Connect with us


Gates-backed PhIII study tuberculosis vaccine study gets underway

A large study of an experimental vaccine for the world’s biggest infectious disease has finally kicked off in South Africa.
The Bill & Melinda Gates…



A large study of an experimental vaccine for the world’s biggest infectious disease has finally kicked off in South Africa.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute (MRI) will test a tuberculosis vaccine’s ability to prevent latent infections from causing potentially deadly lung disease. Last summer the nonprofit said it would foot $400 million of the estimated $550 million cost of running the 20,000-person Phase III trial.

It’s a pivotal moment for a vaccine whose origins date back 25 years when scientists identified two proteins that triggered strong immunity to the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. A fusion of those proteins, paired with the tree bark-derived adjuvant that helps power GSK’s shingles shot, comprise the so-called M72 vaccine.

Thomas Scriba

After decades of failures in the field, the vaccine impressed scientists in 2018 when GSK found that it was 54% efficacious at preventing lung disease in a 3,600-person Phase IIb study.

But the Big Pharma decided that a full-blown trial was too expensive to conduct on its own. Gates MRI stepped in to license the vaccine in early 2020, right before the Covid pandemic shifted global vaccine priorities towards the coronavirus, further stalling the tuberculosis shot.

“There’s been frustration that it’s taken so long to get this trial up and running,” Thomas Scriba, deputy director of immunology for the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative, told Endpoints News last summer.

At last, the vaccine is getting a chance to prove itself in a bigger study. If successful, it could lead to the first new shot for tuberculosis in over a century.

Emilio Emini, CEO of the Gates MRI, told Endpoints that the initial results may come in roughly four to six years. “Hopefully this will galvanize a refocus on TB,” he said. “It’s been ignored for many, many years. We can’t ignore it anymore.”

A substantial impact

Even though an existing vaccine helps protect babies and children against severe tuberculosis, the bacterium responsible for the disease still causes roughly 10 million new cases and 500,000 deaths each year.

Emilio Emini

By vaccinating adolescents and adults who test positive for infections but don’t have symptoms of lung disease, the Gates MRI hopes the shot will help prevent mild infections from becoming severe ones, curtail transmission of the bug, which is predominantly driven by people with lung disease, and reduce deaths.

“The impact would be substantial,” Emini said. But he cautioned that the biology behind mild and severe diseases is still mysterious. “The reality is that no one really knows what keeps it under control.”

The study, which will take place at 60 sites across seven countries, will include some people who are not infected with tuberculosis to ensure that the vaccine is safe in that broader population.

“Having to pre-test everybody is not going to make the vaccine easy to deliver,” Emini said. If the vaccine is ultimately approved, it will likely be used in targeted communities with high tuberculosis, rather than across a whole country, he added. “In practice, you would immunize everybody in those populations.”

Emini described the Gates MRI’s rights to the vaccine as “close to a worldwide license.” GSK retained rights to commercialize the vaccine in certain countries but declined to specify which ones.

A spokesperson for GSK said that the company “has around 30 assets under development specifically for global health … none of which are expected to generate significant return on investment.”

“It is not sustainable or practical in the longer term for GSK to deliver all of these alone. So we continue to work on M72, but in partnership with others,” the spokesperson added.

If the shot works, Emini said that the Gates MRI will sublicense it to a manufacturer that will be responsible for making and marketing the vaccine. The details are still being worked out, he noted.

Read More

Continue Reading


Greenback Surges after BOJ Hikes and Ends YCC and RBA Delivers a Dovish Hold

Overview: The US dollar is surging today against
most of the G10 currencies, and although the intraday momentum is stretched
ahead of start of the North…



Overview: The US dollar is surging today against most of the G10 currencies, and although the intraday momentum is stretched ahead of start of the North American session, there may be little incentive to resist before the end of the FOMC meeting tomorrow. The Bank of Japan's rate hike and the end of Yield Curve Control were not seen as the start of the tightening cycle. The two-year JGB yield slipped to a two-week low and settled below its 20-day moving average for the first time since mid-January. The Reserve Bank of Australia delivered a dovish hold by dropping the reference the future tightening. The yen (~-0.95%) and Australian dollar (~-0.85%) are the weakest of the G10 currencies. Emerging market currencies are lower, led by the Philippine peso (~-0.65%). The offshore yuan is weaker for the sixth consecutive session. 

