COVID Pandemic Measures Practically Suspended the Bill of Rights: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

COVID Pandemic Measures Practically Suspended the Bill of Rights: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. speaks at the Humanity Against Censorship rally in front of Meta headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. on May 19, 2022. (Hao/The Epoch Times)
Ella Kietlinska
Jan Jekielek
3/31/2023
Updated:
3/31/2023

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the key element of the response to the pandemic in America was to essentially take away the Bill of Rights, says Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., calling it a “coup d’etat against democracy by the military-medical-industrial complex.”

At that time, the government began censoring speech for the first time in American history, thus infringing on the First Amendment to the Constitution, Kennedy said in a recent interview on EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” program.

America’s founding fathers put the right to free expression in the First Amendment because—as they themselves said–all of the other amendments and rights depend on it, said Kennedy, the founder and chief legal counsel of Children’s Health Defense.

“If a government has the right to censor its critics or silence its critics, it has license for every atrocity.”

As soon as the government successfully asserted the power to suppress dissent, it then “closed all the churches for a year with no scientific citation and no right regulatory process,” Kennedy said, noting that there were no hearings, no environmental impact statement, and no rationale that anybody could see and challenge.

Imposing social distancing effectively did away with freedom of assembly, a right also guaranteed by the First Amendment, Kennedy pointed out.

The pandemic measure of mandatory business shutdown infringed on the property rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment, Kennedy said.
“A shutdown of 3.3 million businesses with no due process, no just compensation, [is] in total violation of the Constitution.”
“They then went after jury trials,” Kennedy said, violating the Seventh Amendment, which stipulates that no American shall be deprived the right of a trial before a jury in the case of a controversy exceeding twenty dollars in value. However, companies providing countermeasures against COVID-19, such as vaccines, masks, or PCR tests, cannot be sued if they are at fault, Kennedy explained.
In 2005, Congress passed the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (the PREP Act) and later codified it under Title 42, U.S. Code 247d-6di. The provisions of the code give liability protection for epidemic products authorized to manufacturers and distributors for emergency use, as well as protection to the government and medical personnel who administer those products.
However, the individual’s right “accept or refuse administration of the product” is also included in the code.
These provisions apply to experimental COVID-19 vaccines, COVID-19 testing procedures, and to the wearing of masks to prevent COVID-19, Kennedy said.

No Pandemic Exception in the Constitution

A first printing of the United States Constitution is displayed at Sotheby's auction house during a press preview in New York, on Nov. 5, 2021. (Mary Altaffer/AP Photo)
A first printing of the United States Constitution is displayed at Sotheby's auction house during a press preview in New York, on Nov. 5, 2021. (Mary Altaffer/AP Photo)

There is no exception for pandemics in the Constitution, Kennedy said. “It says: if a corporation hurts you, you get to sue them.”

Kennedy cited two pandemics faced by the framers of the Constitution during the Revolutionary War: a malaria epidemic in Virginia that decimated the army, and a smallpox epidemic that disabled the army of New England at a critical time.

Between the end of the Revolution and the approval of the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution, there were epidemics of smallpox, yellow fever, and cholera that killed tens of thousands of people in the fledgling country, Kennedy said. “Yet, the framers [of the Constitution] decided not to put an epidemic exemption into the Constitution.”

During the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, which killed 50 million people worldwide—a number that dwarfs the COVID-19 death toll—the country still did not suspend the Constitution, Kennedy said. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, “suddenly, it became okay to suspend the Constitution. And that’s pretty hard to explain.”
According to statistics website Worldometer, the total number of COVID-19 deaths to date around the world is around 7 million.

Origins of Control of Free Expression 

Today, unfortunately, social media and legacy media are playing a big role in education, Kennedy said, but social media is completely controlled by intelligence agencies and military interests, as well as by the government and regulatory agencies who were together in orchestrating the “coup d’etat against democracy.”

As a result, people’s capacity for critical thinking and ability to stand up and criticize the government became disabled by this “incredibly skilled propaganda push,” Kennedy explained.

The seal of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is seen at its headquarters in Langley, Va., April 13, 2016. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
The seal of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is seen at its headquarters in Langley, Va., April 13, 2016. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
For decades, under a program codenamed MK-Ultra, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had been devising mind control techniques in an attempt to control the populations of foreign countries and to program individuals to become unwitting assassins, Kennedy said. Kennedy says that “‘MK’ stands for ’mind control.'”
A 1983 CIA document on the program, declassified in 2007, states that “because of reports that the Soviet Union may have developed the capability to affect human behavior through the use of drugs, the Agency initiated a program of research in this area called MK-Ultra from 1953 to 1964.”
Part of the research was conducted with psychedelic drugs like LSD to assess their potential use for mind control, information gathering, and psychological torture.

Ways to impose centralized control on an indigenous population of a foreign country were devised under the program, Kennedy said. These methods sought to disable a country’s institutions by using propaganda to sow fear, deliberately polarize the population, and sow the country with chaos agents, he explained.

Once chaos was created in a developing country, a government takeover could be attempted, Kennedy said. “The CIA was involved in coup d’etats or attempted coup d’etats between 1947 and 1997 against a third of the nations on Earth.”

All this is well documented by the Church Committee, the Rockefeller Commission, and many others that investigated the MK-Ultra program for abuses, Kennedy noted.
The Church Committee was a Senate committee led by Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho). The Rockefeller Commission was a presidential commission headed by then-Vice President Nelson Rockefeller.

