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Above All Else, It was a Spectacle


Over the last few weeks I’ve been chewing on The Spectacle of Covid. The more I think about it, the weirder it gets. What’s striking about the iconic images from the pandemic is how contrived and artificial they now appear. These photos were presented as “breaking news” but now it seems that nearly all of the iconic images of the pandemic were elaborately staged to tell a particular story and achieve certain political outcomes. 

Let’s walk through some of the key pictures from the pandemic and then have a discussion about what it all means. 

People “dropping dead” on the streets of Wuhan

The Guardian officially launched the pandemic with their article, “A man lies dead in the street: the image that captures the Wuhan coronavirus crisis.” 

Héctor Retamal based in Shanghai and employed by Agence France-Presse (AFP) somehow got to Wuhan, took several pictures, and they were distributed worldwide by Getty Images. 

At the time, this photograph seemed like a major scoop that would be embarrassing to the Chinese government. Dead guy in the streets. The “emergency staff in protective suits” look startled implying that the photographer should not be seeing this! 

But let’s think about this for a moment. In China, a photographer for a foreign news agency would have a government minder assigned by the Chinese Communist Party to watch his every move. In order for Mr. Retamal to take this photograph, the government minder would have needed to allow him to be there in the first place, and that permission would have come from on high. Even once Mr. Retamal took the picture he would have needed the ability to get it out of the country — yet his government minder did not confiscate the camera nor prevent him from accessing the internet — which reinforces the point that the Chinese government wanted this photo to get out. The question is why

Furthermore, everything about the image is contrived. People did not just die in the streets from Covid. The body was too neat — he just fell flat on his back in a perfectly comfortable resting position with no limbs akimbo? Presumably his head would have hit the pavement, why was there no blood? Since the government allowed the photo, then these workers probably were not surprised, rather one might surmise that they turned and posed for the camera in order to create the maximum effect. 

This then became a style of reporting — hapless Chinese workers in hazmat suits and people dying in the streets of Wuhan. The Daily Mail provides a particularly egregious video montage of these images, Footage emerges of men and women ‘unable to stand in Chinese city at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak.’

Swiss Policy Research conducted an analysis of the Wuhan Covid photos and videos and concluded that many were either staged or had nothing to do with Covid (in fact they were “drunk people, homeless people, road accidents, unspecified medical emergencies, and even training exercises”). So why were they released and marketed to the public as Covid-related images? 

In retrospect, it now appears that we were being presented with the opening scenes from the movie Contagion transposed from the movie theater to the newspapers. Contagion, more than any other movie, trained us to expect this to happen and now sure enough, it was happening! 

The deadly virus in the fictional films starts in Asia, spreads via well-intentioned international travel, and next thing you know, people are dropping dead. Contagion even featured an Asian wet market as being at the epicenter of the epidemic. 

YouTube video

Ian Lipkin, an epidemiologist at Columbia University who was a consultant on the film Contagion, was part of the team that covered up the lab origins of SARS-CoV-2 at the behest of Tony Fauci during the early days of the pandemic — while the Guardian was running the photograph I showed above. 

Bergamo, Italy — the Covid narrative moves into the developed world

With the inciting incident now firmly in the public imagination, the next act in this stage play was to move the Covid narrative from Wuhan, China into the developed world. This could not just be seen as a regional problem confined to those who might like bat soup. To fulfill the Contagion plot line it had to be seen as a global pandemic. The next stage of this drama was set in Bergamo, Italy.

According the global press, hospitals were overwhelmed, bodies were piling up, and the military was brought in to empty existing cemeteries to make more room for the recently deceased. All because of Covid. And they had the pictures to prove it. 

(As a side note: I’m fascinated that social media was used as a tool to spread the visual messages because it works just as well but authorities then have plausible deniability to claim that they are not the source). 

Heavily indebted Italy became the first developed country to close its borders and lockdown its citizens. The Italian response in Bergamo became the playbook that was used throughout the developed world. 

