As preparations for addressing Disease X intensify, right-wing concerns emerge, warning of potential lockdowns and threats to freedom. WHO emphasizes the hypothetical nature, as debates on global health measures unfold.
New Delhi, January 17, 2024 – In a recent video tirade, controversial conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has ignited a storm of speculation surrounding the concept of “Disease X,” just days before the World Economic Forum (WEF) is scheduled to hold a discussion on the potential global threat it poses. Disease X, initially coined by the World Health Organization (WHO) in February 2018, serves as a placeholder for a hypothetical, unknown pathogen that could lead to a future pandemic.
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Jones, infamous for his unorthodox viewpoints, has taken a stance against Disease X, suggesting it is a fabricated term used to manipulate public perception. According to him, Disease X represents a category of laboratory-made synthetic viruses resulting from gain-of-function operations – a process of manipulating viruses to enhance certain characteristics.
In his recent video, Jones stated, “Now, what is Disease X? That’s a name for a disease that never existed. And if you talk to the virologists and the experts, they say that’s not known for hundreds of years. And most of the diseases that they have recently found, they find later in bodies they dig up, existed before.”
Jones further alleges that the term Disease X is connected to the controversial idea of gain-of-function operations, where viruses are manipulated in laboratories to increase their communicability and airborne transmission. He asserts that these operations are orchestrated by powerful entities, including corporate media, the United Nations (UN), the World Economic Forum, and even Bill Gates, alluding to a broader conspiracy for global control.
The upcoming WEF meeting, titled ‘Preparing for Disease X,’ is set to take place on Wednesday, January 17. The agenda aims to explore novel strategies needed to prepare healthcare systems for potential challenges posed by a pandemic with the potential to cause 20 times more fatalities than the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Jones’ conspiracy theories, however, have sparked skepticism and concern among health experts and the general public, emphasizing the ongoing challenges in combating misinformation and conspiracy theories surrounding public health issues. The meeting itself will feature key figures, including WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Brazil’s Minister of Health Nicia Trindade Lima, and representatives from AstraZeneca, a company actively involved in developing COVID-19 vaccines. The focus will be on addressing the pressing need for global collaboration and preparedness in the face of potential future health crises.
Amidst growing preparations for addressing the hypothetical threat posed by Disease X, right-wing voices have sounded alarms, expressing concerns that measures similar to those implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic could resurface. Critics, including Monica Crowley, a former Fox News contributor and assistant secretary for public affairs to the Treasury Department during the Trump administration, have taken to social media to voice their apprehensions.
Crowley, in a tweet, warned that the potential emergence of a new contagion could serve as a pretext for world leaders to enforce another round of lockdowns, restrict free speech, and erode individual freedoms. She wrote, “Just in time for the election, a new contagion to allow them to implement a new WHO treaty, lock down again, restrict free speech and destroy more freedoms. Sound far-fetched? So did what happened in 2020. When your enemies tell you what they’re planning and what they’re planning FOR, believe them. And get ready.”
While right-wing figures express skepticism, the World Health Organization (WHO) maintains that Disease X is a hypothetical scenario, emphasizing its inclusion as part of a broader strategy for global preparedness. WHO Health Emergencies Program executive director Michael Ryan highlighted the importance of targeting pathogens for research, describing it as “essential for a fast and effective epidemic and pandemic response.”
Over 300 scientists are set to convene to consider evidence on over 25 virus families and bacteria, including Disease X. The experts will recommend a list of priority pathogens for further research and investment. WHO’s approach includes scientific and public health criteria, as well as considerations related to socioeconomic impact, access, and equity.
It’s worth noting that Disease X is explicitly described by WHO as “not an actual disease” but rather a hypothetical concept representing an unknown pathogen that could potentially trigger a serious international epidemic in the future. As the discussions unfold, the differing perspectives on global health measures highlight the ongoing challenge of finding a balanced approach that ensures public safety while respecting individual freedoms.