evidence could let the Biden administration weaponize antiterrorism measures to strip law-abiding Americans of our fundamental human rights. Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of six children. Her ebooks include "Classic Books For Young Children," and "101 Strategies For Living Well Amid Inflation." An 18-year education and politics reporter, Joy has testified before nearly two dozen legislatures on education policy and appeared on major media from Fox News to Ben Shapiro to Dennis Prager. Joy is a grateful graduate of the Hillsdale College honors and journalism programs who identifies as native American and gender natural. Her traditionally published books include "The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids," from Encounter Books. https://thefederalist.com/2024/03/21/this-country-cannot-afford-a-weak-supreme-court-decision-on-internet-censorship/ Join ➡️ @MartinKulldorf
    THEFEDERALIST.COM
    This Country Can't Afford A SCOTUS Weak On Internet Censorship
    It is obviously un-American for the government to develop a 'hit list' of citizens to mute through secret pressure on tech monopolies.
    1 Comments 0 Shares 9201 Views
  • What a War Requires
    Yes, It's About Resources

    Dr Naomi Wolf

    Dear Readers, Dear Extended Family

    I am grateful that this Substack — which, if you read the comment section, is also one that is a home or meeting-place for many of the most interesting and idealistic people on the Internet — has 83,500 plus subscribers. That is almost the subscriber base of The New Republic. It had 737,000 plus views in the last 30 days — 249,000 plus more than the month prior. That is more views than the number of the audience of CNN.

    Every reader is equally precious to me. But you all count on me — you tell me this — to do all I can to affect national and even global outcomes. From the messages I receive, leaders from all walks of life do indeed read this Substack — and so it is having some impact on the public discussion and perhaps even on public outcomes.

    But this Substack has only a few more than 4000 paid subscribers.

    Why does this matter, more than to my personal finances?

    As you know, I believe — I think at this point it is incontrovertible - that a war is being waged upon us, one that will soon become a “hot war.” My husband Brian O’Shea, who cohosts the podcast “Unrestricted Invasion” with JJ Carrell, is documenting the positioning of military-age or gangland-age illegal-immigrant young men, in barracks-type situations in strategic points around the country. This week he went undercover to a budget hotel in Massachusetts, where security and the hotel staff sought to prevent him from filming what was happening inside in relation to scores of illegal incomers. He was subsequently followed by a maroon sedan that pulled up right as he was leaving the hotel; the drivers proceeded to wait til he was his car, and then followed him across three different exits til he shook them off.

    Brian was also confronted by security, and then followed, earlier this year, when he went to document a facility in Brooklyn, Floyd Bennett Field, an area with over 1000 flat acres of land, where illegal immigrants are being housed in military-style facilities. Illegal immigrants are being housed at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, a sensitive strategic location for a possible attack on America, if there ever was one. Illegal immigrants, disproportionately fighting-age men, are being housed for months in hotels in midtown Manhattan, all basic expenses paid and with cleaning services.

    As they say, wake up and smell the coffee. This is not a domestic policy issue any longer — ie, what are these illegal immigrants getting that your legal immigrant parents or grandparents, your enslaved great-grandparents, did not get? To anyone who has ever been in a combat area, this set of situations depicts what is obviously a military or terrorist set of staging areas. Or, to be conservative, this set of landscapes has all the hallmarks of depicting military or terrorist staging areas.

    Meanwhile, the whips are being brought down on the shoulders of the last standing dissidents in the United States and globally. A Canadian court ordered psychologist and commentator Jordan Peterson to be forced into a re-education program. Literal Marxism. Ethical physician Dr Kulvinder Kaur Gill, who was critical of the mRNA injections, has been hit with a $1 million dollar fine after her libel suit in defense of her reputation, failed. She was forced to mobilize an online donations campaign in order not to lose her house. Under the guise of a credit review, as he points out, researcher and inventor of the mRNA vaccine Dr Robert Malone has been hit with a letter from payment processor Stripe, demanding his bank records. He was told that it will cost $100,000 to fight it. Other dissident voices on Substack, including conservative voices, are being hit in similar ways.

    Governor Hochul declared that National Guard would take on some civil policing roles in New York State, and she is appealing the court decision that prevented her from opening quarantine camps that could detain New Yorkers without trial or even without infection, indefinitely. If she prevails, and if the WHO treaty that declares WHO “pandemic” requirements superior to national or state law prevails in May, the National Guard (or the WHO’s own mercenaries) could show up at any New Yorker’s house, and this is the state where I live; and compel him or her to be transported to a detention facility, and that would be that.

    Why am I presenting all of this to you? Because things are getting very scary and we need your help.

