This article appears in the December 10, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Schiller Institute Conference on Pandemic
Only Multi-Nation Action
For World Health System Will Succeed
Dec. 5—The Schiller Institute held an online international Dec. 4 to address the extreme health emergency now gripping the world. Before the world’s conscience is an out-of-control pandemic in many locations, while near-term starvation is the future for millions in Afghanistan, Haiti, Yemen, Syria, and other countries. The conference, “Omicron: The Urgent Need for a World Health System,” was convened on short notice, at the time the South African experts first announced the identification of a new variant of the SARS-CoV2. On Nov. 28, The World Health Organized (WHO) named it Omicron, designating it a “variant of concern.”
This latest mutant microbe comes fully two years after clinicians first registered the presence of the novel coronavirus, and twenty-two months after the WHO declared it a pandemic, on March 11, 2020. Such successive new variants were predictable, unless an all-out campaign against the virus was conducted. Yet to date, no multi-nation collaboration is underway, to provide emergency action wherever needed, and to build up modern public health and medical systems everywhere in every nation. The conference featured situation reports and identified actions required.
Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche and former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders led off the presentations at the conference. Physicians and activists from the U.S., Canada, and Italy, joined in with presentations and a panel discussion, fielding questions from different continents. Former U.S. Surgeon General and civil rights leader, Dr. David Satcher, sent a support message. Other medics and leaders are now conferring behind the scenes.
In June 2020, Zepp-LaRouche and Dr. Elders together co-founded the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites, for peoples and nations to work for the common good across the usual boundaries that divide them, and to spur action against the SARs CoV-2 virus and other threats. Elders, whose specialty is pediatrics, was a Vice Admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.
Public Health Measures
The LaRouche statement, “National Program Against Germ Warfare,” was released to the media during the anthrax terrorism after the 9/11 attack, in which he located national biological defense as a matter of public sanitation, including access for all to clean water, adequate energy, and transportation, in addition to the required number of hospitals and medical professionals, emphasizing especially those facilities and staff which “serve those sections of the population which are relatively indigent, and are therefore the most likely radiators of infectious diseases.” He said that it is “public sanitation which remains the first line of defense of the population against normal epidemic disease, and also biological warfare attacks.”
LaRouche called for a “crash program” in the U.S. to “restore those medical and infrastructural defenses that were taken down, piece by piece, during the approximately quarter-century since the enactment of the original HMO legislation,” referring to the beginning of the “privatization” of healthcare in the early 1970s. “If we do not do that,” he continued, “whatever might happen to you and your family as a result of a biological warfare attack should be considered now as virtually a ‘done deal.’”
No one hearing those words from twenty years ago can fail to have a sense of dread, that LaRouche’s warning, having been ignored by the institutions of power over these past two decades, has now wrought a horrible result for humanity.
In the U.S., where more than 250 hospitals have been taken down over the past three years as “unprofitable” by the Wall Street insurance companies which now dominate the U.S. healthcare system, nearly 800,000 people have died of COVID-19.
By comparison, China, with three times the population, has constructed over 1,000 hospitals over the same time period, has applied full public health measures immediately upon any outbreak, and as a result, has had fewer than 5,000 people die of the virus and complications. This is one death in China for every 160 in the United States. Moreover, a disproportionate number of those deaths in the U.S. were amongst the poor, especially minorities, due to their average lower standard of nutrition and health care.
Zepp-LaRouche reiterated the call of the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites for the world to unite in cooperation to build a modern health system in every country. She reviewed in some detail the fourth and fifth wave of COVID-19 in Europe right now, where triage is now being practiced in the understaffed and overcrowded hospitals in Germany and others of the richest countries on Earth. The construction effort must get underway, and she proposed that this start in Afghanistan, along with immediate provision of emergency aid. There, more than 24 million people are facing death this winter by freezing, starvation, COVID-19, and a near total lack of medical facilities. All the while, the United States maintains sanctions, and withholds Afghan assets, charging the new government with committing abuses of human rights—a charge which is itself both hypocritical and results of which are genocidal!
