Book Review: Pandemia — How Coronavirus Hysteria Took Over Our Government, Rights, and Lives

Pandemia: How Coronavirus Hysteria Took Over Our Government, Rights, and Lives

Table of Contents

Pandemia: How Corona Hysteria Took Over Our Government, Rights, and Lives, Washington, D.C, 2022, Regnery Publishing

Book Review Summary

Pandemia is the most important book to be published about the Wuhan (COVID) pandemic of 2020 through 2023. Supported by copious amounts of accurate data (much of which was not disclosed to the American people by the American government as Wuhan gained strength and spread through the country), it is required reading for anyone who needs to understand what happened, why, and what the future potentially holds. The book is well written, even handed in its criticism of the various players who were involved, and puts to rest many of the false rumors and suppositions that have spread since the Wuhan Plague erupted on American shores. One note. I strongly urge all readers of Pandemia to ignore the Wikipedia entries on the book. They are inaccurate, in many cases false, and appear to have been written by ideologues with various axes to grind.

Editor’s Note

I made an editorial decision to refer to SARS-CoV-2 as “Wuhan” in this article. The Chinese regime and the CCP deserve to be reminded of what they did.


In my Bronx grammar school, scattered throughout the grades were a small handful of students who wore braces and/or used crutches to navigate the hallways and stairs of the five-story building. These were the polio kids and every public school in New York sported their own contingent. Behind the visible members of the group were the invisible sufferers, children whose nervous systems had been so ravaged by polio’s nerve damage that they were permanently confined to wheel chairs or even worse, to the living death of an iron lung.

The polio kids were not much discussed in schools by teachers or their classmates and a certain aura of dread followed them about P.S. 86. Then one day in the early 60s, the entire student body was herded into the school’s auditorium, where we were all inoculated with the Sabin vaccine via an oral preparation. We all received two follow up doses per government mandate.

From that period forward, no more children wearing braces appeared to replace the ones who’d moved on. No more parents with haunted eyes came to watch their children move laboriously about the stage during plays and recitals. Polio, the crippling scourge of children and adults since the time of the Pharaohs (there’s an Egyptian wall painting with a picture of a physician with a leg withered by Polio) was conquered. Doctors Salk and Sabin became demi gods in the world of medicine.

My admiration for and trust of the vaccinators grew over time. Over the decades, all of the “name brand” childhood diseases slunk away as vaccines for them appeared: mumps, measles, German measles, whooping cough, chickenpox, etc. I contracted all of them and was always told soothingly during each illness that everyone caught these diseases and that everyone recovered.  I should have been more suspicious. Every year as the school cycle progressed, a few of us went missing and were never seen again. In first grade, I sat in class next to a little girl who I thought rather cute and towards whom I developed a childhood crush. After summer recess, I returned to school and looked for her, but she was no longer enrolled in school. When I asked some classmates where she was, I was told she had died over the summer. When I asked what had happened, I received a confused jumble of answers. A year or two later, I discovered she’d died of measles.

The vaccinators haven’t conquered every disease, of course. There have been setbacks. HIV has foiled all vaccine attempts, though the disease remains under unrelenting attack, and there are now therapeutic treatments that slow the illness’ progression. The RSV vaccine had to be withdrawn in the 1960s, but is being pursued avidly. The flu remains a knotty problem, but since 1918 when “Spanish” flu chain sawed down the lives of 50 million people worldwide, vaccines have been able to keep that monster at bay, though its chameleon-like power to adopt to vaccines remains a serious problem. But they’re working on it.

Thus early in 2020, when word began to appear in the press and online of a dangerous new flu spreading out from the Chinese city of Wuhan and into the world population, I was somewhat concerned but remained sanguine. Early reports from the PRC and Chinese medical authorities assured us the bug wasn’t spreading to humans, but considering the sources, I immediately assumed this was a lie. Besides, new microbial nasties coming out of China was nothing new: there’d been the Asian Flu pandemic of 1957, Hong Kong in 1968, and some smaller outbreaks here and there.

The early initial narrative on this flu’s origin and spread didn’t raise many initial questions. We were told the bug had spread via an animal, probably some sort of chicken or pig, or maybe even a bat. The venue for the spread was one of those hideous “wet markets” where the Chinese like to indulge their love of eating disgusting foods such as caterpillars, partially cooked but still living fish, pangolins (Godzilla’s younger brother), a certain percentage of the local neighborhood’s collection of stray dogs and cats, bits and parts of various endangered species, and whatever else comes to hand.