    This Substack does not just provide personal income for me. It is the source of funds to meet costs for the independent news and opinion site DailyClout.io and for BillCam when our demands exceed our resources.

    Gloria Steinem says to look at your checkbook to see if you are walking your talk morally, and my checkbook speaks volumes. I had hoped by the age of 61, after decades of training for my profession, honing my craft as a writer, and fighting for humanity and for humane values, that I would be able to look at my checkbook records and see mostly expenses for travel, with other records perhaps of dinners in some lovely restaurants, an occasional nice dress or two, and funds devoted to caring for elderly relatives.

    But my primary expenditure is not for any of that. Most of the money I earn goes to scrambling to meet the extraordinary and unpredictable costs that running a war from the trenches of DailyClout can involve, and many of these high costs arise unpredictably. Remember, too, that those who use their own resources to oppose and harass us and me personally, include one of the biggest companies in the world, not to mention the United States government, including its justice arm — and state governments. One of our legal letters is against the Justice Department. One of our lawsuits is against the Biden administration, including the CDC.

    Though we are doing impressively well as a startup helmed by three people, and punching far above our weight, we have, as you know, bills that can top six figures for the various lawsuits we are waging on your behalf.

    To keep a dissident news startup — one that also crafts draft bills and passes them, as nonprofits cannot do, which activity involves traversing a minefield of FEC restrictions — so scrupulously kosher that it can’t be brought down by government tripwires, is itself a legal bill for tens of thousands.

    Though we are a lean machine, our technical costs are substantial. Our API, the feed from which our legislative technology that lets you see, share and act on any bill, costs thousands of dollars per quarter. Our developers have created tools — the latest being the extraordinary game changer LegiSector, at https://www.legisector.com (due to suppression, you need to cut and paste the whole url in order to see it) — that sweep away all obfuscation from state and federal legislation, and allow you to pass, share or stop bills from the ease of your own desktop, or even from your handheld. This is also a tens of thousands of dollars a year commitment. As we push to launch this revolutionary tool, Google appears to be suppressing it so thoroughly that it is difficult for us to let the world know that everything has changed now, as interviewers who have covered this tool are telling me, when it comes to legislative transparency. We need a marketing campaign in the tens of thousands to break through this censorship by another one of the biggest companies on Earth.

    It is my sleepless nights, no one else’s, that are involved in trying to figure out how.

    Then there are the fights to protect the reputation that allows me to lead this company and its mission and tools, forward; I was forced to spend tens of thousands on a lawsuit against Twitter for suppressing my (accurate, important) warnings about harms to women from the mRNA injections. My co-plaintiff? President Donald Trump. (Sadly I do not have the resources for legal representation, that my co-plaintiff does.)

    The point of all of the above is that staying credible, meaning fighting the constant government- and nonprofit-sponsored attacks on the credibility of my and my company’s reputations; staying on the right side of all government regulations, so that no harm can come to me or the company; fighting in the courts so that a precedent can be set to protect all Americans from the government leaning on private companies to destroy them — fighting Google’s algorithms with creative workarounds; fighting laws that constantly seek to imprison or bankrupt us — all of this, at times, as you know because I have shared it with you before, can take a terrible financial and psychic/energetic toll.

    It is tempting to just walk away and, to paraphrase Voltaire, “cultivate my own garden.”

    But to stay in these trenches and achieve it at all, all that so many of you tell me you are counting on, requires a robust and reliable stream of resources if we are to stay alive in this culture of lies and erasures.

    Think about the lives we have saved. Maybe yours or your loved ones. Think about whether anyone else’s technology lets you see and act on any state or Federal bill, or protect your investments; with both BillCam and LegiSector offering free searches.

    Think about whether anyone else is soliciting citizens’ input on draft model bills, hiring lawyers, drafting and passing them, in the way we do. Remember, nonprofits can give you a tax deduction, but they cannot lobby. They must stop short of actual political action with legislation and legislators. The fact that we aren’t a nonprofit allows us to lobby and draft and pass bills — a superpower — but makes it much harder for us to raise donation funding.

    Think about this Substack, for that matter. Did my writing help to balance and reassure you in this nightmarish struggle? Did it inform you of important issues that could affect your family? Did you find community and spiritual strength here?

    What would your world be like without my voice, or without DailyClout’s voice and tools and advocacy?

    There would be a lot more darkness, and you and your family’s position and knowledge base would be weakened. I do not think that is too strong a statement.

    If you want these voices and institutions to keep fighting this war, mine but also others’, there is no alternative but to support them with, dare I say it, your actual money.