The problem of course is that the Covid narrative in Bergamo Italy falls apart under closer scrutiny. 

Various news sources quickly pointed out that the image of hundreds of wooden coffins that triggered panic around the world had nothing to do with Covid. From Reuters:

A migrant shipwreck occurred on October 3, 2013 when a ship carrying African migrants sank off the coast of Lampedusa, an Italian island off the coast of Tunisia, (here) with a reported final death toll of over 360 (here). The photo was taken in a hangar at Lampedusa Airport on October 5, 2013 by Agence France-Presse photographer Alberto Pizzoli (here).

But the correction didn’t matter, the image had already done its job of generating fear and turning off the rational parts of people’s brains. 

One of my favorite Substacks, Lies are UnBekoming, published a comprehensive takedowns of the rest of the Covid narrative in Italy. Some of the key points:

  • Because of budget cutbacks, every flu season the hospitals are overwhelmed. 
  • In 2020, the problem was exacerbated by Covid rumors and border closings that kept the nursing staff that is largely from Eastern Europe from making it to their posts. 
  • The population in Bergamo is older and the region is more polluted than other parts of Italy that did not experience similar problems. 
  • In a pattern that we soon saw repeated throughout the developed world, hospitals rushed to ventilate patients and this caused iatrogenic death. 
  • The military transported some bodies because in the panic over Covid many cemeteries had simply stopped providing their usual burial services. 
  • There were also widespread reports of a novel flu vaccine campaign targeting the elderly in Bergamo earlier in the year that may have contributed to fatalities that were later attributed to Covid.
  • Italy was rewarded for its cooperation with The Powers That Be via a massive recovery loan package from the European Central Bank. 

The Covid narrative was now ready to make the leap to the United States.

Images from NYC

New York City really outdid itself when it came to pandemic theater. NYC had among the worst pandemic outcomes anywhere in the world. But that was because they obediently followed the lethal and moronic CDC guidelines and hospitals used the wrong protocols (zero prophylaxis or early treatment and overuse of ventilators that killed 90 percent of patients). The images that became iconic were testaments to NYC’s failures to think critically and logically about the challenges at hand.

The US Naval Ship Comfort contained 1,000 beds and 1,200 medical personnel and sat mostly empty before departing. 

The Javits Convention Center was converted to a 3,000 bed emergency hospital. It too sat mostly empty.

But the Powers That Be wanted everyone to know that things were really bad and everyone was going to die unless they obeyed. 

In April and May 2020, refrigerated morgue trucks captured the public imagination for weeks. But they were not the result of Covid per se, rather this is what happens when hospitals kill 90 percent of their Covid patients by using the wrong protocols. An analysis by Jeffrey Tucker at Brownstone Institute showed that refrigerated morgue trucks became necessary because lockdowns closed funeral homes and cemeteries, artificially creating a backlog. 

And if the refrigerated morgue trucks were not enough, as the New York Times, Washington Post, Time Magazine, USA Today and other mainstream publications all ran with overhead photographs of New York City’s potter’s field on Hart Island. Later analysis challenged the notion that there had been an increase in such burials, but by then the visual message of danger and doom was already firmly planted in the public imagination. 

So NYC became this weird juxtaposition of empty emergency facilities and “we’re all going to die” imagery even though the crux of the problem was bad hospital protocols and lockdowns rather than Covid itself. 

The ritual humiliation of Dr. Sanjay Gupta every Saturday night on CNN

Every night during the height of the pandemic, when millions of Americans were locked down in their homes with nothing to do, billionaire psychopath Bill Gates, who did not finish college, bought his way onto Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN) where actual neurosurgeon, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, was forced to treat Gates as the expert on the pandemic. 

Bill Gates smirked his way through every interview. He provided no new insights. Why was an esteemed immigrant neurosurgeon forced to ask Gates questions rather than the other way around!? 

I believe the unstated purpose of the Cooper/Gupta/Gates interviews was several-fold. Gates did it to humiliate Dr. Gupta and the medical profession. He showed that they are just puppets for hire; they don’t care about science or self-respect. 

