While attempting to dock at an airfield in New Jersey in 1937, the massive passenger dirigible the Hindenburg caught fire and went up in flames, dooming everyone on board. A radio journalist named Herbert Morrison, who covered the event, exclaimed, “Oh the humanity!” with all the pathos the tragedy warranted – an utterance that wrenches the heart to hear, even today.
John Donne wrote, “Never send to ask for whom the bell tolls – it tolls for thee.” He sought to remind us in this verse that we are part and parcel of the human family. “No man is an island,” he extolled. “We are all part of the main.” Morrison’s cry of anguish reaches across the years as an example of what it sounds like to be overcome with emotion for the death of those with whom we share the planet – whether known to us personally or not.
Decades later, in 1986, another American disaster of epic proportion took place when the space shuttle Challenger crashed minutes after its takeoff, killing all seven crew members aboard. When it was evident to even a layperson that the craft had exploded in mid-air, the bloodless words of mission control spokesman Steve Nesbitt acted as a stark contrast to Morrison’s words. With what effectively constituted a vocal deadpan, he reported the following in a monotone suitable for listing steps 1-4 of a soup recipe: “Obviously a major malfunction.”
Morrison was a journalist from another, more sincere era. Nesbitt was, essentially, a PR person for NASA. This may account for the differences in their reactions. But it’s worth considering how we react to – or are cued to react to – news in a day when every story is spun for our consumption to achieve the desired effect and when we are increasingly inured to human pain. Where is our humanity in a year when suffering worldwide from a tragedy that eclipses the two events above can only be calculated by multiplying millions?
As part of its biennial report, the World Bank estimated that somewhere between 88 and 114 million people have been thrown into extreme poverty because of COVID-19 and, more specifically, the international response to it. Certainly, this justifies a cry of “Oh, the humanity!” from our media – but it was either lowercased, ignored, or treated with a Nesbitt-like ho-hum by the Fourth Estate.
The world bank defines extreme poverty as subsisting on $1.90 per day, or approximately $700 per year. After a two-decade decline in the rate of extreme poverty, international quarantines have directly resulted in unemployment unseen around the nation and the world since the Great Depression. This black hole in our workforce into which millions have fallen has daisy-chained increasing numbers of global citizens from gainfully employed to jobless to homeless – and then to hopeless.
Before the pandemic, the global estimate for extreme poverty worldwide was 615 million. After seven months of misguided attempts to mitigate the spread of a highly virulent but not unusually lethal virus, the estimate of newly impoverished is somewhere around 715 million – an astonishing increase of 100 million in just half a year.
As has become its stock in trade, The World Health Organization is now reversing itself on the efficacy of quarantines as a means of protecting against the spread of COVID-19. This week, Dr. David Nabarro from the WHO implored world leaders to stop using lockdowns as the coronavirus’ primary control method. In a stinging rebuke to his own organization’s recommendations of earlier in the year, Nabarro claimed that the only thing that lockdowns achieved was poverty. Perhaps Nabarro is doing penance for having fear-mongered the avian flu in 2005, which he claimed would kill as many as 150 million people internationally when it in fact took fewer than half as many lives.
Nabarro’s writ large entreaty to world leaders exposes WHO chief Tedros Adhanom for the political animal he is. Tedros ran interference for China when the virus first broke out, shielded them from criticism, excoriated as racist those who termed it the Chinese Coronavirus – and waited until March 12 to label it a pandemic. Tedros strongly advocated for lockdowns and even warned against lifting them too soon. Much of this apocalypse of needless suffering must be laid at his feet.
The world looked to Tedros and the WHO for leadership, and they failed – utterly. The World Health Organization has enjoyed international prestige and the fundraising efforts of the music world’s best and brightest, and now has much to account for. After a 2019 report they commissioned and released that showed “no evidence” masks are effective in “reducing transmission” of the flu, the WHO went ahead and whole-heartedly endorsed them for use against COVID-19 anyway, which is far more virulent than the flu. That was after the organization initially didn’t recommend the use of masks, along with Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Surgeon General of the USA – both of whom also reversed their positions.
Other than as a highly successful, science-free exercise in international gaslighting and social compliance – and as a precursor to vaccine uptake – masking the world’s population doesn’t have too many downsides, however. Hypoxia is a concern in some cases, and the disapproving stares of complete strangers when mask-free is another. Masks are a mistake – but they are not the grave and terrible mistake that international lockdowns have become.
Even the CDC admits that only an “extremely severe” pandemic should warrant quarantines. The only pandemic it determined that would qualify as “extremely severe” was the Spanish flu of 1918, which killed an estimated 20- 50 million people word wide. COVID deaths internationally are slightly greater than one million at present, while 94% of those who have died in the USA had co-morbidities. And yet we locked everyone down everywhere – causing a torrent of unintended consequences, including increases in suicide, ODs, alcoholism, and spousal and child abuse.
Tedros Adhanom and the World Health Organization in concert with British modeler Neal Ferguson, who hastened lockdowns with his almost comically inaccurate prediction of 2.2 million deaths in the USA, together with the serial reversals of Anthony Fauci and the globalist opportunism and power hunger of non-scientist Bill Gates constitute a rogue’s gallery of COVID-19 failure. They are proof of what happens when we fail to hold our “thought leaders” accountable.
Gathering its bravery with strength in growing numbers, the scientific community is finally standing up. A group of Belgian doctors recently issued a scathing indictment of lockdowns, masks, and propaganda efforts to delegitimize hydroxychloroquine. America’s Frontline Doctors, who gave a stirring almost revolutionary press conference back in July in front of the Supreme Court, said precisely the same thing and were quickly de-platformed for their efforts – a now disturbingly common occurrence in which medical experts are censored for their views on medicine by software developers. And this month, a group of British infectious disease epidemiologists began a petition called The Great Barrington Declaration that advocates opening society again while protecting our most vulnerable. It has been signed by 10,000 scientists, 25,000 doctors, and nearly half a million concerned citizens so far.
It’s time. If Dr. Nabarro of the WHO is risking what remains of the organization’s credibility by admitting how incredibly wrong they were about lockdowns, we should – this time – listen to the governing body for international health that cried wolf because they are finally telling the truth. Nabarro states:
“I want to say it again: we in the World Health Organisation do not advocate lockdowns as a primary means of controlling this virus.”
After a doubling of extreme poverty in just seven months, this is welcome news – and better late than never.
Oh, the humanity.
Read more from Pennel Bird.