Japanese, Australian, and New Zealand equities bucked the regional trend to advance today. Stoxx 600 in Europe is slightly lower, and if sustained, it would be the fourth consecutive losing session. That would be the long losing streak since last October. US index futures are nursing small losses. Ten-year JGB and Australian bond yield fell almost three basis points today. European benchmark yields are mostly slightly softer, though the periphery is lagging the core today. The US 10-year yield is little changed near 4.32%. The high for the year is near 4.35%. The US two-year yield did set a new high for the year yesterday near 4.75%. It is near 4.72% now. The greenback's strength is capping gold, which is trading inside yesterday's range and straddling the $2150 area. May WTI soared to $82.50 yesterday as its recent rally was extended amid Ukrainian strikes on Russian refiners. Diesel futures rose for the fourth consecutive session yesterday and gasoline futures extend its rally for a sixth session. May WTI is consolidating in a narrow range around $82. 

Asia Pacific

The Japanese press reports turned out to be fairly accurate: the Bank of Japan hiked its overnight target rate to 0%-0.1%. It scrapped the Yield Curve Control and confirmed it would stop buying ETFs. The one surprise was that the central bank indicated it would continue to purchase long-term bonds as needed. Governor Ueda, on one hand, said that the sustained 2% inflation target is not in hand, which sounded dovish. He also recognized that if the positive trends for wages and prices lift inflation expectations, and higher prices results, rate hikes may be necessary. The 10-year yield softened by almost three basis points (to ~0.73%). The Nikkei rallied 1%, and the yen was sold. The US dollar reached about JPY150.50.

As widely expected, the Reserve Bank of Australia left its cash target rate at 4.35%, where it has been since it was lifted by 25 bp last November. Economic activity has slowed, and price pressures are moderating, but the RBA seems to be in no hurry to unwind the November hike. Still, it dropped the reference to possible future hikes. The dovish hold sent the Australian dollar to a nine-day low near $0.6510. The futures market is not 100% confident the RBA will do so before September. However, the odds of an August cut have been marked up to around 97% from about 78% yesterday. 

The dollar is rising against the Japanese yen for the sixth consecutive session. It matches the longest advancing streak since last August and lifted the greenback to two-week highs near JPY150.70. The greenback approached JPY151 in mid-February through early March. The high from 2022 and 2023 was closer to JPY152. The intraday momentum indicators are stretched ahead of the North American open, but there may be little incentive to resist before tomorrow's FOMC meeting. What is being seen as a dovish hold by the RBA has sent the Australian dollar to nearly $0.6500. The trendline off the mid-February and early March lows comes in today a little below there. The low earlier this month was set slightly below $0.6480. The intraday momentum indicators are stretched. Initial resistance now is seen int he $0.6520-25 area. The greenback's gains, especially against the yen, have weighed on the Chinese yuan. The dollar is challenged the CNY7.20 cap that has not been violated this year. The PBOC set the dollar's reference rate at CNY7.0985 (CNY7.0943 yesterday). The Bloomberg average was CNY7.2020 (CNY7.1993 yesterday). The dollar is rising against the offshore yuan for the sixth consecutive session. It has reached CNH7.2130, its highest level in two weeks. The high for the year was set on February 14 near CNH7.2335.


The focus will not shift to Europe until Thursday. Three central banks meet then, Norway's Norges Bank, the Swiss National Bank, and the Bank of England. It is true the UK sees February CPI tomorrow. The year-over-year rate is expected to fall toward 3.5% from 4.0% and the core rate is seen falling to 4.6% from 5.1%. The UK's three-month annualized rate may near 2% and the six-month annualized increase maybe around 1.6%. Still, the market does not expect the BOE or the other west European central banks to change policy. Still, we suspect the risk is for a SNB move to get ahead of the ECB. The macro backdrop is conducive for a move with softer growth and low inflation. 

