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WHO's on First

WHO’s on First

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A new game is coming to every town and city on Earth. It’s called Global Public Health baseball. The team to beat is the Biomedical State. Here’s their starting lineup.

A diagram of health and medical research

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Pitcher: Public Health Bureaucracy 

Prone to mistakes and wild pitches. Arrogant, can do no wrong. Was a role player in the bullpen for most of career but broke into the limelight in the last campaign. To everyone’s surprise, has become an attention whore. 

Catcher: Military and Scientific Research Institutes

Controls the game for the Biomedical State but doesn’t want to be in the spotlight. Lets Public Health have the attention. Self-interested. Team player as long as the team is doing as it’s told. Good buddies with Pharma. 

First Base: World Health Organization

The new team captain, at least on paper. Very ambitious. Disappointing skills. Full of bluster but weak performance, especially during the previous campaign. Dropped balls and wandered off base. Being promoted into a role for which it’s not equipped. 

Second Base: Pharmaceutical Industry 

Highest paid player on the team. Terrible on-field performance but Manager’s favourite. Good buddies with Military and Scientific Research Institutes. Dirty player but hardly ever gets caught. Somehow manages to have the rules changed to its advantage. Excellent self-promoter. Fan favorite; people can’t get enough. 

Shortstop: Legacy Media and Big Tech

Team spokesman. Speaks in vacuous cliches. Won’t let others talk. Double standards. Won’t admit to errors. Not a fan favorite. 

Third Base: Medical Profession

Rigid skills, stuck in routine. Not creative, doesn’t take criticism well, hard to coach unless paid huge bonuses. One of the higher-paid players, beneficiary of a legacy contract. Claims to care but often observed living the high life. Doesn’t like to practice.

Out in Left Field: Legislatures

Easily distracted, often doesn’t know the score. Tendency to drop the ball. Has accepted minor role on the team even though has more power than realizes. Supports other players even when they don’t reciprocate.

Center Field: Academics and Activists

Most vocal but least skilled on the team. Won’t stop yelling. Usually incoherent but good at rallying the crowd.

Right Field: Common Good Conservatives

Most enthusiastic team booster. Steadfast belief in the value of teamwork and fair play. Most naïve member of the team. Least popular player on the team but doesn’t realize it.

Manager and Owner: Governments

Rules the team with an iron fist. Often wants to appear to be in the background. Pretends to defer to the players. Gives big payouts to favored players like Research Institutes and Pharma. Leans on Media and Big Tech when other players make mistakes.

Umpires: Courts

Think that they’re on the team. Every call is in favor of the Biomedical State. Wild pitches called strikes. 

The League

There are no other teams, just an endless series of citizens at bat. The goal is get them out, out, out of the game.

The Real Game

Of course, the game of Global Public Health is not played on a baseball diamond. But the game is real, and so are the players. Yes, the biomedical state exists. Yes, its players are part of a global public health regime. Yes, it is controlled by national governments, research institutes, and domestic public health authorities, but it will be publicly led by the WHO. A new international pandemic agreement is still in the works. 

The WHO will appear to transition from an advisory body to the directing mind and will of global health, even though certain national governments will be pulling the strings. The WHO will have authority to declare public health emergencies on loose criteria. National and local governments will undertake to do as the WHO directs. They will make private citizens and domestic businesses comply too. Lockdowns, quarantine, vaccines, travel restrictions, surveillance, data collection, and more will be on the table.

Yes, governments are still ultimately in control in their own countries or states/provinces. But many want the WHO to be the face of pandemic response. They want to hide their responsibility and avoid scrutiny from their own people. Officials will be able to justify restrictions by citing international obligations. WHO recommendations leave them no choice, they will say. “The WHO has mandated vaccines, so we cannot let you enter public spaces without one. It’s out of our hands.”

For the pharmaceutical industry, the global public health regime is a business model. The Covid “emergency” allowed the use of new pharmaceutical technology without a normal approval process or rigorous testing. Pharma was already adept at inventing ailments to be treated with new drugs, and at making people dependent upon their supply. Pandemic emergencies take this strategy to the next level. Government mandates make participation in society dependent upon the use of pharmaceutical products. 

During Covid, legacy media reflected the official, hysterical narrative. Governmental authorities and social media platforms attempted to restrict competing facts and skeptical opinions. Regulators of the health professions prohibited doctors and other healthcare workers from expressing views contrary to Covid policies. Most doctors went along. Despite these efforts, dissenters managed to voice alternative stories and to pierce the Covid bubble. The biomedical state plans to do better next time. 

Our society runs on illusions. Things are not what they appear to be. The global public health plan is not just international cooperation to be better prepared for pandemics. It is not an innocent effort to produce more accurate science and better policy. The biomedical state and its partners aim to protect and extend a governance model that serves the interests of its various constituencies. They seek to manage the whole of society using health as the rationale. They’re running away with the game.



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