Cephas Alain

Lesson from America, 1961

by Cephas Alain In his final speech from the White House, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned that an arms race would take resources from other areas – such as building schools and hospitals. As interest has increased in the lab leak hypothesis for the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic it has cast the spotlight upon the behaviours of parts of the scientific community, including the role of peer review, conflicts of interest and the ownership and funding of professional journals. In turn, this can all be considered within national and international political and organisational contexts. ‘Big Pharma’ is also under scrutiny. This article seeks to explain the general nature of the potential threat posed by Big Pharma. It is not a new story. Indeed, it can be usefully discussed with the help of a 60 year-old Presidential address. On September 5th, 2021, LBC radio host and commentator Maajid Nawaz drew an analogy from Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farewell Address to the nation as 34th President of the United States on January 17th, 1961. Maajid Nawaz suggested that the threat to democratic society described by President Eisenhower of the ‘Military-Industrial Complex’ has, at least to some degree, been supplanted by a ‘Big Pharma Industrial Complex’. He also suggested that the behaviours of governments in pursuing Covid related policies, such as the vaccination of...

The Lab Leak Theory: Who Suppressed It? Who Uncovered It? And What Should We Do About It?

by Cephas Alain A crucial, and often overlooked, event in the story of the pandemic and its associated narratives, including that of the supposed natural origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, was the Press Conference of WHO-China Joint Mission on COVID-19 Epidemic Prevention and Control in China. It took place at The Presidential Hotel in Beijing on the evening of February 24th 2020. The transcript of Press Conference and the forty-page Report issued by the Joint Mission on the same date The China Report are available as follows: The WHO Press Conference Transcript: February 24th 2020The Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (The China Report) The WHO Press Conference was briefed by the Team Leaders of the Joint Mission: Dr. Bruce Aylward (a former Assistant Director-General of the WHO and senior advisor to WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus) and Dr. Liang Wannian (Head of Expert Panel of COVID-19 Response of China National Health Commission (NHC). Dr Wannian suggested that the source of the outbreak “…according to the currently available data in China, bats may be its host, and pangolin may also be one of the intermediate hosts of this virus”. The China Report added that: “At some point early in the outbreak, some cases generated human-to-human transmission chains that seeded the subsequent community outbreak prior...

Anti-Maskers “Practice a Form of Data Literacy in Spades”, Says MIT Study

by Cephas Alain Mark Dolan cuts up a mask on air on talkRADIO An unexpected side effect of the pandemic was the rapid and sustained development of a new set of grassroots checks and balances counterbalancing official scientific health narratives. This was not always obvious, and its nature and effectiveness only became clear gradually. Given the continued development of social media, home working and more sophisticated online working group platforms, and other tools, it may almost look inevitable. But as those involved might say, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” This may prove be one of the enduring legacies of the pandemic as its potential is much wider than a single area of concern. Apart from anecdotal evidence of this development there is now some research evidence. The research is to be found in a preprint paper by Lee, Yang et al. of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) entitled "Viral Visualisations: How Coronavirus Skeptics Use Orthodox Data Practices to Promote Unorthodox Science Online". Much of the content of the study addresses matters surrounding the visual representation of data but it also contains valuable contextual analysis which provides clues to the future of scientific discourse. The Lee, Yang et al. paper “investigates how pandemic visualisations circulated on social media, and shows that people who mistrust the scientific establishment often deploy the...

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December 2022
Free Speech Union

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