By Debbie Lerman: Brownstone Institute
As previously reported, in the United States, the Covid pandemic response was designed and led by the national security branches of government, not by any public health agency or official.
Furthermore, we do not have a public record of what the national security pandemic plan actually stated.
So what? You might ask. Why should we care if Covid policy was determined by the National Security Council (NSC) instead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)? What’s so bad about the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) taking over as lead federal agency for pandemic response, replacing Health and Human Services (HHS)?
National security is about protecting us from threats of war and terrorism
The answer to these questions is, in short, that the national security pandemic response plans, devised under the rubric of biodefense, are aimed at countering bioterrorism attacks. They focus on preventing hostile actors from obtaining bioweapons, surveilling for potential bioweapons use, and developing medical countermeasures.
According to the World Health Organization, “biological and toxin weapons are either microorganisms like virus, bacteria or fungi, or toxic substances produced by living organisms that are produced and released deliberately to cause disease and death in humans, animals or plants.”
In the rare event of an actual bioweapons attack – the biodefense strategy can be summarized as quarantine-until-vaccine: keep individuals as isolated from the bioweapon as possible, for as long as necessary, until you have an effective medical countermeasure (medicine/vaccine).
Bioterrorism response plans – under the broader umbrella of counterterrorism – are not designed to incorporate the complicated nuances of public health principles, which balance the need to protect individuals from a pathogen with the need to keep society as functional as possible to maintain overall well-being.
If counterterrorism measures are deployed against a public health threat, it is thus not surprising to witness massive disruptions to society, and harms to public health – as we have seen with the Covid-19 pandemic response.
Counterterrorism measures are not commensurate with public health
A good example of the gap between biodefense and public health policies in the context of the Covid response is the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (MSEHP) – an act invoked by state governors to initiate and perpetuate lockdowns. This act was specifically designed to give states a legal framework for responding to bioterrorism. As William Martin reported in the American Journal of Public Health in 2004,
In late 2001, during the aftermath of the anthrax letter attacks, model legislation was proposed to relevant state agencies to update their states’ public health laws to meet the threat of bioterrorism. This legislation was the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act.
A Columbia Law Review article from October 2021, analysing the emergency acts invoked by states during the Covid pandemic – including the original MSEHP and more modern, revised versions of it – concluded that these acts were not intended as frameworks for responding to naturally occurring, long-lasting viral pandemics like Covid:
It is clear that even the more modern statutes were not intended to apply to chronic emergencies such as COVID-19, with unilateral decision-making going on for over a year, or to responses such as social distancing regulations or mass lockdowns.
In other words, laws intended to protect us from bioterrorism are not appropriate in situations that involve “chronic emergencies,” like viral pandemics.
What happened when counterterrorism measures replaced public health policy?
We may not have a record of what the National Security Council’s Covid-19 policy was, or what measures they came up with to implement that policy. However, everything that was blatantly anti-public health, unscientific or downright insane in our lived Covid experience can be explained, if we assume the Covid response was based not on public health but on a counterterrorism, quarantine-until-vaccine, policy.
Here are some of the seemingly inexplicable phenomena that become painfully clear when we assume biodefense/counterterrorism replaced public health policy in the US government’s Covid-19 reponse:
The justification for mitigation measures stemmed not from their ability to promote or preserve public health, but from their ability to achieve counterterrorism objectives (quarantine-until-vaccine).
- Masking: pre-Covid public health pandemic plans recognized no scientific evidence for universal mask mandates. But masks instilled fear which promoted compliance with lockdowns and vaccine mandates.
- Testing: pre-Covid public health pandemic plans recognized no scientific basis for testing and isolating once a virus is widespread. But the more you test and isolate, the more people are effectively quarantined, and the more desperate they are for an exit strategy (vaccines).
- Lockdowns: pre-Covid public health plans, ironically including PanCAP-A called for, at most, shutdowns limited in time (during a big surge of serious illness) and geography (places with big surges). Country-wide, extended lockdowns regardless of waves or local variations were implemented for the first time in history after the National Security Council took over Covid policy, following the example of the totalitarian Chinese regime.
This is a crucial point: Arguing about whether mask mandates, testing and isolating, social distancing, lockdowns etc. are good public health policies or bad public health policies is a moot point. They are not public health policies at all.
All of these measures were devised solely in the service of gaining compliance with the biodefense/counterterrorism plan of quarantine-until-vaccine. Once mass formation happened, the enforcement and implementation of these measures was eagerly taken up by public health officials not in the know about the counterterrorism agenda.
Government messaging preserved a public health veneer, while camouflaging the counterterrorism agenda.
The officials who announced the National Security Council’s policies to the public were top public health leaders like Drs. Fauci, Redfield and Collins (“the experts”). These public health officials did not design the policy they were publicly advocating. However, their advocacy fooled the public into accepting counterterrorism policy as a manifestation of actual epidemiologic knowledge and public health doctrine (“the science”).
Note: Dr. Deborah Birx was presented as a public health official, but was in fact brought in by the Department of Homeland Security to serve as the “scientific” and “expert” front for the counterterrorism agenda.
The massive effort to cloak counterterrorism measures in public health legitimacy was the root of pandemic propaganda.
This was not a campaign of public health officials who were too dumb to understand basic principles of epidemiology or too ignorant to know core tenets of public health (at least at the federal level – lower down the chain it became a phenomenon of mass formation). It was a campaign of national security operatives who did not care about principles of epidemiology and had no interest in basic tenets of public health.
Attempts to depict lockdowns as pillars of pre-Covid public health policy were deliberate propaganda.
