COVID: They tried it before...
In 2005 they had it all ready. The new virus. The lockdowns. Even martial law. Only one problem: the new virus didn't kill many people.
In 2005, US President George Bush Jr. was ready to declare military rule and nationalization.
And why? New virus (avian flu).
You didn’t know?
Neil Ferguson—COVID’s ‘Professor Lockdown’—was important here too.
Dangerous man, Neil Ferguson.
Early 2020, he whips out this computer model in which COVID kills eleven times more people than cancer—and much faster. The only response, he practically screams, is to go on lockdown. And quick.
The whole world listens.
Yes, because Neil Ferguson, top modeler at the World Health Organization (WHO) and top advisor to the British government, was, as one French headline saluted, ‘The Epidemiologist the Whole World Listens To.’ With such Authority, ‘Professor Lockdown,’ as they also called him, got the whole planet—or almost—to lock down. And he stopped the world economy.
That made COVID worse, not better. Even so, COVID killed barely half as many people as cancer, not eleven times more. But the lockdowns themselves were terribly painful: they pushed something like one hundred and fifty million people into extreme poverty.1
Neil Ferguson is one of history’s most dangerous men. Ever.
But here’s the most amazing thing: he was known to be. Among his fellow modelers he’d earned the monicker ‘Master of Disaster’: always predicts Apocalypse; always completely wrong.
I trace that history in greater detail elsewhere; here follows a brief summary.
In 2001, Ferguson—because they listen to him—caused the sudden, military slaughter of 11 million sheep and cattle in the UK, not soon forgotten by the terrified rural Britons who suffered this Dantean cataclysm. It was to deal with foot-and-mouth disease. It was entirely unnecessary. Nearby Holland used existing vaccines and slaughtered only 260,000 head. Cheap for the Netherlands; twelve billion pounds for the UK.
Was Ferguson dismissed? No. Everybody makes mistakes. Can’t fire him for wasting his first 12,000,000,000 of the people’s money, right? We all deserve a second chance.
In 2005, with everyone still listening, Neil Ferguson screamed that bird flu would kill 200 million, equaling our deadliest pandemic ever: the Black Death. The world panicked. Bureaucrats everywhere scrambled to announce costly responses.
And then nothing—or the closest thing. Because bird flu is perhaps the least deadly human pathogen ever. Over a period of several years it killed fewer than 300 human individuals worldwide. A blind chicken pecking at ink and graph paper would have given us a better model of bird flu.
Did Ferguson get fired this time? No. Everybody mak—. Okay, that is ridiculous. But it’s true: they kept him. And what’s more: they kept on listening.
In 2009, Ferguson said the new swine flu, originating in Mexico, would affect one third of humanity and would kill 2 million people on the planet. Mexico was locked down. Three million people lost their jobs and the country went into recession. Total cost: nine billion dollars.
Swine flu killed 1,172 people in Mexico—far less than diarrhea. In the US, even by the CDC’s most exaggerated estimate, swine flu killed half as many as the humdrum seasonal flu.
This time, of course, Neil Ferguson got fired…—not! Nope. Not even a little bit. He was still very much hired—entirely.
You are thinking: Yes, but they never listened to him again. But you are wrong. You know you are. Because COVID came along and they listened—again. And this time Ferguson reached the whole world: he hurt everyone.
Neil Ferguson—did I mention this?—is one of the most dangerous humans ever.
This strange pattern cries out for explanation. ‘Master of Disaster’ proves—ever more convincingly—what a giant liability he is to the human species yet his prestige with top bureaucrats only grows. How to explain that? I find the incompetence hypothesis implausible—it requires too much incompetence. So here’s an alternative:
Machiavellian hypothesis: The Western bosses wish to obtain totalitarian power by way of ‘national emergency.’ To this end, they’ve been conditioning us to accept more and more restrictions on our rights and liberties in exchange for ‘security.’ With every new virus, Neil Ferguson, their dutiful flunkie, predicts catastrophe and calls for lockdowns. But—Alas…!—new viruses are unpredictable; they don’t always kill the numbers required to make emergency powers politically plausible. Even COVID underwhelmed. Yet the bosses decided to make the most of that: on COVID, with a controlled narrative and some impressive props, including the ubiquitous Neil Ferguson, they managed reality to convince the public that fatalities were far worse. And they locked us down.
