Category: American Democracy

The Evil of Coerced Medicine

The following is an adapted excerpt, published recently in the Washington Times, from Aaron Kheriaty, “The New Abnormal: The Rise of the Biomedical Security State” from Regnery Publishing, reprinted here with permission.

In their understandable enthusiasm to roll out the novel COVID vaccines as widely and quickly as possible in early 2021, the public health establishment succumbed to two dangerous temptations: Propaganda and coercion.

That their approach deployed these with the common good in mind (achieving herd immunity) and with good intentions (ending the pandemic as quickly as possible) does not alter the fact that such approaches were deeply misguided and represented deeply disturbing trends in public policy. Public pronouncements in the name of science could not be questioned, and behavioral outcomes could be achieved by any means necessary.

Coercive COVID vaccination mandates rested on several unproven postulates, which mainstream opinion took to be axiomatic and unassailable: (1) the vaccines were safe for everyone; (2) the vaccines were necessary for everyone; therefore, (3) any vaccine hesitancy is a public relations problem that must be overcome.

The “needle in every arm” goal was set in advance; the only deliberation permitted was about the most efficient means toward this predetermined end. Any scientist, physician, or policymaker who broke ranks to question one or more of these axioms was at best a nuisance or at worst dangerous—someone to be ignored as backward or dismissed as a threat to public health. People who asked inconvenient questions were labeled with the dismissive “anti-vax” epithet, a term that functioned to exclude them from the realm of reasonable discourse.

Some of the vaccine propaganda would have been laughable if it wasn’t so clearly displaying sanctimonious contempt for its audience. Consider a televised public service announcement from Ohio’s Department of Health: a friendly immunologist clears up misinformation about what’s in a COVID vaccine by explaining, “There are just a few simple ingredients: water, sugar, salt, fat, and most importantly, a building block for protein. … That’s less stuff than a candy bar or a can of pop.”

The absurd message suggests that vaccine risks are no different from the risks of eating a candy bar or drinking a soda—clearly government-sponsored misinformation if that word means anything. The condescension on display also tells you all you need to know about what Ohio’s public health officials think of the intelligence of the average citizen.

Aside from what was said, the most egregious form of propaganda was the vaccine-related information that was deliberately withheld or deemphasized. As mentioned earlier, the New York Times reported in February 2022: “Two full years into the pandemic, the agency leading the country’s response to the public health emergency [the CDC] has published only a tiny fraction of the data it has collected.”

For example, when the agency “published the first significant data on the effectiveness of boosters in adults younger than 65 … it left out the numbers for a huge portion of that population: 18- to 49-year-olds, the group least likely to benefit from extra shots.” The CDC’s stated reason for withholding much of its data was that it did not want to increase vaccine hesitancy.

The result was messaging from public health officials that sounded indistinguishable from the marketing departments of Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Granted, public health communications must be simplified for broad consumption; but there is a key difference between simplifying information for the layperson and dumbing it down to manipulate the masses, or deliberately suppressing information that might undermine a predetermined public policy.

This was not public education but a manipulative effort at behavioral control. In the most precise meaning of the term, it was propaganda. Large swaths of the public who were not hypnotized by the repetition of memes could sense, even if they could not explain, that they were subjected to manipulation.

As vaccination rates approached 50 percent in the United States, vaccine updates slowed by April 2021. Reports began to emerge of serious side effects, and studies from Israel, which started its mass vaccination campaign before the United States, suggested that vaccine efficacy waned rapidly.

Public health efforts pivoted from propaganda to heavy-handed nudges and bribes. Several states entered vaccinated citizens into lotteries awarding cash prizes of $1 million or more. Other states and cities launched promotions for vaccination ranging from free beer in New Jersey to raffles for full-ride college scholarships in New York and Ohio to a free marijuana joint in Washington for those who took the jab. (The latter brought to, naturally, by people who sincerely care about your health.)

