The World Health Organization in 2011 Warned Against a “Culture of Fear”

The World Health Organization in 2011 Warned Against a “Culture of Fear” by Jeffrey A. Tucker for American Institute for Economic Research

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fine feature of the decentralized network of anti-lockdown Twitter is that it turns up fantastic bits of research that would otherwise go unnoticed. In this case, Kulvinder Kaur MD, president of Concerned Ontario Doctors, discovered an extraordinarily truth-telling bulletin from the World Health Organization that was released July 2011. Its prescience is incredibly obvious. It appeared in times when what we might call the lockdown industry was gaining steam.

This movement was born in the early 2000s with computer scientists who imagined that their agent-based models should replace medical advisories in the event of a pandemic. The Bush administration acquiesced to their ideas in 2006, despite the protests from responsible public health experts. After that, they organized conferences, published in journals, and generally closed ranks around a fantastic vision of central plan, all well-funded through public money and private philanthropy from the Gates Foundation (Bill Gates, knowing next to nothing about viruses or public health concerns, has been a lockdowner for many years).

All these years later, they got their chance to implement a dangerous social experiment in lockdowns.

In 2011, the World Health Organization saw what was developing and issued a powerful warning, authored by Luc Bonneux (Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute) and Wim Van Damme (Institute of Tropical Medicine). It was a strong attack against the “culture of fear” that could be fomented in the future just as it was in 2006 and 2009. It said plainly that the next pandemic should be treated as we have in the 20th-century past, with calm, not panic, and with a broad-minded focus on public health in a holistic sense.

Moreover, the memo warned of what we might call the Public Choice elements of the urge to lock down: flu specialists sound unwarranted alarms in order to attract media attention and funding, vaccine makers and marketers looking for government subsidies, and other interest groups that might irresponsibly use a future pathogen.

In times when governments around the world are fomenting fear, turning citizens against each other, stigmatizing those with disease, and teaching people to regard dignified human persons as nothing more than disease vectors, this element of wisdom is a ray of light.

The repeated pandemic health scares caused by an avian H5N1 [2006] and a new A(H1N1) [2009] human influenza virus are part of the culture of fear. Worst-case thinking replaced balanced risk assessment. Worst-case thinking is motivated by the belief that the danger we face is so overwhelmingly catastrophic that we must act immediately. Rather than wait for information, we need a pre-emptive strike. But if resources buy lives, wasting resources wastes lives. The precautionary stocking of largely useless antivirals and the irrational vaccination policies against an unusually benign H1N1 virus wasted many billions of euros and eroded the trust of the public in health officials. The pandemic policy was never informed by evidence, but by fear of worst-case scenarios.

The WHO issued this blast due to the manufactured media and political panic that occured in both 2006 and 2009. The headlines blared about the coming danger. Statesmen the world over gave press conferences alongside various public health alarmists. The mainstream media used the occasions to get clicks and freak out. I recall both well because it was all so strange to see public officials attempting to get their populations in a state of absolute freak out despite any evidence. They got into the habit of imagining the worst-possible outcomes and broadcasting those out to people. In both 2006 (the flu never really left the bird population) and 2009 (which turned out to be no worse than seasonal), the public paid very little attention to the histrionics taking place in the public sector.

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