As Robert Kennedy, Jr. points out, 80 percent of the revenue for Anderson Cooper 360 comes from Big Pharma, so Gates’ appearance was paid product placement to hype the coming vaccines. 

Gates also seems to enjoy lording over us that he is the architect of our fate. Gates is like an arsonist chatting with a family in the street while watching their house burn down. Every Saturday night during the height of the pandemic Gates was saying to the American people, “I did this to you and there is nothing you can do about it because I’m so rich.” It was this odd mix of Goebbels and Mengele and Gates did it because he could and because that’s his kink.

Dancing nurses

Nothing captured the psyop better than the thousands of videos on TikTok of nurses and doctors in empty hospital wards at a time when the world was locked down in order “to preserve hospital capacity.” These are elaborate dance routines that would have taken many hours to choreograph, practice, and record.

Perhaps the videos were organic — nurses had time on their hands, dancing videos are popular, TikTok was exploding in popularity. But the cumulative effect was to say, “We shut down the global economy for the first time in history under the guise of preserving hospital capacity, but hospitals are empty, so the joke’s on you.” 

Coordinated global media bombardment of nations that failed to obey the Pharma agenda

As Big Pharma tightened its grip throughout the world, it engaged in a “Clear and Hold Operation” to punish nations that were not sufficiently obedient to its diktats.

Sweden kept schools, their borders, and the economy open and refused to mandate vaccines when they became available. So the media engaged in a protracted digital bombing campaign designed to force Sweden to turn its citizens over to the cartel. The focus of their rage was Sweden’s state epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, who actually read the scientific evidence for himself and followed the data (unlike the captured bureaucrats in the US). 

Here’s a small sample of the digital hate:

France 24, May 17, 2020

Sweden’s Covid-19 strategy has caused an ‘amplification of the epidemic

The New York Times, July 7, 2020

Sweden Has Become the World’s Cautionary Tale

Forbes, July 7, 2020

Sweden Stayed Open And More People Died Of Covid-19, But The Real Reason May Be Something Darker

Foreign Policy, Dec. 22, 2020

The Inside Story of How Sweden Botched Its Coronavirus Response

Chicago Policy Review, Dec. 14, 2021

Sweden’s Unconventional Approach to Covid-19: What went wrong

It’s almost comical to look back on it now, given that Sweden actually had the lowest excess mortality in all of Europe and has been vindicated on every count. But Big Pharma had a trillion dollars of profit to harvest and they used the media to make an example out of Sweden while they could.

Others were not so lucky. The President of Tanzania, John Magufuli, embarrassed the World Health Organization by testing a goat and a pawpaw for Covid — both tests came back positive. On February 8, 2021, the Guardian, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that, “It’s time for Africa to rein in Tanzania’s anti-vaxxer president.” 

In effect, the mob boss had announced that Magufuli needs to get got. And 37 days later, he was dead. The Guardian rejoiced along with the rest of the mainstream media. Mathew Crawford published an extraordinary article documenting the enormous death toll among African leaders who resisted Big Pharma’s Covid diktats. 

Next, one or more individual states in India had the temerity to provide its citizens with blister packs containing zinc, doxycycline, and ivermectin (“Ziverdo kits”) — to prevent and treat Covid. Pharma saw this as an attempt to deny them one billion new vaccine customers so they called in the mainstream media to bomb them into submission. This was the carpet bombing over five weeks just from the New York Times

The images they chose to illustrate the articles were gruesome:

And then, as quickly as the attacks on India appeared, they disappeared again, presumably because they struck a deal to abandon safe and effective existing medicines in favor of Covid vaccines. (If anyone knows the full story there please let us know in the comments). 