When these nudges didn’t work, officials simply mandated the vaccines, with severe penalties for those who declined. As my own institution, the University of California, prepared to issue its vaccine mandate, I argued publicly in the pages of the Wall Street Journal in June 2021 that university vaccine mandates violated foundational principles of medical ethics, including the principle of informed consent.

Although the minimal conditions for justifying vaccine mandates were never close to being met, institutions embraced these misguided policies with little meaningful public discussion and no debate.

Source: The Epoch Times

https://www.theepochtimes.com/the-evil-of-coerced-medicine_4900837.html?

Time to Unmask the Truth

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith declared that “our government will not permit any further mask mandates of children in Alberta’s K-12 education system.” She said that “the detrimental effects on the mental health, development and education of children in classroom settings are well understood.”

‘Ontario’s chief medical officer of health (CMOH) now “strongly recommends” masking in all indoor public settings, including schools and child-care centres, and while he specifically encouraged children aged 2-5 years to mask up, for now, he stopped short of a mandate. This announcement comes as children’s hospitals across Ontario have been overwhelmed, largely due to infections with influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). 

A few weeks back, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith declared that “our government will not permit any further masking mandates of children in Alberta’s K-12 education system.” She said that “the detrimental effects on the mental health, development and education of children in classroom settings is well understood, and we must turn the page on what has been an extremely difficult time for children, along with their parents and teachers.”

Her support for the inherent rights of parents to make informed medical decisions and exercise patient autonomy led to attacks and gaslighting by the usual COVID commentators who failed to provide a single study in support of their pediatric masking claims, while claiming that harms from masking have been “debunked” and that masking in kids is a “no-brainer.” They suggest that masks will prevent our kids from infection and in turn, we as parents may be shielded from missing work.  

We’ve seen this before. In September 2021, Alberta reinstated province-wide mask mandates and the COVID Delta wave took off nonetheless. While Omicron emerged and infection numbers dwarfed prior COVID variant waves, these mandates remained in place through June 14, 2022.

To be clear, the policy-grade data regarding masking for COVID-19 and influenza fail to show any protection against infection. If the Ontario CMOH has such data, he has not provided it. Yet the relentless messaging that masking our children is safe and effective persists.

We are not allowed to question the global COVID masking gospel, no matter how absurd the recommendation. And, despite leaders like Dr. Anthony Fauci flip-flopping on masks too many times to quote, comparing double-masking “to doing a version of a N95 (respirator),” and recently stating that given a lack of evidence “maybe people should make up their own mind about wearing a mask.” 

Frankly, the authoritative “no-brainer” approach to masking was always contradicted by physics and history. Respiratory particles can be distinguished into droplets or aerosols based on the particle size and their aerodynamic properties. Droplets fall to the ground very quickly, typically over minutes, whereas aerosols can take days or even many weeks. The COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2), like its SARS-CoV predecessor, can remain viable and infectious in aerosols for at least hours and on surfaces for days, and is a primary source of indoor transmission. Both influenza and RSV can also spread through aerosols. 

Just as most hockey players could easily fire marbles through a standard net or reliably fire pucks through netting containing multiple large holes, SARS-CoV-2 has no difficulty passing through and around a surgical grade mask given its small size and aerosolized capability. If you compare the size of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to the cross section of a hair, SARS-CoV-2 is about one thousand times smaller. How many hairs can you slip through a cloth or surgical mask, especially through the “air super-freeways” below the eyes and over the cheeks? 

Of course, there is also the understated importance of N95 respirator Fit Testing to ensure a proper seal, and the reality that maintaining even an adequate seal for prolonged durations is impossible, as kids and adults frequently adjust these masks and exercise poor mask hygiene. 

