back to article Disease X fever infects Davos: WEF to plan response to whatever big pandemic is next

When the World Economic Forum meets in Davos next week, global leaders are set to discuss how to prevent a future unknown "Disease X" the World Health Organization predicts could kill 20 times more people than the recent coronavirus outbreak.  The name might sound like something conjured up by Elon Musk, but the prospect of …

  1. Khaptain Silver badge

    WEF ?

    The WEF is not a democratically elected group of people, they are not representatives of any country and appear to be unaccountable..

    Can someone inform/remind me why these people should be considered as trustworthy.

    1. Catkin Silver badge

      Re: WEF ?

      They have a lot of money and, clearly, that means they're benevolent and only wish to forge the world into a better place.

      1. Del Varner

        Re: WEF ?

        I hope the ironically impared understand what you are really saying.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WEF ?

      What's your problem? All they are planning to do is to is carry out research on viruses. Possibly by making them more deadly or transmissible (gain-of-function), but they would only ever do this in BSL3+ laboratories and there's no chance that these more deadly viruses could accidentally escape and cause another pandemic. Nothing to see here, move along.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WEF ?

      Because none of them are scientists or doctors and as such they know what is best for you.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Khaptain - Re: WEF ?

      A small typo here, it should be WTF.

  2. ldo

    WHO Is Too Much At The Mercy Of Political Winds

    Remember when SARS-1 started spreading, they followed the rules previously agreed on, and declared a global health emergency. Then, when that started easing off a bit, never quite getting to the stage of killing millions, they were accused of jumping the gun. So when some years later, SARS-2 (COVID-19) came along, they scrapped the previously-agreed rules, and dithered about a bit, waiting until almost too late to declare a global health emergency. And some pilloried them for that, as well.

    The only way to solve it is to give their edicts some legal, enforceable teeth. But of course there are countries in the world that would never agree to that.

    1. John Sager

      Re: WHO Is Too Much At The Mercy Of Political Winds

      No chance! WHO can advise all they want but it should be down to national governments to set and enforce rules.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: WHO Is Too Much At The Mercy Of Political Winds

        Yes, let's not infringe on the freedoms of Typhoid Mary.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @John Sager - Re: WHO Is Too Much At The Mercy Of Political Winds

        Don't worry, governments will be coerced into this scheme. McKinsey who already infiltrated most of the free world governments will be more than glad to help. Actually they're already working.

    2. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: WHO Is Too Much At The Mercy Of Political Winds

      Giving unelected people the power to overrule elected governments is a great idea...

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: WHO Is Too Much At The Mercy Of Political Winds

        Giving unelected people the power to overrule elected governments is a great idea...

        True. I'm very much in favour of having an apolitical judiciary make an incompetent, corrupt and dogmatic government obey the law. The problem comes when a country's constitution doesn't separate the legal system from politics.

        1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

          Re: WHO Is Too Much At The Mercy Of Political Winds

          Are you talking about the American Democrat party having their appointed judge make a political prosecution against Donald Trump?

          Or are you talking about the new EU supported Polish government locking up opposition MP's?

        2. gauge symmetry

          Re: WHO Is Too Much At The Mercy Of Political Winds

          Please, let us know when you find your apolitical judiciary!

    3. TheMeerkat

      Re: WHO Is Too Much At The Mercy Of Political Winds

      To give an actual power to a bunch of non-elected people who during Covid followed whatever Chinese government were telling them?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obligatory masks when coughing

    Make face masks obligatory for those coughing in public places NOT ONLY DURING PANDEMIC. Give hefty fines, arrest if necessary.

    This will also help overloaded public health services.

    1. Steve Button Silver badge

      Re: Obligatory masks when coughing

      Fascist.

      Seriously, you want to arrest people for coughing without wearing a mask? Even though masks aren't proven to actually work (against respiratory viruses), and most studies show very little benefit if any? Once the garbage studies have been removed, any benefit is not even statistically significant.

      Also, what if you are coughing because it's cold and damp, or just a bit dusty?

      Why stop at arrest, surely punishment beatings should be considered?

      I mean they didn't stop the last pandemic, even though almost everyone was wearing one at some points, but why let a few facts stop your authoritarian tendancies?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Obligatory masks when coughing

        There is irrefutable scientific and practical evidence that masks work.

