Those in positions of power have long recognized that conditions of fear and panic furnish exploitable opportunities to restructure society. COVID-19 is certainly a textbook example of this observation, illustrating that well-tuned fear campaigns can persuade many people to abandon essential medical and individual freedoms.
One of the key elements in the propagandist’s toolkit for perpetuating fear is repetition, particularly if the fear messages come from different directions and sources and are cloaked in a veneer of officialdom and respectability.
‘Existential threats’ — history repeats
In January, a bipartisan commission released a dramatic 44-page report calling for an “Apollo Program for Biodefense,” explicitly comparing the proposal to the efforts that first landed humans on the moon. The commission laid the groundwork for its report in 2015, when it published a National Blueprint for Biodefense.
Now, seizing the COVID-19 moment, the commission is making the case for a vastly expanded biodefense budget — amounting to billions of biodefense dollars annually — to implement its conveniently ready-to-go blueprint.
Key members of the Biodefense Commission used the “existential threat” language in the aftermath of 9/11 in reference to terrorism — the same language they are using now regarding pandemics. Commission Chair Joseph Lieberman championed the post-9/11 creation of the Department of Homeland Security; Co-chair Thomas Ridge served as the first Homeland Security director.
Around 2014, world leaders began signaling their intent to swap out the War on Terror for a new narrative. That fall, President Obama hosted the first major meeting of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) — which he later elevated to a national priority — and soon thereafter pronounced the terrorist threat “over-inflated.”
Observing the downplaying of terrorism by Obama and senior administration officials, including then-Vice President Biden, journalists at The Guardian chimed in, calling assertions of an “existential [terrorist] threat” hyperbolic, “zany” and “absurd.” The next year, the Biodefense Commission issued its National Blueprint.
Dovetailing with the Biodefense Commission’s report, the media are telling the public to “start planning for a permanent pandemic.” For example, deploying the loaded language so favored by propagandists, German-American writer Andreas Kluth warned Americans on March 24 (in Bloomberg) of a “global arms race” pitting “coronavirus mutations … against vaccinations,” suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 could “become our permanent enemy, like the flu but worse.”
A former writer for The Economist and a self-styled interpreter of historical successes and failures, Kluth conjures up a foe — a mutating virus too “protean and elusive” to ever be conquered — that undoubtedly hits the biodefense wonks’ sweet spot. Far from rejecting pandemic hyperbole as “zany” or “absurd,” Kluth instead cheerlessly advises Americans to brace for “endless cycles of outbreaks and remissions, social restrictions and relaxations, lockdowns and reopenings.”…
Global control grid
As Children’s Health Defense and others have pointed out, COVID-19 — and the spectre of pandemics more generally — offer a handy pretext for the wider financial and governance overhaul that is unfolding, benefiting the few while building out a global control grid for the many.
In this context, we should not be surprised to see that the Biodefense Commission’s report highlights 15 core technology priorities that would fundamentally restructure society and daily life — in both the physical and digital realms — in the service of pathogen vigilance. These include:
- A National Public Health Data System to “integrate, curate and analyze” granular data at all levels in “real time.”
- Artificial-intelligence-driven “digital pathogen surveillance” involving tracking of data sources like social media, online forums and internet search queries.
- “Pathogen transmission suppression in the built environment,” including “air filtration and sterilization systems” that could involve diffusion of nanoparticles (no consent required) via HVAC systems.
- “Needle-free” methods of drug and vaccine administration to “increase uptake” and work around “the logistical challenges of delivering these pharmaceuticals to potentially billions of people.”…