So, what are the solutions? According to experts like professional engineer, certified industrial hygienist and safety professional Dr. Stephen Petty, the longstanding National Safety Council recommendations remain to dilute the virus with ventilation, or to filter and destroy it, as implemented successfully by the airline industry and at many schools. His US State Senate testimony has led to the overturning of mask mandates

Our best policy-grade masking data comes from our repeated experience with influenza pandemics where multiple meta-analyses and systematic reviews, including by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) themselves, have consistently shown that masking against influenza is not associated with reduced case numbers. Even “N95 respirators should not be recommended for the general public and in non-high-risk medical staff.” 

Regarding COVID-19 specifically, the body of evidence is clear that the masking is ineffective and potentially very harmful. A Brownstone Institute review by Dr. Paul E. Alexander showed over 150 pieces of evidence including comparative effectiveness research all showing that surgical and cloth masks, used as they currently are and were being used (without other forms of PPE protection), have no impact on controlling the transmission of COVID-19 virus. The evidence implies that face masks can be actually harmful and especially so for children. The body of evidence indicates that face masks are largely ineffective. 

Regarding COVID-19 specifically, there are only 2 randomized controlled trials published to date. DANMASK-19 found no personal protective effect from masking, while an impressively large Bangladesh study found little to no effect from cloth and surgical masks on COVID-19 community transmission.

In response, the CDC conducted a low-quality survey study and produced a flashy figure that circulated globally despite results being “not statistically significant.” While a plethora of observational studies assessing masking protection from COVID-19 transmission exist, including in schoolsnone rise to policy-grade evidence, and all suffer fatal flaws including lack of a control group and unmeasured confounding variables. Unfortunately, the CDC is developing a scientific reputation for promoting misleading mask studies. 

In fact, the CDC no longer recommends universal masking in healthcare settings, unless the facilities are in areas of high COVID-19 transmission. Also, a federal judge in April 2022 had ruled that the US government’s mask mandate on commercial planes was unlawful. 

A recent meta-analysis and systematic review reported a multitude of possible harms from masking, including mask contamination, physical irritation including headaches, psychological harm including fear, difficulty breathing and shortness of breath, physiological impacts including lowered oxygen saturation with prolonged use, and communication impacts. Some of these harms have been described in the COVID-19 era too, including a very recent well-designed, pre-print study revealing a striking neurocognitive decline of 27-37 points among infants born since mid-2020. 

Is it a coincidence that on February 8, 2022, the CDC updated its developmental milestones for infants and young children for the first time since they were first released in 2004? This included dramatic changes to expected verbal developmental milestones, lowering the expected verbal skills by 6 months. In response, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association openly questioned these new guidelines as lacking scientific evidence.

When you consider how dirty children’s hands get, and that even adults reuse the same masks left in their cars, the cleanliness of the mask and what we may be inhaling becomes immensely important, especially to those with weakened immune systems. Studies have shown mask contamination, including bacterial and fungal contamination in face masks during the COVID-19 era. Further, there is emerging evidence that mandatory masking can negatively influence the COVID-19 case fatality rate, possibly through deep reinhalation of virus-containing hypercondensed droplets caught in face masks.

Monkey see, monkey do. Anybody who interacts with young children has observed that reproducing human behaviour through imitation is the primary way kids learn, including watching mouths while others speak to mimic language. Even babies carefully watch faces to learn and interpret non-verbal facial cues which are crucial to their social development. Adults rely on these cues too, and a pre-COVID randomized-controlled trial reported that the wearing of a face mask by doctors had a negative effect on patient perceptions of the doctor’s empathy.