They were intended to “nudge” the public to accept counterterrorism measures as legitimate public health policy. Examples include: articles [ref, ref] falsely claiming lockdowns were well-established and/or potentially effective US public health pandemic policy; Michael Lewis’ Premonition which expounded the same false narrative; and the publication of the Red Dawn emails by The New York Times – an email chain championing lockdowns, in which many government health officials were copied but nearly none actually participated.
Counterterrorism measures designed to suppress and vanquish enemies of the state were deployed against US citizens.
This occurred not just in the realm of propaganda and censorship, aptly described by Dr. Robert Malone as “military-grade information warfare capability and technology that was designed for our opponents outside the US and has been turned on American citizens.” Such tactics were also employed in concerted attacks on individuals and organizations opposed to mandates and lockdowns. Just a few select examples include:
- FBI harassment of Ecohealth Alliance whistleblower Dr. Andrew Huff (The Truth About Wuhan, Chapter 20)
- Vicious attacks on family members of world-class epidemiologists who opposed lockdowns, including false rumors that Dr. John Ioannidis’ mother died of Covid-19 – rumors which caused her to suffer a heart attack [ref]; and sophisticated, multi-pronged attacks on Dr. Ioannidis, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, and his wife [ref, ref, ref] for legitimate scientific work. These attacks were not just nasty Twitter comments or professional takedowns. It is highly unlikely that a single scientific opponent or angry member of the public would engage in them. (Interestingly, Michael Lewis – whose Premonition is mentioned above as an example of biodefense-as-public-health propaganda – is also a prominent promulgator of attacks on these scientists. Coincidence? I find it highly unlikely.)
- Strange, inexplicable interventions by security agencies in the lives of lockdown opponents, including Brownstone contributor Robin Koerner, who tells the following startling story:
As I was walking down the jet-bridge onto my plane at Heathrow airport, I was pulled back by an officer with a metal detection wand. She gave me the full frisk and emptied all my bags. I asked her what was going on. I told her that I’d never been pulled aside just feet from the plane having gone through security and all the final checks.
‘It’s something the Americans asked us to do,’ she responded.
Travel and Trade
Nothing was found on his person or in his luggage and he was allowed to travel normally, but upon his return to the US, Koerner’s Global Entry status was revoked. Global Entry is a program that “allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travellers,” according to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website. The CBP is charged with “keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the US while facilitating lawful international travel and trade” and is an arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Koerner has yet to learn why he was turned from a low-risk traveller into a potential terrorist.
- Eerie warning calls to prominent lockdown opponents, including Brownstone founder Jeffrey Tucker. As Tucker describes it, Dr. Rajeev Venkayya, who headed a bioterrorism study group in George W. Bush’s White House (and who stars in none other than The Premonition, by Michael Lewis), called to urge Tucker to stop opposing lockdowns. “He said it was our only choice because we had to wait for a vaccine,” Tucker recalls.
Why would Venkayya – someone with no personal or professional ties to Tucker – bother to call with this exhortation? It would make no sense if he were a public health official trying to mitigate the effects of a viral pandemic. It makes terrifying sense when we know he was a biodefense expert advocating a counterterrorism, quarantine-until-vaccine policy.
- Sophisticated social media visual aids aimed at demonising organisations and individuals opposed to lockdowns. What person acting alone would have the tools or resources to produce a scary spider web like this and disseminate it online:
Prominent epidemiologists and public health specialists were deliberately excluded from the government’s pandemic planning.
In a public health crisis like the Covid-19 pandemic, you’d think the world’s top epidemiologists and specialists in pandemic management and public health, including Dr. Scott Atlas, Dr. John Ioannidis, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, among many others, would be consulted. But if a counterrorism agenda is secretly being implemented, such specialists would pose a serious threat by exposing the public health harms.
This is why those scientists were so viciously attacked when they came out with public statements like the Great Barrington Declaration. It’s also why Deborah Birx was so vehemently opposed to Dr. Atlas joining the Task Force. Thankfully, in A Plague Upon Our House, Dr. Atlas managed to do precisely what Birx and the biodefense cabal wanted to prevent. Without knowing why it was happening, he revealed the total lack of actual public health knowledge in the Task Force’s policy:
It was baffling to me, an incomprehensible error of whoever assembled the Task Force, that there were zero public health policy experts and no experts with medical knowledge who also analyzed economic, social, and other broad public health impacts other than the infection itself. Shockingly, the broad public health perspective was never part of the discussion among the Task Force health advisors other than when I brought it up. Even more bizarre was that no one seemed to notice. (p. 107)
The secrecy of national security and intelligence operations was applied to what was supposed to be a public health response.
When we look for who was responsible for US Covid-19 response policy, we hit a wall. The National Security Council classified pandemic response meetings, starting in January 2020, in direct contrast to what is expected during a public health crisis.
The result is that anyone who knows what our Covid response policy truly was is theoretically barred from revealing it. We do know the public health agencies were not in charge of the policy, and we know they were pushed out of their leadership role in coordinating and implementing the response. So Fauci et al. are technically correct if they claim no responsibility – although how they could in good conscience advocate such policies is another matter.
The beneficiaries of the national security pandemic response include a web of intersecting military and national security agencies, private corporations, and non-governmental global health organizations.
All of these entities are eager to amass ever more funding and power by perpetuating this type of non-public health response. Epidemiologic knowledge, public health principles, medical ethics and the well-being of the general population have nothing to do with what these entities have in mind.
Thus, the most important question emerging from the Covid response is: Can we stop them? Judging by the installation of biodefense cabal members in the highest seats of public health power, and President Biden’s 2022 National Biodefense Strategy, it’s going to be an uphill battle.
Debbie Lerman, 2023 Brownstone Fellow, has a degree in English from Harvard. She is a retired science writer and a practicing artist in Philadelphia, PA.