        First as a reminder, masks are not only there to protect you, but also to PROTECT OTHERS. If you cough and you are wearing a mask, all that stuff you cough up does not disperse to the same extent that it would if you were not wearing a mask. It is basic particle physics that you don't need a PhD to understand.

        Nobody is saying a mask will 100% protect you against respiratory disease. But what all the scientific evidence proves beyond doubt is it greatly reduces your exposure. How much of an exposure it reduces is of course a factor of the filtration level of your mask. But even a basic surgical mask is proven to be better than nothing at all.

        On the practical side, look at Japan. After a prior experience with SARS a few years before, the Japanese were meticulous about wearing masks during COVID. The result ? They had a fraction (1/10th) of the COVID cases in the UK did. And that is in a country that has double the population of the UK who live and work in much higher density.

        It is also a disgusting Western habit that you are able to turn up to an office with a respiratory illness (be it a cold, flu or COVID) and cough and splutter all over your colleagues and feel no need to cover your mouth, let alone wear a mask. That sort of thing does not happen in Japan.

        In addition, the sad fact is also that ventilation in, for example, transport in the West is far, far poorer than in Japan. As a result wearing a mask in confined spaces such as transport will greatly help filter out some of the horrors found in the filthy recirculated air.

        The problem with COVID and masks in the West was:

        (a) due to the adult babies throwing their toys out of the pram when being politely asked to implement a non-pharmaceutical measure to protect themselves AND others; and

        (b) people not wearing masks properly, e.g. below the nose or, worse, the entire mask sitting under the chin (!?!?); and

        (c) people not washing their filthy hands before putting on and removing the mask; and

        (d) people wearing the same filthy mask all day, or worse, for multiple days

        Had the West had the same prior experience with SARS that the Asian countries did, then I suspect mask compliance would have been higher.

        But equally I of course blame the Western governments too. Most Western governments completely missed the opportunity for public education on the why's and how's of masks. Most Western governments sadly went no further than "wear a mask" and omitted the educational reasons.

        1. stiine Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Obligatory masks when coughing

          No, no they don't. In fact, prior to March 2019, there was an FAQ on the US NIH.gov website that discussed the effects of N95 masks on the transmission of viruses, and, to put it mildly, there was no measurable impact. I'd love to be able to provide you with a URL, but that article no longer exists.

          If the MMR and polio vaccines were as useless as the covid-19 vaccine, the earth's population would be around 95000, and I wouldn't be one of them...

        2. Steve Button Silver badge

          Re: Obligatory masks when coughing

          "There is irrefutable scientific and practical evidence that masks work."

          Simply wrong. Cochrane is the best meta analysis we've got, and it found no significant benefit.

          Science doesn't care about your "belief", that's the domain of religion.

          When you get the very best evidence and it challenges your beliefs, you should change your belief not rubbish the science. Until some better science comes along. Which it hasn't yet.

          Comparing the UK to Japan is utterly ridiculous. Better to compare England to Scotland or even better South and North Dacota who had different rules, but similar outcomes.

          Anyway, my point was that no one should get fined, arrested or beaten for not wearing a mask "NOT ONLY DURING PANDEMIC"

        3. nijam Silver badge

          Re: Obligatory masks when coughing

          > There is irrefutable scientific and practical evidence that masks work.

          There is also, admittedly less well-publicised, irrefutable scientific and practical evidence that masks don't have a significant effect.

        4. gauge symmetry

          Re: Obligatory masks when coughing

          Look, I get it: You're disgusted by people!

          Being human is a filthy, messy business. Embrace your humanity!

        5. TheMeerkat

          Re: Obligatory masks when coughing

          There is exactly Zero actual scientific evidence that masks work against airborne viruses.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > [masks] didn't stop the last pandemic

        Stop spreading this nonsense!

        Evidence showed non-pharmaceutical interventions were most effective when the intensity of transmission was low, supporting their use early in a pandemic and at first sign of resurgence. Lockdowns and face masks ‘unequivocally’ cut spread of Covid, report finds.*

        If you do not trust Guardian, check any health authority or known hospital web-site. Even in Putin's Russia, who's bots spread Covid-disinformation in the West online, forced everyone wear masks in his own country.