The CDC estimates that almost 62 million American kids have had SARS-CoV-2 infections, based on their recorded pediatric seroprevalence estimate of 86.3%. This suggests a high preponderance of natural-acquired immunity and some level of subsequent protection to future SARS-CoV-2 variants. Fortunately, kids remain very unlikely to be hospitalized or die with or from COVID-19. Since pandemic onset, almost 3 years ago, there have been 5 pediatric-aged deaths with or from COVID-19 in Alberta, with most dying with and not because of COVID-19

Kids are disproportionately better protected from COVID-19 than from other common diseases, including a lower mortality rate compared to pneumonia and influenza. This likely reflects their robust innate immune systems and because kids have a lower expression of ACE2 in nasal epithelium which is needed by SARS-CoV-2 to bind and infect a host. This also likely explains why numerous large population studies from IrelandIceland, France, and Australia show that children are poor COVID-19 spreaders, and seemingly debunk the harmful disinformation that our kids were killing their grandparents. 

Source: Alexander COVID News—Dr. Paul Elias Alexander’s Newsletter 

The Treachery at the Very Heart of the US Lockdown

Fauci’s 7-Hour Deposition: What We Know So Far

“Social distancing” is nothing but China-style assault on everything we once held dear. 

The transcript is not yet available and no reporters were allowed. But from the Attorneys General who brought the suit, the plaintiffs in the case and their attorney, and other parties to the lawsuit against the Biden administration, we have some information about the deposition provided by Anthony “I am the Science” Fauci. He has been the face of the pandemic response and stands accused of colluding with Big Tech to suppress dissent in violation of the First Amendment. 

The question of whether the deposition was to be public was itself the subject of legal attention. The Department of Justice filed to block all recording and personally identifiable information for fear of public harassment, and this condition was granted. As a result, we have no transcript (yet) and one senses a great skittishness even from those who were there to explain the fullness of what transpired. Major national media have shown no interest in getting the story. 

Nonetheless, we do have information thanks to some candid tweets and an article by one of the plaintiffs. The main takeaway is that Fauci has come down with a serious case of amnesia. Over seven hours, reported Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, he mostly stonewalled detailed questioning by answering that he has no clear memory of details that would shed light on his involvement in speech suppression. 

“Wow! It was amazing to spend 7 hours with Dr. Fauci. The man who single-handedly wrecked the U.S. economy based upon ‘the science.’ Only to discover that he can’t recall practically anything dealing with his Covid response!”

This is despite the hundreds of pages and many public statements that seem to confirm that the White House and many government agencies worked very closely with Google, Facebook, Twitter, and others, to control the narrative for the better part of two years. And these efforts are probably ongoing. 

Eric Schmitt, the Attorney General of Missouri and now Senator-Elect, bought the suit along with the Attorney General of Louisiana. Schmitt tweeted “some takeaways from the deposition of Fauci: Fauci knew the Lab Leak theory had merit but it’d come back to him & sought to immediately discredit it; He defended lockdowns; The rest of us ‘don’t have the ability’ to determine what’s best for ourselves.”

In addition, he wrote: “In the Fauci depo this week the court reporter sneezed. Fauci wanted her to wear a mask. This is the mentality in Nov 2022 of the guy who locked down our country & ruined countless lives & livelihoods.The Experts followed suit. Dissent was censored. In America. Never Again.”

Plaintiff Aaron Kheritary, Brownstone Senior Scholar and Fellow, explains as follows:

UPDATE: from our deposition of Fauci yesterday in the MO v. Biden case. Fauci confirmed that in Feb 2020, Fauci sent Clifford Lane, his deputy at the NAIAD, as the U.S. representative for the WHO delegation to China. Lane convinced Fauci we should emulate China’s lockdowns. 

The CCP had announced China had contained the virus through draconian lockdowns–a claim now known to be false. Given the (sic) China’s pattern of falsified information, Lane and Fauci should have approached this claim with skepticism. Lockdowns were wholly untested & unprecedented. 

As our lawyer, @Leftylockdowns1 put it, Fauci “was apparently willing to base his lockdown advocacy on the observations of a single guy relying on reports from a dictator.” Not exactly a double-blind randomized trial level of evidence, or indeed, any level of evidence. 

Days after Lane returned, WHO published its report praising China’s strategy: “China’s uncompromising and rigorous use of non-pharmaceutical measures [lockdowns] to contain transmission of the COVID-19 virus in multiple settings provides vital lessons for the global response. 