Zepp-LaRouche explained why she named the Afghanistan initiative “Operation Ibn Sina,” in honor of the 11th-Century philosopher, poet, and medical genius who was a native son of the greater Afghanistan region. Above all, she said, the center of this global effort must be the image of man as unique and sacred in the universe.
Dr. Elders called for everyone to step up and join the mobilization. She read from the she issued Nov. 23, directed to virologists and other medical experts worldwide, to launch an educational campaign to inform citizens everywhere of the basic truths of the pandemic. She noted that the failure of governments to do so has caused vast confusion, and vulnerability to frightening conspiracy theories and fear of vaccines.
Alessia Ruggeri, speaking from Sicily, Italy, delivered a strong statement of endorsement for Operation Ibn Sina. Ms. Ruggeri has already held a press conference to call for action on this perspective. She is a trade union leader, and the spokesperson of the Comitato della Repubblica, and Chairperson of UPI Italia, an association of small- and medium-sized enterprises. She stressed that people are starving in Afghanistan, while the former President Ashraf Ghani, “ran away with a suitcase full of money.” She reported recent Taliban announcements, quoting from them that, “We will not allow anyone to use our country to export opium, or to organize terrorist attacks. But, to do so, we would need international support to promote an alternative to poppy cultivation.”
Marcia Merry Baker, EIR Editorial Board member, also called for collaboration among major powers, in particular for a concerted effort to increase world food production, an essential for health. She called for both emergency aid, and in the longer-term, the build-up of agricultural productivity in every nation. For the soon-to-be 8 billion people on the planet, there should be being produced over 4 billion tons of grain, but total harvests are not even near 3 billion tons.
Even before the pandemic, the production of grain per capita—a metric of sufficiency—was declining worldwide, and 800 million people were what were called “food insecure,” that is, having a limited or uncertain access to adequate food—in plain talk, hungry. That has only worsened, to where 43 million people are now on the edge of starvation, and others in acute need. The whole continent of Africa has been insanely made import-dependent for 40% of its grain consumption, and now the grain is too expensive, or not there at all.
To complete the picture, Baker stated, look at the suppression of the ability of farmers and ranchers to operate. She described how farmers have had to resort to street protests, just for the right to produce food. The food cartel system, serving networks of the City of London and Wall Street, has reached the point of suffocating production, and contributing to hyperinflationary breakdown.
In India, farmers have demonstrated for a year, and have finally succeeded in gaining repeal of new cartel-serving agriculture laws. German farmers continue blocking streets with their tractors—for the third year in a row—to call attention to how so-called green, habitat-protection laws are ruining food production. Cattlemen in the U.S. are fighting the same thing. Baker called for the nations to coordinate to do what is necessary to support and maintain independent food producers, and end hunger for anyone, anywhere.
Ruggeri expressed agreement with Baker, saying that “the key is an alliance of productive forces—farmers, workers, and labor.” She said, “Productive forces are the very important factor at the local level, to create the shift to a new paradigm,” noting that there is much talk of ecological transition, and digital transition, but all this ignores the needs and interests of labor and farmers. She called for international unity for industrial and agricultural production.
Dr. Walter Faggett, who has been very active with the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites, spoke of needed action in Africa, as well as reporting on his ongoing work in Washington D.C. with youth volunteers for public health measures, including vaccination. A former Chief Medical Officer of the District of Columbia Department of Health, Dr. Faggett is on the medical faculty of Howard University and is active in the National Medical Association.
He reported on the recruiting of young people, training and setting them to work in Washington D.C.’s Wards 7 and 8, where the task is to bring the truth about the virus and the benefit of vaccines to the Black population, where there is a legacy of distrust. He reported that since March 2021, when the project started, the vaccination rate in Ward 8 has increased from 4% to 40%, which he noted, is still too low, and in disparity with other wards in the District. But the rate of new cases and COVID-19 deaths in the DC region is now one of the lowest in the country. Expressing his wish to see this DC model of youth activation take off in California and other locations, he indicated how this might happen: “We have a curriculum now at Howard University, with which we’ll be collaborating with Drew [Medical Center] in Los Angeles.”