The story became a bit less predictable when, as many of us guessed, the medical experts informed everyone that no, the new disease was highly contagious and proving quite dangerous to the elderly. Also, it wasn’t a flu; it was a coronavirus. In other words, a cold bug. Following in the drizzly footprints of 2004’s SARS-CoV-1, an initially fearsome new ailment that turned out be a paper tiger, the new disease was officially dubbed SARS-CoV-2, though everyone promptly started calling the new bug Wuhan, Wuhan flu, Winnie the Flu, in honor of porcine Chinese dictator, etc.

It also turned out that the Chinese government had initially been lying through its teeth about Wuhan and the dangers it presented to the whole world, which it had discovered in late 2019. To make things even worse, Wuhan held a great big commie hootenanny in the city for 11 days in December. By the time everyone had sobered up from the big party, about five million people had traipsed through the place and had headed to destinations all over the globe. So much for stamping out the disease at its source.

And then things started to get weird.

It started off with the big social systems. They and the U.S. media began issuing stern warnings that calling a disease that first struck in the city of Wuhan a Wuhan virus was racist. This made no sense. I used to live in Connecticut in a town 20 minutes away from Lyme, Connecticut, from which Lyme Disease derived its name. Lyme disease is an unpleasant, tick-born bacterial infection and I can report via personal experience that Lyme is indeed full of biting ticks. My wife contracted both Lyme and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever from tick bites and it seemed to me that if the tiny town of Lyme, Connecticut had to own up to its ticks, enormous Wuhan, China, population 11 million could own its wriggling deadly cold bugs.

Things then got weirder.

A battle erupted over the origin of Coldzilla. It turned out that the city of Wuhan was the home of The Wuhan Institute of Virology, which, when you stopped to think about it, seemed to be just the sort of place a rogue virus might pop out of, as opposed to a bunch of caged pangolins and squeaky bats. Still, for a time the Wuhan “experts” all bustled around screaming “racists” and “morons” at anyone who dared state the possibility existed that the PRC and their pet doctors were lying sacks of sh**te on the topic based on such facts as China had destroyed the Wuhan early DNA samples, an act that made tracing the origin of the virus very difficult. The argument isn’t over yet, but to date we’ve failed to locate a pangolin or bat in the wild surrounded by boxes of Kleenex or bottles of cold medicine.

The next controversy swirled around the lethality of the Wuhan virus. Everyone on this planet is familiar with colds and up till 2020, no one was much scared of them. We’ve all endured an attack by Sergeant Sniffles or Captain Stuffy Nose; you feel rundown, you sleep poorly for a few nights, you go through a ton of Kleenex, then it’s over. They spread quickly and everyone seems to get them. Colds were annoying; flus were miseries.

But not Wuhan. According to the experts, this was an entirely different beast, a Coldzilla. Initial data coming out of China indicated the Wuhan death rate was 3.6%; by contrast, bad flus normally came in at 0.05 percent to 0.1 percent. And there were vaccines for the flu. Nothing was available for colds. The disease hadn’t warranted it.

Worse, respected (formerly) British researcher Niall Ferguson of the British Imperial College, released a statistical model that predicted Wuhan was on track to kill 500,000 people in the U.K., the equivalent of two million in the U.S. The answer?

Lockdowns! Just for a couple of weeks, mind. Just enough to slow the spread and prevent the hospitals from being overwhelmed. After all, lots of people were becoming infected, recovering, and natural immunity was growing. Also, despite Niall’s scary numbers, which turned out to badly wrong, while the oldsters were dropping at a rate between .05% to 0.1%, typical of a bad flu, the rest of the population seemed to be doing OK. As befits a “novel” disease, there were some unpleasant effects people weren’t used to (aside from dying). Loss of taste, smell, alteration of palate, etc. But fortunately, the kids seemed to be doing fine. I have two grandchildren, one of whom was three in 2020 and one who’d just been born. Neither caught Wuhan, nor did their contemporaries. Closing down schools for the past two years was a destructive waste of time and money. We knew this by 2021.

Covid Infection Death Rates

0 – 4 years: 0.00001%
5 – 9 years: 0.0016% 
10 – 19 years: 0.00032% 
20 – 49 years: 0.092% 
50 – 64 years: 0.014
65+ years 5.6%

Here are Wuhan/flu death rates for the two groups most at risk:

50 – 59 years: 0.123% (flu) 
60 – 69 years: 0.506% (severe flu)

It was about this time that I became aware of Alex Berenson. I read something on Twitter about his Wuhan skepticism and subscribed to his feed and later his Substack. His articles were informative well researched, backed by substantial data that seemed to be better than anything I was getting from the government, and I began to read them fairly regularly.

