COVID Signs of Energy: Tech Billionaires Harvest Humanity

Invoice Gates has constructed a world empire round his applied sciences and “philanthropic” endeavors. His sheer wealth has allowed him to turn into a veritable superpower in his personal proper, rising to turn into the unelected international well being tsar on COVID-19. Certainly, the World Well being Group and the White Home pandemic response crew even kowtows to his nonexistent medical experience.

Life can not and is not going to return to regular till we will vaccinate your entire international inhabitants, Gates says, and that very same sentiment is being echoed from authorities leaders and well being authorities world wide. By no means thoughts the truth that precise scientists and medical researchers are discovering all types of straightforward, cheap and secure methods to handle this sickness.

However vaccinating the worldwide inhabitants isn’t sufficient, in Gates’ eyes. We should additionally implement surveillance of an infection and vaccination standing. Not surprisingly, Gates’ suggestions profit himself most of all.

As mentioned in “Invoice Gates — Most Harmful Philanthropist in Fashionable Historical past?” the Invoice & Melinda Gates Basis donates billions to the exact same firms and industries that the Basis owns shares and bonds in.

Utilizing nonprofit cash to advance analysis for firms you are invested in is prohibited, but he’s been getting away with this for a few years. On the similar time, his Basis will get tax breaks for the charitable donations it makes cash from. Keep in mind, he has “donated” tens of billions, but his internet price has doubled. That is largely as a result of his “donations” are tax deductible investments.

Pandemic Concern-Mongering Pays Off for Tech Firms

Whereas unemployment has reached a historic excessive throughout this pandemic, the monetary crush will not be felt by some. Actually, Gates and different tech billionaires are cashing in large, in quite a lot of other ways.

In a Might 8, 2020, article1 in The Intercept, Naomi Klein experiences on how New York is tasking Gates with reinventing the state’s “post-Covid actuality, with an emphasis on completely integrating know-how into each side of civic life.”

Might 6, 2020, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo introduced the state is partnering with the Invoice & Melinda Gates Basis to develop “a better schooling system” targeted on on-line studying. This, although the Frequent Core curriculum — the Gates Basis’s earlier try at remaking American schooling2 — has been an abysmal failure.3

The state is additionally partnering with Google, and Cuomo has requested former Google CEO Eric Schmidt to move a brand new panel to plan the state’s technological infrastructure.4 Schmidt joined Cuomo throughout a briefing, saying “The primary priorities … are targeted on telehealth, distant studying and broadband …” As famous by Klein:5

It has taken a while to gel, however one thing resembling a coherent pandemic shock doctrine is starting to emerge.

Name it the Display screen New Deal. Much more hi-tech than something now we have seen throughout earlier disasters, the long run that’s being rushed into being because the our bodies nonetheless pile up treats our previous weeks of bodily isolation not as a painful necessity to avoid wasting lives, however as a dwelling laboratory for a everlasting — and extremely worthwhile — no-touch future …

It’s a future during which our houses are by no means once more solely private areas, however are additionally, by way of high-speed digital connectivity, our colleges, our physician’s workplaces, our gyms, and, if decided by the state, our jails …

It’s a future during which our each transfer, our each phrase, our each relationship is trackable, traceable and data-mineable by unprecedented collaborations between authorities and tech giants.

If all of this sounds acquainted, it’s as a result of, pre-Covid, this exact app-driven, gig-fueled future was being offered to us in the identify of friction-free comfort and personalization. However many people had considerations …

Right this moment, an excellent a lot of these well-founded considerations are being swept away by a tidal wave of panic, and this warmed-over dystopia goes via a rush-job rebranding.

Now, in opposition to a harrowing backdrop of mass demise, it’s being offered to us on the doubtful promise that these applied sciences are the one doable approach to pandemic-proof our lives, the indispensable keys to holding ourselves and our family members secure …

On the coronary heart of this imaginative and prescient is seamless integration of presidency with a handful of Silicon Valley giants — with public colleges, hospitals, physician’s workplaces, police and navy all outsourcing (at a excessive value) a lot of their core features to non-public tech firms.”

