[FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW] “People are thinking COVID has gone away and we're getting back to normal. But in a sort-of international public health world, that's not the case at all. We're building new institutions, we're expanding institutions, and all the expansion is around pandemic preparedness and response.”
In this episode, I sit down with public health physician and Brownstone Institute fellow Dr. David Bell. A former World Health Organization medical officer, he recently published “Pandemic Preparedness and the Road to International Fascism” in the American Journal of Economics and Sociology.
“The hope of writing the paper, and I think of us talking, is to try to get the public health world, who are very much on board with this and going forward with it, of stepping back and really thinking what they're doing, because they've repeatedly done huge harm to society over the last couple of hundred years. And it's clear that they're on that path again,” says Dr. Bell.
He argues that public health played a large role in justifying the takeover of populations by colonial empires of Europe, and that given new International Health Regulations, which will have force under international law, it is likely that history may repeat itself.
“Forerunners to the World Health Organization were the Paris Agreements and other agreements of the late 19th century around stopping pandemics coming from the colonies to Europe,” says Dr. Bell.
Jan Jekielek: Dr. David Bell, such a pleasure to have you on American Thought Leaders.
Dr. David Bell: Thanks. It's good to be here.
Mr. Jekielek: You wrote a really interesting paper recently, “Pandemic preparedness and the road to international fascism.” Given the title, I'm shocked that it actually got published in a journal today. It paints an important picture that we should all know about, and I want to discuss that paper today with you.
Dr. Bell: The way that public health has gone recently has become clear. As a public health physician, it's disturbing to see what has happened, but it's not surprising. It's about the path we're taking to international fascism. Public health is playing a lead role in that through Covid and the pandemic preparedness agenda that we're on now. I'm trying to point out that this is not new, and that this would be expected historically.
Going back to the colonialist era, public health played a large role in justifying the takeover of populations in the colonial empires of Europe. The pandemics played a big part in that. The forerunners to the WHO, [World Health Organization] were the Paris agreements and other agreements in the late 19th century around stopping pandemics from the colonies from coming to Europe.
We move on from there to the eugenics era of the 1920s and 1930s and the overt European fascism where doctors were overrepresented in the Nazi party and also in Mussolini's fascism. Now we are facing an era of emergency rule, rule by decree, and a very close symbiosis of large corporations and government, which can be called corporate authoritarianism, which really was Mussolini's definition of fascism.
We are seeing public health policy pushing this. We're seeing very strong coercion, censorship, and vilification of people who don't comply. This is all being pushed based on a series of lies and fallacies, which are really obvious. It is the classic fascist approach, and in the same way it's concentrating wealth among the few that are orchestrating it.
The hope in writing the paper and of us talking today, is to try to get the public health world who are very much on board and going forward with this to step back and really think about what they're doing. They've repeatedly done huge harm to society over the last couple of hundred years, and it's clear that they're on that path again. We can go into a number of reasons for why they comply with that, but first they have got to face the reality around them.
Mr. Jekielek: Whenever you say the word fascism, that's one of those-
Dr. Bell: It's a trigger.
Mr. Jekielek: Exactly. You can throw out that word, you can use it, but no one ever wants to be called that. It's used liberally in inappropriate ways to basically demonize people.
Dr. Bell: Yes.
Mr. Jekielek: We have to put extra attention today on justifying your statement. Again, I'm surprised that it was published with that concept of fascism, but you're very serious in your treatment. You're not casually throwing this word out. All the steps that you've seen in the fascist model are being replicated today. What are those steps?
Dr. Bell: First, we see this very tight cooperation between large corporations and government. That has been increasing over the last few years in public health. It started off with these public-private partnerships which seemed good at the start. Fascism is a trigger, but it's also a real thing. It's a trigger because of what happened in the second World War. Fascism also dominated the whole technocracy movement and the eugenics movement of the 1920s and '30s. The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health started off around eugenics.
This was mainstream public health. It's the thought that all people are not equal, but you have an elite that will manage the rest for the greater good. This was a corporate/government elite that worked together very closely. People have forgotten, but this was mainstream public health. It was the mainstream thinking in the ‘20s and ‘30s in North America.
