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Concerning Conflicts Of Interest Discovered Among UK Governments COVID-19 Advisors

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Concerning Conflicts Of Interest Discovered Among UK Governments COVID-19 Advisors
Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

Many doctors, scientists, journalists, citizens and publications and various medical journals have been calling into question what we are being told about COVID-19 on various different fronts. Be it the severity of the virus, lockdown measures, mask mandates and more, it’s quite clear that there is a great divide among the citizenry as well as the academic community as to what’s really going on here.

Scrolling through the twitter feed of Carl Heneghan, a Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford and Editor in Chief of BMJ (British Medical Journal) Evidence-Based medicine, and an NHS General Practitioner working in urgent care I came across a publication in the BMJ titled “Conflicts of interest among the UK government’s covid-19 advisers.” It was written by journalist Paul D. Thacker.

I wanted to post it below as it’s an interesting read. It reminded me of another publication I recently came across in the BMJ by their executive editor, and editor of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization Dr. Kamran Abbas. The publication was titled “Covid-19: politicisation, “corruption,” and suppression of science. You can read that here if interested.

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. – Abbas

Below is the publication from Thacker.

Little is known about the interests of the doctors, scientists, and academics on whose advice the UK government relies to manage the pandemic. Attempts to discover more are frequently thwarted, finds Paul D Thacker

As the number of UK deaths caused by covid-19 reached 50 000 in early November, England enacted a second national lockdown to control the epidemic. Boris Johnson’s government put these measures into action after months of controversial and sometimes confusing policies, including the “rule of six,” regional tiered controls, and directions to “stay alert.” At the same time, the government has faced mounting questions about procurement decisions, from personal protective equipment to testing kits, from vaccine deals to the services of logistics companies.

Calls for greater transparency around such decisions have included those bodies focused on science and health, such as the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), as well as taskforces charged with advising on vaccines and testing. Although Downing Street has become more transparent in disclosing the advice of SAGE, it has kept members’ financial conflicts of interest unpublished and shown little concern that advisers to the coronavirus Vaccine Taskforce have financial interests in pharmaceutical companies receiving government contracts. When The BMJ sought further information on these bodies, such as lists of members’ interests, the information was denied or requests were unanswered.

Information withheld

After months of criticism about SAGE secrecy, the government reversed course this summer and began releasing the names of SAGE members, minutes of meetings, and some of its policy papers. Still, the government has refused to release to The BMJ the financial interest forms signed by SAGE members, leaving the public in the dark.

Criticism over SAGE’s secrecy first appeared in a Nature editorial1 in March. In April, the government’s chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance sent a letter to parliament2 stating that SAGE’s membership, recommendations, supporting documents, and meeting minutes would be published, but only after the group ceased meeting about covid-19. Vallance argued3 that secrecy protected SAGE members and shielded them “from lobbying and other forms of unwanted influence which may hinder their ability to give impartial advice.”

Rob Weissman, president of Public Citizen, an American non-profit organisation focusing on government transparency, was troubled by this statement because, he says, corporate interests are always granted access to government decision makers: “It’s never a secret from the companies. The secrecy is selective. Secrecy becomes the way to selectively make information available to the powerful, and connected corporations, while the public is kept in the dark.”

Within days of Vallance’s statement, the Guardian published the names of SAGE members, which included two political advisers to Downing Street, one of whom was the prime minister’s now former chief political adviser, Dominic Cummings.

As pressure increased for greater openness, the government finally relented in late May with a pledge for SAGE transparency, publishing dozens of documents, including minutes from the group’s first meeting on covid-19 in late January. Reversing his previous statement to parliament, Vallance said, “Openness and transparency around this disease is a social imperative, which is why it’s important we don’t wait to publish minutes and evidence.”

Vallance’s decision puts SAGE more in line with recommendations made by the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee in 20114 that SAGE membership should not be kept secret. He has, however, ignored the same committee’s call to publish SAGE members’ declarations of financial interest.

Independence and balance questioned

Meanwhile, the matter of SAGE’s independence persists. “It’s not independent,” says Martin McKee, professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “It cannot set its own agenda. They can only answer questions the government sends them. They should have more freedom to reshape the questions.” The term “independent,” does not appear anywhere in the 64 pages of current guidance5 that governs SAGE.