    I know that many people cannot afford $8 a month. But many of the 83,000 subscribers who are now free, could afford to upgrade to the status of paid subscriber. And the difference between 4 per cent of my readers being paid subscribers and eight per cent being paid subscribers, is the difference between a precarious and easily extinguished position on the battlefield, versus a more secure one that can continue winning victory after victory for you.

    And I will tell you, speaking both as a writer and on behalf of a dissident company, without your financial support it is not only materially unsustainable to fight on, but emotionally unsustainable, as the battles grow more serious and more costly. Without your help, over time, the strain of trying to figure out, during many months, how to pay our lawyers, as well as our API invoices and our developers and our travel to statehouses to lobby for freedom for you, will simply become too great.

    We need your help in spiritual and emotional as well as in material ways.

    You should support us not as a charity but because our our approach works. Because of our draft Five Freedoms bill, which passed in 33 states in 2021, you do not have vaccine passports in the US, and kids went back to school earlier than they might have done. Our Election Integrity bill, which you all shared, has cosponsors in Wyoming, was introduced and defeated in Maine (but a successor has been tapped to re-introduce it in the Fall), and three other states, Michigan, Alabama and North Dakota, have citizens and legislators acting to push it forward. The Pfizer Papers comes out in May. The manuscript, which Amy Kelly and I edited, is 500 pages long. We edited 96 reports from the WarRoom/DailyClout Pfizer Documents Research Team, who in turn had reviewed 450,000 pages of internal Pfizer documents. They revealed the greatest crime against humanity in history in exhaustive detail, affecting people and governments worldwide. Their work is cited or used without citation by dozens of other freedom advocates, and legislators. And booster uptake is now down to 4%; Pfizer’s profits ground to pre-2016 levels.

    We saved, together, with your help, what may turn out to be millions of lives and countless unborn babies.

    But to continue, I need your help; seriously; now just now but into the future.

    If you can afford, it, and if the above is meaningful to you at all, do please upgrade your subscription from free to paid.

    The war is here, and you need warriors fighting for you, who are not barefoot in the snow, but who have warm clothing, and weapons, and ammunition.

