Our governments intend to transfer decisions over our health, families, and societal freedoms to the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), whenever he or she declares it necessary. The success of this transfer of power depends on public ignorance of its implications, and of the nature of the WHO itself and its recent pandemic policy reversals. When the public understands, then its leaders are more likely to act in their interests rather than against them.
In late 2019, the WHO issued new recommendations for pandemic influenza. Influenza spreads by the same mechanism as Covid-19 (aerosols), with a similar mortality in most people. The WHO stated that it is “not recommended in any circumstances” to undertake contact tracing, quarantine of exposed individuals, entry and exit screening, and border closures. They envisioned that in a severe pandemic it may be necessary to close businesses for up to seven to ten days.
The WHO cautioned against strict measures because they would have minimal impact on the spread of an aerosolized respiratory virus while inevitably increasing poverty, especially harming low-income people. Poverty makes people die younger and is a major killer of babies in low-income countries.
A few months later, the WHO advocated for everything they had previously advised against, to combat Covid-19. This reversal in their recommendations had the effect they had predicted; increasing poverty and shortening life expectancy, particularly amongst the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, while having minimal overall impact on virus spread.
While the WHO’s 2019 recommendations were based on the assessment of decades of knowledge by an expert panel, its Covid-19 lockdown recommendations were based solely on reported experience from one city in China. Their new source of knowledge had, a few weeks earlier, stated that the new virus had no human-to-human transmission. This was followed by apparent propaganda taken up by the world’s media of people dropping dead in the streets.
It is vital to understand what drove this reversal of WHO policy, and to detail its harm. International public health priorities are currently being upended with the specific aim of allowing the WHO to do this again, harder and more frequently. In May 2024 our countries will vote to allow a single person to dictate border closures and quarantine, and require medical examinations and vaccination of their citizens. They will agree to censor those who protest. Our governments will undertake to make this individual’s recommendations regarding our rights to family life, work, and school effectively binding.
In promoting lockdowns, the WHO was not only following China, but a group of powerful Pharma-related interests who have been pushing these approaches for over a decade. They have established public-private partnerships such as the Swiss-based CEPI, channeling taxpayer funding to promote their authoritarian approach to public health. In October 2019, a meeting called Event-201 was convened by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, World Economic Forum and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, including the WHO, China CDC and others, to run simulations of such approaches for a hypothetical coronavirus outbreak. At this time, Covid-19 virus must already have been circulating well beyond China.
Whilst establishing this influence over public health policy, Pharma and their private investors increasingly funded the WHO itself, now providing about 25 percent of its budget. This funding is ‘specified,’ meaning the funder decides how and where it is spent. Certain governments now also ‘specify’ most of their funding, leading to over 75 percent of the WHO’s activities being determined by the donor. Germany stands out as the second highest national donor after the USA, also being a major investor in BioNTech, Pfizer’s Covid-19 mRNA vaccine developer.
Discarding basic immunology, the WHO then claimed in late 2020 that only vaccination could lead to high community immunity (‘herd immunity’) and became a major proponent of mass vaccination within an epidemic, aligning fully with its private sponsors. Under pressure for obviously lying, they then changed to a preference for vaccination – equally foolish as a general statement since many everyday viruses are obviously mild. While not based on evidence or expertise, this clearly serves a purpose.
Despite there being a clearly identified subset of people at high Covid risk, vaccination-for-all was promoted by Pharma investors as a ‘way out’ of the lockdowns these same people had advocated for. The WHO’s incoherent Covid vax mantra – “No one is safe until all are safe” – is supposed to support this but logically implies that vaccination does not even protect the vaccinated.
In Western countries the results of these policies are increasingly stark; rising inequality, closed businesses and rising young adult all-cause mortality. In low-income countries across Africa and Asia that the WHO once prioritized, its actions have been even more devastating. As predicted in early 2020, malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS are increasing, killing more people and at a far younger age than Covid-19. Over 100 million additional people face malnutrition, up to 10 million additional girls will endure child marriage and nightly rape, and millions more mothers will lose their infants due to the impacts of deeper poverty. UNICEF estimated nearly a quarter million added child deaths from lockdowns in South Asia in 2020 alone. The WHO did this – they stated that it would happen, then encouraged its implementation.
Few gained from the Covid response, but those who did gained; particularly private and corporate funders of the WHO with large Pharma and software assets, gained massively. WHO employees and others working in global health also thrived, and are now securing lucrative careers as the agenda expands. As the old evidence-based public health is pushed aside, it is in the new public health of the software entrepreneurs and Pharma moguls that careers will be made.
So, we have a problem. The WHO, ostensibly leading the show, is deeply conflicted through its private investors, whilst governed by an Assembly including powerful States hostile to human rights and democracy. Its staffing policies, based on country quotas and rules that promote retention rather than targeted recruitment, are not even designed to assure technical expertise.
The recent behavior of these staff – blind, dutiful compliance with the organization’s multiple nonsensical claims – must raise questions regarding their integrity and competency. The expanding pandemic industry has a massive financial war chest aimed at media and political sponsorship, and our politicians fear political oblivion should they oppose it.
Pandemics are rare. In the past century, including Covid, the WHO estimates about one per generation. These cost fewer life-years during their time of spread than tuberculosis or cancer cost every year. No one can rationally claim we face an existential crisis, or that forfeiting human freedom to Pharma and private entrepreneurs is a legitimate public health response should we face one. Our democracies are being eroded through a massive amoral business deal, a structure designed to concentrate the wealth of the many in the hands of the few. Covid-19 proved the model works.
The only real question is whether, and how, this society-wrecking pandemic train can be stopped. The public health professions want careers and salaries, and will not intervene. They have proven that in previous manifestations of fascism. The public must educate themselves, and then refuse to comply. We can just hope some of our supposed leaders will step forward to help them.
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.
Reprinted with permission from Brownstone Institute.