In her article — which is nicely price studying in its entirety — Klein critiques how Schmidt and Gates have been working and pushing towards the long run that’s now staring us sq. within the face, and the way the surveillance equipment that buyers have been railing in opposition to is now being rebranded as the reply to everybody’s well being considerations.

In a Might 6, 2020, article, Vox’s Theodore Schleifer weighed in on Cuomo’s resolution handy over the proverbial keys to the state to tech billionaires whose philanthropy at all times finally ends up benefiting themselves probably the most:6

“Particulars are scarce about precisely how a lot energy these teams can have past issuing suggestions or whether or not their work will probably be public. However Gates may all of the sudden have the power to advocate what kinds of issues are taught to the state’s college students in a ‘reimagined’ system.

Schmidt may encourage the state to considerably embrace distant well being care companies that may very well be controversial. Whereas each have been profitable enterprise leaders, the priority would mirror the broader criticism of billionaire philanthropy: that this ‘assist’ provides just a few rich individuals some undemocratic affect over American public coverage.”

Schmidt Futures Desires to Make Personal Knowledge Public

Whereas much less seen than Gates, Schmidt can hardly be trusted any greater than Gates. Schmidt Futures — Eric and Wendy Schmidt’s philanthropic initiative, which “seeks to enhance societal outcomes via the considerate improvement of rising science and applied sciences that may profit humanity”7 — admits that one among its approaches is to “liberate non-public information with a public objective.”8

Clearly, an infection standing falls right into a class of personal information that’s now rebranded as having a “public objective.” As famous on its web site:9

“There’s a great alternative to make use of information collected by the non-public sector to unravel societal challenges, and in doing so create the platforms wanted to achieve individuals at scale. Examples of knowledge varieties embrace cell, social media, e-commerce, distant sensing/satellite tv for pc, and sensor information. Advances in information science and machine studying are rising our capability to make use of and interpret these information.”

‘Unaccountable Monopolists’ Exchange Elected Representatives

In a Might 14, 2020, Guardian article, Zephyr Teachout and Pat Garofalo remark:10

“Even when Schmidt and Gates had good insurance policies, Cuomo’s knighting of them is offensive to American self-government. No person voted for them and they’re accountable to nobody. Cuomo, usually accused of being too near large marketing campaign donors, is tripling down: he’s merely permitting billionaires to plan our future instantly, taking out the middlemen.

In case you had any doubt that it is a new type of authorities worming its means into our previous democratic methods, Cuomo anointed these tsars at the very same time that he took huge new powers away from the state legislature,11 which has not been holding common legislative hearings since 1 April …

Turning away from locally-elected representatives, and in the direction of billionaires with no accountability, represents a horrible erosion of democratic decision-making: Cuomo is sort of actually changing elected representatives with non-public, unaccountable monopolists. And too many different lawmakers throughout the U.S. are doing the identical factor.”

The Gates, Soros and Clinton Contact Tracing Group

Whether or not preplanned or not, the COVID-19 pandemic is clearly getting used to usher in extremely controversial adjustments which might be unmistakably totalitarian-building, together with the non-public take-over of authorities via public-private partnerships.

Contact tracing serves as a handy bridge12 for this hostile takeover parading as “assist.” Not solely is Huge Tech providing up contact tracing apps, self-serving billionaires are additionally funding contact tracing teams that may present “boots on the bottom” companies.

For instance, Companions in Well being — the group chosen by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker to conduct COVID-19 contact tracing utilizing groups of investigators to interview individuals who take a look at constructive — is funded by Gates and one of many richest males on the planet, George Soros. The William J. Clinton Basis has additionally funded Companions in Well being prior to now.13

Chelsey Clinton sits on its board of trustees, and one of many group’s co-founders, Jim Kim, spent three years on the WHO14 and is at present the president of the World Financial institution. He rejoined Companions in Well being’s board of administrators in January 2019.15

UK Calls for Solutions About COVID Knowledge Deal

In the meantime, on the opposite aspect of the pond, OpenDemocracy and the tech start-up Foxglove are demanding the U.Okay. authorities share the small print of its affected person information offers with Huge Tech. In a Might 7, 2020, put up, OpenDemocracy.internet writes:16

“Outdoors of the horrific demise toll, maybe probably the most far-reaching international consequence of the pandemic is the fast growth of surveillance in our every day lives. Within the identify of beating again the pandemic, governments world wide are giving tech giants intensive entry to worthwhile shops of well being information.

