A Plague on Both Your Houses Part 1
Note: Thank you to Dr. Moskowitz for this insightful look into Covid. I think Dan Olmsted would be smiling down on us today. We are running A Plague on Both Your Houses in two parts this week. There might be a formatting glitch here or there - we'll try to fix them as quickly as possible. Dr. Moskowitz' book Vaccines: A Reappraisal is available on Amazon. Thank you.
Richard Moskowitz, M. D.
By no means the final or absolute truth about the COVID, or anything else, these reflections are just the most plausible explanations that I've come up with so far, or at least possibilities worth considering. Uncertainty is the very essence of the catastrophe that we're living through as a result of it. Notwithstanding all the sources I've cited, the following remain simply my opinions. What's more, I truly hope that the worst of them are wrong.
The first known cases were identified in Wuhan in December, 2019, and the first U.S. case came soon after in someone returning from China; by the end of January, 2020, there were already 10,000 confirmed cases worldwide, enough to prompt many epidemiologists to warn the CDC, then-President Trump, and the world that immediate precautions were necessary to avoid the risk of a global pandemic.1 By then, the virus was also known to have infected and possibly been transmitted by large numbers of asymptomatic people,2 suggesting an unusually high level of contagiousness, which made it imperative to find and test them on a large scale, especially in high-risk settings, such as residents of nursing homes and extended-care facilities, prisoners, medical personnel, and all those working in overcrowded locations, as well as increasing the likelihood that the infection had been around well before its first official announcement of it in late December.
Trump's bland dismissal of the threat, combined with his outspoken disdain for science in general, and for the CDC in particular, gave irrefutable evidence to opponents and supporters alike of his utter incompetence and unfeigned disinclination to unite the nation and provide the kind of nonpartisan leadership that such a crisis clearly demands, and has made Dr. Fauci, the public face of his coronavirus task force, into an unlikely hero for daring to contradict the Commander-in-Chief at his daily press briefings and getting away with it.3
But in their eagerness to seize on Trump's disgraceful and indeed unapologetic indifference to the public interest, his Democratic opponents have been far too quick to ignore the equally shocking fact that the CDC has also failed us monumentally,
- by not stockpiling adequate testing materials and safety equipment before-hand, which were widely available through WHO and immediately put to use more or less everywhere else in the world;
- by not doing whatever else was necessary to prepare for such outbreaks in advance, despite having long predicted their likelihood; and
- by not taking prompt and effective action once the virus made its presence known, above all by developing and executing an effective nationwide program for testing and contact-tracing those infected, both symptomatic and otherwise, especially in high-risk locations,4 as had already proved its worth in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong.
Even though Trump's dithering, denialism, and incompetence were more than enough to vote him out of office, to say nothing of all the other reasons, it certainly doesn't excuse the agency in charge of our public health from failing to do precisely the job it was created and equipped to do, one requiring scientific expertise that the President, the politicians, and the general public don't have and aren't expected to have. With unlimited access to the finest epidemiologists in the world, the CDC was well aware of their widely-shared consensus, articulated by Prof. Knut Wittkowski and many others, and based on long experience, that the accepted strategy for containing such outbreaks involves
- keeping the children in school, allowing the virus to spread rapidly among this least vulnerable sector of the population;
- isolating the people at highest risk, like the elderly, infirm, and chronically ill, and those living at close quarters in nursing homes and extended-care facilities; and
- identifying asymptomatic carriers, locating their contacts, and thereby promoting the development of high-level immunity for the general population in the shortest possible time.5
Instead, by remaining silent and doing nothing for so many weeks, it allowed the President to have his way, until the surge in new cases threatened to overwhelm the capacity of hospitals and clinics to care for them, making containment of the outbreak seem impossible, and thus appearing to necessitate "flattening the curve," by means of a generalized lockdown and shutdown of the economy, even though these measures would necessarily prolong the outbreak and very likely insure the emergence of mutant strains as well. So whatever the reason for it, even if they were genuinely unnerved and uncertain, their prolonged hesitation has brought about a disaster of epic proportions, not to mention the fact that, if Trump's blustering, bullying, and threats of retaliation had actually cowed them into submission, their timidity would be even harder to forgive.
