In April 2020, the New York Times published the Red Dawn emails – email threads that included many high-ranking officials in the United States, including Anthony Fauci and CDC Director Robert Redfield. They showed what officials and researchers were sharing with one another about the developing situation from late January. In a way, this is the ‘conspiracy’ that some suggest was going on to push the world towards lockdown, in that here we see what U.S. officials and researchers were hearing and saying in the run-up to the shut downs – though it isn’t exactly the conspiracy most have in mind. Rather, it shows researchers and officials scrabbling around to analyse the limited data, attempting to work out what’s going on and how to respond – plus some serious pushing for restrictions, with Carter Mecher and Eva Lee in particular making an urgent case for NPIs as early as January. As a taste of the alarmism, Mecher wrote on January 28th 2020: “Now I’m screaming, close the colleges and universities.”
The public health establishment has been extremely reluctant to admit that natural immunity provides strong protection against severe Covid. And while protection against infection is lower for the highly mutated (and possibly lab-generated) Omicron variant, it’s still better than what the vaccines provide.
For example, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky signed the John Snow Memorandum – a clumsy rebuttal to the Great Barrington Declaration which claimed “there is no evidence for lasting protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 following natural infection”. (The Memorandum was published in October of 2021.)
Given this reluctance, it’s unsurprising that health authorities have insisted that those with natural immunity still need to get vaccinated. For example, the US federal vaccine mandate did not include an exemption for such people. And to this day, the CDC website states, “You should get a COVID-19 vaccine even if you already had COVID-19.”
Anthony Fauci was among those who stressed that previous infection was no reason not to get vaccinated, telling one radio host who’d already had Covid, “it’s very likely that if you didn’t get the vaccine your antibodies levels will start going down and down and down and down.” (This was in April of 2021.)
Now a 2004 video clip of Fauci has resurfaced, in which he takes a very different line on natural immunity. Fauci is asked whether a woman who’s had the flu for 14 days should get a flu shot, and he responds as follows:
Well, no, if she got the flu for 14 days, she’s as protected as anybody can be because the best vaccination is to get infected yourself … If she really has the flu, she definitely doesn’t need a flu vaccine … She doesn’t need it because the most potent vaccination is getting infected yourself.
President Joe Biden’s top medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci has said Americans will soon make their “own decisions” on dealing with the virus as the country is “certainly heading out of” the “full-blown pandemic phase of COVID-19”. The Financial Times has the story.
The U.S. is heading out of the “full blown” pandemic phase of COVID-19, Joe Biden’s Chief Medical Adviser said, as he predicted a combination of vaccinations, treatments and prior infection would soon make the virus more manageable.
Dr Anthony Fauci told the Financial Times he hoped there would be an end to all pandemic-related restrictions in the coming months including mandatory wearing of masks.
In his most optimistic comments about the trajectory of the pandemic since the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant, Fauci outlined a scenario in which local health departments would lead the response to the virus rather than the Biden administration.
Fauci said: “As we get out of the full-blown pandemic phase of COVID-19, which we are certainly heading out of, these decisions will increasingly be made on a local level rather than centrally decided or mandated. There will also be more people making their own decisions on how they want to deal with the virus.”
Asked when restrictions might end, he said he hoped it would be “soon”, and agreed with the suggestion it was likely to happen this year. But he warned local health departments could reintroduce measures temporarily if outbreaks were detected in the community.
Ever the over-cautious, Dr. Fauci still leaves open the possibility that restrictions may not end this year, or they may be set on a local level or return whenever there are “outbreaks”.
He also refused to describe the virus as ‘endemic’, saying only that it may soon reach an “equilibrium”, where the Government no longer has to pay such close attention to infection levels.
There is no way we are going to eradicate this virus, But I hope we are looking at a time when we have enough people vaccinated and enough people with protection from previous infection that the Covid restrictions will soon be a thing of the past.
Back in June, Buzzfeed obtained a large cache of emails sent to and by Anthony Fauci. These included some amusing tidbits, such as when Fauci told his correspondent, “The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through the material.”
However, by far the most interesting item was an email sent by Professor Kristian Andersen of the Scripps Research Institute (see below).
Professor Andersen, a leading virologist, said of the virus that “some of the features (potentially) look engineered”. He added that he and several colleagues “all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory”.
Such an admission would have been noteworthy coming from any virologist, but what made this one particularly revealing is that – mere weeks later – Andersen co-authored a paper stating, “we do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible”.