Consistent with the Machiavellian hypothesis, Neil Ferguson has been exposed already as fundamentally dishonest. But what about his bosses? Well, look more closely at the ‘Black Death’ prediction of 2005. There’s gold in them hills.
The bird-flu gambit
In 2005, Neil Ferguson predicted that bird flu (avian flu) would kill “200 million people probably”—another Black Death. One month later, in lockstep, US President George Bush Jr. announced with pomp and circumstance a plan to deal with any flu pandemic.
Before beginning his announcement, Bush carefully recognized Dr. J.W. Lee, then Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Anthony Fauci, Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and every imaginable federal and state-level health bureaucrat, all of them present in force to support Bush’s claim that
“the scientific community is increasingly concerned by a new influenza virus known as H5N1 or avian flu that is now spreading through bird populations across Asia and has recently reached Europe.”2
“The scientific community is increasingly concerned” basically meant this: Neil Ferguson had produced a model.
Bush recognized that “avian flu has not yet acquired the ability to spread easily from human to human”—a precondition for a pandemic. But his message was that some flu virus, this one or another one, would solve that problem. Sooner or later, a pandemic flu was coming. He had a plan:
“[a] strategy [that] will require the combined efforts of government officials in public health, medical, veterinary, and law enforcement communities and the private sector.”
Bush would invest in technology improvements to get “enough vaccine for every American within 6 months of the start of a pandemic.” And he wanted liability protection for vaccine makers.
Bush’s pandemic-flu plan would also—though he didn’t stress it in the press-conference—‘protect’ the citizens with a country-wide military lockdown.
The mainstream Big Media did not provide this historical context when the COVID lockdowns were imposed in March 2020. But one scholar did: Jeffrey A. Tucker, Editorial Director for the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER). Tucker reminded his small handful of readers that, back in 2005, Bush’s plan had
“called for the military to be ready to enforce travel restrictions, lockdowns, and closings… The government produced a report, now missing from the White House website but viewable on Archive.org, that proposed what amounts to military rule and nationalization.”3 (my emphasis)
The report Tucker refers to was from the Department of Homeland Security and it was called National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza.
The Machiavellian hypothesis promotes a three-fold interpretation of Bush’s plan.
the existence—and announcement—of the plan itself works as a grammatical (discursive) intervention helping to normalize the idea of government total powers during emergencies, moving the Overton window in favor of lockdowns;
if enough people had begun dying from bird-flu, Bush could have just gone ahead to lock everyone down, intensifying the conditioning process of the citizenry; and
lots of taxpayer money (for ‘vaccines’) would flow to the Big Pharma companies, whose corrupting power arguably had something to do with the very existence of Bush’s plan.
In harmony with this analysis, back in 2005 Tucker had commented on the reception of Bush’s announcement as follows:
“What’s remarkable is how little comment [Bush’s] bird flu plan provoked. We seem to have reached the stage in American public opinion where hysterical frenzies by government and totalitarian plans to take away all liberties are treated as just another day.”
And “someone somewhere,” Tucker pointed out, “is going to get that $8 billion” Bush was asking for, “and it is not going to be you or me.” No, that money was going to Big Pharma.
Tucker found the choice of bird flu as the focus of a panic rather strange, as the virus could only infect humans who directly interacted with birds—there was no human-to-human transmission. Were Bush & Co. desperate? “Could it be that [the Bush regime] is running out of other pretexts for expanding power?” Or perhaps—though it apparently didn’t occur to Tucker—Bush & Co. were hoping that bird flu would develop the ability to jump between humans and go pandemic.
But—Alas…!—the best laid Machiavellian plans of mice and men go oft awry, as a fickle nature may not provide the random mutations needed for human-to-human transmission. Would-be totalitarians needed something more reliable.
Solving the problem
A zoonotic virus—originally hosted by another species—initially jumps to humans via people who come in direct contact with the animal host. But a zoonotic virus doesn’t normally come, initially, with the ability for human-to-human transmission, because that’s a different trick requiring further mutations.