In any case, by far the simplest explanation, which would also help explain why their response continues to be half-hearted and chaotic even now, is that the CDC leadership actually wanted and indeed planned for the event to evolve in that way, because they had already decided to invest their time, money, and energy in developing and promoting a new vaccine against the virus, which had long since become their default strategy for dealing with infectious diseases of every kind.
Given the official line, and the censoring of all competing versions, this conjecture would already qualify as a "conspiracy theory" of sorts; but what gives it a lot more credence than it should have is the coincidence that CDC officials actively participated in an elaborate wargame-simulation exercise in October, 2019, that envisioned and indeed actively planned for a coronavirus pandemic uncannily like the one we are now living through, just two months before the first cases were announced to the world.6
Organized jointly by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, the World Economic Forum, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the so-called "Event 201" invited legislators, corporate executives, health policy makers, and representatives of the news and social media to attend, and postulated a global crisis involving millions of deaths and a massive economic shutdown lasting 18 months, until either an effective vaccine became available, or 80-90% of the world's population had already been exposed and thus developed a robust, natural, "herd" immunity, whichever came first, although flattening the curve and thus prolonging the outbreak was rapidly pre-empting the second possibility.7
In late January, just three weeks after the first cases appeared in China, the World Economic Forum duly announced its own COVID Action Platform, a global partnership to expedite vaccine development, followed a few days later by the WHO declaring a Public Health Emergency, signing on to precisely the same 18-month scenario that the organizers of Event 201 had already mapped out.8
Simply by waiting and doing nothing further to arrest or contain it, the CDC's subsequent actions for flattening the curve, above all locking down homes and businesses and outlawing large public and private gatherings, came to be perceived by the general public as the most prudent course of action, even though it would necessarily prolong the outbreak, and the fear that goes with it, as well as giving ample time for mutant strains to develop, and thus making further waves of COVID-19 much more likely, so that the mounting fears of most people became entirely reasonable, whether deliberately planned for or not.
In a 2020 interview, the well-known author and activist Naomi Klein seized upon the pandemic as a perfect illustration of "disaster capitalism," a term she coined in her 2007 book, The Shock Doctrine: the Rise of Disaster Capitalism:
Disaster capitalism describes [how] private industries profit from large-scale crises. Disaster and war profiteering really deepened under the Bush administration after 9/11, when the administration declared this sort of never- ending security crisis, and simultaneously privatized it and outsourced it—this included the domestic, privatized security state, as well as the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
The “shock doctrine” is the political strategy of using large-scale crises to push through policies that systematically deepen inequality, enrich elites, and under- cut everyone else. In moments of crisis, people tend to focus on the daily emergencies of surviving that crisis, whatever it is, and tend to put too much trust in those in power. We take our eyes off the ball in moments of crisis.
The shock is the virus, [and its being] managed in a way that is maximizing confusion and minimizing protection. I don’t think that’s a conspiracy, it’s just the way the U.S. government [has] utterly mismanaged the crisis. It’s the worst- case scenario, combined with the fact that the U.S. doesn’t have a national health care program, and its protections for workers are abysmal.9
In any case, flattening the curve and locking down quickly became the official narrative of what was happening, such that natural herd immunity seemed increasingly impossible, and indeed actually undesirable, as Dr. Fauci was quick to point out, since those who achieved it might no longer want or seem to need a vaccine.10 The crowning irony, then, no matter how often and how vehemently Trump vented his spleen against Fauci, the CDC, and the "Deep State" they allegedly represent, is that the ex-President's debunking inaction, echoed by that of the party he still holds captive despite losing the election, was actually a giant step toward fulfilling the very agenda he claimed to despise, not to mention letting Fauci and the CDC off the hook, and indeed widely celebrated as the true voices of reason, science, and public health.
