COVID-19 Will Permanently Change the World
(Note: This article was originally written in early March 2020 when virtually all U.S. politicians and media pundits were downplaying and/or ignoring the risks of COVID-19. Sadly, our analysis in this and other articles has come true.)
I've recently seen a number of people (including Mr. Shiva Ayyadurai) who have been weaving together a very dark and questionable conspiracy theory about the COVID-19 virus. Some of Mr. Shiva's comments are true and important to think about (many of which I've also written about in our Gini books and articles), but after formally working in the U.S. intelligence community for nearly a decade and spending most of my life working in environments where technical accuracy is critical, here are a few lessons and observations that I've learned, which relate to the accuracy of several of Mr. Shiva's claims. (My comments below assume you've seen the video.)
Don't Ascribe to Malice What Can Be More Easily Explained by Incompetence. It's usually not accurate to assume deliberate malicious intent whenever an event(s) can be more easily explained by simple incompetence or carelessness. This is true for global conspiracy theories and it's true for dealing with people in our daily lives. There are usually more rational, simpler, less sinister and more accurate explanations. This is important to keep in mind because falsely accusing people and countries of sinister actions often leads to the Monkey Trap of Human Nature, tragic wars and broken relationships.
Why Has COVID-19 Been Less Disruptive to Some Countries? Although there are some serious questions about the accuracy of the data coming out of China, China has not needed to shutdown their entire country and almost certainly will not need to do so. Additionally, the reason Asian countries like Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc. have not needed to quarantine their entire countries and suffer the catastrophic economic pain that we are experiencing in the U.S. is because they have:
- highly efficient and cost-effective healthcare systems;
- political systems with more institutional integrity than the U.S. political system, which inspires much more trust in their political leaders (see the Global Governance Scorecard for concrete data about this);
- much more medical and supply chain management experience dealing with relatively recent viral epidemics in Asia;
- news media that is not controlled by corporations with the power to distort facts and truth for profit.
Why is the U.S. Suffering from More COVID-19 Infections & Related Problems Compared to Other Countries? Those other countries have been able to respond much more quickly, efficiently and surgically with contact-tracing, immediate large-scale testing, localized quarantining, better medical supply chain management, etc. These factors enabled those countries to stop the spread of COVID-19 before it became a nationwide catastrophe like it has become in several Western countries, which will be even worse in much of the developing world.
In contrast to those other countries, the U.S. has:
- a federal republic of loosely connected states, each of which has its own political and economic agenda and challenges;
- a fragmented, dysfunctional and grossly inefficient healthcare system;
- a toxic and broken political system with demonstrably low institutional integrity (as quantified in the Global Governance Scorecard and many other books in the Gini Book List);
- a corporate-dominated media with the power and economic incentives to distort facts and truth for profit;
- an economic system and medical supply chain that is dangerously and unsustainably dependent on China and other labor-efficient countries, which further exacerbates the existing U.S. healthcare system dysfunction at a time when global demand for medical supplies has skyrocketed.
These factors make it virtually impossible to do anything efficiently in the existing U.S. healthcare and political systems. These factors alone explain virtually all the problems we are suffering from in the U.S. today across many dimensions of American life, including the U.S. Government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (This is why we've been writing about all these factors for many years in our Gini books and articles.)
Are Large-Scale Quarantines the Best Remedy? As a result of the factors above, several health officials have felt compelled to discourage the use of masks (even though we know masks dramatically reduce the spread of airborne diseases, which we've known for over 100 years) and recommend the blunt instrument of nationwide "shelter-in-place" edicts, which shutdown the entire economy. While I strongly disagree with misleading any country's citizens because it diminishes trust in government even further, which slows down a society's collective response at times when rapid action is crucial, there's no question that Dr. Fauci's large-scale quarantine recommendation under these particular conditions is the lesser of all evils.