That paper then became the definitive ‘refutation’ of the lab leak theory, even though it accomplished no such thing. As Nicholas Wade has written, “Dr Andersen and his colleagues were assuring their readers of something they could not know.” So why did Andersen’s view shift so dramatically in such short space of time? We still don’t know.
What we do know is that Andersen was far from the only top scientist who entertained the lab leak theory.
A few weeks ago, emails obtained via FOI request revealed how America’s most senior government scientists sought to discredit the Great Barrington Declaration. In particular, the email below was sent by Francis Collins (former director of the National Institutes of Health) to Anthony Fauci:
Amazingly, Collins refers to the authors of the Declaration as “three fringe epidemiologists”, despite the fact that they held positions at Harvard, Stanford and Oxford respectively. (If even Harvard professors are considered “fringe”, there isn’t much hope for the rest of us…)
The use of “fringe” is particularly egregious when you consider that lockdowns represent a radical departure from the pre-Covid science. As Fauci himself stated on the January 24th last year: “Historically when you shut things down it doesn’t have a major effect.”
Collins then wrote, “There needs to be a quick and devastating takedown of its premise.” Which sounds like the sort of thing a PR consultant would say – not a supposedly neutral scientist. Further details of the exchange can be found in this article by Phil Magness, who actually obtained the emails.
Now two of the Great Barrington authors have hit back at Collins and Fauci. Writing in the Epoch Times, Martin Kulldorff and Jay Bhattacharya say that their critics “got the pandemic strategy they advocated for, and they own the results”. As the two professors explain:
Lockdowns protected young low-risk affluent work-from-home professionals, such as administrators, scientists, professors, journalists, and lawyers, while older high-risk members of the working class were exposed and died in unnecessarily high numbers. This failure to understand that lockdowns could not protect the vulnerable led to the tragically high death counts from Covid.
Kulldorff and Bhattacharya’s piece offers a clear and forthright defence of the Great Barrington Declaration. Worth reading in full.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House Chief Medical Adviser, has spoken of his confidence that existing vaccines will be able to effectively target the Omicron variant, and that a new booster jab created to specifically fight this new strain is not needed. However, Fauci has said that pharmaceutical companies will produce vaccines that are variant-specific regardless. RT has the story.
“I’m not so sure that we’re going to have to get a variant-specific boost vaccine to get an adequate protection from Omicron,” Fauci told the health news website STAT on Friday. “Because if you look at protection against variants, it appears to relate to the level of immunity and the breadth of the immunity that any given vaccine can instil on you.”
While some experts have expressed concerns that the Omicron variant of the Covid is better able to evade the current crop of vaccines, Fauci has continued to place his faith in these shots. So too has Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, though he has claimed that a fourth dose may be needed to combat the new strain.
“With Omicron we need to wait and see because we have very little information. We may need [the fourth dose] faster,” he told CNBC this week.
While Fauci said that an Omicron-specific booster likely won’t be needed, he did add that drug companies like Pfizer “are going to be making variant-specific boosters.”
Worth reading in full.
We’re publishing an original essay this morning by Dr. James Alexander, a Politics Professor at Bilkent University in Turkey, elaborating on the theme of a recent article by Dr. Will Jones on how three moral crusades are increasingly being used to control our lives by people in authority: the crusade against Covid, the crusade against climate change and the crusade against ‘social injustice’, as defined by the woke. (Will calls this the “unholy trinity”.) Dr. Alexander says that, together, these three causes have led to a kind of nice totalitarianism – that is, a massive escalation in social and state control carried out in the name of protecting people. This makes it hard to push back against because, after all, who doesn’t want to protect the elderly from a deadly disease, or save the planet, or make historically marginalised groups feel included and secure? Here’s an extract from Professor Alexander’s piece:
In form it is TOTALITARIAN. That is to say, it is a secular religion: it is flowing into the fissures in the rock of our civilisation as Christianity has receded. One could even say that it is the sand and water which is finally fracking out the last residues of Christianity. Our civilisation is increasingly coming to resemble historic Chinese civilisation. In the press, China is the geopolitical enemy. But now chinoiserie is the enemy within. This is no exaggeration. I think the last century and a half has seen a great change in the structure of society. We have seen the rise of an elite which is not clerical – Oxford and Cambridge were highly clerical until the late nineteenth century – but secular. Moreover, we have seen a system of secular education emerge that is far more extensive than anyone could have imagined in the nineteenth century. In the 1880s a few thousand men went to Oxford and Cambridge every year. Now, since 2020 or so, half of those who leave school – boys and girls – go to university. Half of the population has a higher education. But since most of this half of the population is actually unsuited to academic education (which is no fault of theirs), we do not have a nation of Aristotles and Einsteins. The old liberal distinction between education and indoctrination has been obliterated. So we have instead a nation of Stakhanovs and Pecksniffs. Bartleby the scrivener now says, “I would prefer to”, because he knows why – he’s had a higher education, you see. The sense of entitlement this creates in this half of the population is only matched by the instinct of compliance it creates. What we have seen emerge in the last 60 years is a vast Mandarin class. Half the population is now willing to join an entitled and likely very inefficient guild of administratively-minded, state-ideologised and corporately-smoothed functionaries and professionals.