Given the enormous but still imprecisely known number of asymptomatic cases and others still unidentified, the true death rate is unknown, but clearly much lower than the calculated ratio of confirmed to fatal cases. We know that the vast majority of even confirmed cases recover, and that even larger numbers contract and recover from the infection without bothering to see a doctor, getting tested, or indeed feeling sick in any way.11
But two highly unusual properties of the virus have amplified not only the panic and uncertainty surrounding it, but also the global reach of the COVID illness linked to it, into what has become a truly worldwide menace that seemed and still seems to warrant its pandemic status. The first is the unprecedentedly large percentage of asymptomatic or very mild infections, aggravated by our tardiness, indifference, and failure to locate and identify them both early and widely enough, as we saw, which has generated a crippling fear and uncertainty about the actual trajectory of the outbreak and where on its curve we happen to be situated at any given moment.
The second, which relates directly to the vaccine scenario, is its extraordinary mutability, as indicated by recurrent, cyclical phases of sharp declines in the number of reported cases, followed by equally dramatic surges of new cases in various parts of the world associated with new mutant variants.12,13 In 2021, with the advent of mass vaccination, several of these have already created new surges in reported cases,14 with every likelihood that the vaccines will actually accelerate these mutations,15,16 if indeed they haven't already done so.
As with the influenza vaccines, but perhaps even more so, this genetic instability will probably limit the effectiveness of vaccines developed against a particular strain to relatively brief windows of time, and persuade the industry, the CDC, and the WHO to develop new ones at least every year, if not oftener. So we have every reason to expect that not just one new vaccine, but almost certainly a whole battery of them, are coming our way with all possible speed, and that our dithering with the outbreak, protecting the children from getting sick, and our massive vaccination program will all keep the virus around for much longer than the year and a half that it has already lived and taken life among us.
In addition, independent scientists have identified a number of different ways in which the case numbers and deaths have been inflated in America and elsewhere, casting serious doubt on the high death rates reported in the official statistics, and thus discrediting the CDC narrative that adds to that fear and spreads it far and wide. To begin with, the unprecedentedly high number of asymptomatic or only mildly symptomatic cases strongly indicate that there are many, many more cases of infection and many, many fewer deaths legitimately attributable to it than have been reported so far, and that this discrepancy will very likely continue, even when the pandemic begins to recede, as more and more people are tested.
In an attempt to determine the true incidence of cases, including those infected or in contact with the virus but showing few or no symptoms, one survey designed by Prof. John Ioannidis of Stanford tested all residents of Santa Clara County, California for specific antibodies, and found them at a rate of 50 to 85 times higher than the number of confirmed cases, which if extrapolated to the general population would bring the actual death rate down to the same range as the typical seasonal flu, in the neighborhood of 0.12 to 0.2% of those infected.17
In addition, the data from almost everywhere indicate that the vast majority of deaths occur among the ranks of the elderly, infirm, and chronically ill; and in most American hospitals, cities, and states, patients who tested positive but died from their significant comorbidities were nevertheless signed off as having died from rather than simply with the COVID,18,19 a major source of ambiguity, and still further exaggerated by the extra compensation that hospitals receive for their COVID-19 cases, with even larger awards for their deaths, potent incentives for padding their statistics with even "probable" cases that were never confirmed by test.20
Another source of inaccuracy is the test that the case numbers are based on, the Polymerase Chain Reaction or PCR, which is designed to detect coronavirus RNA fragments rather than live virus, and is thereby subject to numerous false positives, and thus to further manipulations in that direction.21,22 For precisely these reasons, the late Kary Mullis, who invented the test and was awarded a Nobel Prize for it in 1993, warned early on against using it to diagnose infectious diseases.23
An especially troubling feature of the CDC agenda was its "warp-speed" program for fast-tracking the development of new vaccines, which has allowed the firms involved in the competition to skip the time-consuming but critical step of animal testing and proceed immediately to human trials, an omission that will inevitably and gravely jeopardize both their safety and effectiveness. Jaded vaccine-watchers with a taste for the macabre will doubtless find grim amusement in the newfound scruples of Dr. Peter Hotez and Dr. Paul Offit, darlings of the industry who almost never meet a vaccine they don't like, suddenly arguing against fast-tracking these futuristic vaccines without large-scale studies to prove their efficacy,24 or animal testing to insure their safety,25 belated pangs of conscience long overdue, to put it mildly.