Britain is not any completely different. On 28 March, a weblog17 quietly appeared on the web site of the cherished Nationwide Well being Service. It introduced what is likely to be the most important handover of NHS affected person information to non-public companies in historical past.

U.S. tech giants Amazon, Microsoft, and Google — plus two controversial AI movies referred to as College and Palantir — are apparently helping the NHS in monitoring hospital sources and in offering a ‘single supply of fact’ concerning the epidemic, so as to stem its unfold.”

Whereas the quantity of British well being information being shared with these firms has been described as “unprecedented,” the U.Okay. authorities has but to launch the particulars concerning the partnership.

Suspiciously, Palantir is reportedly offering its COVID-19 Datastore companies to the NHS for simply £1.18 This although its companies are estimated to value round £88,000 per week, and that’s only for salaries.19 How and why is Palantir giving freely its companies free of charge? The previous adage, “There’s no such factor as a free lunch” appears relevant right here.

OpenDemocracy additionally questions how the substitute intelligence (AI) startup College has managed to land seven completely different authorities contracts price practically £1 million within the final 18 months.20

We’ve legal guidelines in Britain which imply journalists and members of the general public can entry details about such offers, in order that they can reply exactly these types of questions. However now the UK authorities is appearing as if these legal guidelines now not apply,” OpenDemocracy writes.

UK Authorities Ignores FOIA Request

Foxglove submitted Freedom of Info Act (FOIA) requests to the U.Okay. authorities on April 3, 2020. A reply is required inside 20 working days, but no response has been forthcoming. The British Info Commissioner’s Workplace, the impartial regulator liable for FOIA enforcement, has introduced21 it has relaxed enforcement throughout the pandemic disaster.

That appears suspiciously handy, contemplating offers are being made in secret that shouldn’t be, and panic is being drummed up with out a lot real-world information to help the narrative that we’re nonetheless in a high-risk scenario.22

Though the wording of the announcement was imprecise, it dangers leaving the general public with no sensible approach to maintain the federal government to account — indefinitely,” OpenDemocracy states, including:

“We’ve given the UK authorities till 11 Might to launch the data requested about these large COVID information offers. In the event that they fail to take action, we are going to take into account searching for solutions within the courts.

The general public urgently must know not solely how their private data is being traded, and who has entry to it. But additionally whether or not this pandemic signifies that our rights to ask questions, and to scrutinize the actions of our leaders, are essentially compromised. COVID-19 can’t be an excuse for governments and companies to keep away from accountability.”

Tech Initiative Seeks to Alter World Conduct

Anybody nonetheless dwelling below the misguided spell that governments’ responses to this pandemic are merely non permanent emergency measures must quickly reassess. As reported by Vox,23 tech billionaires like Gates and Schmidt are arduous at work making an attempt to persuade governments and the general public at giant that solely they will save us from one other pandemic.

Such is the main focus of the Pandemic Motion Community, liable for the #MaskingForAFriend Twitter marketing campaign, pushed by Hillary Clinton and different celebrities.24

“… the #MaskingForAFriend marketing campaign … seeks to vary private habits. However its extra necessary ambition is to vary authorities habits,” Vox writes.

“This initiative is one among the extra forward-looking makes an attempt from philanthropy to form what the world appears to be like like after the disaster, and one of many few targeted on political advocacy. The push is small for now, with simply $1.5 million in preliminary money from Schmidt Futures, the Invoice & Melinda Gates Basis, and different backers.

However the Pandemic Motion Community goals to guide a stress marketing campaign that shapes the coverage debate, a debate that will probably be on the fore of the following wave of pandemic response efforts.”

Digital Well being Passports Coming to 15 Nations

A lead-in to international totalitarianism, predicated on defending public well being and stopping one other pandemic, is the issuance of “digital well being passports.” In accordance with the British tech journal Verdict,25 coronavirus digital well being passports at the moment are being provided to 15 nations.

