Fearistan, having done very well economically and provided its citizens a long lifespan, noticed that people were still occasionally dying in road accidents. Fearistanis were wealthy and really liked the freedom to travel. While road deaths were uncommon, any unnecessary death surely seemed worth avoiding.
The road building industry, working closely with government, came up with the idea of building six-lane highways between cities. Soon the big cities were all connected, and experts from the University of Transport proved that the new highways had a 7 percent lower accident rate than normal roads. University modelers predicted that if six-lane highways were built between every town in Fearistan, they would save thousands of lives. Experts predicted that they would even save more lives than were actually dying on the existing roads.
The country followed the experts (they were, after all, renowned for building roads) and invested in six-lane highways everywhere. While the country exhausted itself and most people could not afford to drive their cars anymore, they were rightly grateful that the roadbuilders were saving them. The near-empty roads were now almost completely accident-free, proving the experts right.
Eventually, the roadbuilding industry had a problem: They were running out of towns to which roads could be built. This was not what their investors needed. Then the road regulator and the roadbuilders met and identified an urgent need to build roads to towns that did not yet exist. Fearistan had vast areas of empty desert that were completely open to town-building. When such towns were eventually built, experts predicted an inevitable and devastating tsunami of road accidents. This would return Fearistan to the total carnage from which they had so narrowly escaped years before. The new Town-X roads (as they termed them) were brilliant examples of high-tech road construction. And everyone could see how important this work was, to keep the public safe.
Understanding Pandemic Risk From Infectious DiseaseHumans suffered for millennia from pandemics or “plagues.” These killed up to a third of some populations. While causes remain unclear in some cases, such as the Athenian plague of 430 B.C., the major plagues since medieval times were mostly bacterial—particularly bubonic plague, cholera, and typhus.
When indigenous populations long separated from the bulk of humanity encountered carriers of smallpox and measles, the effects were also devastating. Having no inherited immunity, whole populations were decimated, particularly in the Americas, Pacific Islands, and Australia.
Now the world is connected, and such mass death events don’t occur. Connectedness can be a strong defense against pandemics, contrary to what Disease-X proponents claim, through its role in supporting early-age immunity and frequent boosting.
A Century of SafetyThe past hundred years have seen two significant natural influenza pandemic events (in 1957–1958 and 1968–1969) and one major coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) that appears to have arisen from gain-of-function research in a lab. The influenza outbreaks each killed less than currently die annually from tuberculosis, while the coronavirus outbreak was associated with mortality at average age above 75 years, with roughly 1.5 people per thousand dying globally.
Why Are We Living Longer?The reason behind increasing human lifespans is frequently forgotten, or ignored. As medical students were once taught, improvements came primarily through improved sanitation, better living conditions, better nutrition, and antibiotics—the same changes responsible for the reduction in pandemics. Vaccines came after most improvement had already occurred (with a few exceptions, such as smallpox).
While vaccines do remain an important addition, they are also of particular importance to pharmaceutical companies. They can be mandated, and together with the constant birth of children, this provides a continuing, predictable, and profitable market. This is not an anti-vaccine statement. It is just a statement of fact. Facts are what health policy should be based on.
The Ability to Monetize an IllusionThe COVID-19 response demonstrated how the sponsors of international public health institutions have found a way to monetize public health. This business model involves promoting abnormal responses to relatively normal viruses. It employs behavioral psychology and media campaigns to instill inappropriate fear into the public, then “locking them down”—prison terminology before 2020. The public may then regain a degree of freedom (e.g., fly to visit a dying relative, or work) if they agree to take a vaccine, which in turn directly benefits the original sponsors of the scheme. The heavy public investment in COVID-19 mRNA vaccine development enabled pharmaceutical companies and their investors to reap unprecedented returns.
Why Not Rely On Existing Threats?Despite current efforts with yet another variant, COVID-19 is losing its ability to scare. Sustained fear is necessary for politicians in penetrated governments (as Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum notes) to provide this support. This business paradigm requires a continuing target.
Where to From Here?For the public, diversion of resources to fairyland diseases will increase mortality by diverting funding for real threats and productive areas of investment. Of course, if increasing lab leaks of engineered pathogens are expected from ongoing and future research, that would be different. But then this would have to be explained plainly and transparently, and prevention may be more effective than a very expensive cure.
Disease-X is therefore a business strategy, dependent on a series of fallacies, dressed up as an altruistic concern for human welfare. Embraced by powerful people, the world they move in accepts amoral practice in public health as a legitimate path to their version of success.
If our primary aim is to channel taxpayer funding to development of biotechnologies that the public can then be mandated to buy, to their own detriment but at great benefit to the developers, then Disease-X is the road forward. This market model ensures that a relative few can concentrate wealth gained from the many, at virtually no risk to themselves. The public must decide whether they want to keep their part of this highly abusive bargain.