Panel 4: The Challenge of Famine and Pandemics: The Coincidence of Opposites Or Mass Extinction
March 21 , 2021 (EIRNS)—The fourth panel of the conference—titled as in the headline, was moderated by Dennis Speed, and opened by Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former Surgeon General of the U.S., and co-leader with Helga Zepp-LaRouche of the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites, formed in 2020. Elders struck many themes, especially the priority of involving youth in work and hope for the future. She noted at the outset that the U.S. Public Health Commission should be a vanguard for what should be the activities of 80 to 90% of U.S. military forces, given today’s crises.
In her closing remarks to the two-day conference, of four panels, each three hours, Helga Zepp-LaRouche described how the event has provided a
“richness of knowledge about what are the problems; but also, it’s good, because where do you find a platform, where you can look at the problems in the totality? Because the oligarchy likes us to think in terms of segments, in terms of compartmentalization, and that way, we are manipulable.... But we have a very powerful message to go out with.”
Following Dr. Elders, Marcia Merry Baker, Co-Editor of EIR, presented an overview of the famine, the necessity to double world food production, and the work of the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites, followed by alternating presentations by four medical specialists and five agricultural leaders.
The speakers: Dr. Kadijah Lang, President of the Golden State Medical Association and Chairman, National Medical Association (NMA) Council on International Affairs; Dr. Walter Faggett, former Chief Medical Officer, Washington D.C. Department of Health, Co-Chair D.C. Ward 8 Health Council; Dr. Shirley Evers-Manley, Interim Dean of Alcorn State University Nursing School and Chairman, Global Health Committee of the National Black Nurses Association; Mike Callicrate, Kansas/Colorado cattleman, founder of Ranch Foods Direct and Mike’s No Bull Blog; Nicole Pfrang, Kansas cattle rancher, and Secretary-Treasurer of the Kansas Cattlemen’s Association; Bill Bullard, President of R-CALF USA; James Benham, President of the Indiana Farmers Union and National Board Member of the National Farmers Union; Bob Baker, Agriculture Liaison, Schiller Institute.
A special feature was a video clip of a January 1988 address to a Food for Peace conference by Fred Wills. At the 1988 conference in Andover, Massachusetts, not far from Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, Wills described how in 1976, as Guyana’s then Foreign Minister, he proposed to the UN General Assembly to create an International Development Bank and for a debt moratorium, as had been put forward by Lyndon LaRouche, to replace the IMF and World Bank. Wills spoke of the necessity of reason and sovereignty in foreign relations, and the need for a new world economic system.
Zepp-LaRouche gave very strong remarks during the discussion that we face a crisis of indifference. “The population is numb.” They are uninformed, and also people are concerned only “with their issue.” We must take the totality of the situation into account. We are sitting on a powder keg of the blowout of the financial system, and social explosion. She stressed that the “degree of mobilization” we can effect is critical.
In the course of reports by the physicians and farm leaders, on the health care and food supply crises, one aspect jumped out. Over this past year, a federal waiver—No. 1135—was declared by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services for hospitals, during the pandemic state of emergency, to selectively deny treatment to designated patients, without penalties on the care facility, if they determined the patient had little chance of responding to treatment, and treatment resources were limited. Dr. Lang described several incidents of this kind of what she called “rationalized care” at facilities in Los Angeles, where hospital authorities denied care to people, showing bias toward dementia, the elderly, and even cases without “conditions.” Dr. Faggett and Dr. Evers-Manley also reported on the waiver, and other reflections of the same selective treatment.
Zepp-LaRouche warned that the circumstances for this happening are not an accident. The “holes in the system” that have shown up during the pandemic are not an accident. It is a policy of the City of London, Wall Street and Silicon Valley, as they exert their consolidated power. Beware any indifference to this. Remember what jurist Leo Alexander said at the Nuremberg trials, warning about “small beginnings.” Any slight change in respect for the sacredness of life is a slippery slope that leads to the Nazi horrors. These changes are going on right now, but we warned of them 30 and 40 years ago. We have to activate to the maximum.
Two initiatives were described from the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites. Dr. Faggett reported on a program in Washington, D.C. for training and deploying youth as community health care workers, doing various functions, especially related to COVID-19 vaccination. He said that this has worked well in Buffalo, New York, and they see it as using Dr. Elders’ model for “youth brigades.” The focus is on Ward 8, where at present only 4% of its 80,000 residents are vaccinated, the lowest in the District of Columbia, and typical of the disparities of all kinds.
Dr. Lang reported on a collaborative effort to send a representative aid shipment to Mozambique, where the NMA, until the 2020 pandemic, has had ongoing work to combat malnutrition, malaria, and other problems. She gave a thorough briefing on Mozambique, including reporting on the locust devastation to crops, and the increasing number—exceeding 530,000—of internally displaced people, from the terrorism in the north. Malaria and cholera are worsening. She gave some specifics on baseline measures, such as what can be done with water tablets, staple foods (corn meal, rice), and other matters. Mozambique has 950,000 people who are food insecure.
Dr. Evers-Manley reported on many problems and recommendations on the vaccination drive. She reported that by 2030, globally, the world will be short of 7 million nurses. Zepp-LaRouche reported in the discussion that one-third of the nurses in Germany are now potentially quitting, burned out in the pandemic.
Mike Callicrate titled his talk, “Will Humanity Prosper or Perish,” and reported on the necessity to stop exploiting people and resources, especially soil, which is happening under the current world cartel system, but to set up local and regional-based systems to serve communities and nations. This was further filled out by Bill Bullard and Nicole Pfrang in terms of cattle raising, and what the Big Beef cartels are doing.
Bob Baker addressed the way the cartels are moving in on farmers with their green financial dictates. Jim Benham likewise echoed Callicrate’s points on soils and the need for regionalized agriculture. He said, “know your farmer, know your food,” which means break up the cartels. Sure, city dwellers can’t get local food directly. But it can be good food, if you break up the cartels. He also stressed the need to make way for the young to be able to get in farming. Zepp-LaRouche reported on how the German farmers are having to go on the streets with their tractors, in an existential crisis, but the media black them out completely. She commissioned a video on the farmers’ situation.