So here we are, more than 330 million of us in this country alone, marooned in Dr. Fauci's overcrowded lifeboat, with still no land in sight, and no reliable treatment recommended or made widely available when we do get sick, except anti-inflammatory and antiviral drugs of admittedly limited effectiveness, while several other promising pharmaceuticals are ignored, discredited, or set aside, and natural medicines of proven worth, like herbs, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and homeopathics, are scornfully dismissed as old-fashioned and of no value.
The CDC has developed and matured its staunchly and almost exclusively pro-vaccine agenda over a period of many decades. Its original mission, like that of many other agencies of the Federal government, exemplified the activist spirit of the New Deal, FDR's massive campaign of public works to revive the country from the ravages of the Great Depression, and was carried out by a professional civil service, recruited mainly from the biological sciences and medicine.
Since the 1970's, when the radical right gained control of the Republican Party, one of its main purposes has been to roll back these achievements by defunding the Federal bureaucracy and downsizing its career civil service, especially those agencies assisting the most vulnerable -- the poor, the elderly, the sick and handicapped, as well as infants and children -- and thereby neglecting its functions of insuring occupational safety, and of protecting the air, water, soil, and food supply from toxins, pollutants, and other hazardous by-products of industry.26
The CDC, FDA, and NIH, the main Federal agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services, have survived these cuts by accepting huge infusions of cash from the drug industry and super-wealthy private donors, and by approving and promoting their products by way of thanks. In place of time-honored and labor-intensive public health priorities, like hiring boots on the ground to test air, water, food, and soil and trace the spread of epidemic diseases, they have come to rely more and more on drugs, chemicals, and above all vaccines, as their magic wand for warding off infectious diseases of every kind. In 2003, as a UPI reporter summarized it,
The CDC is in the vaccine business. Under a 1980 law, it has 28 licensing agreements with companies for vaccines and vaccine-related products. Members of its Advisory Committee get money from manufacturers by sharing their patents, owning their stock, performing their research, monitoring their tests, and funding the academic departments to which they belong. This situation, while legal, gives reason to worry that vaccine side-effects are worse than CDC officials say.27
A 2013 press release from the industry website listed 270 new vaccines already in the pipeline at various stages of the clinical trial process or under FDA review.28
The manufacturers achieved their ultimate victory in 1986, after parents of infants brain-damaged from the DPT won damages in court, and pressured Congress to establish a Federal mechanism for identifying vaccine injuries in children and compensating them swiftly and generously without requiring a lengthy trial.29 At the last minute the industry threatened to stop making vaccines entirely unless the law shielded them from financial liability in the future, a free ride granted to no other industry;30 and Congress gave in, accepting the industry's minimal list of compensable reactions as their own, and setting up a Federal mechanism for compensating victims that is heavily stacked against them, such that very few of them succeed.31 In 2011, the Supreme Court upheld the law, on the basis that vaccines are "unavoidably unsafe," in Justice Scalia's memorable phrasing, as if worthy of and hence forever in need of such protection.32
Thus freed from all damage claims, the manufacturers now have carte blanche to manufacture vaccines against any diseases or infirmities they wish, often for no better reason than that they have the technical capacity to do so, with the CDC and the FDA all but guaranteed to approve them. Aided by the widespread veneration that vaccines have continued to inspire in the general public and the medical profession, the CDC has completed its transformation from an independent agency protecting the public interest into the head cheerleader for the pharmaceutical industry it was supposed to be regulating, while still going through the motions of its original purpose.
