Everybody remembers about Zika, a far-away 2016 phenomenon but with worldwide implications. We all remember the photos of babies with abnormally small heads (microcephaly), and the risk of the epidemic spreading around the world. They were producing a vaccine against it, if you remember, as the only hope. But our memory is vague, because somehow the whole thing has disappeared down the memory hole – except for an abiding recollection in a corner of our brain along the lines of “Zika – gross microcephaly – pandemic – vaccinations.”
Well, now Brownstone Institute are carrying an article by Randall Bock, who has been researching the strange disappearance of the story for several years. In essence, it shows that not only has the Zika phenomenon disappeared, but that it never existed, in reality. Yet despite its being entirely the product of a mixture of personal corruption, poor science, press sensationalism and the inertia of political and scientific institutions once the funding juggernaut gets going, Zika remains vaguely in our public consciousness – and that has consequences. It is another example of the lie going around the world whilst the truth is getting its boots on – but since the lie has slipped into our subconscious, the truth has removed its boots and is getting back into bed again.
Now, I’m certain that most of you won’t read the linked article right through, if at all, though it is pretty readable to anyone with a modicum of familiarity with science. The back story is also perfectly digestible to non-science type if you skip the details.
But although there are a few sceptical medical and scientific people here who will be interested in the subject for its own sake, there are many more readers who are sceptical about COVID-19, because of its huge ramifications to themselves, their relatives and their countries, but who are not that interested in some debunked virus in Brazil. And I have every sympathy with that, since life is short.
Yet if, as I suspect, readers of a sceptical science-faith blog have little motivation to work through the history of a minor fake pandemic, when it is a full-time job to keep up with the effects of the recent big one, then you can bet that Joe Public will never, ever, get to hear that Zika was, to say the least, an exaggerated threat. Moreover, you can also bet that your GP and your midwife will never get the message, and neither will the organs of your particular nation’s health service, and neither will the politicians with many other things to do.
There are a few reasons that matters. The first is that the runaway-train of taxpayer funding and specialist research will continue by inertia, and because of the now well-known truth that well-funded fields of scientific research never abolish themselves. Mortgages and school fees need to be paid, and there is no professional kudos in being “the world’s greatest expert in a discredited disease.” A second reason it matters is that pregnant women and others are still being given scary advice about avoiding the deadly virus, and will no doubt continue to be given it indefinitely whether or not there is an actual risk. And fear kills.
According to Randall Bock, in the absence of any real cases of human disease from the Zika virus, healthy volunteers in Baltimore are being injected with the stuff in order to enable the manufacture of a vaccine. You kind of didn’t realise that the Zika problem has disappeared despite the lack of a vaccine, did you? As we all appreciate, now that governments have latched on to the idea that public health is served by enforcing vaccinations on the whole population according to the advice of vaccine manufacturers, it’s easy to imagine women in South America and doctors in Canada being the first compulsory victims of another poorly tested vaccine for a problem that doesn’t even exist in humans. Next come travellers to “affected areas,” and then infants in order to protect Mum, because we may assume that global warming means more infected mosquitoes migrating here.
But even if the funding dries up, and the vaccine programme dies the same death as the SARS-1 effort (and it’s worth remembering that one main reason for the latter is that experimental mRNA injections killed all the animals they were tested on) there is no erasing from public memory those terrible pictures of microcephalic babies associated with the word “Zika virus.”
Zika has become just one component in the modern myth – promoted by a satanic conglomerate of intelligence services, pharmaceutical Mafias, billionaire philanthropaths and politicians eager to control the world – that nature is generating a succession of existentially threatening pathogens requiring constant fear and endless vaccinations. That myth helps explains the panicked public compliance with the perceived threat of SARS-CoV-2, and some of the unwillingness to accept that even as a lab-leaked manufactured pathogen it was no big deal compared to the damage caused by the response. I’m pretty sure that at some level many of us thought, “Well, we can’t risk another Zika (bird-flu/swine-flu/SARS/Ebola etc) can we?”
But in one way or another, all of these were exaggerated for many of the same reasons that Zika was, both accidental and malicious. Its story is the rule, not the exception. That is why it’s still a good investment of your time to read about this neatly-packaged example, in Bock’s article.
One final general, and depressing, point. The Zika story shows that modern science, in the broad sociological sense of how our society investigates and solves technical problems, is proving a major failure. That’s not to decry the “scientific method” as we have been brought up to understand it, but to acknowledge that a method is only as good as its setting in the world. The best chef in the world produces useless food if the waiter pees in it.
Your doctor may have a peerless understanding of the literature on your particular condition, and oceans of practical experience. But if he will be struck off should he not follow misguided NHS guidelines his knowledge may be worthless to you. The whole scientific community might (per impossibile, given how funding and peer review work) revise its opinions on a virus in the light of reproducible data, but if powerful trade unions rely on their memory of horrific press coverage, then vote-hungry politicians will base their policy on the latter, as they did in Britain and America over COVID mask-mandates in schools.
The science fraternity seems to admit this sad truth indirectly. Search for “global cooling” and your search engine will turn up endless articles on how the New Ice-Age scare of the 1970s and 1980s was never supported by science. As it happens I think that is a self-serving lie, but even if true the voices that mattered in the public domain – the Paul Ehrlichs and so on – drowned that “science” out. Anybody who remembers the the 1970s at all recalls that the big climate fear was cold, not heat. In the same way now the public discourse on “climate emergency” flies in the face of IPCC scientific research, and reports at the level of the technical, rather than the politicised policy. But when in twenty years the grass-roots climatologists, if there are such things, say “We told you there was no problem,” how will society have benefited? Net-zero-chasing economies will still have crashed and millions frozen or starved to death.
Sadly the truly underdeveloped brains are to be found elsewhere than in Brazil.