How Speech Control Expanded Domestically

“Around 2016, with the election of Trump and with Brexit, it seems like at that point, the intelligence agencies made a decision to turn all of those weapons on to the American people,” Kennedy asserted.

The “extraordinary propaganda campaign” launched at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic reached a point that people could not believe that such tactics could be carried out in America, where “it is illegal to propagandize,” Kennedy said. “It isn’t anymore.”

After the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the old laws that forbade propagandizing within the United States were overwritten by the Patriot Act during the Bush administration, and further overridden during the Obama administration, Kennedy said.

The Patriot Act expanded the surveillance powers of the U.S. government. It was extended during the Obama administration, and replaced by the USA Freedom Act in 2015, which was again extended in 2020.
“The CIA has gained all of these increasing powers to propagandize the American people and use these techniques on Americans. More and more, we’re seeing the control of the press in our country, the old resurrection of Operation Mockingbird ... which is the operation where they controlled hundreds and hundreds of reporters and editors of the most important papers in our country,” Kennedy said.

Pandemic Simulation

Kennedy recounted how on Oct. 18, 2019, a pandemic simulation exercise was held in York. One of the key players in the simulation was Avril Haines, former deputy director of the CIA in the Obama administration, who currently serves as the Director of National Intelligence.

“What is the CIA doing in a pandemic simulation? They’re not a public health agency,” Kennedy asked rhetorically, referring to Haines’ participation.

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee in Washington, DC, on March 10, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee in Washington, DC, on March 10, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
The pandemic exercise, also called Event 201, simulated an outbreak of a novel coronavirus, modeled largely on SARS, that originated in Brazil, spread through transmission from bats to pigs and to humans, becoming so highly infectious that it caused a severe pandemic, according to the event website.

The scenario assumed that the pandemic would slow after 18 months, leaving 65 million dead worldwide, the website said.

The event was hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Economic Forum. Among its 15 prominent players was George Gao, the then-director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Chinese CDC).
Representatives of social media companies, pharmaceutical companies, and big corporate PR firms also participated, Kennedy said.

Pandemic Communication Planning

A portion of the 3.5-hour exercise was devoted to discussing communication strategy in response to the simulated pandemic.
Gao Fu, former director of the China Centers for Disease Control, speaks during a State Council Information Office press conference in Beijing, China, on Jan. 26, 2020. (Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images)
Gao Fu, former director of the China Centers for Disease Control, speaks during a State Council Information Office press conference in Beijing, China, on Jan. 26, 2020. (Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images)

Gao expressed his concerns about potential misinformation related to the pandemic.

“There’s misinformation, and there’s some belief. People believe this is man-made, a pharmaceutical company made the virus,” Gao said. He stressed the importance of training health and health care workers, who have access to the patient and to the public, and ensuring that they “got the right information.”

“One of the things we want to do is work with telecommunication companies to actually ensure that everybody has access to the communications that we’re interested in providing because that’s going to be critical for dealing with, obviously, the explosion of the disease,” Haines said, addressing Gao’s concerns.

“If you have a trusted source, I believe in the idea that we shouldn’t be trying to control communication but rather flood the zone in a sense with a trusted source that then is talking with influential community leaders as well as health workers ... in order to try to amplify the message that’s coming through,” Haines added.

At that time, Gao, a virology expert and the head of the Chinese CDC, must have known that the real virus had already been circulating, so the Chinese government also must have known this, Kennedy asserted.

“In September of 2019, the Wuhan lab removed all 22,000 viral samples from the website.”
Meanwhile, satellite images showed that hospitals were already filling up in the fall of 2019, and internet chatter monitored by Harvard University at that time showed an increase in searches for the symptoms of coronavirus disease, Kennedy said.

When Haines talked about how to “quiet people when they start talking about a lab leak” and advised to “flood the zone with authoritative voices,” she was referring to propaganda, Kennedy said, commenting on the remarks of the former CIA deputy director.

Kennedy said that when doing research for his book “The Real Anthony Fauci,” he found that the CIA had been conducting pandemic simulations since 2001. One of them [the “Dark Winter exercise”] was carried out just months before the anthrax attack and predicted what would happen.

“They’re practicing: ‘How do we use the next pandemic to execute a coup d’etat against American democracy and against the Bill of Rights. How do we dismantle the Bill of Rights?’ And that is very, very worrying.”

The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security said in a statement in January 2020 that the pandemic tabletop exercise was not a prediction of the novel coronavirus outbreak in China. The purpose of the simulation was “to highlight preparedness and response challenges that would likely arise in a very severe pandemic,” the statement said.
“The inputs we used for modeling the potential impact of that fictional virus are not similar to nCoV-2019,” the statement concluded.

Eisenhower’s Warning

President Dwight Eisenhower greets President-elect John F Kennedy, at the North Portico of the White House in Washington, DC, on Dec. 6, 1960. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)
President Dwight Eisenhower greets President-elect John F Kennedy, at the North Portico of the White House in Washington, DC, on Dec. 6, 1960. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)
Kennedy recalled that President Dwight Eisenhower cautioned in his famous farewell speech that, in Kennedy’s words, “we need to figure out how to balance these needs: the military, the scientific research, and always keeping constitutional rights as the forefront of everything that we do.”

“That last part was completely forgotten,” Kennedy said.

Eisenhower warned in a speech on Jan. 17, 1961, against “the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex,” but his caution against science being controlled by government funding is lesser known.

“Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity,” Eisenhower said. “Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

Joshua Philipp contributed to this report.
Ella Kietlinska is an Epoch Times reporter covering U.S. and world politics.
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