The March ZEW survey in Germany showed a little improvement. The assessment of the current situation remains poor. It edged up to -80.5 from -81.7. At its worst, during the pandemic, it fell to -93.5 in May 2020. It had recovered and peaked at 21.6 in October 2021, and had already begun weakening again before Russia's invasion of Ukraine. It was at -10.2 in January 2022. The expectations component is a different story. It rose for the eighth consecutive month to 31.7, which is the highest reading since February 2022. The high last year was set in February at 28.1.

The euro met sellers in the US morning yesterday as it pushed above $1.09. The selling knocked it down to new session lows near $1.0865 It has been sold to $1.0835 today, around where the (50%) retracement of the rally from the February 14 lows and the 200-day moving average are found. A break of this area targets $1.08. Note that in the futures market, the non-commercial (speculative) net long euro position has risen by 50% since the mid-February low through March 12 that is covered by the most recent CFTC report. Meanwhile, the non-commercial net long sterling position has risen every week this year but one, and at nearly 70.5k contracts (GBP62.5k per contract or almost $5.6 bln position), it is the largest net long position since 2007. Sterling extended its losses yesterday to nearly $1.2715, and has been sold to almost $1.2665 today, the lowest level since March 4. The $1.2670 area corresponds to the (61.8%) retracement of the recovery off the year's low set on February 14 near $1.2535. The intraday momentum indicators are stretched, but there is little chart support ahead of $1.2600.


The focus, of course, is on tomorrow's Fed meeting. No one expects the Fed to do anything. It is more about what the Fed says, and here, the dot plot is important. Keen interest is in the number of rates cuts the median dot signals. Three cuts were signaled in December. While CPI and PPI were slightly above market expectations, we do not think that they deviated much from what the Fed anticipated. To us, a key consideration is Fed Chair Powell's acknowledgement that officials did not need to see better data to boost their confidence that inflation was headed back to target. It just needed to see good data. Other macro forecasts may be tweaked. The 4.1% unemployment rate anticipated for this year looks low. It was at 3.9% in February. The median dot was for the headline and core PCE deflator to be at 2.4% at the end of the year. They stood at 2.4% and 2.8%, respectively in January and are expected to be unchanged when the February series is reported next week. The median dot in December was for the economy to grow 1.4% this year. The median forecast in Bloomberg's monthly survey was for 2.1% growth, which is the same as the IMF's projection. On tap today, February housing starts and permits, which are expected to tick up after weather-related weakness in January.

Canada reports February CPI today. Given the base effect, the 0.6% median forecast in Bloomberg's survey translates into a 3.1% year-over-year rate. It was at 2.9% in January. The low print in 2023 was in June at 2.8%. The underlying core measures are expected to be flat. The swaps market has about a 50% chance of a cut in June. It nearly fully discounted on March 5, the day before the Bank of Canada met. The summary of its deliberations will be published tomorrow. The market has about 60 bp of cuts discounted for this year, which is two quarter-point moves and around a 40% chance of a third. A 100 bp of cuts was fully discounted as recently as February 20.

The US dollar hovered around little changed levels against the Canadian dollar yesterday. Neither rising US equities (risk-on) nor an extension of oil's rally did much for the Canadian dollar. Resistance near CAD1.3550 has been overcome today and it the greenback looks poised to re-test the CAD1.36 area that capped the greenback in late February and earlier this month. A band of resistance extends toward CAD1.3620-25. Yesterday, the US dollar rose for the third consecutive session against the Mexican peso, which matches the longest advance in six months. The nearly 0.9% rally was the most since mid-January. Mexico was on holiday yesterday and the thin markets may have exacerbated the move. The US dollar rose to a six-day high of almost MXN16.87. This effectively recouped nearly half of the greenback's losses this month. Today, the dollar is approaching the next retracement (61.8%) and the 20-day moving average are near MXN16.93. Brazil was not closed and fell for the third consecutive session. In fact, the dollar poked above BRL5.03, its highest level since last November 1. Nearly all emerging market currencies fell yesterday. The South African rand (~-0.95%) was the weakest followed by the Mexican peso (~0.75%). Emerging market currencies are no match for the dollar's surge today. The MSCI Emerging Market Currency Index is off for the fifth consecutive session. 


