STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
The Polio Eradication Meme and the Nobility of Gates
By Staff News & Analysis - January 30, 2013

Bill Gates: The world can defeat polio … Glance at the latest figures for polio incidence and it would appear that the world is within touching distance of eradicating the disease. Last year there were just 205 cases of naturally occurring poliovirus compared with 650 cases in 2011 and a staggering 350,000 a quarter of a century ago. There are now three countries – Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria – where transmission of the disease has never been halted compared to 125 countries in the late 1980s. India has been polio-free for two years – a remarkable achievement. This week the billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates will deliver the annual BBC Richard Dimbleby Lecture in which he will spell out his commitment to ridding the world of this dread infectious disease which can cause paralysis and even death within hours. Bill Gates is the single most influential voice in global health, so when he turns his attention to an issue, it is worth listening. – BBC

Dominant Social Theme: Another noble cause advanced by vaccines.

Free-Market Analysis: We continue to grow more skeptical of these universal vaccine campaigns. Knowing what we think we do about the power elite, it is highly unlikely that these global campaigns are being offered without ulterior motives.

Also, it is overly convenient that the only way diseases can be "wiped out" is via enormous public works campaigns.

What we have at the beginning of the 21st century is a dominant social theme stating that global applications of vaccine programs are in the best interests of all human beings. A subdominant theme would be that those involved in these campaigns are admirable people and that individuals like Bill Gates are most admirable of all – because he is doing the most in this regard.

It is, from our perspective, part of a larger consensus built around Gates with his acquiescence. He has been left alone by the powers-that-be after being harshly attacked for being a monopolist and was actually found guilty. The pressure was placed on Gates to conform to larger power elite programs and we believe he has responded.

We wrote about Gates here, recently: "Sic Transit Bill Gates."

In return for lending his considerable talents and fortune to the power elite, Gates is being presented as a hero of the hour. He has become the designated point person for vaccine-based public health programs. He doesn't really want to do this, in our view. Anyone who watches his interviews will see a relatively low-energy person who is doing what he needs to do.

For the power elite, the vaccine meme is most important. It is surely a larger power elite strategy to control people's bodies by ensuring access to them. Vaccines are very important, from an elite point of view, because they justify egress into people's INSIDES.

Once the justification has been activated regarding this sort of access other kinds of insertions can be planned and implemented. The most obvious involves "chipping." But no doubt more activities will occur over time. Or perhaps that's the plan. Here's some more from the article (paragraphing ours):

In his lecture Mr Gates will liken the pace of innovation in computers with the fight against polio: He will say: "In the late 1970s we had a dream of giving everybody access to computer technology – a vision of a computer on every desktop. Now there is a computer in every pocket.

"The pace of innovation keeps getting faster. The same is true of polio. It was first recognised at least 4,000 years ago, but it was just 200 years ago we figured out it's contagious – just 100 years ago we learned it's a virus. Just 50 years ago we developed the vaccine to prevent it. Just 25 years ago we resolved to eradicate it. And so on."

But Mr Gates will also acknowledge that the final push against polio is proving extremely difficult: "I can say without reservation that the last mile is not only the hardest mile; it's also much harder than I expected," he said.

The killing of nine health workers in Pakistan last month was a shocking reminder of the challenges facing those trying to chase down the virus and protect every last child. I have written before of the hurdles facing immunisation teams.

The speech goes on to defend the oral polio vaccine's propensity to trigger polio. Gates quotes WHO as reporting this happens only "in one in 2.5 million first doses of vaccine." The speech continues by rebutting critics of the program who say Gates's money could be put to better use providing sanitation and better nutrition to the poor around the world.

Gates also mentions a prominent critic, Dr. Jacob Puliyel, a pediatrician in Delhi, who wrote in the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics last year that "the polio eradication programme epitomises nearly everything that is wrong with donor-funded 'disease specific' vertical projects, at the cost of investments in community-oriented primary care."

Dr Puliyel, Gates notes, blames the polio vaccine for a sharp rise in India of cases of Acute Flaccid Paralysis – weakness or inability to move one's limbs. Of course, blaming vaccines in this manner merely scratches the surface. Admit vaccines work some of the time – and perhaps they do – and one is STILL left with the dawning certainty that people should make up their own minds about vaccines.

The herd immunity meme that Gates is pushing is at least questionable. Polio likely will never be wiped out and even if it is, there are plenty of other diseases to take its place. The absence of the Black Plague did not make people in aggregate healthier – or certainly not until other health methodologies were implemented.

Sanitation is probably preferable to an aggressive vaccine program aimed at total eradication of various diseases. The latter goal is simply to provide the powers-that-be a justification to roll out, almost militarily, public health campaigns. It provides an avenue for legislation demanding mandatory vaccines, as well.

Vaccines damage children and adults. Thanks to the Internet we are well aware of this. It is more than unfortunate that the tradeoffs between vaccine damage and increased health are not being discussed in public health circles.

Vaccines have likely become just one more weapon in the arsenal of power elite themes … another way of promoting the efficacy of the state and the need to obey its edicts.

To have an open debate about the efficacy of vaccines or the necessity to wipe out every last case of this or that disease would be to put the entire meme in danger. That's no doubt why it hasn't happened.

Of course, because of what we call the Internet Reformation the meme is in danger, anyway. Too many people have been damaged by vaccines and too much has been written about this damage to revitalize it.

The power elite has made Gates the (apparently unwilling) face of vaccine efficacy. But such promotions are far less effective in the 21st century than they were in the 20th. And sooner or later, the debate over vaccines will be joined generally.

After Thoughts

It already has on the Internet.

Posted in STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
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