Multiple experts contacted by The BMJ also argued that SAGE appears unbalanced, favouring certain types of scientific proficiency over others. Some claim that SAGE has relied too much on disease modellers who have been given priority over behavioural researchers. Others point out that public health experts, who best understand how to control communicable diseases, should have been given more seats at the table. Meanwhile, it remains tough to confirm if the government is following SAGE’s advice.

“They’re not ignoring SAGE,” says Linda Bauld, professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh, who is not a member of the committee, “They’re selectively taking their advice.” Bauld says that after the government sends questions to SAGE and gets the group’s feedback, the government then works in other considerations, such as economics, public opinion, and politics. But unlike the advice from SAGE, these other inputs that inform policy are never made public, making it impossible to know if the government has ignored scientific expertise. She adds that SAGE is now more transparent than the Scottish government advisory group, which publishes minutes of its meetings, but which she says contain little information and are not useful.

Like other specialists The BMJ contacted, Bauld also wondered if SAGE requires members to report their financial conflicts of interest. “I’ve not seen that information published anywhere,” she says. The BMJ then contacted the Government Office for Science (GOS) to ask whether SAGE members were required to fill in financial disclosure forms. We also requested copies of any such forms for current members. A spokesperson for GOS confirmed that SAGE members must declare their financial conflicts of interest and provided us with an empty template copy of the SAGE disclosure form.

The BMJ is making this form available to the public.6 GOS declined to provide SAGE members’ signed disclosures, adding that they are looking at options to make these declarations public while complying with relevant data protection legislation. The BMJ is now seeking the financial disclosure forms of SAGE and Vaccine Taskforce members through freedom of information requests.

“Citizens need to be able to trust the advice of professional scientific advisers. We need transparency,” says Margaret McCartney, a Scottish general practitioner and former BMJ columnist who has campaigned for financial transparency. “Public trust is paramount and I know there are a huge number of scientists and doctors working extremely hard just now. I don’t want those efforts wasted because there hasn’t been enough openness.”

Interests exposed

In many cases, the UK government’s lack of financial transparency in combating covid-19 has resulted in negative headlines. In April, the government announced7 that it was placing Vallance in charge of a new Vaccine Taskforce to expedite research to produce a coronavirus vaccine. Among the named members were AstraZeneca, the Wellcome Trust, and John Bell of Oxford University. The following month, the government announced that Kate Bingham would chair the taskforce, while taking temporary leave from her job as managing partner at SV Health Investors, a life sciences venture capital firm. Bingham is married to the Conservative minister Jesse Norman.

By July the UK government had signed a coronavirus vaccine deal for an undisclosed sum with GlaxoSmithKline, securing 60 million doses of an untested treatment that was still being developed. In September, media outlets reported that Vallance had £600 000 (€661 000; $800 000) worth of shares in the company. The government responded to say that,8 while he heads the government’s Vaccine Taskforce, Vallance “has no input into contractual and commercial decisions on vaccine procurement, which are taken by ministers following a robust cross government approvals regime.”

Days later, the Daily Mail broke another story, this time focusing on Bell. On top of his role with the Vaccine Taskforce, Bell also headed the National Covid Testing Scientific Advisory Panel and chaired the government’s new test approvals group. But the Mail discovered something The BMJ had first reported in 20129—that Bell had substantial financial interests, now amounting to £773 000 worth of shares, in pharma company Roche, which had sold the government £13.5m of antibody tests in May. Following the deal, Bell appeared on Channel 4 News and Radio 4’s Today, calling the tests a major step forward. Yet Public Health England found the tests unreliable.

Bell told the Mail that he had no role in the deal and that he had disclosed to the government “a long list of my interests.” According to the Mail, “He said that he did not sit on the advisory body involved in the decision to purchase the Roche antibody tests, adding: ‘I did not know about the Roche contract until it was signed. I advised on diagnostic home testing kits, not these ones.’”

Disclosure denied

The BMJ asked the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which announced the Vaccine Taskforce, to confirm that Bell had reported his “long list” of financial interests. We also asked to see any forms Bell had filled in as evidence. Contradicting its own press release which listed Bell as a taskforce member, a BEIS spokesperson told The BMJ, “Sir John Bell is a member of the expert advisory group to the Vaccine Taskforce, rather than a member of the taskforce itself.”