        *https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/aug/24/lockdowns-face-masks-unequivocally-cut-spread-covid-study-finds

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: > [masks] didn't stop the last pandemic

          More and more evidence is showing that the social distancing thing was plucked out of thin air.

          And what was the control for this research?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: > If you do not trust Guardian, check any health authority or known hospital web-site

          Or, perhaps the anti-masking idiots need to ask themselves a simpler question:

          Why do you think surgeons, doctors, dentists and other healthcare professional masks ?

          If the anti-maskers are to be believed, "masks don't work" and they wear them because those people enjoy dressing up in fancy-dress.

          The fact that centuries of medical and scientific knowledge culminated in the understanding that masks DO work in combating the spread of disease just goes right over the heads of the anti-masking idiots.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: > If you do not trust Guardian, check any health authority or known hospital web-site

            "Why do you think surgeons, doctors, dentists and other healthcare professional masks ?"

            2 reasons. 1) so they don't get splattered with bits of you while they are working and 2) to stop them dripping their drool onto you.

            I'm sure dentists don't want to be splattered in the mouth with bits of tooth and surgeons don't want chunks of flesh splatting them.

            From SAGE themselves, the VERY people in the UK who were pushing for masks and social distancing:

            https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0141076815583167

            "overall there is a lack of substantial evidence to support claims that facemasks protect either patient or surgeon from infectious contamination"

            "Masks are a quintessential part of the surgical attire ..... However, even today, it remains unclear as to whether they confer any tangible benefits to surgical outcomes"

            1. Long John Silver
              Pirate

              Re: > If you do not trust Guardian, check any health authority or known hospital web-site

              Masks worn by surgeons deflect expired air from the region of the incision. Nothing more.

              1. Steve Button Silver badge

                Re: > If you do not trust Guardian, check any health authority or known hospital web-site

                Well probably anything that was stuck in between the surgeons teeth from the bacon and egg mcmuffin they had just before your surgery. Or just bits of spit. Or bogies.

                If I'm having some kind of open surgery, I really would like my surgeon to wear one of those.

                Just because of my limited knowledge of physics it seems kind of obvious that a mask might stop little bits of bacon falling into my body (which could well give me sepsis or some nasties) whereas it's really not going to stop very very very small bits of virus.

                Even if I was super vulnerable (to viruses) I would not be asking people to mask up, because I honestly think they'll help about as much as a knitted tea cosy wrapped around your face.

                1. gnasher729 Silver badge

                  Re: > If you do not trust Guardian, check any health authority or known hospital web-site

                  Masks don’t need to stop a virus. Masks need to, and do, stop water droplets that the virus travels on. If they don’t stop them, they slow them done so they can’t travel far. This rubbish about “doesn’t stop a virus” is totally irrelevant.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: > If you do not trust Guardian, check any health authority or known hospital web-site

                    Droplets...

                    “If a virus lands on something like a chair or table, it starts dying pretty quickly,” Dr. Esper states.

                    The virus may get lucky, though. Maybe someone will soon come along and touch the part of the surface where the virus landed. That person then touches their eyes, nose, mouth. And voila, the virus has a new home base.

                    But if no one comes by and picks them up in time, the virus starts to die off. Because without access to human cells to absorb the virus, the outer shell of the virus (called the capsid) starts to lose its integrity. And from there, the virus loses its illness-inducing potential.

                    Here’s how long the virus typically lasts on some common surfaces:

                    Glass: 5 days.

                    Wood: 4 days.

                    Plastic: 3 days.

                    Stainless-steel: 3 days.

                    Cardboard: 1 day.

                    Copper surfaces: 4 hours.

                    It’s important to know, though that there’s a difference between a virus “lasting” on a surface and a virus “lasting-to-the-point-that-they-can-make-you-sick.”

                    Even if COVID-19 may be seen under a microscope on something like glass for five days, the risk of getting infected from touching that glass after a few days (or even a few hours) would be lower.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: > If you do not trust Guardian, check any health authority or known hospital web-site

            surgeons - to avoid blood squirting up into your face. Most actually wear screens too. Also, droplets down into open cavities. My brother in law works in surgeon theatre.

            doctors - most don't in GP surgeries.

            dentists - to avoid debris squirting into face as they work in close proximity to open/potentially infected mouth. Again, they also use screens if water jets are being used.

            and other healthcare professional - community nurses, care workers etc. generally don't.