Berenson has a background as journalist, having worked for The Denver and The Washington Post, TheStreet, and for 10 years The New York Times, where his beat included the Iraq occupation, the Madoff scandal, and the pharmaceutical and health care industries. He’s not a light weight. In 2010, Berenson left The Times to become a full-time novelist, in which endeavor he’s has been very successful.

As I began reading Berenson’s Substack and Twitter feed carefully, mask madness broke out. The early hysteria was driven in large part by pandemic point man Dr. Anthony Fauci, who’d popped out of the medical bureaucracy like a lawn gnome wearing a lab coat and had been anointed bug hunter in chief by President Trump. First, Dr. Fauci told us we didn’t need to wear them because they were ineffective against viruses and he’s right. Wuhan virus particles range in size between 20 nm to as large as 500 nm.  A nanometer is a billionth of a meter. The ubiquitous blue fabric mask they make you wear in hospitals is designed to filter about 60% to 80% of the three micron (a micron is a thousandth of an inch) particles contained in a droplet of water. When I checked with my wife, who’d worked as a floor administrator at a local hospital center in Connecticut, she scoffed at what Berenson called “blue face diapers.” She  explained to me that when her floor had to protect severely immune-damaged patients, they had to follow a very strict regimen that included proper fitting of the mask, changing it multiple times, much hand washing, and on and on. When they were serious about protecting a patient against infection, you had to wear a pressure suit and breath from air tanks.

After a couple of mean tweets, Fauci promptly did a 180 degree on masks and said everyone who refused to wear them were grannie killers and very bad people. Airline attendants began to toss two-year-olds out on the tarmac when little Kevin or Kaley covered their faces, shrieked like banshees, and kicked like rugby players when you tried to force a mask on them. Teachers fled the classrooms en masse and began to post dance interpretive dance videos of educators dying slowly of Wuhan from exposure to unmasked little tykes. They didn’t die not did the tykes.

Fortunately, Berenson was available to provide some historical and contemporary balance to the issue of masks and lockdowns. Here he is quoting Dr. W. H. Kellogg, the executive officer of the California State Board of Health during the 1918 pandemic:

 “The very complete records at the disposal of the California State Board of Health indicate conclusively that the compulsory wearing of masks does not affect the progress of the epidemic.”

“Nor did mass closings [lockdowns] seem to matter, Kellogg wrote. Instead, he argued that self-isolation of sick people appeared to be the most effective tactic against the flu.

Berenson, Alex. Pandemia: How Coronavirus Hysteria Took Over Our Government, Rights, and Lives (p. 20). Regnery Publishing.

And besides, Dr. Fauci had assured us that the vaccines were the only way to go! A few months before the jabs had shown up, some big sillies in the medical community, a gal from Oxford, a guy from Harvard, and a guy from Stamford, had shown up waving a paper called the “Great Barrington Declaration” which said something like “Hey guys! While we’re waiting for the vaccines, how about we bundle all the geezers into safe isolation and let the youngsters catch Wuhan because while the cold is no fun, it doesn’t kill them? And as a special bonus, we get all this cool herd immunity! Waddaya say? And forget lockdowns; we know they don’t work and do more harm than god.

Wikipedia, which has transformed from a good idea into a sewer of ideological slime, promptly slandered all three scientists, Sunetra Gupta, Jay Bhattacharya  and Dr. Martin Kulldorff.  Dr. Fauci said that was fine by him, and America moved full steam ahead towards its glorious vaccine future.

Still, despite all the weirdness and contradictory advice I was reading and receiving, I remained relatively unperturbed. Masks, social distancing, lockdowns even, were all sideshows as far as I was concerned. So were the Wuhan treatments being touted, such as hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir, monoclonal antibodies, paxlovid and others. All had drawbacks and significant limitations. Viruses are tough customers. AZT, the drug cocktail prescribed for AIDs, does prevent the development of the syndrome but has to be taken for life and often has serious side effect. As for me and my family, I was putting my trust in the vaccinators.

