From the very outset of the Covid-19 lockdowns — a year ago now — something odd, if not sinister seemed afoot. How quickly the repetitive messaging came from all quarters to quarantine the healthy: “because we’re all in this together”!  

A minority, perhaps, wondered: is all this a planned operation, or a spontaneous collection of self-interested responses constantly reinforced by the provoked panic of the masses? Maybe these are not mutually exclusive explanations.

One hypothesis is that there is a larger plan (a “Great Reset”), in which population reduction is one explicit goal. Such talk is dismissed as baseless, though powerful figures have long discussed it openly. And curiously, there has been little scrutiny of the major lapses in judgment that account for a large share of the lives lost during this whole ordeal.  

It may be hard to weigh in definitively on any larger agendas, but one thing is clear: so many of our big decisions have wound up costing rather than saving lives — predictably and sometimes deliberately.

First, there were the fiascoes in which Covid patients were directed into nursing homes, knowingly threatening their frail and vulnerable residents. This was not an isolated error but a death-dealing pattern.

There are also ongoing reports that nursing homes in the UK are imposing blanket DNR orders for handicapped residents diagnosed with Covid. Detect a touch of the Lebensunwertes Leben (life unworthy of life) mentality on this front?

Then there was the persistent suppression and vilification of safe and marvelously effective prophylactic and treatment options. Ivermectin, Hydroxycloroquine (with zinc), and Vitamin D sufficiency may not have been known, life-saving remedies right at the outset, but their promise – and demonstrated utility in practice – soon became apparent. These simple, inexpensive measures succeeded when tried elsewhere but were shunned here in the US by medical authorities and the media alike, which surely accounts for a great number of our preventable deaths.

Such egregious callousness is prima facie evidence that saving lives is not what this past year has been about.

This alone would seem sufficient to shatter trust — without even taking into account the radical lockdowns that in myriad ways promise to keep doing more harm than good. Stanford’s Dr Jay Bhattacharya considers them to be the “biggest public health mistake we’ve ever made”, having produced “devastating effects on short and long-term public health.”

What about the vaccines? Are they mainly about protecting lives? That sounds unconvincing when other simpler and sensible protective measures were not endorsed or even pursued; the blunders of this past year hardly invite confidence in the overall strategy — rushed, novel vaccines included.

But could they also pose a threat? It’s a fair question — even though it is necessarily a speculative one. Because we simply do not know what the intermediate and long term effects of this vaccine may or may not be.

There are a couple areas of concern. First, there is talk that these vaccines could result in infertility. This has not been proven — but it hasn’t been disproven either. “Fact-checkers” dismiss it outright, which all too often suggests the truth may be hovering nearby. This may admittedly sound far-fetched, but when a former VP for Pfizer, Dr Michael Yeadon, voices this concern, should it be so readily dismissed?

The mechanism is said to go like this: the spike protein that the mRNA vaccine triggers in order to induce an immune response includes a protein needed to develop a placenta. A vaccinated woman would therefore develop antibodies that could also attack that protein, rendering her unable to form a placenta, i.e. infertile.  Yeadon insists this possibility be ruled out before going any further, which seems reasonable.

Another way these vaccines could lead to loss of life is through a phenomenon called Antibody-Dependent Enhancement (ADE) or “pathogenic priming” — which in a nutshell means that vaccinated persons could actually be at greater risk once they come into contact with the real virus, due to a potentially fatal autoimmune response such as the dreaded “cytokine storm”. 

This has been a longstanding problem in previous, unsuccessful attempts to develop a coronavirus vaccine. Cats, for example, tolerated the vaccine reasonably well in several studies. But when they were challenged with (i.e. exposed to) the actual coronavirus, they had an extreme overreaction of the immune system.  All of the cats ended up dying. The vaccines rolling out now never underwent any animal trials; those were passed over due to the emergency.

Yet the very case for “emergency use authorisation” of the vaccines (which is not FDA approval) collapses if the authorities had recognised — as they should have — that viable treatments already do exist, as mentioned above. As long as suitable alternatives are available, no emergency authorisation should be given. But science had already decided that love means staying away, masking up and awaiting the vaccine.

The risk that these vaccines could lead to a worsened outcome should be prominently featured in the process of obtaining informed consent, particularly considering it isn’t even on most people’s radar. Instead, we are veering towards various forms of coercion, even without official vaccine mandates.  

People who decline to take an unnecessary vaccine, German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently threatened, “might not be able to do certain things” (think vaccine passports and the like). That sounds like a blatant repudiation of the Nuremberg Code, which insists upon voluntary consent — absolutely free from any kind of duress, force, overreach or deceit.

UNESCO has also declared that such consent is required for any “preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention” (e.g. masks, meaningless PCR tests, and vaccines), while further stipulating that anyone may withdraw said consent “at any time and for any reason”.

Private employers and service-providers (e.g. airlines, restaurants) seem poised to go along with the flouting of these safeguards. So do journalists and religious entities, which in saner times we might expect to defend the unthreatening individual (against the patently unfounded presumption that everyone poses a risk to everyone else), demand truth, and castigate the pandemic of lies that have ushered in these dystopian days.

Finally, too few are aware the mRNA vaccines are not technically vaccines but are actually more akin to gene therapy. Vaccines by definition enable you to be exposed to a pathogen without becoming infected, or further transmitting it. No one insists the mRNA “vaccines” do that – only that they can lessen the severity of symptoms. 

They do not necessarily create immunity or “stop the spread”, and apparently do not obviate the supposed need to maintain mask mandates and other suffocating restrictions. The logical disconnect here is astonishing: we are being sold, and are buying, the line that these vaccines are — but also kind of aren’t — the solution that will get us back to normal.

This is an acute example of just how much the use of reason — along with genuine esteem for man — has atrophied in our post-Christian, irreligious age.

Hopefully we avoid any worst-case scenarios, and all presently reasonable concerns will prove unfounded. But it is anything but crazy to notice that harms have been visited upon us in the name of health and that inhumanity has been advancing in the name of humanity.

Matthew Hanley’s new book, Determining Death by Neurological Criteria: Current Practice and Ethics, is a joint publication of the National Catholic Bioethics Center and Catholic University of America Press.