Read More

Continue Reading


Anti-Semitism As The Harbinger Of Global Chaos

Anti-Semitism As The Harbinger Of Global Chaos

Authored by Stephen Soukup via American Greatness,

On the off chance you hadn’t noticed,…



Anti-Semitism As The Harbinger Of Global Chaos

Authored by Stephen Soukup via American Greatness,

On the off chance you hadn’t noticed, the world appears to be at an especially precarious moment presently. Obviously, war continues to rage in Ukraine and Gaza, with no end in sight to either conflict. Great Britain and Japan are currently in recession. Canada’s economy is an absolute disaster, with almost no hope of near-term recovery. Much of continental Europe and China are struggling economically, if not officially contracting. Some experts believe that the global economy more generally is sliding, slowly but surely, into recession. The only economic bright spot in the world is the United States, and even here we have our problems with consumer spending and sentiment, massive credit concerns, and inarguably sticky inflation.

Meanwhile, China is investing in and winning friends, and influencing people in the Global South. U.S.-backed Kurdish leaders are warning that ISIS is resurgent in Syria and Iraq. The Marine general in charge of U.S. Africa Command is warning of Russia’s increasing influence on that continent. Sudan remains mired in civil war. Nigeria is plagued by Islamist terrorism and mass kidnappings. Mexico is in the midst of a full-blown war with the drug cartels, who continue to grow bolder and more militarily sophisticated.

Everywhere one looks, chaos reigns—or, at the very least, bubbles just below the surface.

Perhaps most telling among the signs of disarray is the unnerving rise of antisemitism in the United States, Europe, and throughout the world. Antisemitism, in general, has been intensifying, slowly but surely, over the last decade or so. Over the last few months, however, it has emerged fully into the open, undaunted and unembarrassed. What was once considered shameful and disconcerting is now warmly welcomed as a “rational” response to American foreign policy, Israeli war practices, “colonialism,” and “white privilege.”

All of this is troubling, to put it mildly, both in and of itself and as a harbinger of greater and more deadly global unrest.

Hatred of and anger toward Jews is not the same as other forms of bigotry.  

In many ways, the history of Western anti-Jewish hatred mirrors the history of Western political chaos and collapse.  Or, to put it another way, historically, Jews are not only the perennial scapegoats during periods of social upheaval and displacement, but resurgent anti-Semitism serves as the proverbial canary in the coal mine for the rise of revolutionary movements.

In his classic, The Pursuit of the Millennium, the British historian Norman Cohn argues that the Jewish diaspora generally fit comfortably, if tentatively into European society for most of the first thousand years or so A.D., and only became a hated and perpetually persecuted minority with the rise of utopian Millenarianism that accompanied and then outlived the Crusades.  Beginning then and continuing for the next nearly a thousand years, Europeans came to associate Jews with the antichrist and thus to associate hatred and persecution of Jews with preparing the battlespace for the Second Coming.  Many historians, including Hannah Arendt, believed that the anti-Semitism that was such an integral part of the West’s 20th-century collapse into totalitarianism was relatively new and, in any case, distinct from medieval anti-Semitism.  Cohn’s history suggests otherwise, connecting the religious eschatology of medieval Europe to the quasi-religious eschatology of post-Enlightenment Europe, thereby connecting the persistence of Western anti-Semitism as well.

Cohn tells us that millenarian moments and the millenarian movements that capitalize on those moments all share a common group of characteristics. They all appear under certain social and economic conditions. They all appeal to a certain segment of the population at large, who then present themselves as economic, spiritual, and political leaders. They all utilize scapegoats, meaning that they all identify a different, usually much smaller segment of the population on whom they can blame all the world’s ills and then set about to cure those ills through the elimination of the scapegoat. And more often than not, that scapegoat tends to be Jewish.