The spokesperson added that the expert advisory group is not involved in commercial decision making, and that those involved must declare their conflicts of interest. The spokesperson did not respond to The BMJ’s request for copies of Bell’s declarations.

The BMJ also approached Oxford University, Bell’s employer, to ask for documents that confirm he had disclosed his “long list” of financial interests. Stephen Rouse, Oxford University’s head of communications, responded, “Professor Sir John Bell has always declared his financial interests and board membership at Roche, in accordance with the university’s conflict of interest policy for all staff.” Oxford did not respond to The BMJ’s repeated request to see evidence of this disclosure. The BMJ is now seeking the financial disclosure form of John Bell through a freedom of information request to Oxford.

Lagging behind the US?

Much of the transparency The BMJ and others have sought around advisory committees in the UK is automatically provided in the US. “We have strong rules that require transparency, openness of proceedings, and rules in place to deal with conflicts of interest that are automatic,” says Rob Weissman, president of Public Citizen, an American non-profit organisation focusing on government transparency.

Not that these rules are impenetrable: Weissman points out that the US vaccine taskforce, called Operation Warp Speed, is being directed by Moncef Slaoui, a former GlaxoSmithKline executive who has been criticised by senators for his pharma investments. The Trump administration bypassed normal government hiring procedures by bringing in Slaoui as an unpaid special adviser, who is therefore not required to disclose his interests. “The arrangement was improper and he should be dismissed immediately because of this conflict,” Weissman says. Even if a person is well intentioned, he says, direct financial investments create bias that is impossible for anyone to remove.

Covid cronyism: transparency is “even more important” in a crisis

In these exceptional times when, for example, contracts are being awarded outside usual procurement rules, it is essential that government decisions are properly documented and made transparent to maintain public trust. So said the National Audit Office10 (NAO) earlier this month in its report into government procurement during the covid-19 crisis.

It highlighted “a lack of transparency and adequate documentation” on some key decisions, including how the government identified and managed conflicts of interest. The report said it was “even more important to have a clear approach to managing conflicts of interest when contracts are awarded directly to suppliers without any competition.”

Because so many covid-19 contracts have been awarded to companies with ties to the Conservative Party, the government has faced charges of cronyism.

“You want these things to work,” says Peter Geoghegan, a journalist who has been covering the UK’s failed covid-19 contracts for Open Democracy, the Guardian, and the London Review of Books. “It’s taken a long time for the penny to drop about how this isn’t working.” Digging up untendered covid-19 contracts involved diligent spade work. Contracts can be published on different websites, which are not easily searchable. Furthermore, the government has been ignoring requirements to publish contracts within 30 days, meaning that it took many months after the pandemic started before the untendered contracts became public.

In awarding contracts, a cross government process called the “high priority lane” assessed commercial leads brought in by officials, ministers, MPs, and lords through a special mailbox and which were treated as more credible than leads going through ordinary channels, the NAO reported.

Critics of UK contracting tell The BMJ it is impossible to trace the influence of lobbyists in the decisions to award contracts because little lobbying information is published or even collected in the first place. “Considering the gravity of decisions under ministers’ consideration, there should be much greater transparency over who’s trying to influence them, how, and over what decisions, than is currently the case,” says Alex Runswick, senior advocacy manager at Transparency. “We know more about lobbying activity in rural Ireland than we do in Whitehall.”

Passed in 2014, Britain’s lobbying law requires only rudimentary information to be reported, most importantly, the name of the lobbyist, their company, and address, and the names of clients. In the US, lobbyists must disclose much more information and forms are disclosed quarterly. For each client, lobby companies must disclose the names of their lobbyists; list the matters or specific bills that were lobbied on; who was lobbied, such as a specific congressional committees, government agencies, or White House offices; and how much was spent lobbying, meaning lobbyist salaries and expenses.

“It tells you more than nothing, but not much more,” says Weissman of the UK lobby disclosure forms. He says that the US system requires such extensive information, because any one company has broad interests before the government. Pharma companies are considered the most powerful lobby in Washington and they lobby on everything from drug safety to labour laws to healthcare policy, tax matters, contracting law, defence spending, and government subsidies. “You’ve got no way to assess what they’re actually up to,” Weissman says of the UK lobbying law.

This article (Concerning Conflicts of Interest Discovered Among UK Governments COVID-19 Advisors) was originally created for Collective Evolution and is published here under Creative Commons.

