cynicism about coronavirus

This is NOT a “global health emergency” so why is everyone pretending otherwise?
Kit Knightly, Off-Guardian, Jan 24 2020

China is shutting down, or so we’re being told. Cities are on lockdown. Disneyland is closed. New Year is cancelled. Every day, China closes down more theatres or other more public spaces in their desperate attempts to thwart the spread of this terrible coronavirus. The headlines tell this virus is “mutated” and that China’s “lockdown” is affecting 33 million people. The Telegraph morbidly warns that it’s “highly likely” coronavirus is already in the UK, whilst CNET tells us the death toll is spiking. It all sounds very scary. The reality is that 26 people have died. For comparison’s sake, 80,000 people died of flu in 2018 in Pindostan alone, according to the CDC. Coronavirus, or rather, this particular strain of coronavirus, as they are very common and mostly harmless, has had 800 reported cases to go along with those 26 reported deaths. That’s a mortality rate of just over 3%. Further, we don’t even know the details of those 26 unfortunate patients, it’s entirely possible the 26 deaths are accounted for by the very old, the very young, or the immuno-compromised. But even if they’re not. 3% mortality is not high. The death rate of bacterial meningitis, for example, stands at about 10%. Meningitis is an unfortunate fact of life, but it’s not a public health scare. SARS, of course, was a public health scare, totally unjustifiably, as it turns out. Most of you will remember the SARS outbreak of 2002/2003 being similarly apocalyptically covered in the media. In the end, over the course of just about a year 9000 cases resulted in 800 people losing their lives. These numbers are rough because, as a syndrome rather than a disease, SARS is difficultly to clearly diagnose. Assuming the stats are correct, that’s a mortality rate of about 9%, or three times this “terrifying” coronavirus. The simple reality is that this new virus strain is currently affecting a group of people the size of a small primary school, and has killed fewer than a bad traffic pile-up or a medium-sized drone strike.

So why the lockdown? Why the fear? Usually, that means at least one agenda. Maybe more than one. The Ebola outbreak of 2015/16 resulted in large numbers of NATO-backed doctors descending on Western Africa to “assist.” As a result, ebola vaccines that had been awaiting approval for years got a 2-year field study before being approved. During the 2009 “Swine Flu” panic, a German MEP accused the World Health Organisation of “creating a panic” in order to sell vaccines. Though the WHO vehemently denied this, an independent report later found that several of the “independent flu experts” that WHO consulted had financial ties to vaccine manufacturers. Three years ago, the Zika virus had Floridians BEGGING to be sprayed with pesticides and had millions of genetically modified mosquitoes released into the wild. Considering Zika has never been scientifically proven to do anything by cause cold symptoms, that was a nice result. If you’re agenda-spotting in this case, be on the lookout for a “new” medicine getting rushed through patent offices. This anti-coronavirus drug will then be bought-up in huge amounts by hospitals and health services the world over. Whichever of the handful of pharmagiants owns the patent will get a huge profit boom, plus the soaring stock prices that go along with owning the miracle cure to the scary disease du jour. Longer-term, there is vaccination to consider. Medicine you have to take even if you’re not sick is a goldmine for pharmaceutical companies, and if the government makes them mandatory (always an issue simmering on the back-burner) well, then that’s even better. Not only does it mean they don’t really have to work (I mean, how much work do you put into a product literally everyone is legally obliged to use?), but the opportunities for large-scale genetic research (and corruption) are endless.