        3. Steve Button Silver badge

          Re: > [masks] didn't stop the last pandemic

          Does Cochrane count as "any health authority" ?

          https://www.cochrane.org/CD006207/ARI_do-physical-measures-such-hand-washing-or-wearing-masks-stop-or-slow-down-spread-respiratory-viruses

        4. TheMeerkat

          Re: > [masks] didn't stop the last pandemic

          Politicians of all colours love mask mandate. It allows them to show that they are “doing something” without actually doing anything.

          This has nothing to do with whether masks work or not.

          1. oliversalmon

            Re: > [masks] didn't stop the last pandemic

            Politicians and other authoritarians, who love to tell other people what to do and felt very empowered by COVID.

    2. Long John Silver
      Pirate

      Re: Obligatory masks when coughing

      There was only one measure introduced during the Covid-19 epidemic which definitely benefited susceptible individuals: handwashing.

      Whilst airborne droplets from someone else's sneeze may bring infection to somebody nearby, that even after deflection upwards by a mask, these are not the major means of transmission.

      Droplets settle on nearby objects. Viruses remain potent for an appreciable time. Another means for viruses to rest on surfaces is when nasal discharge or saliva gets onto an infected person's hands, and later the person touches an object such as a door handle.

      Handwashing, simply with soap and water, and for convenience using an antiseptic gel, protects against taking in the virus as when touching food to be placed in one's mouth (or when prone to picking one's nose).

      Regular handwashing, especially just before touching food, is a basic hygiene precaution everybody should take during daily life. It reduces the prospect of infection by settled infectious materials (fomites) including the common cold, influenza, and various organisms which induce gastrointestinal illnesses. The benefit from handwashing ought to be instilled in children as soon as they are capable of using the procedure; the lesson should be reinforced throughout school life, and beyond.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Obligatory masks when coughing

        This isn't rocket science as e-coli has been detected on shopping trolley handles for a very long time.

        I watched someone waiting to pay pick at their teeth with a plastic gloved hand. Another person pulled down their mask, licked their finger and wiped some smudge of their toddler's face.

        1. TheMeerkat

          Re: Obligatory masks when coughing

          e-coil is a bacteria, Covid is a virus.

          These are completely different types of microorganisms.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Obligatory masks when coughing

            Yes, well spotted.

            But in reference to the post about covid making people think about actually washing their hands, I was pointing out that needing to wash your hands is not a new thing and that every day objects we touch have been known to be covered in things that are not good for humans for a LONG time. Some people behave as if germs and other infectious things didn't exist before 2020.

      2. Steve Button Silver badge

        Re: Obligatory masks when coughing

        I agree that regular handwashing is a good idea, especially before meals.

        However...

        "Whilst airborne droplets from someone else's sneeze may bring infection to somebody nearby, that even after deflection upwards by a mask, these are not the major means of transmission."

        I just don't buy that statement. I remember reading somewhere that fomite transmission accounted for something like 1 in 10,000 infections of Covid. It's not droplets that you need to worry about* it's aerosolised particles, which simply float around in the air. Sometimes for hours.

        * Not that I see any point in worrying. It's kind of inevitable, and really seems to be unavoidable however many jabs or masks or whatever. I know I'm going to get it again some time, and I'm not going to have it hanging over me like some sword of Damocles. Much better to get plenty of sunlight and stay slim and fit, which is harder to do than putting on a mask but I think far more effective in keeping me well. Which also means I'm less likely to be ill and spreading it to other people.

    3. Orv Silver badge

      Re: Obligatory masks when coughing

      I promise you no one else will catch my allergies, whether I'm wearing a mask or not.

  4. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo Silver badge
    FAIL

    Seriously WEF?! WTF! Don't feed the trolls

    With all the mis-information nonsense of the WEF being a sort of shadow government run by a cabal of what-not; it's definitely a very smart move to put "Disease X" on the agenda.

    Do this, yes; but do it within the framework of the WHO or in academia.

    Having the world economic forum discuss public health invites much more than a healthy dose of skepticism from all sorts of informed, mis-informed, non-informed and informationally deformed people.

    1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

      Re: Seriously WEF?! WTF! Don't feed the trolls

      Alright Klaus.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo - Re: Seriously WEF?! WTF! Don't feed the trolls

      I totally agree with you, except for the words misinformation nonsense.