The fact that SARS2 was optimally adapted to jump between humans from Day One—from the minute it jumped from bats to our species—has been cited as one important reason (from among many) to take seriously the hypothesis that SARS2 descends from a bat virus modified in a lab: the lab-leak hypothesis.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV)—the ‘Wuhan lab’—is the strongest suspect, because 1) they were doing ‘gain of function’ there on SARS viruses from bats, meaning that they were enhancing the ability of these SARS viruses to infect and kill humans; and 2) the first cases of COVID were documented just a few miles from the Wuhan lab.
It is a fact that Anthony Fauci, so proudly on display in 2005 to endorse Bush’s pandemic-flu plan, is who authorized US government funding and scientific collaboration for gain-of-function research on SARS bat viruses at the Wuhan lab.
The chilling possibility these facts imply is that, with SARS2, eager would-be totalitarian bosses at the top of the US system—collaborating with Chinese totalitarian bosses—finally solved the problem they had experienced in 2005 with that pesky bird-flu virus.
Consistent with this Machiavellian hypothesis is that Neil Ferguson was once again trotted out with a wild exaggeration of the new virus’s lethality in order to justify the swift imposition of the longed-for lockdowns.
Trump/Biden succeeded where Bush Jr. could not.
If you find my pairing of Donald Trump and Joe Biden above shocking, then I must point out two things.
The first is that very little distinguishes Trump’s and Biden’s policies (I mean their policies, not their rhetoric). They both favored lockdowns and mass vaccination. Yes, Donald Trump, once out of office, made a big show of opposing Biden’s vaccine mandates4; but lest we forget, the entire push for mass COVID vaccination with untested technology was Trump’s, and he has always urged everyone to get vaccinated. And though Joe Biden once publicly said he didn’t trust Trump’s vaccines, and “[Kamala] Harris has also said flatly that she would not take Trump's word on the safety and efficacy of a COVID-19 vaccine,” that was before they assumed office5; once they took the White House, Biden and Harris tried to force everyone to get inoculated with Trump’s ‘vaccines.’
In political analysis, it pays to focus on what people do, not so much on what people say. Talk is cheap. Talk can be cheaply employed to feign enmity or rivalry where none exists. And that brings me to my second observation.
The Machiavellian hypothesis pretty much has to assert that the apparent rivalry between the Democratic and Republican parties—at the highest level, at least—is a media show and nothing more, because, without this claim, the Machiavellian hypothesis creates more explanatory problems than it solves.
And once we begin seriously considering this hypothesis of a covertly maintained one-party structure (at the top), then other things become relevant, depending on how long that structure can be inferred to have been in place.
For example, the US military’s biowarfare ‘tests,’ which secretly sprayed millions of US citizens with experimental bioweapons from 1949 to 1969 (and perhaps also later), become relevant. These ‘tests,’ documented for the public in the US Senate in the period 1975-77, were carried out by both Democrat and Republican administrations. They establish that the bosses from both parties back then saw US citizens as little better than lab rats and cared not one whit to protect them from dangerous pathogens. If continuity between that power structure and today’s bosses can be assumed, a Machiavellian interpretation for both Bush’s 2005 bird-flu gambit and the COVID crisis becomes more attractive.
Of course, the claim of behind-the-scenes collusion between top Democrat and Republican bosses must itself be considered ‘a problem’: it must be specifically argued for and tested.
One way to investigate the possibility of an effective one-party structure behind the scenes is to ask: Who commissions and pays for Neil Ferguson’s nonsense forecasts? We’ll look into that next:
‘Cost of Lockdowns: A Preliminary Report’; American Institute for Economic Research; 18 November 2020.
‘Remarks on the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response in Bethesda, Maryland’; 1 November 2005; The American Presidency Project; UC Santa Barbara.
‘A Retrospective on the Avian Flu Scare of 2005’; American Institute for Economic Research; 22 March 2020; by Jeffrey A. Tucker.
‘Trump again publicly defends COVID-19 vaccines, but slams mandates’; ABC NEWS; 23 December 2021; by Oren Oppenheim.
Biden: ‘I trust vaccines. I trust scientists. But I don't trust Donald Trump’; ABC NEWS; 16 September 2020; By Kendall Karson, John Verhovek, and Molly Nagle.