“This rather unique and unprecedented public health response in China reversed the escalating cases,” the report claimed. My colleague @jeffreyatucker at the @brownstoneinst gave a tongue-in-cheek gloss of WHO’s misty eyed report: “I’ve seen the future—and it is Wuhan.” 

Lockdowns quickly spread from China to the West, as a troubling number of Western apologists besides the WHO also looked to the Chinese Communist Party’s covid response for guidance. 

The U.S. & U.K. followed Italy’s lockdown, which had followed China, and all but a handful of countries around the globe immediately followed our lead. Within weeks the whole world was locked down. 

From the very beginning, the evidential basis for this global policy catastrophe was always paper-thin. We are now living in the aftermath. 

Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit added direct quotes from Fauci fully confirming Brownstone’s report on the NIH junket to China in February 2020:

John Sauer, “And Mr. Lane, after returning from the trip, said the Chinese were managing this in a very structured, organized way; correct?… Did you discuss Mr. Lane’s experience on the trip with him when he got back from the WHO trip?”

Dr. Fauci, ” The answer is I did… Dr. Lane was very impressed about how from a clinical public health standpoint, the Chinese were handling the isolation, the contact tracing, the building of facilities to take care of people, and that’s what I believed he meant when he said [they] were managing this in a very structured organized way.”

Sauer: “So he drew the conclusion that there might have to be extreme, in his word, measures to mandate social distancing to bring the outbreak under control; correct?”

Fauci: “That’s what this is implying, yes… He did discuss with me that the Chinese 19 had a very organized way of trying to contain the spread in Wuhan and elsewhere. He didn’t get a chance to go to Wuhan, but he was in Beijing, and I believe other cities — at least Beijing — and he mentioned that they had a very organized, well regimented way of handling the outbreak.

Sauer: “And so he had a kind of positive reaction to that. There might be lessons to be learned for the United States in its response to the outbreak?”

Fauci: “I believe Dr. Lane came to the conclusion that when you have a widespread respiratory disease that a very common and effective way to curtail the rapid spread of the disease is by implementing social distancing measures… Dr. Lane is a very astute clinician, and I have every reason to believe that his evaluation of the situation was accurate and correct.”

Just to be clear, Fauci has here described a policy response that included welding shut the doors to people’s apartments and full totalitarian controls on movement as a “very organized” and “well regimented” implementation of “social distancing measures.”

Just let that sink in. 

Hoft provided in addition the most detailed observations yet. Quoting here from his report in full: 