      And let's keep WHO out of this please. They have no choice but to cater to those who are funding them.

      1. ragnar

        Re: @ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo - Seriously WEF?! WTF! Don't feed the trolls

        And if we all fund it, they cater for all of us?

  5. HISTSIZE=10000

    There's one thing we can do...

    "I think we owe a great debt of gratitude to science. Science has, in many ways, helped ease the suffering of this pandemic, which was more than likely caused by science."

    Jon Stewart

  6. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    WEF

    WEF members made a killing (wink) on the plandemic.

    So of course they will be looking at the sequel.

  7. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

    ... and when it is going to take place

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It is a US election year. All this dog whistle stuff about saving 'our democracy'.

      1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

        You eat crickets if you want to. I'll pass.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I do find it hilarious that we are being told to go veggie and not to fly yet for Davos and COP they all fly in to very hot or very cold places requiring lots of energy to heat/cool and they get served lots of meat.

          Maybe they should show us an example by doing this all via zoom and eating plant based food.

          Oh wait, they don't like the vegan crap :)

          https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/cambridge-city-council-threw-away-26030843

          1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

            The WEF wants to restrict us to not being allowed to travel more than 15 minutes from our homes, yet they fly into Davos every year on private jets.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Remember they pay someone to plant some trees somewhere to offset the jet, so its OK!

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              The utter nonsense about 15 minutes cities being a ban on movement has been debunked so many times.

              A few minutes of research gives what they actually intend to accomplish. Integration of residential, commercial, healthcare within smaller areas through better planning so that more of the services needed for our lives are within 15 minutes of us.

              That's it. 15 minute cities intent to public and private sector services closer to residents. I really don't get why people think any restriction on movement is involved that's a ridiculous conspiracy theory training traction thanks to the cretins and morons in government being so desperate for votes they're going after the cretinous, moronic demographic.

              1. gauge symmetry

                Why all the cameras, then?

                1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

                  I assume he owns a cricket farm.

                  I'd be pro WEF if I owned a cricket farm.

  8. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "You will own nothing and you will be happy"

    1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

      "If you have nothing to hide you have no reason to be afraid"

  9. Yorick Hunt Silver badge
    Terminator

    I'm all for extensive research

    Start by dumping all known pathogens into Davos's water supply immediately before their gathering. Let them tell us what they feel and what cures they'll concoct.

    1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

      Re: I'm all for extensive research

      The WEF want a multipolar world - IE: an unsafe one where the west can be pushed around.

      Somebody, and it's presumably the WEF, is sending millions of migrants to the southern borders of Europe and the US in order destabilise them.

      The solution is to dump hundreds of thousands of angry military aged male muslims in Davos and see what happens.

      1. khjohansen

        Re: I'm all for extensive research

        Quarantine: let's block off Davos for five years, sending in minimal food & water - The rest of us will observe & evaluate from a safe distance !!

        1. stiine Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: I'm all for extensive research

          We should wait until day 2 of the conference...

        2. ThereBePirates
          Mushroom

          Re: I'm all for extensive research

          "I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure." - Ellen Ripley

  10. Santa from Exeter

    Twats

    I see all the usual suspects in the anti-vax, anti-mask conspiracy wankers are giving sensible posts the inevitable downvotes.

    Here's another post for you to let loose on.

    You are ruining the Register's comment section on any dog-whistle topic so it's becoming not worth bothering.

    Oh, and I'm deliberately *not* going AC on this as a lot of you do, I actually stand behind what I say (and yes, I know it's a Nym, but I use it all the time here - and elsewhere)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Twats

      Here is the thing, long ago in the sensible times the conspiracy theories spouted by the tin-foil hatters never came true. Now they seem to be coming true with alarming regularity and more people are starting to notice.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC - Re: Twats

        How do we call it when a theory is being validated to be true ?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Santa from Exeter - Re: Twats

      Whereby sensible posts are those from pro-vax and pro-mask conspiracy (I would not insult them for their opinion) groups. It's OK with me.

      As for your anonymity, since there is another Santa (I saw it on TV), one of you must be wrong :)

    3. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: Twats

      Where 'sensible' = I agree with it.

    4. TheMeerkat

      Re: Twats

      Vaccination is a good thing.

      Masks don’t work.