It then became discredited and pushed aside for several decades after WWII. We associate fascism with the idea of black and white pictures of people in jack boots. But in the ‘20s and ‘30s, this was the progressive way forward, pushed by large corporations, high levels of government, and by certain professions. It's a very attractive way, because the idea is that the experts decide what the masses do, but it also leads to the forced sterilization of people who are considered inferior.
Again, this was mainstream public health in North America not that long ago. It can go to the excesses that the Nazis took, but it is not people in jack boots breaking windows. It's a progressive worldview pushed by wealthy people, which will eventually benefit them. But we have to look at it with colored glasses, and not through the black and white film of the 1930s. We need to recognize the progressive movement now is very much aligned with that way of thinking, and it's an easy place to fall into. It also arose very much from the Left, as we call it now.
Mr. Jekielek: Typically people will juxtapose communism on the Left with fascism on the Right, but you're saying that fascism is actually a progressive movement.
Dr. Bell: That's how it was seen, and that's how the New York Times saw it. It's how Time magazine saw it, and they had Hitler as a Man of the Year in the 1930s. Right-Left is a totalitarian way of viewing things. It differs from classic communism, where supposedly, all people are equal. In fascism they are not, and you've got an elite who are dictating. But in the end, they both have a totalitarian approach.
Kudos to the journal that published the paper with that title. It shows that not all publishing is completely bought off, and some are willing to publish a diversity of views. But if we stop and observe, we can see where we are going with this pandemic preparedness agenda. We are really co-opting public money for the benefit of private interests for a fallacy—the idea that pandemics are an existential threat.
They weren't in the 1990s, and we should be even better at it now. They haven't been since the 1920 Spanish flu when we didn't have antibiotics and people died of secondary infection. Health-wise, when people die, they die of many other diseases; heart disease, cancer, along with tuberculosis and malaria in other countries. These outbreaks, even of Ebola, are a tiny fraction of life-years lost and of mortality.
The whole agenda now that pandemics are an existential threat are built on a fallacy. It's simply not historically true. The only way it can be true is if we have a whole series of lab leaks or the release of engineered viruses, because it's not going to happen naturally. If this agenda is built on a fallacy like that and strongly pushed and takes over public health policy and society, then we need to look at what is going on and why this is happening.
This is not a normal way for humans to act and to massively overemphasize a threat like this. Then you have to look at who is gaining from this. During the Covid outbreak, when we had a virus that appeared to almost certainly be engineered and accidentally released, but we don't actually know, hundreds of billions of dollars accumulated in the hands of relatively few people.
At the start of the Covid outbreak, these people in corporations said, “We should throw away all prior public health knowledge on how we handle an outbreak,” where it has already been published that we never lock down and we never do those things. A couple of thousand years of knowledge about natural immunity was thrown out. All of that was thrown out. We had a series of lies, one of which was. “Natural immunity doesn't work against respiratory viruses.”
We had a virus that kills people at the average age of about 75 to 80, which we knew about from the very start of 2020 because of what happened in China. Certain people and entities pushed very strongly that we lock down everyone in society, that we close businesses, and that we pretend that we have no natural defense against viruses. They claimed that we have no medicinal defenses against this virus, even though things like vitamin D are scientifically proven to improve our immune function which we use to fight the virus ourselves.
Inevitably, by doing that, we shifted wealth from all the people who used to work, to the people who were gaining from these lockdowns. Initially, this was very much the software companies. Then we shifted to mass vaccination with an injectable vaccine, which we already know is not going to work very well against respiratory viruses. Anthony Fauci published a paper in January 2023 pointing out that we always knew it wouldn't work.
The net result was a shift of hundreds of billions of dollars to the vaccine companies and their investors. We have this situation where there's no public health basis for this unorthodox public health policy. There's no scientific basis for what happened. You have to look further, and then you find it's a push to change society to a very different fascist or feudalistic structure.
Mr. Jekielek: Isn't it a technocratic structure?
