A slogan seemingly developed by a febrile aardvark grazing on mushrooms keeps popping up in public health and politics as if it had meaning. Besides serving as proof that confused aardvarks can still outwit many humans, it also helps clarify whether someone talking about pandemics is profit-driven or out of his depth. There are a few variations on the wording, originally coined as: “No one is safe, until everyone is safe.”
In whatever form, the slogan essentially suggests that everyone must do the same thing, because otherwise the thing in question won’t work. This ‘thing’ is something profitable to someone (aardvarks are known investors), and this ‘someone’ ranges from pharmaceutical corporations and philanthro-capitalists to salaried public health professionals; they all benefit through diverting greater taxpayer funding to public health. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has been its most prominent exponent, reflecting its new public-private business model. WHO cohabits in Geneva with the World Economic Forum, a corporate club aligning closely with a profitable fear-of-catastrophe approach to health. Understanding poverty may not be WHO headquarters’ lived experience, but wealth concentration certainly is.
The phrase is highly successful. It is repeated on the websites of multiple major international health agencies (e.g. Gavi, CEPI, Unicef) and by an apparently mindless media. It is also clever; it places a virtuous tone over a programme specifically designed to accumulate power and wealth. Its success is completely reliant on the hearer either not thinking, not caring, or feeling too disempowered to push back. That says much about our times and the current state of international public health.
To clarify, let’s dissect the slogan a little in its Covid vaccine context:
- “No one is safe until…”: This means the vaccine does not protect the vaccinated against the disease it is aimed at. If it did, then they would be safe. That is how vaccines are supposed to work. WHO seems to be claiming that COVID-19 vaccines don’t work to protect the injected.
- “…until everyone is safe.”: Protecting one person by vaccinating another requires the vaccine to block transmission. But if there is one thing all sides accept about the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, it is that the vaccinated can still transmit.
So, this slogan makes no sense in the Covid context, and if anything is an ‘anti-vax’ statement in that it implies the vaccines don’t protect the injected.
More recent variations promote the diversion of tens of billions of dollars to fund the growing international bureaucracy which the WHO’s draft amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) and proposed pandemic treaty (agreement) are intended to support. The World Bank, also looking to gain from this pseudoscience debacle, terms this as “Risk anywhere becomes risk everywhere” – i.e., I should require others, whatever their needs or concerns, to prioritise my needs and remove my risk.
After a century in which improved living conditions, sanitation, nutrition and antibiotics have drastically reduced infectious disease, the public is to believe that they can no longer be safe in a ‘pandemic’ until all are surveilled and locked down like criminals. They can then be subjected to mandated ‘100-day vaccines’ that, by skipping normal regulation and testing, will allow them to get some of their heavily-supervised freedom back. This promises enormous profit for the very corporations and investors that are promoting it.
Beyond the aspect of people and institutions robbing the poor in the name of virtue, there is a still darker side to this story. “We are not safe, because others did not comply” is the same message, and the same intent. The parade of politicians, influencers and media commentators during Covid advocating the exclusion and scapegoating of those prioritising human rights over corporate greed has not been edifying. “My illness is your fault” is a catchcry of fascists and their brownshirts throughout human history.
Considering the public stupid and treating them as such, when the same public fund your wages, is reckless, rude and disrespectful. Promoting idiocy and division in the name of public health destroys trust. It probably wasn’t really a demented aardvark who came up with the slogan, but a young amoral McKinsey-like behavioural psychologist. Behavioral psychology, a form of advertising, is about getting people to act in a certain way, irrespective of their rational judgement. The use of this in healthcare reflects a rot that seems to have grown through society. Truth does not matter, and previous learning does not matter, but ensuring people act in a desired way, usually on the bidding of a paymaster, does. The media, heavily dependent on the same sponsors as public health, are more motivated to promote such messaging than analyse it and reveal its flaws.
Eventually, the public gets wise, and blatant falsehoods destroy the reputations of those promoting them. As the ‘consensus of experts’ in public health is seen increasingly as a pretense driven by self-interest, we see them doubling down with rhetoric about “rebuilding trust” through increasing censorship. Flailing around with terms like ‘misinformation’, they now claim that being informed is a threat rather than a necessity; WHO’s “infodemic“.
So, most people will come to understand that models suggesting 20 million people were saved by Covid vaccines are a result of flawed inputs and assumptions rather than reality, that closing workplaces and schools in crowded cities won’t stop a respiratory virus but will inevitably increase poverty and malnutrition, and that claiming “No one is safe until all are safe” is the stuff of clowns and charlatans. These claims are made by people who don’t care about truth. They are banking on success being achieved through psychology and coercion rather than integrity.
As more people awaken to the farce, calls for censorship and coercion, and attempts at outright fearmongering such as the Disease X narrative will become more desperate. The sloganeering will become ever more unhinged from reality until it collapses under the weight of its own fallacies. The public will become tired of being deceived and remember things were actually getting better before this deceit started. Alternatively, some dangerous clown in a lab will concoct another pathogenic agent to make it all more real.
In either scenario, we cannot afford to have those who lead through empty sloganeering in control. We should treat them with all the respect they deserve. We will only be truly safe when we insist on integrity as a prerequisite for public office and a basis for public health. That is as near or far as we choose it to be.
Dr. David Bell is a clinical and public health physician with a PhD in population health and background in internal medicine, modelling and epidemiology of infectious disease. Previously, he was Director of the Global Health Technologies at Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund in the USA, Programme Head for Malaria and Acute Febrile Disease at FIND in Geneva, and coordinating malaria diagnostics strategy with the World Health Organisation. He is a Senior Scholar at the Brownstone Institute.