    https://naomiwolf.substack.com/p/what-a-war-requires
    What a War Requires Yes, It's About Resources Dr Naomi Wolf Dear Readers, Dear Extended Family I am grateful that this Substack — which, if you read the comment section, is also one that is a home or meeting-place for many of the most interesting and idealistic people on the Internet — has 83,500 plus subscribers. That is almost the subscriber base of The New Republic. It had 737,000 plus views in the last 30 days — 249,000 plus more than the month prior. That is more views than the number of the audience of CNN. Every reader is equally precious to me. But you all count on me — you tell me this — to do all I can to affect national and even global outcomes. From the messages I receive, leaders from all walks of life do indeed read this Substack — and so it is having some impact on the public discussion and perhaps even on public outcomes. But this Substack has only a few more than 4000 paid subscribers. Why does this matter, more than to my personal finances? As you know, I believe — I think at this point it is incontrovertible - that a war is being waged upon us, one that will soon become a “hot war.” My husband Brian O’Shea, who cohosts the podcast “Unrestricted Invasion” with JJ Carrell, is documenting the positioning of military-age or gangland-age illegal-immigrant young men, in barracks-type situations in strategic points around the country. This week he went undercover to a budget hotel in Massachusetts, where security and the hotel staff sought to prevent him from filming what was happening inside in relation to scores of illegal incomers. He was subsequently followed by a maroon sedan that pulled up right as he was leaving the hotel; the drivers proceeded to wait til he was his car, and then followed him across three different exits til he shook them off. Brian was also confronted by security, and then followed, earlier this year, when he went to document a facility in Brooklyn, Floyd Bennett Field, an area with over 1000 flat acres of land, where illegal immigrants are being housed in military-style facilities. Illegal immigrants are being housed at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, a sensitive strategic location for a possible attack on America, if there ever was one. Illegal immigrants, disproportionately fighting-age men, are being housed for months in hotels in midtown Manhattan, all basic expenses paid and with cleaning services. As they say, wake up and smell the coffee. This is not a domestic policy issue any longer — ie, what are these illegal immigrants getting that your legal immigrant parents or grandparents, your enslaved great-grandparents, did not get? To anyone who has ever been in a combat area, this set of situations depicts what is obviously a military or terrorist set of staging areas. Or, to be conservative, this set of landscapes has all the hallmarks of depicting military or terrorist staging areas. Meanwhile, the whips are being brought down on the shoulders of the last standing dissidents in the United States and globally. A Canadian court ordered psychologist and commentator Jordan Peterson to be forced into a re-education program. Literal Marxism. Ethical physician Dr Kulvinder Kaur Gill, who was critical of the mRNA injections, has been hit with a $1 million dollar fine after her libel suit in defense of her reputation, failed. She was forced to mobilize an online donations campaign in order not to lose her house. Under the guise of a credit review, as he points out, researcher and inventor of the mRNA vaccine Dr Robert Malone has been hit with a letter from payment processor Stripe, demanding his bank records. He was told that it will cost $100,000 to fight it. Other dissident voices on Substack, including conservative voices, are being hit in similar ways. Governor Hochul declared that National Guard would take on some civil policing roles in New York State, and she is appealing the court decision that prevented her from opening quarantine camps that could detain New Yorkers without trial or even without infection, indefinitely. If she prevails, and if the WHO treaty that declares WHO “pandemic” requirements superior to national or state law prevails in May, the National Guard (or the WHO’s own mercenaries) could show up at any New Yorker’s house, and this is the state where I live; and compel him or her to be transported to a detention facility, and that would be that. Why am I presenting all of this to you? Because things are getting very scary and we need your help. This Substack does not just provide personal income for me. It is the source of funds to meet costs for the independent news and opinion site DailyClout.io and for BillCam when our demands exceed our resources. Gloria Steinem says to look at your checkbook to see if you are walking your talk morally, and my checkbook speaks volumes. I had hoped by the age of 61, after decades of training for my profession, honing my craft as a writer, and fighting for humanity and for humane values, that I would be able to look at my checkbook records and see mostly expenses for travel, with other records perhaps of dinners in some lovely restaurants, an occasional nice dress or two, and funds devoted to caring for elderly relatives. But my primary expenditure is not for any of that. Most of the money I earn goes to scrambling to meet the extraordinary and unpredictable costs that running a war from the trenches of DailyClout can involve, and many of these high costs arise unpredictably. Remember, too, that those who use their own resources to oppose and harass us and me personally, include one of the biggest companies in the world, not to mention the United States government, including its justice arm — and state governments. One of our legal letters is against the Justice Department. One of our lawsuits is against the Biden administration, including the CDC. Though we are doing impressively well as a startup helmed by three people, and punching far above our weight, we have, as you know, bills that can top six figures for the various lawsuits we are waging on your behalf. To keep a dissident news startup — one that also crafts draft bills and passes them, as nonprofits cannot do, which activity involves traversing a minefield of FEC restrictions — so scrupulously kosher that it can’t be brought down by government tripwires, is itself a legal bill for tens of thousands. Though we are a lean machine, our technical costs are substantial. Our API, the feed from which our legislative technology that lets you see, share and act on any bill, costs thousands of dollars per quarter. Our developers have created tools — the latest being the extraordinary game changer LegiSector, at https://www.legisector.com (due to suppression, you need to cut and paste the whole url in order to see it) — that sweep away all obfuscation from state and federal legislation, and allow you to pass, share or stop bills from the ease of your own desktop, or even from your handheld. This is also a tens of thousands of dollars a year commitment. As we push to launch this revolutionary tool, Google appears to be suppressing it so thoroughly that it is difficult for us to let the world know that everything has changed now, as interviewers who have covered this tool are telling me, when it comes to legislative transparency. We need a marketing campaign in the tens of thousands to break through