Its secret for keeping up that pretense lies in its impossibly strict standards for vaccine injuries, which are identical to those vanishingly few listed in the safety trials of the manufacturers, and make a mockery of accepted scientific standards, avoiding placebo controls of unvaccinated persons, rejecting adverse events occurring more than a week or two after the shot, as well as those not already approved on the list, and giving the lead investigator absolute authority to disallow reported injuries for any reason at all.33
The inevitable result has been a massive underreporting of chronic diseases, acute injuries, and deaths occasioned by vaccines, estimated by a former head of the FDA to be only 1% of the actual figure,34 which has helped to convince the general public and most of the medical profession that these products are ideally safe, and that it is therefore entirely permissible and indeed desirable to pile on as many as we want, and to give them as often as we like,35 despite ample scientific research to the contrary, and candid revelations of malfeasance from agency and industry insiders.
In 2014, a senior CDC scientist issued a formal apology that agency higher-ups had suppressed experimental data proving that the MMR frequently caused autism:
I regret that my co-authors and I omitted significant information in our 2004 article in Pediatrics, that African-American males who received the MMR before 36 months were at increased risk of autism.36
In a documentary on the HPV vaccine, a former Vice-President of Pfizer all but boasted of his strong-arm tactics to promote their products, in flagrant violation of the ethical standards that Pfizer still subscribes to, which nevertheless remain standard practice throughout the industry:
Universities and health organizations are begging for money. The only ones who have money are the big corporations, and they have lots of it. They give grants for research, pay doctors thousands to speak at conferences and make profits for their products. Safety trials are supposedly third-party and independent, but the money won't keep coming unless they say what you want them to say. Everybody knows this is how things work. Only the public doesn't know it.37
The industry has added more and more vaccines to the recommended list,38 together with their steadfast insistence, seconded by the CDC and most of the medical profession, that the skyrocketing prevalence of chronic diseases, and the ever-increasing number and variety of adverse reactions being complained of by parents, their friends, and their doctors, have nothing to do with them.39
Even before COVID, the vaccine manufacturers launched a global campaign for maximizing vaccination rates everywhere, backed by WHO and funded by many of the same wealthy donors who back the CDC.40 In the United States, they persuaded several blue states to propose laws eliminating non-medical exemptions entirely, some of which were enacted. In Europe, they convinced the EU and several member countries to propose sweeping new mandates and to enforce them by making passports and drivers' licenses contingent on full compliance,41 which led to massive street demonstrations in France, Italy, and elsewhere to protest them,42 along with the hi-tech control of personal data that such surveillance would require.
Appearing as if coincidentally in the thick of these efforts, the COVID pandemic, whatever may have caused it, has provided the drug industry and its obscenely wealthy benefactors the perfect opportunity to upstage their critics and achieve their ultimate goals, as grandly set forth in the WHO Prospectus:
Immunization is a global health success story, saving millions of lives every year. It is the foundation of primary health care, an indisputable human right, and one of the best investments that money can buy. With the support of countries and partners, WHO is leading the creation of a new global strategy for the next decade. It envisions a world in which everyone, everywhere, and at every age fully benefits from vaccination to improve health and well-being.43
By branding the COVID a pandemic, the CDC, the WHO, the vaccine industry, and their mega-rich donors have cultivated an atmosphere of urgency, fear, and uncertainty by prolonging the economic shutdown, opposing effective treatments for the illness, and thus helping to bring about the conditions for the general public in most of the world to long for a vaccine as their only hope of escaping from the crisis and returning to a semblance of the life they were forced to leave behind.