      If you think everyone should wear a mask you are as ignorant as someone who don’t want to vaccinate their children from polio.

  11. deadlockvictim

    Good news: Vaccination For Woke Mind Virus Expected In Coming Months

    Vaccination For Woke Mind Virus Expected In Coming Months

    https://waterfordwhispersnews.com/2024/01/11/vaccination-for-woke-mind-virus-expected-in-coming-months/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good news: Vaccination For Woke Mind Virus Expected In Coming Months

      I was part of the trial :)

  12. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Holmes

    Davos launches new bid to stay relevant

    I'm sure there are some important discussions at Davos but almost none of them will be about whatever the supposed topic is. This is just to ensure maximum media coverage.

    As for future pandemics, well I think the roadmap is currently paved with the best intentions which will all be quietly shelved in a few years when the money runs out. As happened with the previous ones. Standard epidemic protocols are usally a good start and would have been good in 2020 if they'd been followed. And we have got some new tools: regular analysis of waste water can help identify outbreaks fasrter and more reliably than testing, and sample for sequencing and some vaccine approaches that were novel (mRNA, vector, protein, spray) are now proven to work at scale. But we'll have to wait for things to get really bad before any resources are committed.

    If we don't do something about the abuse of antibiotics and the rise of resistant bugs, we're really could be back to the 1930s. This is avoidable and solvable but there's not much money in it for Big Pharma when compared with selling antibiotics to the agricultural industry.

    1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

      Re: Davos launches new bid to stay relevant

      Their "important discussions" will be how to spread their coup in Poland to Hungary and the Netherlands.

      1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Davos launches new bid to stay relevant

        It turns out that their focus is going to be on clamping down on free speech.

        Watch the journalists cheer that on every step of the way...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Charlie Clark - Re: Davos launches new bid to stay relevant

      You're right, those antibiotics are bringing in much needed profit. And so are the vaccines.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: @Charlie Clark - Davos launches new bid to stay relevant

        The antibiotics are cash cows with nothing to come after them when the patents run out. Vaccines only make money at enormous scale, heart disease and the like is where the real money is.

    3. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: Davos launches new bid to stay relevant

      The jury's still out on mRNA.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Given researchers aren't working with a known pathogen ?

    That's a big assumption. Using a purported pandemic to promote the WEF agenda. You will own nothing, be happy and eat ze bugs.

    Scientists linked to Wuhan lab back in business as US renews grant for natural origins research

  14. SammyB

    WEF is the Desease X

    WEF is the Desease X

  15. Long John Silver
    Pirate

    Re-inventing communicable disease control?

    My impression of events in the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic was of headless chickens running around at No, 10 Downing Street. Confusion was exacerbated by the UK's three devolved Assembly Governments devising their own measures willy-nilly. When I pointed out this ludicrous situation to my MP, the response was that it was proper for “democratically elected” assemblies to devise measures suitable for their electorates. At the best of times, I have little enthusiasm for universal franchise representative democracy as at present implemented: Covid-19 exemplified the unsuitability of this method of governance, wherein ignorant representatives of ignorant people took it upon themselves to micromanage a disease outbreak. This 'response' appears to have been mirrored elsewhere; for example, chaotic behaviour within the USA at Federal, State, and municipal levels was evident.

    Inkling of a systematic approach to infectious disease control arose early in the 19th century. The names Jenner, Pasteur, Snow, Chadwick, and Farr, spring to mind. The foundations for communicable disease epidemiology were laid. Medical Officers of Health (MOsH) were appointed in boroughs, and one at Westminster government level. Each district MOH was employed by a town council; he was allotted powers which could not be overridden by councillors. Thereupon, academic disease epidemiology, means of disease control, and relevant clinical disciplines arose; these in the context of a burgeoning scientific underpinning. A discipline known as Public Health arose, and during the course of time its scope and capabilities increased. In the 1970s, Public Health Medicine became a specific branch of medicine overseen (regarding training) by the newly created Faculty of Public Health Medicine (FPHM) within the Royal College of Physicians.

    Successive subsequent 'health services reforms' led to dilution and fragmentation of public health services. Nowadays, the role vaguely equivalent to that of MOH is open to nonmedical applicants. MOH powers diminished greatly, especially freedom from local political control. The FPHM, now the Faculty of Public Health (FPH), opened to people other than medical practitioners, has become more 'woke' than professional; incidentally, the FPH appears to have made negligible contribution to discussion of Covid-19 control measures.