In the conclusion to the second edition of Pursuit of the Millennium, Cohn notes that the millenarian fervor of the middle ages may have changed, but it never really died, and it maintained its common characteristics even as it became secular or “quasi-religious.” He wrote:

The story told in Pursuit of the Millennium ended some four centuries ago but is not without relevance to our own times. [I have] shown in another work [Warrant for Genocide: The Myth of the Jewish World Conspiracy and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion] how closely the Nazi phantasy of a world-wide Jewish conspiracy of destruction is related to the phantasies that inspired Emico of Leningrad and the Master of Hungary; and how mass disorientation and insecurity have fostered the demonization of the Jew in this as in much earlier centuries. The parallels and indeed the continuity are incontestable.

The parallels between the rise of Nazism and the current global unrest and demonization of the Jewish people are also largely incontestable. The election that brought Hitler to power didn’t happen in a vacuum, after all. It happened in the midst of global chaos, namely the Great Depression. It also followed the decadence and distortion of the Weimer Era. As the New York Fed has shown, even a global pandemic—the 1919 Spanish Flu outbreak—contributed to the sense of discomfort and disconnect among the German population, prompting increased support for Hitler and his Nazis.

The present global chaos doesn’t have to end the same way the chaos of a century ago did. It doesn’t have to result in the ascension of millenarian ideologies and their totalitarian defenders. History has shown that extremism can be short-circuited and radical ideologies undone. The first step in doing so, however, must be to bring an end to the rationalization of the persecution of the world’s Jews. The second step is to end the persecution itself.

Antisemitism is ugly and shameful, and it must be treated as such. For their sake and ours.

Tyler Durden Tue, 03/19/2024 - 02:00

Read More

Continue Reading


Report Criticizes ‘Catastrophic Errors’ Of COVID Lockdowns, Warns Of Repeat

Report Criticizes ‘Catastrophic Errors’ Of COVID Lockdowns, Warns Of Repeat

Authored by Kevin Stocklin via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),




Report Criticizes 'Catastrophic Errors' Of COVID Lockdowns, Warns Of Repeat

Authored by Kevin Stocklin via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

It was four years ago, in March 2020, that health officials declared COVID-19 a pandemic and America began shutting down schools, closing small businesses, restricting gatherings and travel, and other lockdown measures to “slow the spread” of the virus.

UNICEF unveiled its "Pandemic Classroom," a model made up of 168 empty desks, each seat representing one million children living in countries where schools were almost entirely closed during the COVID pandemic lockdowns, at the U.N. Headquarters in New York City on March 2, 2021. (Chris Farber/UNICEF via Getty Images)

To mark that grim anniversary, a group of medical and policy experts released a report, called “COVID Lessons Learned,” which assesses the government’s response to the pandemic. According to the report, that response included a few notable successes, along with a litany of failures that have taken a severe toll on the population.

During the pandemic, many governments across the globe acted in lockstep to pursue authoritative policies in response to the disease, locking down populations, closing schools, shutting businesses, sealing borders, banning gatherings, and enforcing various mask and vaccine mandates. What were initially imposed as short-term mandates and emergency powers given to presidents, ministers, governors, and health officials soon became extended into a longer-term expansion of official power.

“Even though the initial point of temporary lockdowns was to ’slow the spread,' which meant to allow hospitals to function without being overwhelmed, instead it rapidly turned into stopping COVID cases at all costs,” Dr. Scott Atlas, a physician, former White House Coronavirus Task Force member, and one of the authors of the report, stated at a March 15 press conference.

Published by the Committee to Unleash Prosperity (CTUP), the report was co-authored by Steve Hanke, economics professor and director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics; Casey Mulligan, former chief economist of the White House Council of Economic Advisors; and CTUP President Philip Kerpen. 

According to the report, one of the first errors was the unprecedented authority that public officials took upon themselves to enforce health mandates on Americans. 

