Will we learn from history even if it’s recent? It seems not

This is a fact recorded in 1976: the swine flu vaccine used then to prevent the spread of the unpleasant complaint caused more death and illness than the disease it was intended to prevent.

Indeed. Here is how. The story is only 44 years old, and most people, especially those praying for vaccines, seem to have forgotten it.

An outbreak of the influenza A virus subtype H1N1 at Fort Dix, New Jersey, in 1976, caused one death, and sent 13 people to hospitals. A mass immunization program followed.

The result: the vaccine was associated with an increase in reports of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which can (and does) cause paralysis, respiratory arrest, and death.

A cautionary tale

U.S. President Donald J. Trump speaks of a potential (and safe) vaccine that would stop the spread of Covid-19. He has mentioned on several occasions that it might become available this fall, as early as October.

Some officials beg to differ. And quite loudly, too. These people come mostly from departments linked to either medicine as such, or to pharmaceutical developments (the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA for short, for example).

President Trump accuses them of politicking, and he may have a point, to a degree. With the political (and politicking) climate in the U.S. being what it is, who knows?

But, here’s the story President Trump should keep in mind, too.

It began in February, 1976. A number of soldiers (several sources claim it was in the hundreds) at Fort Dix in New Jersey fell ill. They contracted a new strain of the H1N1 virus. Scientists at the time claimed the virus looked precisely like the one that had caused the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.

History books agree that at least 50 million worldwide succumbed to it in 1918 alone. Some put the number of fatalities at twice as many. Since there are no exact data available, nobody knows for sure. All we know about it is that it had become a matter of frightful legend. Sort of like the medieval plague or leprosy horror stories.

What happened in 1976

President Gerald Ford decided that the World Health Organization (WHO) was too slow in publishing its summaries to quesstimate which strains of the flu to expect for the annual vaccination campaigns. The WHO used to publish them twice a year.

It is assumed that the forthcoming presidential election forced Gerald Ford’s hand.

What we have to remember: Gerald Ford used to be Richard Nixon’s vice-president after his predecessor, Spiro Agnew, resigned in a rather lurid financial scandal. Ford himself became president after Nixon was forced to resign following the Watergate scandal.

Another angle: while mainstream media of the day were not as supportive of all things left-wing as they are today, they were getting close. Besides, an example set by the Washington Post, whose Watergate scandal coverage broke all possible limits of honest journalism and human decency, led all other outlets to believe they would be getting away with murder just as the Washington Post had.

And the media began clamouring for immediate action. It was perfectly clear that should no action come from the White House, Congress would be more than happy to undermine Gerald Ford’s position.

To top it all off, several senior officials advised the then-president that a program involving mass vaccination would be of enormous help. To cover their behinds (CYA for short), these officials added that, on the other hand, it could be fine, too, if the administration let the sleeping dogs lie (and do nothing).

In any case, with the politicking atmosphere being what it was, Gerald Ford opted for action, a step he would later regret, but it would be too late. The medical horses were out of the barn by then.

Gerald Ford’s decision to have the entire nation vaccinated, and pronto, took the WHO by surprise: nobody else did anything like it, and, besides, they were not amused. The WHO felt it should have been either consulted or, at the very least, advised in advance.

In any case, despite the fact that quite a few celebrities had their skin poked in front of TV cameras (nobody knows whether they received the vaccine or some innocent fluid), the flu never got out of Fort Dix, and it never carried away anybody but that lone soldier.

Eventually, just 45 million out of 221,086,427 U.S. citizens (1976 census figures) got the shots. Out of that number, at least 450 people developed the dangerous Guillain-Barré Syndrome, and at least 30 of them died because of it.

The U.S. National Academy of Medicine would later state that the syndrome was directly linked to the vaccination.

Back to the future

One of the reasons for Gerald Ford’s ill-fated (and too hasty) decision was the panic his country has been succumbing to. We’re all going to die terrible deaths, even the undertakers aren’t safe any longer, and what we need is action.

Action they got, and action they didn’t need.

Which brings us to today.

Times have changed, and quite a few left-wing ideas have become mainstream. Governments at all levels, both in America and in Canada (and elsewhere around the world, too), have been pushing what is known as atmosphere of entitlement. The impact of Marxist teachings by the followers of the so-called Frankfurt School (Frankfurter Schule) has become overwhelming.

The effect of political correctness on freedom of thought and freedom of expression has been devastating for both freedoms.

To add insult to injury, the creeping growth of government interference in all matters of private lives, as well as steadily sneaky decrease in the intellectual levels of basic journalism, have brought us to the state of overall citizen apathy. On top of that, people brought up in democracy are frightfully naïve in their political views. They have had no experience distinguishing between real news and shameless propaganda.

And shameless propaganda is what we’re getting these days.

Who in the mainstream media would dare permit an appearance by an expert who can prove that the vaccines of the past were dangerous, but they were still squeaky clean when compared to what the so-called Big Pharma is trying to push through now?

A number of scientists who do not depend on government grants have been warning about such dangerous trends like that the main developer pushing a new vaccine seems to be a company that has never in its existence developed a single vaccine. Yes, it has been involved in agents that change our DNA, and yes, it has been involved in what is known as Artificial Intelligence (AI). But vaccines? Never.

Similar things are happening in the world of communications. Independent scientists warn that the so-called Fifth Generation (5G) networks and equipment are dreadfully dangerous to all life on this planet, and yet, under the slogan of technical progress, they proceed unimpeded.

President Trump says he’s learnt his lessons and he would never permit anything that cannot prove its safety beyond any doubt, reasonable or otherwise.

Oh yes? And how will you know, pray?

Not so long ago, President Trump told Bob Woodward (of Washington Post’s Watergate scandal fame) that he’d do anything to prevent panic.

Extensive pronouncements about a vaccine coming with all speed a few days later won’t help his cause.

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