Dr. Bell: It is a technocratic structure which was tried in the '20s and '30s, and it is being tried again. Greed is a normal human trait and is very strong in all of us if we don't control it. Greed means you want to take stuff from other people for the betterment of yourself and your family.
If you have individuals who start to get the wealth of whole countries, which we have seen over the last few decades, then this normal human trait will lead them to use their money to buy governments, media, and the software companies who control the public discourse. They will use that control during something like Covid to further increase their wealth. It's hard to find really wealthy people who don't want to get wealthier.
Mr. Jekielek: Do you envision a constant state of health emergency to facilitate this transition?
Dr. Bell: Yes. We now have this pandemic preparedness agenda. People are thinking Covid has gone away and that we're getting back to normal, but in the international public health world, that's not the case at all. We are expanding institutions, we’re building new institutions, and all the expansion is around pandemic preparedness and response. In a couple of weeks' time, the UN General Assembly will be releasing a report on this.
It's about 30 pages of language around equity, children's rights, and the importance of education by these people who've just closed schools in Uganda for two years. They have put hundreds of millions of children out of school and increased poverty. But within that, it essentially says that we need to stop disinformation and censor people. It says that pandemics and health emergencies are an existential threat, and to manage this the world has to give more authority to the World Health Organization, in particular, and the UN, in general.
Next May, the WHO is moving to change international health regulations, which most people still aren't aware of, but which have force under international law. Rather than just being recommendations from the director general of the WHO, the countries that sign them will be implementing these recommendations, essentially making his recommendations the rules that they will follow.
They expand the idea of a health emergency from demonstrated harm to anything that the World Health Organization considers a threat. They even expand it beyond pandemics and viruses to things like climate change or this one health agenda where anything in the environment or society that could harm human wellbeing in any way can be seen as a public health emergency. It puts in place the ability to essentially have a permanent state of emergency, which we're seeing anyway if you look at the media over even the last few months.
The state of emergency will allow, and this is within the International Health regulations and the treaty that's going with it, it will allow the mandating of border closures, quarantine, mass vaccination, and required medical examinations of the population. Essentially, the states will be doing this whenever the director of the World Health Organization says that they should do it.
Mr. Jekielek: These new variants of Covid, Eris and Pirola, are out there right now. The fear narrative is coming back, but not nearly as strong. How do you view that in light of everything you're talking about right now?
Dr. Bell: To bring in something as stupid as this you need fear, because it's not rational. It is not rational for us to be terrified of the next virus when we haven't really had a bad one since the 1920s. Even then, most people went through it pretty normally, so it's not rational. You need fear to work on people's minds.
Mr. Jekielek: Please qualify what you said. Most people think the 1920 pandemic was extremely serious. They also think that the initial wave of Covid was actually extremely serious.
Dr. Bell: In parts of California where they have looked and done audits, the actual mortality reported is 30 to 40 percent lower than the official figures. We know that early on the way that patients were managed had a significant impact on mortality. In New York, 85 to 90 percent of people who were intubated didn't get off the ventilator, and they died.
That's not surprising. If you have frail old people who have respiratory disease, and then you intubate and paralyze them, there's a very high mortality rate. Part of the mortality is in the way that we manage things. Part of it is from people dying for other reasons. Part of it is people actually dying from Covid, which was a significant disease. But it was mainly for quite old people who had other comorbidities such as diabetes and severe obesity.
In that high-risk group, there was significant disease. For the rest of the young college students who are now being locked down again in some colleges, less than one-in-a-million healthy college students would be expected to die. For the vast majority of the population, it isn't much different than the flu. If you look at it globally, it was around a 1.15 percent mortality rate. About one in 500 people probably died with the virus.
Mr. Jekielek: That shouldn't qualify as a giant health emergency.
Dr. Bell: In public health, a number of things went out the window in early 2021 in the way that we look at disease burden and at life-years lost. Almost everyone in society would agree with the following; if a five-year-old child dies of pneumonia or malaria, they lose 70 years of life. It's a tragedy. If an 85-year-old who is already sick dies, they probably lose six months to a year. It's also a tragedy.
