On Monkeypox, Voices of ‘Authority’ Become Voices of Misinformation

By Joshua Philipp
Joshua Philipp
Joshua Philipp
Joshua Philipp is an award-winning investigative reporter with The Epoch Times and host of EpochTV's "Crossroads" program. He is a recognized expert on unrestricted warfare, asymmetrical hybrid warfare, subversion, and historical perspectives on today’s issues. His 10-plus years of research and investigations on the Chinese Communist Party, subversion, and related topics give him unique insight into the global threat and political landscape.
May 30, 2022Updated: May 31, 2022

News Analysis

A significant piece of the discussion on the CCP virus is among the least remembered: when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic, it also declared an information pandemic, which it dubbed the “infodemic.”

The battle for the narrative over the virus, its deadliness, and how to prepare for it became an issue of international importance. Governments, social networks, scientists, and even news media the world over were encouraged to cooperate with the directives of the WHO and its stakeholders as the central authorities of information.

This wasn’t just an attack on alleged false or misleading information, but also on what it declared was too much information. A joint statement in September 2020 from the WHO, the United Nations, and others said that “an infodemic is an overabundance of information, both online and offline,” and it added, “misinformation costs lives.”

Over time, it has been seen that misinformation does cost lives. Looking at bad policies in New York and elsewhere, for example, where government-level misinformation convinced senior homes to accept people infected with COVID-19, killing thousands in the process. Misinformed policy was also seen destroying jobs and lives the world over.

Now, with the spread of monkeypox, the battle for the narrative is again underway. And again, people are seeing that an authoritative voice is not necessarily a trustworthy voice.

One of the go-to sources for information on monkeypox is Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance. With the Gates Foundation playing both a financial and technical role in the Vaccine Alliance, it carries a lot of weight, given that Bill Gates has established himself as a major player in the political authority for vaccinations.

On the monkeypox threat, and on what needs to be done to stop it, Gavi states that “one in ten cases can be fatal.” It says monkeypox is “similar to viruses like Ebola” in the way it spreads. It also notes that the WHO has not recommended any specific treatment for monkeypox. As for vaccines, it notes “the original first-generation smallpox vaccines are no longer available to the general public,” and that the newer vaccine “is also not yet widely available.”

Now, take everything in that previous paragraph with a grain of salt. Because each statement is terribly misleading.

When it states that “one in ten cases can be fatal,” this is missing an important caveat: the death rate depends on which country. According to the WHO, the death rate from monkeypox in West Africa is around 1 percent, yet in Congo it can be as high as 10 percent. The journal Nature notes that it’s unclear which strain of monkeypox is now spreading, but that the strain in Portugal is related to the one in West Africa. It also notes that even then, the 1 percent death rate is in “poor rural populations,” and that “most people recover from monkeypox in a few weeks without treatment.”

Gavi also notes that “there is no specific treatment recommended for monkeypox by WHO,” but this is easily confused by the next caveat, that there are treatments. It acknowledges these as antivirals licensed to fight viruses like this, such as tecovirimat.

It pulls the same logical tricks when referring to vaccines. It acknowledges that the original vaccine for smallpox is not publicly available, which can again confuse the next caveat that there is a new vaccine for smallpox and monkeypox. Just a few years ago in 2019, the FDA approved the JYNNEOS vaccine. And when Gavi downplays this by stating that the new vaccine is not yet widely available, it also misses the caveat that governments are now ordering it en-masse. The Biden administration recently placed a $119 million order for millions of doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine.

The voices of supposed authority—many of which are trying to become gatekeepers of truth and falsehood—appear to be spreading actual medical misinformation by presenting information in a way that’s blatantly misleading.

Dr. Robert Malone, the inventor of mRNA vaccines, also noted this in his Substack newsletter. When taken as a whole, he notes that the death rate from monkeypox could be reported at 3.7 percent at most, yet this would be “from suspected, not confirmed cases. He explains that even with the WHO numbers, the data is skewed since it would typically be limited to more severe cases. Malone states, “this type of sampling is highly biased towards more severe disease—countries rarely will detect and do not report cases of mild disease to the WHO.”

Malone writes his opinion that “Monkeypox is a virus and disease which is endemic in Africa,” and that “It is readily controlled by classical public health measures. It does not have a high mortality rate.”

The nonprofit World Council for Health elaborated further on the misinformation swirling from monkeypox. It accused the WHO of using non-scientific speculation on the virus to “justify further human rights violations” with new experimental vaccines. It notes there is no rational scientific basis to vaccinate people for smallpox to prevent the spread of monkeypox, and that it’s unknown how the vaccines will interact with the COVID-19 vaccines.

It also notes that disturbing images of monkeypox that have been commonly used are not representative of the current outbreak. And it also states that the WHO’s own descriptions of the smallpox pustules are different from the imagery being used by news outlets.

The other issue is how monkeypox is diagnosed. Currently, clinical diagnosis for monkeypox requires a PCR test. This was made possible by an organization at the heart of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China. The National Pulse reports that the WIV “assembled a monkeypox virus genome, allowing the virus to be identified through PCR tests.” It also adds, however, that the researchers were “using a method researchers flagged for potentially creating a “contagious pathogen.” But that’s an issue for another time.

Regardless, the methods of diagnosis for monkeypox, with the PCR tests, are also a concern. The World Council for Health warns that the tests could lead to false positives and that symptoms used to indicate monkeypox are also commonly found in shingles, the common cold, and COVID-19.

The harsh reality is that with all the talk about “medical misinformation” and with even the WHO trying to counter a so-called “infodemic,” the voices of authority are not necessarily authoritative. And even those who are authoritative are not necessarily trustworthy.

The danger of politicized medicine is that political interest will undermine medical accuracy, and this problem becomes worse when the medical authorities have financial interests wrapped into the equation.

The new buzzword for global power and international cooperation is “stakeholders.” Whether it’s the “stakeholder capitalism” paraded by the World Economic Forum, or the stakeholders in global vaccine initiatives advocating for government policies and mandates.

Yet, the problem with stakeholders is that anyone with a stake in the game has a hard time being impartial.

The “stakeholders” in the global health systems—whether it’s Gates, Fauci, or the World Health Organization—have repeatedly led us wrong, both on information and on policy. And we’ve seen medical stakeholders repeatedly use underhanded methods to censor or criticize information that’s later revealed as accurate.