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Chilling Report Reveals That Just A Handful Of Mega Corporations Control The Fate Of The World

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Statue of liberty
Photo Credit: https://medium.com/@philipp.schulz.

Isaac DavisGuest Writer

So much of dystopian science fiction stories feature an all-knowing, all-powerful private corporation as the dominant authority in a tyrannic and soulless world. According to a new study, this vision of the future isn’t all that fictional, as trans-national corporations (TNC’s) are growing at an alarming pace, rapidly consolidating control over major industries, and creating a new type of super-governance in our world.

Conducted by Carl Folke et al. of the University of Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden, the study primarily focused on the influence that multinational corporations have over the biosphere and critical issues surrounding sustainability, but also revealed just how dependent the world is on TNC’s.

For years we’ve known that just a handful of media companies hold sway over 90% of the media we consume, offering up the illusion of choice, but this paradigm extends into other critical sectors.

“You can see it in the environment, where just 100 companies are responsible for over 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

You can see it in technology, where giant tech firms enjoy monopolistic dominance over search, social, and more.

Big Pharma companies are so powerful they spawn entire health crises; energy companies are so powerful they can predict climate crises decades in advance.

The communication of science itself is not untouched by these phenomena of corporate consolidation and control.” [Source]

Citing the trend towards dominance of relatively small number of companies, the study notes:

Consolidation among corporations, whereby a small number of companies control a large market share of the overall output or sales for a particular product or product type (that is, oligopoly or, at the extreme, monopoly), is a well-known and predictable feature of economic development.

Some 10% of the world’s corporations generate 80% of all profits globally.

A handful of transnational companies (TNCs) in the information technology sector control 90% or more of the global market share of search engines, operating systems and social media.

Three investor firms manage over 90% of all assets under management in passive equity funds, and retailers, which form the interface between consumers and global supply chains, also show high levels of concentration.

Such dominance is variously explained by increasing share of returns from growth going to capital rather than labour, the ability of TNCs to navigate regulatory systems opportunistically across multiple jurisdictions, and their capacity to create barriers to entry for smaller firms.

Many people today are beginning to finally understand the damage being done to the environment by TNC’s, and the report focused in on consolidation in agriculture and forestry, seafood, agrochemicals, mining and fossil fuels. We’ve been warning for years of the impact a company like Monsanto can have, but this report shows us the chilling, bigger picture.

Global Food & Farming Issues: Dr. Vandana Shiva Slams Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg & Monsanto
Global Food & Farming Issues: Dr. Vandana Shiva Slams Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg & Monsanto. Click here to read the article.
Final Thoughts

As the world wakes up to the new future we are creating, our inter-connectedness and inter-dependency is reaching unreal levels. We human beings are hard-wired to become comfortable with our surroundings, and are easily trained to become dependent. The tyranny of convenience is creating dangerous imbalance in this world, and a handful of so-called super corporations are deftly exploiting these trends and positioning themselves for extreme dominance over the environment and our ability to support ourselves.

About the Author

Isaac Davis is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com. He is an outspoken advocate of liberty and of a voluntary society. He is an avid reader of history and passionate about becoming self-sufficient to break free of the control matrix. Follow him on Facebook, here.

This article (Chilling Report Reveals that Just a Handful of Mega Corporations Control the Fate of the World) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Isaac Davis and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

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Pfizer CEO: ‘Every Year You Will Have To Get Your Annual Shot For COVID’

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COVID Vaccine
Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

Megan Redshaw, Children’s Health Defense

Despite the purported 95% effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla announced Thursday that the vaccine maker is testing a third dose of its vaccine in anticipation of annual booster shots.

In a press release, Pfizer stated its goal was to understand the effect of a booster on immunity against COVID caused by the circulating and newly emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants and to engage in ongoing discussions with the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency regarding a clinical trial to test a modified mRNA vaccine.

Pfizer director and board member Scott Gottlieb, who also served as former FDA commissioner in charge of vaccine approval, told CNBC the vaccine maker is exploring two paths to boost effectiveness of the COVID vaccine.

The first study will give 144 participants from the phase 1 clinical trial conducted last May a third lower-dosage of the current two-dose formulation. The second study involves testing a modified version of the existing vaccine designed to provide broad defence against a range of COVID mutations.

