Ardern’s government, in an absurd overreach, also funded a nationwide effort to discredit critics of policy, labeling them terrorists. This has divided a formerly egalitarian society, instituting a Stasi-like snitch culture that encourages us to dob in a neighbour. Government Disinformation Project employees appeared on funded films aired on television labeling knitting, blond hair, braids, vaccine hesitancy, love of natural foods, Yoga, and yes, motherhood as signs of terrorism that should be reported to the intelligence services.
Anyone who knows what our Covid response policy truly was is theoretically barred from revealing it. We do know the public health agencies were not in charge of the policy, and we know they were pushed out of their leadership role in coordinating and implementing the response. So Fauci et al. are technically correct if they claim no responsibility – although how they could in good conscience advocate such policies is another matter.
Why did Sahin and Türeci postdate the launch of their Covid-19 vaccine project in their book? Well, undoubtedly because the actual start date – and we do not know when exactly the actual start date was – would have seemed far too soon. Based on the above considerations, it must have been at the latest just days after the first December 31, 2019 report of Covid-19 cases in Wuhan.
The peoples of the Mayan and Aztec empires were surrounded by monuments to the greatness of their leaders and their faith, and they celebrated both. We too look back in awe at what they built despite what we know: their social systems were bloody and barbaric in ways we cannot imagine now. And yet when we study their histories in our own times, with the appropriate amount of humility, we face a similar problematic disorientation.
It became very clear that we needed an agile platform that is not mired in bureaucracy or easily intimidated by external forces. Such an organization also needed experienced hands who know about the challenges of public life in a digital age alongside the many considerations that go into surviving as a voice of dissent in times of grave censorship.
On July 11, 2019, a think tank called the Biodefence Commission held a panel discussion entitled A Manhattan Project for Biodefence: Taking Biological Threats off the Table. The objective was to ‘create a national, public-private research and development undertaking to defend the United States against biological threats’.
Although the CDC acknowledged playing a role in the growing distrust in science, none of their professed forms of atonement, such as promising to share data faster and doing a better job of translating science into policy will restore trust without a process that includes honest debate.
We face the question of how to purity test our leaders—both official and unofficial—in light of all the devastation we’ve witnessed during the response to COVID-19. If you believe, as I do, that the importance of this issue presently eclipses that of any other, then every step should be taken to select for leaders who opposed lockdowns as early and as vocally as possible.
The first known mention of the idea that the coronavirus may have originated in a Chinese lab appeared on January 9th 2020 in a report by Radio Free Asia (RFA). This was just days after the virus had first entered public consciousness, and at the time, no deaths had yet been reported and few people were worrying about the virus – including, it seems, the Chinese, who were claiming it wasn’t even clear whether it was spreading between humans.
This is the year when we will learn if Covid illiberalism will begin to be rolled back or has become a permanent feature of the political landscape in the democratic West. Although the head says to fear the worst, the eternally optimistic heart will still hope for the best.