Should We Be Suspicious of the Consensus? I've written several books and over 100 articles about the broken U.S. economic, political and healthcare systems; so I'm not afraid to question any status quo. However, it's important to be able to evaluate evidence accurately on a case-by-case basis. In this case, Dr. Fauci and the U.S. medical consensus today correctly understand the following:
- There's no way to stop the spread of a highly infectious disease like COVID-19 within the context of the dysfunctional healthcare system that exists in the U.S. without large-scale quarantines.
- The lethality of COVID-19 is 10-20 times higher than the common flu.
- An economy in which bodies are piling up in hospitals and communities for 12-18 months until a vaccine is available will have an even greater chilling effect on economic output for many socioeconomic reasons compared to an economy that is stopped cold for only 6-8 weeks to flatten the infection curve. Sadly, due to the fragmentation of the U.S. political system and profit-driven media circus, these quarantines are being applied haphazardly, which amplifies and drags the pain out longer than it would be if we had more institutional integrity in government and media and more social cohesion in American society. (Although, I am proud to see Americans finally coming together more recently, helping each other, contributing to the fight, staying home, and listening to the experts.)
- Flattening the infection curve is essential to give hospitals and front-line medical professionals a chance to catch up and more effectively manage the tsunami of death over the long-run that they are already seeing today. (Yes, "flattening the curve" is a real thing, which is very important from a healthcare resource allocation and supply chain management perspective.)
There is No Evidence that COVID-19 is a Deep State Conspiracy. I appreciate many aspects of Lofgren's Deep State book (it's even in the Gini Book List), but a bunch of disparate facts and coincidences are not sufficient to prove the existence of any monolithic Deep State. For many logical reasons, there's no realistic way for any monolithic Deep State to exist, much less coordinate such a large-scale conspiracy. Even the most powerful politicians, corporations, governments and billionaires have many conflicts of interest and competing agendas, which prevents any monolithic Deep State from ever forming.
Occasional Alignments of Interest Do Not Equal a Deep State. As explained in What is the Deep State?, there can only be occasional alignments of interest among different factions within any given population, which brings some powerful people together at certain times and divides them at other times. In this case, the COVID-19 crisis (not the virus itself) is simply the inevitable result of dysfunctional and broken political and healthcare systems, which can be quantified, as revealed in our Global Governance Scorecard.
Mr. Shiva Did Not "Invent Email". Although many of Shiva's points are accurate, he loses credibility here: Email was developed at the U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) at least a decade before Shiva "copyrighted" the word "EMAIL" in 1982. His frequent invocation of this dubious claim substantially diminishes his credibility and makes him look more like a media hound trying to make money and win a political election than a sober scientist.
HIV, Sugar, Immune System Compromises, Etc. Mr. Shiva is correct about the toxic impact of sugar on immune system function, which has been a real, well-documented deadly corporate conspiracy for decades. (I also wrote a lot about this real conspiracy in a previous book; so I know there is a very large body of evidence for this.) Additionally, there is promising research that links sugar consumption with compromised immune systems. Given Dr. Lustig's research (and others) about the deadly effects of sugar and the link between HIV, compromised immune systems and sugar, Mr. Shiva's claims on this topic are credible.
COVID-19 is Changing Human Civilization. The global economy and the relationship between humans and governments (especially in Western democracies) will look substantially different after this pandemic is over. From trade policies, monetary policies, tax and fiscal policies, labor policies, welfare programs, healthcare systems, conflicts between the rich and poor, and many other aspects of human civilization, our lives will be different in significant ways. Many of these changes are not going to be healthy or sustainable for human societies. In fact, this pandemic is the kind of large-scale socioeconomic event that will accelerate and amplify many of the socioeconomic trends that the Gini Foundation has been preparing for and writing about for years.
Everybody at Gini wishes you and your loved ones a safe passage through this challenging period in human history.
See also: The COVID-19 Vaccine May Not Work
The title of this article was originally "Is the COVID-19 Coronavirus a Global Conspiracy?", but some people don't read past titles; so we changed it because we don't want anybody to incorrectly assume we are calling the virus a conspiracy theory. In fact, we are literally debunking COVID-19 conspiracies in this article to help our readers cut through all the noise, manipulation and confusion in the media today.
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