this censorship by another one of the biggest companies on Earth. It is my sleepless nights, no one else’s, that are involved in trying to figure out how. Then there are the fights to protect the reputation that allows me to lead this company and its mission and tools, forward; I was forced to spend tens of thousands on a lawsuit against Twitter for suppressing my (accurate, important) warnings about harms to women from the mRNA injections. My co-plaintiff? President Donald Trump. (Sadly I do not have the resources for legal representation, that my co-plaintiff does.) The point of all of the above is that staying credible, meaning fighting the constant government- and nonprofit-sponsored attacks on the credibility of my and my company’s reputations; staying on the right side of all government regulations, so that no harm can come to me or the company; fighting in the courts so that a precedent can be set to protect all Americans from the government leaning on private companies to destroy them — fighting Google’s algorithms with creative workarounds; fighting laws that constantly seek to imprison or bankrupt us — all of this, at times, as you know because I have shared it with you before, can take a terrible financial and psychic/energetic toll. It is tempting to just walk away and, to paraphrase Voltaire, “cultivate my own garden.” But to stay in these trenches and achieve it at all, all that so many of you tell me you are counting on, requires a robust and reliable stream of resources if we are to stay alive in this culture of lies and erasures. Think about the lives we have saved. Maybe yours or your loved ones. Think about whether anyone else’s technology lets you see and act on any state or Federal bill, or protect your investments; with both BillCam and LegiSector offering free searches. Think about whether anyone else is soliciting citizens’ input on draft model bills, hiring lawyers, drafting and passing them, in the way we do. Remember, nonprofits can give you a tax deduction, but they cannot lobby. They must stop short of actual political action with legislation and legislators. The fact that we aren’t a nonprofit allows us to lobby and draft and pass bills — a superpower — but makes it much harder for us to raise donation funding. Think about this Substack, for that matter. Did my writing help to balance and reassure you in this nightmarish struggle? Did it inform you of important issues that could affect your family? Did you find community and spiritual strength here? What would your world be like without my voice, or without DailyClout’s voice and tools and advocacy? There would be a lot more darkness, and you and your family’s position and knowledge base would be weakened. I do not think that is too strong a statement. If you want these voices and institutions to keep fighting this war, mine but also others’, there is no alternative but to support them with, dare I say it, your actual money. I know that many people cannot afford $8 a month. But many of the 83,000 subscribers who are now free, could afford to upgrade to the status of paid subscriber. And the difference between 4 per cent of my readers being paid subscribers and eight per cent being paid subscribers, is the difference between a precarious and easily extinguished position on the battlefield, versus a more secure one that can continue winning victory after victory for you. And I will tell you, speaking both as a writer and on behalf of a dissident company, without your financial support it is not only materially unsustainable to fight on, but emotionally unsustainable, as the battles grow more serious and more costly. Without your help, over time, the strain of trying to figure out, during many months, how to pay our lawyers, as well as our API invoices and our developers and our travel to statehouses to lobby for freedom for you, will simply become too great. We need your help in spiritual and emotional as well as in material ways. You should support us not as a charity but because our our approach works. Because of our draft Five Freedoms bill, which passed in 33 states in 2021, you do not have vaccine passports in the US, and kids went back to school earlier than they might have done. Our Election Integrity bill, which you all shared, has cosponsors in Wyoming, was introduced and defeated in Maine (but a successor has been tapped to re-introduce it in the Fall), and three other states, Michigan, Alabama and North Dakota, have citizens and legislators acting to push it forward. The Pfizer Papers comes out in May. The manuscript, which Amy Kelly and I edited, is 500 pages long. We edited 96 reports from the WarRoom/DailyClout Pfizer Documents Research Team, who in turn had reviewed 450,000 pages of internal Pfizer documents. They revealed the greatest crime against humanity in history in exhaustive detail, affecting people and governments worldwide. Their work is cited or used without citation by dozens of other freedom advocates, and legislators. And booster uptake is now down to 4%; Pfizer’s profits ground to pre-2016 levels. We saved, together, with your help, what may turn out to be millions of lives and countless unborn babies. But to continue, I need your help; seriously; now just now but into the future. If you can afford, it, and if the above is meaningful to you at all, do please upgrade your subscription from free to paid. The war is here, and you need warriors fighting for you, who are not barefoot in the snow, but who have warm clothing, and weapons, and ammunition. https://naomiwolf.substack.com/p/what-a-war-requires
    1 Comments 0 Shares 11941 Views
  • Are you seeking a safer alternative to Azoran for managing your health condition? Azoran, also known as azathioprine, is commonly prescribed for various autoimmune diseases and organ transplants. However, its side effects and potential risks may raise concerns for many individuals. In this article, we delve into safe alternatives to Azoran that offer effective management of health conditions while minimizing adverse effects. Discover viable alternatives backed by research and medical expertise, ensuring a balanced approach to your health journey. Explore the realm of safe alternatives to Azoran and make informed decisions for your well-being today.

    For more info visit: https://www.planetayurveda.com/library/azathioprine-side-effects-and-safe-alternatives/
    Are you seeking a safer alternative to Azoran for managing your health condition? Azoran, also known as azathioprine, is commonly prescribed for various autoimmune diseases and organ transplants. However, its side effects and potential risks may raise concerns for many individuals. In this article, we delve into safe alternatives to Azoran that offer effective management of health conditions while minimizing adverse effects. Discover viable alternatives backed by research and medical expertise, ensuring a balanced approach to your health journey. Explore the realm of safe alternatives to Azoran and make informed decisions for your well-being today. For more info visit: https://www.planetayurveda.com/library/azathioprine-side-effects-and-safe-alternatives/
    WWW.PLANETAYURVEDA.COM
    Azathioprine Side Effects and Alternatives In Ayurveda
    Azathioprine (AZA) is an immunosuppressive agent which is associated with the conditions such as Atopic dermatitis, (ITP), and Psoriasis.
    0 Comments 0 Shares 928 Views
More Results