Pfizer hopes to prepare for a potential rapid adoption of the vaccine to address new variants that will allow for the development of booster vaccines within weeks. This “regulatory pathway” is already established for other infectious diseases like influenza, said the vaccine maker.

Pfizer’s CEO hopes a third dose will boost the immune response even higher or will offer protection against COVID variants.

“Every year, you need to go to get your flu vaccine,” Bourla said. “It’s going to be the same with COVID. In a year, you will have to go and get your annual shot for Covid to be protected,” Bourla told NBC News.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine is not yet licensed by the FDA but has obtained Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to prevent COVID-19 for use in ages 16 years and older. The emergency use of this vaccine is only authorized as long as “circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use.”

Immunity Passports
As Predicted: Immunity Passports Are No Longer A Fantasy. Click here to read the article.

The FDA has said it is willing to authorize booster shots based on small clinical trials, accepting data on how well vaccines prime the immune system rather than holding out for long-term safety and efficacy results on protecting against COVID-19.

Moderna is also bolstering its worldwide manufacturing capacity in anticipation of a sustained demand for COVID-19 boosters in the coming years. The company plans to test additional doses of their vaccine, booster shots and a new shot combined with its current vaccine as soon as regulators give the green light.

As The Defender reported last week, Bill Gates is also on record suggesting a “third shot” could be required to combat COVID.

About the Author

Megan Redshaw is a freelance reporter for The Defender. She has a background in political science, a law degree and extensive training in natural health.

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Canadian Doctors And Former Microsoft Canada President Warn About Grave Health Risks Of 5G

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5G
Photo Credit: Pexels

B.N. Frank, Activist Post

The telecom industry has provided no scientific evidence that 5G is safe and there is research that already proves it isn’t (see 12).  Because of this, some government leaders have already declared moratoriums on installation (see 123).

Additional warnings about 5G have come from a variety of sources including:

  1. Meteorologists who fear that 5G frequencies will greatly reduce their ability to accurately predict the weather.
  2. Utility companies fear that 5G will interfere with their already problematic Smart Grids and Smart Meters.
  3. Security experts fear cyberattacks on the easily hacked 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies could lead to catastrophic consequences (see 12).

Unfortunately, this hasn’t stopped 5G installations everywhere – including in Canada – despite publicized opposition from doctors, scientists, and former Microsoft Canada president, Frank Clegg.

Doctors call for delaying deployment of 5G due to health risks | NTD

If the telecom industry won’t even defend 5G, shouldn’t we be concerned about anyone who does?

For more information, visit the following websites:

This article (Canadian Doctors and Former Microsoft Canada President Warn About Grave Health Risks of 5G) was originally published at Activist Post and is re-posted here with permission.

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As Predicted: Immunity Passports Are No Longer A Fantasy

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Photo Credit: Truth Theory

Derrick Broze, Activist Post

As the European Union announces they are preparing to implement vaccine certificates,” the largest airline association is also preparing to roll out their version of the controversial Immunity Passports.

On Thursday, the European Union’s 27 political leaders held a 5-hour virtual call to discuss the future of reopening travel across the continent. German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters the leaders have “agreed that we need vaccine certificates.” Merkel also sought to quell fears about the use of such certificates, stating, “it will certainly be good to have such a certificate but that will not mean that only those who have such a passport will be able to travel; about that, no political decisions have been made yet.”

The discussion around immunity passports has grown in recent months, with the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, and Spain all considering some method of verifying whether an individual has been vaccinated or achieved immunity from COVID-19. UK officials have also discussed the potential for the use of a digital verification tool for domestic travel. In the United States, plans for immunity passports are also being developed. On January 21, Joe Biden outlined a 200-page national coronavirus pandemic strategy which included a call for the U.S. government to “assess the feasibility of linking COVID-19 vaccination to International Certificates of Vaccination.”

The statements by world leaders comes on the heels of a press conference held by the International Air Travel Association, which represents 299 airlines. On Wednesday, Alexandre de Juniac, the IATA’s Director General and CEO, detailed the upcoming release of the organization’s own immunity passport, the IATA Travel Pass. A slideshow presentation discussing the IATA Travel Pass indicates that the organization plans to have their app fully functional by the early summer.

“With respect to health credentials these past weeks have seen more airlines sign-up to trial the IATA Travel Pass. That will help us be ready for the restart.,” De Juniac stated. He went on to say that the IATA Travel pass must be secure, work with existing systems of travel, and respect data privacy. He did not provide specific details of how privacy would be respected. De Juniac also noted that proof of vaccination and COVID-19 test results must be digital because “fraudulent COVID-19 test results are already proving to be an issue.”