    That sets the scene for the Johnson government's chaotic attempt at managing Covid-19. There still exists a MOH advising government. In the past, said person, in conjunction with colleagues at district/borough council level, would have taken the initiative. Ministers' responsibilities would encompass asking searching questions about proposed measures, and providing resources for those agreed. The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) would be subordinate to the MOH and his team. It would be recognised that SAGE members, regardless of their 'distinction', are mostly narrow specialists perceiving threads of the tapestry, but not its entirety. No competent person managing the epidemic would place reliance on prognostication produced by an untested computer model (modern 'snake oil') proffered by Imperial College; at best it could offer qualitative insights concerning infection control measures, but public quotation of numbers emanating from the model was utterly foolish.

    The general overlay of emotion and the presentation of mortality statistics without discussion of their import regarding years of quality life lost was worrisome.

    Worst of all was insistence on “following the science”. Thereby, hard won experience by disease control professionals was set aside, and round wheels reinvented in square shapes. 'Science' cannot provide reliable answers during the timescale of a 'flu-like pandemic. The vaccine fiasco was appalling: prudent assessment procedures previously required for new vaccine roll-out were ignored, this particularly lamentable in the instance of introducing a hitherto untested production technology.

    Also, the present day (going back at least two decades) crop of career politicians lack the broad education, rigorous reasoning skills, and facility for interpreting numerical data. These are required to pose searching questions to supposed 'experts', and to recognise bullshit answers.

    The World Economic Forum, a grandly named club for self-appointed global meddlers, has no credentials whatsoever for devising plans to prevent/curtail the next pandemic of 'whatever'. However, to the Neo-liberalism dominated thought in the West, the WEF is inspirational for all matters.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Re-inventing communicable disease control?

      The best bit was the guy peddling the doomsday model was busy sodding off to the other side of London to shag his bit on the side.

      Also not helped by a member of SAGE also being a member of the Communist party of Britain and a supporter of the way the CCP does things.

      Pretty much everyone advising the govt along with the govt members themselves had never spent a day outside of academia or civil service.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Re-inventing communicable disease control?

      I agree with a lot of what you say. However...

      " 'Science' cannot provide reliable answers during the timescale of a 'flu-like pandemic."

      AIUI one of the problems was that our preparatory thinking, such as it was, was based on influenza and Covid wasn't. There was a need to gain more understanding on the fly. In the circumstances the only answers that might have a chance of handling the situation would have to be those gained during the pandemic. In that respect find what treatments were effective and communicating that within the medical profession were effective. I'm thinking of the use of specific inflammatories on the one hand and the fact that readily available CPAP could be sufficiently effective in many cases and less invasive than standard ICU respirators when appropriate.

      "The vaccine fiasco was appalling: prudent assessment procedures previously required for new vaccine roll-out were ignored, this particularly lamentable in the instance of introducing a hitherto untested production technology."

      Again, the existing procedures were always going to be too slow for dealing with a rapidly developing pandemic caused by a novel pathogen. Taking a few years would not have been prudent either. (And, of course, Jenner whom yu mentioned didn't have them available.)

      I don't think "the science" did too badly. Whether HMG would have recognised it if it had slapped them across the face with a wet fish is a different matter, of ocurse.

  16. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Black Death was a good thing... bring it on

    Manpower was suddenly of much greater value, meaning kings and dukes now had to bargain with their laborers over working conditions and compensation. Wages doubled in some places in just a year.

    Prices fell because there was fewer people to buy stuff.

    1 & 2 meant lots of middle-management(cough) mid-level lords had to sell their estates.

    This pretty much killed serfdom and feudalism.

    Towns repopulated faster than the countryside, so things pivoted from agriculture to industry.

    And of course, it helped develop medicine and sanitation.

    So as long as **I** don't die, I DGAS about everyone else. I'll be vaccinated and wearing my mask, TYVM. Ya'll anti-maskers & anti-vacciners do whatever you want. Evolution in action. Average human intelligence goes up a fraction of a percent.

    1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

      Re: Black Death was a good thing... bring it on

      The converse of this is why uncontrolled immigration is bad.

