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I Just Don't Believe the Coronavirus Story

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Message Jerry Kann
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I decided to go with the title you see above for a couple of reasons. One, I wanted to grab readers' attention. Two, I wanted to get right to the point.

By this title I don't mean to suggest that I don't believe many people have died from COVID-19. About a month ago, I ran into a lady I hadn't seen in years. She told me about her job as a security guard at a nursing home, where some 200 residents had died over the winter. I recently met a young man whose father is the pastor of a church in my neighborhood in Queens. He told me that nine parishioners, all older folks, had died in recent weeks.

Walking down the street the other day, I saw a couple about my age. They were wearing surgical masks and I was wearing a scarf over my nose and mouth. I asked them, "Do you really think the masks are necessary?" They both said, "Absolutely." The woman was calm and level-headed, and explained that two people close to her had been infected with the virus. As best I can recall, she said that one had died and the other suffered "blood damage--and he was a young, healthy guy." I thanked them, and we went our separate ways.

There's no reason for me to doubt such reports, and it may be that everything printed and spoken about coronavirus in major media so far in 2020 is true. But it's also possible--even probable--that some people in high places have exploited the crisis for purposes that have nothing to do with public health.

My doubts about COVID-19 are primarily concerned with the official response to the outbreak--the lockdowns and the news reports that almost universally support them. Things seem to boil down to the question: Was it really necessary to shut down the country--the whole world--and to throw 40 million Americans out of work and into a full-fledged depression practically overnight? And are we really going to spend the next 18 months wearing surgical masks and standing at least six feet away from everyone we encounter?

The time has come to ask: Is the COVID-19 story real? To be more precise: As the story has been told on mainstream TV shows, newspapers, and websites, is the reporting on the story reliable? Is it rational? Is it true? Is the story part of a sober, sensible approach to a global medical emergency? Or is it really an immense diversion designed to distract attention from another gigantic theft of resources such as we saw in 2008--a massive transfer of wealth from the people who do the work to the thieves who own and control the big international banks?

Consider, for a moment, the case made by former attorney John Titus. (See his video, "Why Is the Federal Reserve Lying about Coronavirus?"-- Titus recorded the video shortly after the Fed had released a memo on March 15 in which the central bankers detailed their concern about the damage done to the American people by the pandemic. Titus explains that the Fed's solution to the severe economic pain on Main Street was to bail out Wall Street. Their method was to add almost a trillion dollars in Fed reserves to the Fed balance sheet. This stupendous sum is money that will do ordinary working Americans no good at all but will help prop up and bail out the gigantic commercial banks who actually own the Federal Reserve system. (By the way, there's nothing "Federal" about the Federal Reserve. It's not an agency of the federal government. It's a private organization that helps a gang of big bankers run the country and much of the world.) Sound complicated? It is, but it's particularly hard to understand because it doesn't get much press.

Titus is also skillful taking apart the "science" provided by sundry experts. For example, Dr. Birx of the Coronavirus Task Force was asked by a reporter about news from Los Angeles that COVID-19 there was found to be 40 times more prevalent than it was originally thought to be. Titus points out that this clearly implies that, because the number of deaths was not suddenly found to be 40 times greater, then the virus itself must be about 40 times less lethal than the experts had judged it to be. (See What is astonishing in this clip is that Dr. Birx does not address those obvious implications at all. Instead she goes on to talk about contact tracing, completely dodging the substance of the question. And this is the official word coming from the White House! When the public cannot get an honest answer to a fair question, is it any surprise that so many people are gripped by fear and uncertainty?

Luckily, not everybody watches TV or reads the papers or spends hours a day on Facebook. Some folks are careful not to watch too much TV news or they stay away from it almost entirely. (I don't own a television, and I don't care what kind of specials my Internet provider offers--I'm not gonna buy one!) It might be that a fair number of people are dubious about the reporting on the pandemic and the more or less constant drumbeat of "news" on the subject.

I have a hunch there are a lot of people of all political stripes out there who might be dogged by the same doubts that I've had, but they're keeping quiet about it for fear of ostracism. I get that. I've had the same fears. And all of us might feel too intimidated to speak out because nobody wants to be attacked as selfish, greedy, or heartless--particularly when many of us are not really selfish, greedy, or heartless to begin with.

I am not a Republican, although I grew up around a lot of them. I have never registered as a Republican or voted for one, and I note for the record that I wrote to my member of the House in the fall of 2017 that Trump needed to be impeached for threatening to kill 25 million Koreans. I was a registered Democrat for about 15 years, then a registered and active Green for nine. I have been a registered independent these past eleven years. I often describe myself as a Left Populist, and many times I have even thought of myself as a socialist. So of course it irritates the hell out of me that major media have once again managed to herd the two "sides" in this controversy--the pro-lockdown and anti-lockdown forces--into two meaningless camps corresponding to the two major political parties.

There's no need for any conscientious American to line up as a Democrat or as a Republican in the discussion of the lockdowns. When you identify as "red" or "blue", all you're doing is letting yourself be led down a blind alley. The two major parties, generally speaking, are not opponents at all--they're collaborators. The CARES Act seems to bear that out, since the big winners in the bill are big banks and other big corporations. If you are a working person--that is, if you have to work for a living and you have debts--then what you really need, it seems to me, is a new, independent political party of working people. The idea is that we do it ourselves, we run our own candidates, and we let the Democrats and Republicans dry up and crumble and blow away in the wind.

The phony posturing of the two major parties-and the downright tribal way that many voters allow themselves to be herded into one camp or the other--are worn-out, hackneyed features of the system. But the new, weird, surreal atmosphere of the last few months is not really the creation of the politicians. Instead it seems to be the owners of mass media who have whipped up this Brave New World.

Almost all the news about COVID-19, since March, has been bad. I will admit that it might be wishful thinking on my part to insist that there's just got to be some kind of silver lining around that dark cloud. If the news is bad, mainstream media people might say, do not blame us. We're just showing you the grim reality.

But is it reality? Since March, I have been expected to believe, without question, that this strange new virus is so virulent, so potent, that it will probably have a second "surge" in the early fall of 2020 that will result in many thousands more deaths attributable to COVID-19. Of course this may all be true. After all, I'm not an epidemiologist. And yet...

I'm 59 years old. Since I was a kid I've seen many waves not just of the flu and the common cold but of any number of illnesses often referred to as viruses. It was often taken for granted that once a person contracted and then lived through the sickness, then that person had immunity to that particular virus. But now I read again and again that "we just don't know" much about the novel coronavirus, and it may be that it is so pernicious that the recovered patient might not really have resistance or immunity. Only herd immunity will suffice to stop this scourge, and that might take as long as 18 months to fully develop. But--who knows?--it might take even longer!

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Jerry Kann has made his living in New York City since the late 1980s in a variety of odd jobs--proofreader, copywriter, messenger, secretary--all while pursuing the very challenging avocation of independent politics. For years Kann's primary (more...)

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