Immunity Passports

Despite the quick pace of the roll out of these immunity passports, they are not without controversy. According to a poll in June 2020, and a more recent study by the Brookings Institution, the public is evenly divided among support and opposition for immunity passports. “Almost half favour conferring some form of immunity privileges and a small majority are opposed,” the Brookings Institution writes.

The “small majority” opposed to the passports are pushing back out of fears that the passports will create a two-tiered class system where the vaccinated are allowed to travel freely, and the unvaccinated are denied the right to travel, attend concerts, visit museums, drink at the bar, and potentially even shop at the local market. Nicole Hassoun, professor at Binghamton University, recently wrote an opinion piece for Scientific American stating that, “Immunity passports may be inevitable, given current developments in the private sector and historic precedent, but in order for them to be ethical, they must at least include some exceptions. People who cannot access vaccines for health reasons but need to work, attend school, travel and so forth should be able to do so when the benefits exceed the risks.”

Regular readers of TLAV will not be surprised by any of these developments.

In May 2020, TLAV first reported the IATA’s plans for air travel in the post-COVID-19 era. At the time, the IATA issued their publication, Biosecurity for Air Transport A Roadmap for Restarting Aviation, which outlined their strategy to open up air travel as governments begin to lift travel restrictions. The IATA’s call for pre-boarding check-in using “electronic travel authorization platforms” coincided with the announcement of the Covipass and the Health Pass from Clear, both of which call for a digital ID system using biometrics and storing travel, health, and identification data.

In their May 2020 report, the IATA called for temperature screening at entry points to airport terminals and recommended “face coverings” for passengers and protective equipment for airline and airport staff. They also stated that “immunity passports could play an important role in further facilitating the restart of air travel.” Now, one year later, the IATA is helping bring that reality to life as their IATA Travel Pass joins the ranks of the Covipass and Health Pass as proposed options for allowing individuals to travel once again.

In May 2020, TLAV first reported the IATA’s plans for air travel in the post-COVID-19 era. At the time, the IATA issued their publication, Biosecurity for Air Transport A Roadmap for Restarting Aviation, which outlined their strategy to open up air travel as governments begin to lift travel restrictions. The IATA’s call for pre-boarding check-in using “electronic travel authorization platforms” coincided with the announcement of the Covipass and the Health Pass from Clear, both of which call for a digital ID system using biometrics and storing travel, health, and identification data.

In their May 2020 report, the IATA called for temperature screening at entry points to airport terminals and recommended “face coverings” for passengers and protective equipment for airline and airport staff. They also stated that “immunity passports could play an important role in further facilitating the restart of air travel.” Now, one year later, the IATA is helping bring that reality to life as their IATA Travel Pass joins the ranks of the Covipass and Health Pass as proposed options for allowing individuals to travel once again.

As the European Union and the IATA begin to reveal their plans for digital certificates of vaccination, some health experts are speaking out about the ethical and moral concerns regarding the immunity passport schemes. Dr. Deepti Gurdasani, clinical epidemiologist at Queen Mary University of London, told CNBC that “the scientific evidence doesn’t support” vaccine passports and, she believes, “there are lots of ethical concerns about them that I think are legitimate.”

Liberty, the U.K.’s largest civil liberties organization, has also spoke out against the concept. “One thing every suggestion has missed is that it’s impossible to have immunity passports which do not result in human rights abuses,” the organization recently stated. “We should all be able to live our lives free from unnecessary interference – any form of immunity passport would rob us of that. And history tells us that once we give up these hard-won rights, we rarely get them back.”

What was seen as fantastical and paranoid delusion just one year ago – the idea that individuals could have their lives restricted for not vaccinating – is no longer a fantasy. Immunity passports are here. It is likely that by the Summer nations all around the world will require some measure of digital certificate or proof of vaccination for travel, play, work, and shopping. The opponents of these measures need to think and act quickly to decide what, if anything, they are going to do to slow down the march towards medical authoritarianism.

About the Author

Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter. Derrick is the author of three books: The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 1Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 2 and Manifesto of the Free Humans. Derrick is available for interviews. Please contact Derrick@activistpost.com

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