      Our productivity and wages have been suppressed since Tony Blair decided to open the floodgates in order to "rub the Tory's noses in diversity".

      No need to make capital investments if a Pole is willing to work for bugger all. No need to pay people properly if a Pole is willing to work for bugger all.

      And before somebody pretends I'm saying otherwise - obviously that's no judgement on the Pole himself - he's not doing anything wrong.

  17. dmedin

    I'm pretty certain gain-of-function research is being undertaken as we speak to manufacture said various (funded by Bill Gates et al as well as unwilling taxpayers).

    Sounds like a fabulous excuse to justify the new vaccine passport system too. The WEF agenda is moving along nicely.

    Doesn't El Reg get some money from Davos?

    1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

      The WEF pays money to news outlets and those news outlets drift leftwards ( ie: toward state control over individuals - an agenda required for the WEF's other schemes ). Those two things aren't up for debate, although whether they are related obviously is.

      In 2017 El Reg sacked all their right leaning authors and changed their output to the decidedly left wing. Their choice of course - I always assumed they were chasing the student demographic.

      But in that time, just in the UK, the Daily Mail has moved to the left, The Telegraph has moved leftwards, The Times moved so far to the left that it started telling disprovable lies during Truss's tenure in order to contribute to bringing her down.

      Maybe 2+2 doesn't equal 4, but maybe it does.

      1. Steve Button Silver badge

        This makes me sad. I'm not sure there exists any tech publication which is not afraid to "Bite the hand".

        If anyone knows of such a place, let me know. Not right wing or left wing, but somewhere in the middle perhaps?

        I dropped back into SlashDot a couple of years back, and Oh Boy! That place is not what it used to be.

        I still enjoy reading Andrew Orlowski in The Telegraph, who has a decent level of cynicism towards the state of technology.

    2. Steve Button Silver badge

      This sounds like conspiracy land stuff to most people, as they don't realise that Eco Health Alliance actually put in a grant application to the NIAID for exactly this type of research. It was refused as considered too dangerous, but it looks like they went ahead and did it anyway. I guess we'll never know, as the crucial database went offline right before the pandemic never to be seen again (due to "hacking") and the CCP aren't telling. We had the opportunity to interview the scientists working in Wuhan and look through their notebooks from the time, but that line in inquiry has gone cold for a long time now.

      Of course all this is just a possibility, but it does look very likely. So much circumstantial evidence, it's unlikely to be purely a coincidence.

      The lack of curiosity about this from the WHO is frankly baffling. Sending Peter Daszak to lead the initial investigation was like getting the fox to guard the hen house. It turns out the mysterious disappearance of all the chickens along with the blood and feathers everywhere around was simply a coincidence, and they had just died of natural causes and disappeared. The fox got fatter.

      The worrying thing is that we're still doing this type of research, under lab conditions which are not stringent enough, and we could have another leak which leads to much worse outcomes.

      I guess just like the 2008 financial crash, we've learned nothing and it could happen again, but worse.

      Depressing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "The lack of curiosity about this from the WHO is frankly baffling"

        The WHO is bought and paid for by the CCP.

        1. Steve Button Silver badge

          I think Trump said that. He also said about Germany being too reliant on Russian gas, and they openly laughed at him.

          I know he's wrong about most things, but not everything. (now there's a comment that'll piss off both sides - he he - not that anyone is reading this thread any more, probably down to about three hangers on now).

          1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

            > I know he's wrong about most things

            That's the fashionable view, but really.

            He was right on Iran, WHO, China, Germany.

            Apart from where the left lied about what he said, I don't know of any cases of him being wrong.

            He's quite cringe, but that's it.

            1. Steve Button Silver badge

              Let's not go there! I know the man is polarising.

              The thing that sticks in my mind was him suggesting people should inject themselves with disinfectant on live TV. And then later saying it was a joke.

              I've never heard his comments about China. Only Chiynar.

              1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

                He didn't exactly say that. I can't remember what he said about bleach, but I do remember he was misrepresented.

                He also said about UV lights and he was ridiculed. Then it came out a year or so later that scientists were actually looking at something like pumping people's blood past a UV light, or something like that. He was just reporting on what he's heard from scientists and the media lied about what he said.

  18. ragnar

    Since when was El Reg full of conspiracy theorist commentards frothing about the WEF and WHO? Somewhat disappointing.

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