Generally speaking, fear is always useful. If you can frighten people they do whatever you say. A fact known to leaders and propagandists for centuries. Following the Boston bombing, despite the manhunt being for just two alleged bombers, the entire city of Boston was put on lockdown. The national guard rolled tanks down the street, and nobody said a word. Right now, despite fewer than 30 deaths, millions of Chinese people are under a “lockdown”. Public gatherings are being halted. That’s power you can’t buy. It never hurts to normalise the idea of martial law. After all, you don’t know when you might need it for real. I know there is a temptation in alt media circles, to see China as a good guy just because they oppose Pindo imperialism, but they have corruption and authoritarianism there too. Their officials are just as power-hungry as ours. There’s no reason to think they wouldn’t take advantage of a crisis (or even create one), in order to increase their control. Hell, maybe there is no clear agenda at all. Maybe that’s just the psychology of power. Maybe scaring people feels good, and maybe controlling them feels better. Maybe there’s no point in doing terrible things to get into power if you’re not going to use it for its own sake. Is it possible there’s more to this story? Some fundamental dishonesty most people never think to question? As always with the MSM, it’s difficult to take anything for granted. We don’t know the casualty numbers are accurate; China could be downplaying the threat to minimise panic. We don’t know that the “lockdown” is as extensive as our media report, the press could be exaggerating to paint China as hysterical or autocratic. We don’t even know for sure the disease exists at all, when you think about it. As usual, absolute scepticism is required. It’s hard to say exactly what’s happening yet, but when 26 deaths makes international news, that means something is going on. Stay tuned.

Coronavirus Update: Following the money
Kit Knightly, Off-Guardian, Jan 25 2020

The Coronavirus is still the big-ticket news item, with confirmed cases now covering 11 countries. ELEVEN! Most of the mainstream media are doing that, saying the number of countries rather than the number of people. I suppose because it carries the implication that, somehow, everyone in all those 11 countries is under some kind of imminent threat. As of the time of writing, the real (or at least reportedly real) numbers stand at 1407 cases, 41 deaths. Which means the mortality rate is now actually below 3%. For comparison’s sake, the death rate of the Ebola virus is 90%, Bubonic plague 40-60%, Smallpox was ~30%, and the 1918 Spanish flu between 10% and 20%. So we’re hardly dealing with a big hitter here. Even the hysterical nothing burger that was SARS had a (reported) death rate approaching 10%. [For more on the links between SARS and the Wuhan outbreak see John Rappoport’s excellent work on the subject]. For anyone doubting that, whatever the truth of the situation on the ground, this is being hyped to spread fear. The Groon has a big red “LIVE BLOG” for the disease today. Counting up the death toll very slowly, and with what I would call a rather unseemly amount of enthusiasm. China are building a whole new hospital, we’re being told. There are “bodies in the streets”, apparently:

The Daily Mail is reporting that an Australian research team is “racing against the clock” to engineer a vaccine. The researchers claim it will take them 6 months (a very fast turnaround for vaccine development, which usually takes years). If the disease carries on its current trajectory, by the end of that six months roughly 7200 people will have been infected, around 250 of whom will have died. In the same time period, about 15,000 people will have been injured in car accidents, and around 900 of them will have died in the UK alone. Based on that, you could argue the resources poured into the “race against time” would be better spent inventing stronger seat-belts or funding an anti-drink driving campaign. After all, any good this hypothetical vaccine might do needs to be offset against the potential dangers of injecting thousands or even millions of people with a vaccine that will have had no long-term safety studies whatsoever. Of course, the Daily Mail doesn’t mention that. Another thing The Daily Mail doesn’t mention is that the vaccine being developed by Queensland University is a cooperative project with Philadelphia-based Inovio Pharmaceuticals, who received a grant of $9 million to combat the Wuhan outbreak. A second pharmaceutical firm, Co-Diagnostic Inc, has received a similar grant to develop a coronavirus “screening test.” Inovio previously hit the headlines a few years ago, when they received a grant to create an anti-Zika vaccine (something they managed to do in less than six months). The grants were distributed by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), an NGO that promotes global vaccination and is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation(among others). Inovio’s stock jumped 12% when it was announced they had been commissioned to manufacture the vaccine, whilst Co-Diagnostic’s stock almost doubled in value following the news:

[Co-Diagnostics’s stock] nearly doubled (up 80%) to a one-year high. Trading volume shot up to 36.1 million shares, compared with the full-day average of about 161,000 shares.

But that’s just the beginning. The CEO of Co-Diagnostics sees a much bigger windfall down the line:

Chief Executive Dwight Egan said in a statement that if the WHO declares the illness a global health emergency, he believes Co-Diagnostics would be in position to “quickly assist” in providing its test to the affected countries.

Whatever else is going on, however real or otherwise this “outbreak” proves to be, “if the WHO declare a global health emergency,” some people are going to make a lot of money.

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