Granting public health agencies extraordinary powers was a major error,” Mr. Hanke told The Epoch Times. “It, in effect, granted these agencies a license to deceive the public.”

The authors argue that authoritative measures were largely ineffective in fighting the virus, but often proved highly detrimental to public health. 

The report quantifies the cost of lockdowns, both in terms of economic costs and the number of non-COVID excess deaths that occurred and continue to occur after the pandemic. It estimates that the number of non-COVID excess deaths, defined as deaths in excess of normal rates, at about 100,000 per year in the United States.

‘They Will Try to Do This Again’

“Lockdowns, schools closures, and mandates were catastrophic errors, pushed with remarkable fervor by public health authorities at all levels,” the report states. The authors are skeptical, however, that health authorities will learn from the experience.

“My worry is that if we have another pandemic or another virus, I think that Washington is still going to try to do these failed policies,” said Steve Moore, a CTUP economist. “We’re not here to say ‘this guy got it wrong' or ’that guy or got it wrong,’ but we should learn the lessons from these very, very severe mistakes that will have costs for not just years, but decades to come. 

“I guarantee you, they will try to do this again,” Mr. Moore said. “And what’s really troubling me is the people who made these mistakes still have not really conceded that they were wrong.”

Mr. Hanke was equally pessimistic.

“Unfortunately, the public health establishment is in the authoritarian model of the state,” he said. “Their entire edifice is one in which the state, not the individual, should reign supreme.”

The authors are also critical of what they say was a multifaceted campaign in which public officials, the news media, and social media companies cooperated to frighten the population into compliance with COVID mandates.

During COVID, the public health establishment … intentionally stoked and amplified fear, which overlaid enormous economic, social, educational and health harms on top of the harms of the virus itself,” the report states. 

The authors contrasted the authoritative response of many U.S. states to policies in Sweden, which they say relied more on providing advice and information to the public rather than attempting to force behaviors.

Sweden’s constitution, called the “Regeringsform,” guarantees the liberty of Swedes to move freely within the realm and prohibits severe lockdowns, Mr. Hanke stated.

“By following the Regeringsform during COVID, the Swedes ended up with one of the lowest excess death rates in the world,” he said.  

Because the Swedish government avoided strict mandates and was more forthright in sharing information with its people, many citizens altered their behavior voluntarily to protect themselves.

“A much wiser strategy than issuing lockdown orders would have been to tell the American people the truth, stick to the facts, educate citizens about the balance of risks, and let individuals make their own decisions about whether to keep their businesses open, whether to socially isolate, attend church, send their children to school, and so on,” the report states.

‘A Pretext to Enhance Their Power’

The CTUP report cites a 2021 study on government power and emergencies by economists Christian Bjornskov and Stefan Voigt, which found that the more emergency power a government accumulates during times of crisis, “the higher the number of people killed as a consequence of a natural disaster, controlling for its severity.

As this is an unexpected result, we discuss a number of potential explanations, the most plausible being that governments use natural disasters as a pretext to enhance their power,” the study’s authors state. “Furthermore, the easier it is to call a state of emergency, the larger the negative effects on basic human rights.”

“All the things that people do in their lives … they have purposes,” Mr. Mulligan said. “And for somebody in Washington D.C. to tell them to stop doing all those things, they can’t even begin to comprehend the disruption and the losses.

“We see in the death certificates a big elevation in people dying from heart conditions, diabetes conditions, obesity conditions,” he said, while deaths from alcoholism and drug overdoses “skyrocketed and have not come down.”

The report also challenged the narrative that most hospitals were overrun by the surge of COVID cases.

“Almost any measure of hospital utilization was very low, historically, throughout the pandemic period, even though we had all these headlines that our hospitals were overwhelmed,” Mr. Kerpen stated. “The truth was actually the opposite, and this was likely the result of public health messaging and political orders, canceling medical procedures and intentionally stoking fear, causing people to cancel their appointments.”

The effect of this, the authors argue, was a sharp increase in non-COVID deaths because people were avoiding necessary treatments and screenings. 