The FDA’s murderous “You are not a horse” campaign

In 2015, the researchers who discovered ivermectin were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Ivermectin, a microorganism in the soil in Japan, is a wonder drug. It’s a broad spectrum anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-parasite, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer medicine that comes with virtually no side effects. Frontline doctors found that ivermectin was remarkably effective at preventing and treating Covid if used early in the course of disease. This was supported by a large body of scientific research

Seeing the success of ivermectin, and knowing that an effective off-the-shelf medicine would eliminate the market for a Covid vaccine, the US Food and Drug Administration ran a nationwide campaign to mock the drug and block people from getting it. This tweet alone likely resulted in the deaths of thousands of Americans: 

As you may recall, earlier in the pandemic the FDA ran a similar smear campaign against hydroxychloroquine, calling it a “fish tank cleaner.” 

What’s strange about both of these campaigns is that the FDA and CDC knew that they were lying and killing people in the process. 

The CDC’s own research, published in 2005, concluded, “Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread” (that’s literally the title of the article). The US had stockpiled hydroxychloroquine for exactly this sort of emergency — and then Trump couldn’t get it released because he’s incompetent and the Deep State (Rick Bright) blocked him (on orders from whom?). 

The FDA’s, “You are not a horse” tweet is still up. The FDA is saying publicly, “Yes, we are killing you, there is nothing you can do about it, that’s what we do now.” 

The FDA is no longer a public health agency or regulatory agency (if it ever was?) — it is a Shock and Awe PR arm of the global fascist psychological operation. 

The CNN Covid death count ticker 

Throughout the pandemic, CNN filled a quarter of the screen on all of their broadcasts with a Coronavirus pandemic death count ticker to remind people to be very afraid.

At the same time, CNN made sure that viewers did not receive any information regarding off-the-shelf medicines that work. CNN thus provided a three-year-long 24-hours-a-day infomercial to promote toxic, deadly Covid vaccines. The irony of the CNN death ticker then is that CNN itself was one of the angels of death. 


What are we to make of what we have seen over the last three years? Covid was many things. But it was first and foremost a spectacle — a stage play that reordered society and dictated that this is how we things are going to be now

In image after image (I presented about a dozen here but you can surely come up with others) we were presented with a new style of global fascist media warfare. The photos had multiple messages — “Be very afraid,” “Covid is going to kill everyone,” but the subtext was, “The real power in all of this is unseen,” “We are lying about all of this (or are we?),” and “There is nothing you can do about this other than obey.” 

The initial punch to the face turned off rational thought and then they followed that with subconscious messages designed to induce feelings of helplessness. 

Traditional war propaganda consists of, ‘Rah rah! We’re the best! The other side is evil! We’re going to win!’ We saw that in the various Iraq wars and every US military intervention since televisions first appeared. What we have experienced over the last three years was much more sinister than that. Covid digital warfare appears designed to humiliate and demobilize the American people in preparation for extermination.

The Powers That Be use propaganda because it works. Images are powerful things. Photos and videos operate on the subconscious level. So even while we are rationally discussing the evils of this propaganda campaign, to even reshare the images here is fraught, because seeing them again has an emotional impact. It was traumatic to write this article — even though I know the images are contrived, they still affect my psyche.

The way to counter these images is NOT to reshare them and analyze them ala Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent. The better move is to share photos, stories, and videos of vaccine injury. Which is why they censor us so much on social media — they know that the images we possess of the horrors inflicted by Big Pharma fascism are what will turn the tide. So blessings to all of the warriors who are sharing photos, stories, and videos about their vaccine injuries and huzzah to the groups such as React19 that are gathering these testimonies and distributing them to the world.

Please click through (to Rumble) to watch the music video Silence written by Julie Elizabeth and performed by recording artist April — both of whom are vaccine-injured themselves.

Reposted from the author’s Substack

Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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  • Toby Rogers

    Toby Rogers has a Ph.D. in political economy from the University of Sydney in Australia and a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California, Berkeley. His research focus is on regulatory capture and corruption in the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Rogers does grassroots political organizing with medical freedom groups across the country working to stop the epidemic of chronic illness in children. He writes about the political economy of public health on Substack.

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