The passport is “designed to make it simpler for people to return to work after the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic” — as if we’ve by no means been in a position to return to regular life after every other epidemic or pandemic scare. In a Might 11, 2020, article Verdict experiences:26

“These international locations will embrace Italy, Portugal, France, Panama, India, the U.S., Canada, Sweden, Spain, South Africa, Mexico, United Arab Emirates and The Netherlands, with the aim of supplying 50 million digital well being passports … The Covi-pass27 will work utilizing a coloration system of inexperienced, amber, pink to point whether or not the particular person has examined constructive or damaging for Covid-19 and related well being data.

Firstly, the person downloads the app and enters key data akin to identify, handle, age and verifies their identification utilizing their fingerprint or a facial scan.

They then take a Covid-19 take a look at, administered by a licensed healthcare skilled, and the outcomes are scanned into the Covi-pass. They’ll then use the digital well being passport to authenticate their well being standing to allow ‘a secure return to work, life, and secure journey.’”

In accordance with,28 the app will show “your COVID-19 take a look at historical past and immunoresponse and different related well being data.”

As I’ve acknowledged earlier than, a RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain response) take a look at result’s principally nugatory, since a) it merely detects the presence of SARS-CoV-2 genetic materials, not the precise virus, and b) you will get contaminated at any time after you get your take a look at outcomes, rendering the “verification” of your an infection standing null and void.

In accordance with a current speech by U.S. President Donald Trump, his administration is mobilizing the navy to distribute the vaccine as soon as prepared, which may very well be as early as the top of 2020.

On the similar time, the U.S. Senate has voted to resume federal surveillance powers that might in any other case have expired,29 and an ill-named invoice, HR 6666, would put the federal government accountable for COVID-19 monitoring and tracing, costing taxpayers a whopping $100 billion.30

Virus Surveillance and Civil Liberties Collide

As predicted in a Legislation360 article31 printed April 26, 2020, virus surveillance is now colliding head-on with civil liberties:

Think about your telephone buzzing with an alert: Somebody who handed you on the grocery retailer has examined constructive for COVID-19. Primarily based on location information transmitted via a wise telephone app, authorities imagine the stranger uncovered you to the coronavirus. You is likely to be contaminated.

The alert directs you to self-quarantine for 14 days to stop additional unfold of the lethal illness. Within the app, a map of color-coded dots shows the inhabitants of your private home city. You discover the dot related to you, beforehand inexperienced, has turned to yellow — now everybody else with the app is aware of you might be harmful.

Whether or not the state of affairs sounds Orwellian or completely mandatory may rely on your reply to a rhetorical query Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Ailments, just lately posed throughout a reside Snapchat interview. ‘Do you quit a bit liberty to get a bit safety?’ he stated.”

The reply to that query ought to be a powerful “no.” The concept that authorities can hold you secure in opposition to a virus by giving up your civil liberties is a fantasy that should be outgrown. As famous by CNN Enterprise:32

“It took the assaults of September 11, 2001 to shove apart the earlier decade’s phobia of mass surveillance, and usher in an period the place many people imagined the state was in all probability skimming our emails, in change for holding us secure from terror.

Over the following 15 years, billions of individuals agreed to a tacit deal the place Fb or Google had been permitted to study a staggering quantity about them in change free of charge entry to messaging apps, information, and shared photos … Finally, that mutated into the heights exemplified by Cambridge Analytica — non-public firms hoovering up the net lives of tens of thousands and thousands so as to attempt to sway elections.

However the problem offered by Covid-19 — and the pressing must hint contacts and actions — is of one other scale of intimacy … Expertise is once more claiming the mantle of the savior … embedding into our telephones nameless strategies of realizing who we might have contaminated and when … In the event that they turn into ubiquitous, the place does this new scrutiny finish? … Will we glance again at 2020 because the second privateness lastly evaporated?”

It’s time to totally acknowledge that surveillance has turn into the largest for-profit business on the planet, and your complete existence is now being focused for revenue.

For a greater understanding of what you’re giving up by going together with the mainstream narrative that we want Huge Tech to avoid wasting us, see my article about social psychologist and Harvard professor Shoshana Zuboff and her extraordinary ebook, “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism.”

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