Dr. Faggett said that he wants to see teams in Africa, once conditions permit, and meantime he has been very active in a special aid project for Mozambique—involving donated medicine, food and water purification chemicals—as a representative initiative of what must be large-scale action. He has worked on this with Dr. Khadijah Lang, Chair of the Council on International Affairs of the National Medical Association and President of its California state branch, known as the Golden State Medical Association. Dr. Faggett pointed out the dangerous infectious conditions being allowed to worsen in West Africa, where he has had personal experience fighting Ebola. Besides COVID-19, there have been recent outbreaks there of Ebola, and the Marburg virus.
Make Structural Change, End Poverty
Dr. Randall W. Maxey, a former President of the National Medical Association, gave a report on the areas in the United States where there are far higher numbers of serious COVID-19 cases and deaths, associated with higher rates of diabetes, chronic kidney disease and obesity, which in turn, correspond to locations having large Black and Latino populations and poverty. He showed a map in which this was dramatically clear in the southern tier of states across the country. He also strongly denounced the blatant way the rich countries have hoarded vaccines, and limited them from the nations of Africa, where he has had extensive experience. He spoke out strongly against “structural racism,” and the Western culture and “economic model” behind this that must be defeated.
Dr. Maxey, who founded the Black Health Trust, also reported on innovations in the field of advanced testing and treatment technologies. He described how large numbers of people can be tested and treated for many diseases, including by the use of telemedicine, data warehousing, and related new approaches. Providing illustrations, he presented exciting updates on the science and methods for using directed light to identify and kill selected pathogens, and called for this to be greatly expanded.
Jason Ross, science adviser to the Schiller Institute, pointed to the fact underlying all the presentations—the vast and increasing poverty in the world, dramatic in the United States—is the primary cause of the health crisis and the threatening famine. China has demonstrated that poverty can be eliminated through infrastructure development, while the Belt and Road Initiative is the model for bringing such development to all nations. In particular, the green financiers, who claim that human beings are the problem and constitute a threat to the planet, must be crushed, if we are to bring modern health systems into being. This means there must be clean water, electricity, and connectivity for every nation.
Dr. Richard Denton, the North American Co-President of the International Physicians Against Nuclear War, reported from Canada on the work his organization has done against polio, in conjunction with Rotary Clubs. Part of the mission has been to overcome fear of the anti-polio vaccines in nations of Africa and Central Asia, where the number of polio deaths has been brought down to only two this year, one each in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But the danger is for polio to come back. He made a point of describing his experience, working with the Taliban in Afghanistan, in creating conditions for Afghans to be vaccinated.
In closing, Helga Zepp-LaRouche spoke of mixed feelings—both worried and hopeful:
“I’m worried because we have been talking about this now for many decades—a condition where you could have the emergence of old diseases and new diseases, which could create the situation of a dark age. That danger is clearly there, because you cannot just look at the health aspect: We have hyperinflation in the trans-Atlantic world, in energy prices, in food prices; we have a threat to agriculture. A lot of farmers are extremely concerned that they may not be able to keep producing, because of bad rules and regulations, bad conditions for farming. This is a very wide field to discuss, but food supply is not secure! We a world famine of biblical dimensions; I don’t think we have it yet, but I think we have an incredibly complex danger to the present civilization. I touched upon the war danger earlier, without being able to elaborate.... I don’t think the human species is safe at all. So that’s my worrying part.
“My more optimistic part is that I have seen a lot of goodness, especially among doctors; also, right from the beginning of the pandemic, there was a much larger exchange of information, medical information among doctors from many countries. So, I think on that level there has been actual progress in the human behavior of people. So, I feel this tension.
“The only way to resolve the tension is to do more, to find more people to join our effort. I want to thank all of you, because this has been a very productive process, which had many phases, but I think we are now really in earnest about expanding it, way beyond the United States, and this will be a very important part.”