  • Fauci is a skillful liar. As we have seen now for months in his public comments, he lies when he feels he can get away with it or when he feels there will be no meaningful consequences.
  • Fauci frequently lied unless and until he was confronted with alternate facts. For example, he claimed he really wasn’t familiar with Ralph Baric (creator of the COVID virus) or Peter Daszak (who brokered Fauci’s NIAID grant money to the Chinese biolab in Wuhan), until he was confronted with evidence that his own chief of staff emailed him describing Daszak and Baric as being part of Fauci’s team!
  • Fauci claimed that he had no knowledge that his communications team did not coordinate with social media companies to stop “misinformation and disinformation” until he was forced to admit that he actually did know of certain instances of coordination.
  • Fauci continued to push the now-debunked assertion that COVID-19 was a naturally occurring virus.
  • Fauci said disinformation and misinformation (information he disagrees with) puts lives at risk.
  • Fauci refused to define “gain of function” research saying it was too broad of a term to define.
  • FUN FACT: until VERY recently, Fauci’s daughter worked for Twitter.
  • FUN FACT: Fauci is a hypochondriac. In a bizarre and stunning segment during the deposition, Fauci blew off some of his frustration on the poor court reporter. The court reporter transcribing the deposition sneezed, and Fauci stopped the deposition and scolded the court reporter: “WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU??? Do you have some sort of respiratory illness, because in the era of COVID, I’m concerned about being near you.” Court Reporter: “I’m not sick, I just have allergies. I can wear a mask though.” Fauci: “Ok. Thank you, because the last thing I want is to get COVID. [notably, (1) Fauci himself did not wear a mask at any point during the deposition, and (2) he appeared to be several feet away from the court reporter].
  • FUN FACT: in another Fauci hypochondria spasm, Fauci conspicuously mean-mugged Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry after Landry sneezed into his suit coat jacket.
  • Gamesmanship. Whenever introduced to a difficult topic, he dishonestly refused to define key terms so he could avoid being pinned down and held accountable. For example, when discussing the topic of “gain of function” research, he refused to acknowledge what the term meant, objecting that it was a term so broad it could not be defined.
  • Fauci repeatedly claimed that he “couldn’t recall” or “couldn’t remember,” and attempted to bolster these incredible statements by appealing to the volume of emails he would receive or issues or studies that would come across his desk. This is simply not credible for nearly all of such statements, because the incidents in question were either recent or within the past three years, and they were all highly politically charged.
  • Fauci’s other method of lying was simply to pretend that he didn’t understand something, and then hope the lawyer asking the question wouldn’t be able to catch him in the lie. For example, he very obviously lied at one point when he claimed he didn’t know what Meta (parent company of Facebook) was, until he was forced to admit that he did, in fact, know what Meta was.
  • Another Fauci tactic: when forced to admit he had made a communication or reviewed a key record at a key time, or knew or worked with a key individual, he would try and downplay each negative fact by (1) downplaying the significance of the communication, (2) suggest that while he reviewed the key record, he didn’t really read it carefully, or (3) with false humility suggest that he was not an expert in X field and so did not fully understand the scientific study at issue, or (4) claim that, while he did “know” said individual, he doesn’t really know them that well because he meets so many doctors and scientists as part of his job.
  • Other Fauci deceit tactics: throwing subordinates under the bus. Fauci is a famous survivor among bureaucrats. One way he has survived this long is by only taking credit for wins and pawning off losses on hapless subordinates. This trend continued in his deposition, in which he brazenly argued that, while he is the head of the NIAID and its $6 billion budget, he repeatedly didn’t have any knowledge about what his immediate direct reports were doing right under his nose. Fauci supports accountability, so long as he has a subordinate to sacrifice.
  • Fauci argued that Hydroxychloroquine was “dangerous” and had “toxic” side effects…. Fauci claimed HCQ was ineffective in treating COVID, but couldn’t cite a single study to support his claim. Fauci also rejected the list of 371 studies on HCQ and its effectiveness in treating the disease when he was presented with the list.
  • Fauci admitted lying to the public. In one of the more amazing segments during his deposition, Fauci admitted that he knowingly made false public health statements at the beginning of the pandemic, advising people against using masks in order to discourage the public from depleting the supply of masks.
  • Fauci admitted he got his ideas of a lockdown from the Communist Chinese who implemented their extreme lockdowns in January 2020.

Jenin Younes, attorney for the plaintiffs who works with the New Civil Liberties Alliance, wrote on Twitter: “One of my favorite quotes from Fauci’s deposition today: “I have a very busy day job running a six billion dollar institute. I don’t have time to worry about things like the Great Barrington Declaration.”

Keep in mind that we have full records of emails in which Fauci took credit for coming “out very strongly publicly against the Great Barrington Declaration.” 

In conclusion, we have here a revealing account of astonishing testimony from Fauci, which, to those of us who have followed this case closely from the very beginning, is only shocking because it confirms the fullness of the treachery we have long suspected was at the very heart of the US lockdown experience. We also have confirmed that the phrase “social distancing” really is nothing but a euphemism for a China-style full assault on everything we once called freedom in the West. 

Source: Brownstone Institute