But there is a twist, and the twist is that even though this is the case – and though it is very Chinese in form – the content is not what we are familiar with from our studies of totalitarianism at GCSE and A Level. The classic totalitarian regimes were, of course, fascist or communist: they had a singular, monolithic ideology, one which emphasised uniformity. This is the opposite of our totalitarianism. Our totalitarianism is liberal: it is not singular, not monolithic, because it does not emphasise uniformity, but diversity: indeed, it celebrates diversity.
It celebrates diversity in every respect but one. Every sort of diversity – of preference, of association, of lifestyle, of utterance, of fashion, of taste, of belief, of sexuality – is permitted except diversity of opinion about the sacred causes of COVID, CLIMATE and WOKERY. The first two have special status, despite being uniformitarian, because they are matters of ‘science’ and are sanctified by statistical visions of the coming secular apocalypse. One cannot disagree about those. If one disagrees with the first then one is a ‘covidiot’ or part of the ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’ or ‘ignorant’. If one disagrees with the second then one is a ‘climate denier’, a ‘conspiracy theorist’ or ‘complacent’. Either way, one is a cause of death. If one disagrees with WOKERY then one is – and this is the most toxic and the most feared – ‘deplorable’, ‘racist’, ‘patriarchal’, ‘transphobic’ and so on. When I say that we cannot have diversity of opinion about diversity, what I mean is that there is a monotonous singularity operating within the system which requires everyone to approve of diversity. It is not possible to express a diverse point of view about this. As is often said, all forms of diversity are acceptable except diversity of political opinion. This is because there is an overwhelming need to make it impossible for traditional uniformitarian ideologies to proselytise: there has to be what we could call a ‘single lock’ which prevents anyone defending anything like a traditional religious position on anything – unless, of course, it is a minority position and thus tolerated under the extension of indulgence to the marginal and oppressed (no matter what contradictions result from this – contradictions such as wokeists defending religious fanaticism).
The twist means that what we have here is NICE TOTALITARIANISM. We have totalitarianism in our state ideology of political correctness which was first glimpsed in the innocent 1990s but has become intensified since around 2010: as mass higher education has coincided with post-industrial work practices and the rise of social mediation by technological means. But this totalitarianism is nice exactly because it has taken the form in the West of the ‘unholy trinity’ or ‘devil’s fork’ of the three great progressive themes of COVID, CLIMATE and WOKERY.
Nice totalitarianism is actually, of course, nasty. It is interventionist, insolent, insinuating, invasive. One of its superheroes is the now famous Captain Hindsight; but he has been joined by his colleagues in the Build Back Better Universe: Modelling-Man, Nurse Prevention and General Censorship. Politicians talk about Zero Covid and Zero Carbon and are likely soon to be talking about Zero Bias (if that is a sufficiently strong term for the combination of zero prejudice, zero privilege and zero hate). Such rhetoric is, as Will Jones has already observed, a rhetoric of absolute justification for an endless, infinite and miscellaneous set of projects. Such rhetoric is sustainable (which means indestructible), alas, because the causes to which it is devoted are unachievable: yet it is imperative that we adopt these causes because they are opposed to hate and death. They enable our rulers to perpetuate a wholly novel form of totalitarian rule, which is armoured by the fact it is for so many reasons nice and is thus hard to argue with in our current abject moral state. We are being outfoxed by the latest Machiavellians.