Although coronaviruses had been known and studied for decades, the SARS epidemic of 2002-03, a zoönosis originating in bats, became the starting-point for accelerated investigations of them at military and non-military virology labs around the world.44 The U. S. Army bioweapons facility in Maryland subjected them to bioengineering "gain-of-function" research, to make them even more contagious and virulent than the wild types, up to and including the hypothetical capacity to unleash global pandemics.45
In 2011, many scientists voiced deep misgivings about the risk of such "superbugs" escaping from their laboratory environments and infecting the general public.46 Three years later, when a few such leaks were reported to have occurred from a CDC facility,47 the Obama Administration finally declared a halt to all gain-of-function research.48 Early in 2017, shortly after Trump was inaugurated, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, a division of NIH headed by Dr. Fauci, gave a grant of $3.7 million to the Chinese government lab in Wuhan to resume them.49 In 2020, Trump belatedly terminated them to try to escape responsibility for his part in the pandemic, shifting the blame to China, home of the first known case, and President Obama, his bête noire of record, falsely insisting that the grant had been his idea.50
It also came out that the moneys in question, while bearing the name of the NIH, were actually being paid out and administered by a consortium of universities and private companies known as the EcoHealth Alliance, just one of an extensive network of similar public-private partnerships of which the public was largely unaware.51 The labyrinthine auspices of these partnerships raised troubling ethical questions as to who actually owns and profits from the drugs and vaccines developed under their auspices.52
In addition, they enable super-rich investors to write off their contributions as charitable donations, while profiting vaccine manufacturers and other companies that they own or are heavily invested in, a thus far entirely legal "new philanthropy" that generates huge profits, outsize influence, and a cachet of respectability because of the seemingly worthy causes they so righteously support.53
In any case, it is clear that the United States military and scientific communities have been actively studying, designing, and manufacturing ever-deadlier coronaviruses for quite a long time. The program was in full swing from 2004 until 2014, when President Obama brought it to a halt, only to be revived shortly after Trump was elected and throughout Trump's term in office, until shortly before the 2020 election, when the COVID was at its height, this time with funding provided by NIH grantees to China's Wuhan lab, under Dr. Fauci's sponsorship. For that reason alone, the additional facts
- that the virus outstrips all others we know of in the percentage of infected people who are asymptomatic or only mildly ill,
- that it selectively kills and cripples those who are already chronically ill,
- that it appears to be even more mutable then the influenza viruses, and
- that it has brought about a rapid and eerily fatal termination in some patient that is still not completely understood
,all make it appear highly probable
- that it was manufactured in the Wuhan lab, to a great extent with our help, if not at our behest,
- that it escaped, presumably by just the sort of accident that our scientists have long been worried about, and
- that the program had succeeded brilliantly in accomplishing precisely what its paymasters had in mind
- what we were doing with the Chinese in Wuhan was a disaster waiting to happen, if not now, then at some future time
- Trump and his cronies bear major responsibility for it, as do Dr. Fauci and the CDC, however much they keep blaming each other;
- and the strategy of flattening the curve and locking down until the vaccine comes to the rescue, regardless of precisely when it was devised and settled on, has brought about a national and global catastrophe far more grievous than any-thing that the virus, bioengineered or not, would have achieved on its own.
As far as I'm aware, nobody is openly congratulating our soldiers, scientists, and philanthropists for a job well done; but we need to make it clear to them and everyone else that it's a job we need to stop doing once and for all, since the morbidity and mortality that the COVID has already caused are only the beginning of the dire threat it continues to pose to everyone on the planet.
In any case, the fact that advocates of mass vaccination have been predicting just such an event for years, and even staged the infamous Event 201 to plan for it, only adds further weight to the suspicion of some scientists that the outbreak actually began months earlier, in the late summer or fall of 2019, such that at least the organizers of Event 201 were already aware of it. But whether or not the CDC was forewarned,
Richard Moskowitz, MD
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