“There were actually mass layoffs in this sector at one point,” Mr. Kerpen said, “and even now, total discharges are well below pre-pandemic levels.”

In addition, as health mandates became more draconian, many people became concerned at the expansion of government power and the loss of civil liberties, particularly when government directives—such as banning outdoor church services but allowing mass social-justice protests—often seemed unreasonable or politicized. 

The report also criticized the single-minded focus on vaccines and the failure by the NIH and the FDA to do clinical trials on existing drugs that were known to be safe and could have been effective in treating those infected with COVID-19.

Because so much of the process of approving the vaccines, the risks and benefits, and the reporting of possible side-effects was kept from the public, people were unable to give informed consent to their own health care, Mr. Kerpen said. 

“And when the Biden administration came in and started mandating them, now you had something that was inherently experimental with some questionable data, and instead of saying, ‘Now you have a choice whether you want it or not,’ in the context of a pandemic they tried to mandate them,” he said.

Pandemic Censorship

Tech oligopolies and the corporate media also receive criticism for their collaboration with government to control public messaging and censor dissenting voices. According to the authors, many government and health officials collaborated with tech oligarchs, news media corporations, and even scientific journals to censor critical views on the pandemic.

The Biden administration is currently defending itself before the Supreme Court against charges brought by Louisiana and Missouri attorneys general, who charged that administration officials pressured tech companies to censor information that contradicted official narratives on COVID-19’s origins, related mandates and treatment, as well as censoring political speech that was critical of President Biden during his 2020 campaign. The case is Murthy v. Missouri.

Mr. Hanke stated that a previous report he co-authored, titled “Did Lockdowns Work?,” which was critical of lockdowns, was refused by medical journals, even when they published op-eds that criticized it and published numerous pro-lockdown reports. 

Dr. Vinay Prasad—a physician, epidemiologist, professor at the University of California at San Francisco’s medical school and author of over 350 academic articles and letters—has made similar allegations of censorship by medical journals.

“Specifically, MedRxiv and SSRN have been reluctant to post articles critical of the CDC, mask and vaccine mandates, and the Biden administration’s health care policies,” Dr. Prasad stated.

Heightening concerns about medical censorship is the “zero-draft” World Health Organization (WHO) pandemic treaty currently being circulated for approval by member states, including the United States. It commits members to jointly seek out and “tackle” what the WHO deems as “misinformation and disinformation.”

One of the enduring consequences of the COVID years is a general loss of public trust in public officials, health experts, and official narratives. 

“Operation Warp Speed was a terrific success with highly unexpected rapidity of development [of vaccines],” Dr. Atlas said. “But the serious flaws centered around not being open with the public about the uncertainties, particularly of the vaccines’ efficacy and safety.” 

“One result of the government’s error-ridden COVID response was that Americans have justifiably lost faith in public health institutions,” the report states. According to the authors, if health officials want to regain the public’s trust, they should begin with an accurate assessment of their actions during the pandemic.

“The best way to restore trust is to admit you were wrong,” Dr. Atlas said. “I think we all know that in our personal lives, but here it’s very important because there has been a massive lack of trust now in institutions, in experts, in data, in science itself.

I think it’s going to be very difficult to restore that without admission of error,” he said.

Recommendations for a Future Pandemic

The CTUP report recommends that Congress and state legislatures set strict limitations on powers conferred to the executive branch, including health officials, and set time limits that would require legislation to be extended. This would give the public a voice in health emergency measures through their elected representatives.

It further recommends that research grants should be independent of policy positions and that NIH funding should be decentralized or block-granted to states to distribute.

Congress should mandate public disclosure of all FDA, CDC, and NIH discussions and decisions, including statements of any persons who provide advice to these agencies. Congress should also make explicit that CDC guidance is advisory and does not constitute laws or mandates. 

The report also recommends that the United States immediately halt negotiations of agreements with the WHO “until satisfactory transparency and accountability is achieved.”

Tyler Durden Mon, 03/18/2024 - 23:00

Read More

Continue Reading