If you have a choice to put resources into malaria or childhood pneumonia, or an 85-year-old who is very sick, has six months to live, and then gets a respiratory virus, where are you going to put your resources? The bigger burden of disease is in the children, so you would put your resources there. It doesn't mean that one life is more important than the other, but we're talking about how we can use resources most effectively.
Covid was a real disease which affected people, and some people died from it. But we put measures in place that we knew would increase poverty. We know that poverty shortens life expectancy. We know that closing clinics that screen for cancer will increase cancer deaths. That's why we screen for cancer to reduce it. We know that making people scared to go to the hospital when they have chest pain will increase heart mortality.
We know that closing the clinics in other countries will increase tuberculosis and malaria, so we try to make these balances. We have a relatively minor disease, and then we have these major diseases that kill most people. Even during the height of Covid in the United States, cancer and heart disease were killing more people than Covid, and at a younger average age.
Therefore, you don't make them worse to address this relatively minor issue. The World Health Organization essentially pretended that the one thing that mattered was this virus, and that this virus was doing far less harm than a whole range of other diseases that we normally cope with every day. In that, it was certainly a grossly exaggerated threat. Undoubtedly, we have done net harm to health by concentrating on the virus at the expense of everything else.
The vaccine is an example of spending about $10 billion trying to vaccinate 70 percent of the whole world. We spend $3.5 billion dollars every year on malaria which kills over half-a-million children every year. In life-years lost and in disease burden, malaria is far worse than Covid globally. But in this pandemic preparedness agenda, we are putting three times more resources just in the Covid vaccine, and leaving everything else aside.
Now, we are putting a system in place to try to stop the next pandemic, which historically we would expect in a couple hundred years time, but we are being told it could come at any moment. The World Health Organization and the World Bank and others are advocating that we put in $31.5 billion a year, and $10.5 billion of that will be new money. We're on the road to this right now.
These treaties are using public money. It is taxpayer money from people who are getting poorer. It's going to fund a huge surveillance network which is now being put in place. Every country will be inspected every two years, and there will be a report on how well they are doing. There's a whole bureaucracy being funded for this. They will go out and find variants, because it's normal to find viral variants.
This is how nature works. They will then have the power to say, “This is a potential threat. We will lock down this country and close the borders.” They will impoverish the people while they make their hundred-day vaccine. There will be billions of dollars going into a hundred-day vaccine program.
It will be an mRNA vaccine. They will then mandate or coerce the population to take the vaccine in order to get out of the lockdowns, so that they can get back to their families and get back to their businesses.
The population will take the vaccine. This will put a few hundred billion more in the pockets of these companies who are involved in running this whole network. It is a self-perpetuating way of concentrating wealth for this very, very small disease burden. It will be at the expense of all the other diseases which actually kill people.
We are being sold this as if this is essential for the future of human society and the human race. If you tell a lie enough times, people will believe it. We have white papers from the WHO, the World Bank, the UN, the Wellcome Trust and elsewhere that state categorically in their introductions that pandemics are becoming more frequent and more severe. It's a fallacy, it's wrong, and it has no historical basis.
Mr. Jekielek: It's like we're conveniently forgetting history, public health policy, and epidemiology, all in the name of a fascist impetus.
Dr. Bell: How do you explain all this? Some people say it's a Marxist takeover, and we can fiddle around with words. There is a relatively small part of society that is benefiting, whereas most are being impoverished and losing their basic human rights in this process. A tie-in of corporations and government is running this.
When we talk about national governments, Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum said he has penetrated the cabinets of a whole bunch of countries. A lot of our leaders now are from the World Economic Forum and the Young Global Leaders Program. When we talk about countries now, we're talking about a level of people who are working together in this corporate club.
There is increasing censorship of the media. We are seeing a pushback now in America with the court cases around what's happened at Google and Facebook and Twitter. We're seeing this vilification of people in society with these labels, “Pandemic of the unvaccinated,” and “These people are killing your grandma.” These labels fit in the fascist mold.