If anyone else would like to write something about the unholy trinity, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In further evidence that Government scientific advisers live in a fantasy world constructed from models that bear a tenuous relationship to real-world evidence, one of the U.K.’s most well-connected scientists, Sir Jeremy Farrar of the Wellcome Trust, has quit SAGE after criticising the Government for refusing to heed its alarmist, failed predictions. Sir Jeremy appears to be oblivious to the fact that, with reported infections dropping to under 34,000 on Tuesday, down 10% in a week, the modellers’ prognostications of doom have faltered once again. The Telegraph has more.
[I]t has emerged that Sir Jeremy resigned from SAGE at the end of last month.
In a statement, he said Government scientists had come under “huge pressure” during the pandemic.
Sir Jeremy has previously said that he “seriously considered resigning from SAGE” a year ago, after the Government went against its advice to introduce a lockdown as cases rose last autumn.
In his book, published earlier this year, he wrote: “That was the darkest moment of the pandemic. I began to question the point of giving advice to a body that chose not to use it. There comes a time when you have to ask yourself, and the people you trust, whether you are complicit with the decisions that are made as a result.”
Sir Jeremy gave a statement to Sky News on Tuesday:
Attempts to see details of a key email conversation between leading scientists – including Sir Patrick Vallance and Anthony Fauci – on the origins of Covid have been quashed by the British Government which has redacted page after page with thick black lines, begging the question: “What are they hiding?” The Mail on Sunday has the story.
[The MoS] used Freedom of Information rules to obtain a cache of 32 emails about a secretive teleconference between British and American health officials held early in the pandemic.
But officials blacked out almost every word before releasing the crucial documents.
Before this discussion, several of the world’s most influential experts believed the new virus most likely came from a laboratory – but days later, the scientists began dismissing such scenarios as “implausible” and branding them conspiracy theories.
The critical call is at the centre of concerns that the scientific establishment tried to stifle debate on the pandemic’s origins, as damning new evidence emerges of U.S. ties to high-risk research on bat viruses in Wuhan, where the first cases emerged in late 2019.
The MoS requested emails, minutes and notes on the call between Sir Patrick Vallance – Britain’s Chief Scientific Adviser – and its organisers Sir Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust medical charity, and Anthony Fauci, the U.S. infectious diseases expert and presidential adviser.
Yet when the documents were released they had page after page redacted with thick lines of black ink by Whitehall officials. Even the names of experts copied in on discussions were blocked – and exchanges as trivial as one Edinburgh biologist’s “thank you” for being invited – leaving only a few basic details about the call visible.
The lines left intact include a demand for the discussions, involving 13 participants around the world, to be conducted in “total confidence”, and an intriguing email line suggesting “we need to talk about the backbone too, not just the insert”.
That was possibly sent by Dutch virologist Marion Koopmans, a member of the World Health Organisation team that produced a widely criticised report into Covid’s origins.
Such absurd state secrecy is highly contemptuous towards taxpayers and to a world that wants to know what caused this devastating pandemic to guard against similar catastrophes in the future.
The response was condemned by Tory MP and freedom of information campaigner David Davis.
“This is a matter of massive public and global importance,” he said. “It is hard to see why there should be such secrecy that it outweighs the immense public interest and requires them to redact this sort of important data.”
Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: Ian Birrell, who wrote the piece in the Mail on Sunday, has produced a Twitter thread showing some of the redacted documents which you can see here.
The Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden says it is a “good idea” to ban unvaccinated American children from going to school, adding that “we’ve done this for decades and decades” with other vaccines. MailOnline has the story.
[Dr. Anthony] Fauci said it was a “good idea” for schools to force children to get their Covid vaccinations amidst discussions on the booster shot roll-out, while adding that doing so would hardly be the first time.
The Chief Medical Adviser for the White House cited the growing prevalence of the highly-contagious Delta variant, as well as the fact that students already need a variety of booster shots for school, as reasons to further vaccinate children from the coronavirus.
“I believe that mandating vaccines for children to appear in school is a good idea,” Fauci said Sunday in an interview on CNN’s State of the Union.
“We’ve done this for decades and decades, requiring polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis. So this would not be something new requiring vaccinations for children to come to school.”
Fauci, who has become a target of criticism by members of the Republican Party over the last year, told CNN that said criticism is “just a reflection of the politicisation of what should be a purely public health issue and it’s really unfortunate”.
The Covid tsar spoke as new research published in the Lancet Infectious Disease journal showed that the Delta strain of Covid could double the risk of hospitalisation among those who have not been vaccinated.
Worth reading in full.