There is actually some benefit to putting these labels on people in order to wake them up and make them think about it. You don't take these labels lightly, but you also don't avoid them if they are in front of your face. You have to call a spade a spade, as we would say in Australia. If we start doing that, then we can start undoing what is happening.
Mr. Jekielek: Seeing it for what it is and acting on it somehow.
Dr. Bell: Yes, exactly, acting on it. Acting on it can mean a number of things. It can start by just not complying with stupidity. This system relies on people putting on a mask whenever they're told to, which shows their compliance. If you walk down a street where everyone is masked, it’s very different from walking down a street where you can see people smiling.
If you put on a mask at the door of a restaurant and you take it off at the table, that's an idiotic thing to do. You are just showing that you are complying with the authority of these people who just made hundreds of billions of dollars out of your increasing poverty. You can do that, or you can say, “I'm not going to do that. I'm a sovereign individual. In the end, the government is there to serve me and not to tell me what to do.”
Fascist and totalitarian regimes rely on compliance in order to work. From the public health point of view, people in my profession have to go back to looking objectively at disease burden and looking at the history of immunology. If you impoverish people, then you shorten life expectancy and increase mortality. This has been very well demonstrated.
If you damage economies, you increase mortality, especially in low-income countries. But we have done this. We've pushed girls into child marriage, we've increased child labor, and we've done many things over the last few years that are all very harmful from a public health point of view.
We're coping with it by putting out these memos that say equity and inclusion and make it look as if we're thinking about that. But at the same time, we are putting in these policies for a putative virus or a current variant, which we know will make this far worse, and which don't hold up from the point of view of disease burden. The reason this is happening is because this is where the money is in global health.
It's in pandemic preparedness, and it's there because the people who are managing the whole system will gain from that in the long run. But almost everyone doing it knows that this doesn't make sense. They should know the history of public health and how this ended up in the past.
Mr. Jekielek: Are you saying that the WHO is the hub of a global command and control system?
Dr. Bell: The WHO is mainly a tool. It's not an organization trying to take over the world. It's being used by people who want to do that for their own benefit. If you look at how the organization should work, it should be there to convene meetings between countries and facilitate exchange of ideas and information.
When countries ask for help, it should be there to help. China has 1.3 billion people, a large chunk of the world's population, so it should have a significant influence. If you are looking at the population size, so should India, and so should sub-Saharan Africa.
But that's completely different from having an organization that can direct people in the country to be locked down and mandated to take a vaccine. That is a sovereignty issue. The WHO and the UN shouldn't even be there in the first place. The WHO is significantly funded by private interests. Its second-largest funder is a private organization that has significant pharma investments.
Clearly, there's a conflict of interest. You wouldn't want that entity deciding on who should have what drug in the country. It's funded by certain countries, and the United States and Germany are the big ones who are very big in the drug industry. Nearly all of their funding and all the private funding is directed, which means they don't give it to the WHO so that the WHO can decide what's best for the world. They give it to the WHO to do a specific task that they request. They will even direct them to employ certain people, or to have meetings in certain places.
It's very directed funding, and the WHO is just a tool they're using with their funding to get something they want. That can be good, and it can be bad. Again, in a democratic society you would not let that organization have any power over your people. It would be completely irrational to do that. A country like the U.S. has far more expertise on infectious disease within its borders than the bureaucracy at the WHO.
You're not there just because you're an expert, and it's not a pool of expertise. It's a pool of bureaucrats who are there to manage coordination of certain aspects of health internationally. You can look at their track record around Covid.
They do not understand immunity, how masks work, how the virus was almost all in old people and not in young people, and that if you close schools and massively damage the education of hundreds of millions of children you will push them further into poverty, having bad health effects on them and their country.
If you don't understand that, you've proven that you're not competent to give public health instruction to countries. Again, it's completely illogical to go down the path we are going at the moment where we give more power to this organization to tell to and control over our own health policy.
Mr. Jekielek: Dr. David Bell, it's such a pleasure to have you on the show.
Dr. Bell: Thanks, Jan.
Mr. Jekielek: Thank you all for joining Dr. David Bell and me on this episode of American Thought Leaders. I'm your host, Jan Jekielek.
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