In 2020, Coldzilla’s complete genetic sequence was released to the world and big pharma and the U.S. government announced they were all in on developing vaccines.  Even better, the new vaccines would be based on a new wonder technology, mRNA (messenger RNA), that would mop up the floor with Coldzilla once it was unleashed.

Then President Trump announced Operation Warp Speed in April of 2020 and stated the new treatments would be available before the end of the year and I felt my trust had been justified. There was a great deal of initial snickering by the main stream media about this boast, and many loud proclamation by various experts that the vaccines’ release would take years instead of months, but Trump delivered.

In the first week of March I received a call from my county‘s medical authority to schedule my vaccine and on March 8th, 2021, I headed down to a local sporting goods chain that had been transformed into a vaccination center and received my first Pfizer shot, followed in a couple of weeks by another injection. I had no side effects from the shots (though both my wife and daughter did) and as far as I was concerned, I was invulnerable to Wuhan. I felt even better about the whole thing because the Pfizer jab was proclaimed the vaccine gold standard. In a few days we were all feeling fine and that seemed to be that. For the next several months I lived my life blissfully secure in my belief that my two shots had made me invulnerable to Wuhan.

Even better, the reports coming in from the field during the early months of the vaccines’ release were glowing. Among the vaccinated, infections rates rapidly dropped below 10% and by late spring of 2021, Wuhan appeared to be receding as a world-wide threat. Chalk up another triumph for the vaccinators, I thought. But Berenson would soon disturb my sunny mood.

The most controversial part of Pandemia is Berenson’s astringent criticism of the mRNA vaccines that came riding to our rescue like the U.S. cavalry in a western, and were promptly ambushed a la Custer.  Berenson pointed out at length that these rough riders were experimental in nature and though he was subjected to some vicious calumny for his observations (“murderer,” “pandemic’s wrongest man,”) he was correct. Only a handful people were tested with the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs and the consequences of this came into focus in the summer of 2021 in Israel, which had jumped on the vaccine bandwagon early:

Positive tests bottomed in early June at around fifteen a day, a tiny number in a country of ten million people. But in the second half of June they began rising. On June 30, Israel had almost three hundred positive tests nationwide. On July 15, it had almost a thousand. By July 31, it was near three thousand.

To make things worse, a new phrase began to circulate online, “break through infections.“ What was this!? I’d received several dozen vaccinations in my life and no one had ever mentioned “break through infections.” You received a jab for the measles, that was it. No more measles for life. Same for mumps. Same for everything. Of the hundreds of millions vaccine doses that have been dispensed, the vaccines failed for a handful of people. But there’s no question that they worked for an overwhelming majority of the recipients and that the diseases were crushed.

Still, this was happening in Israel, I thought. That’s a long way away. This could be some sort of Jewish thing. Maybe something in the matzoh? And Israel’s a small country; 10 million citizens vs 330 million in the U.S. Plenty of room for different outcomes. Surely the U.S. would do better than a country the size of New Jersey?

Uh, no. In the summer of 2021 my question was answered. Here’s Alex’s reporting:

Sure enough, new American cases rose relentlessly, jumping from roughly 15,000 positive tests on July 5 to roughly 165,000 in early September. Deaths inevitably followed. After bottoming around 300 a day in mid-July, they topped 1,600 by mid-September.

Much more bad new followed. It turned out that the vaccines:

  • Didn’t prevent reinfection.
  • Didn’t prevent transmission.
  • Lost their effectiveness in producing antibodies against Wuhan in a remarkably short time, ranging from three to 18 months.
  • Appeared to have some unfortunate side effects, particularly in respect to young men, of creating susceptibility to such diseases  as myocarditis.

As the bad news flooded in, I sensed a reluctance on the part of Berenson to say what needed to be said. Finally, he did:

It doesn’t stop infection. Or transmission. Don’t think of it as a vaccine. Think of it – at best – as a therapeutic with a limited window of efficacy and terrible side effect profile that must be dosed IN ADVANCE OF ILLNESS. And we want to mandate it? Insanity.

The size and scope of the Wuhan vaccines failure was unprecedented in the history of epidemiology and continues as of this writing The initial reactions of the medical establishment and the government and the subsequent reactions were all sadly predictable.  First, there was disbelief. Then, there was denial. Then there was anger…but with a twist. The anger was directed at people who had refused vaccination or had not yet been vaccinated. This despite the increasing number of people who were dying, almost all of them 65+, who had already been vaccinated. We’ve not yet reached the acceptance phase, aided by a government that continues to pump out Wuhan misinformation. For instance, broadcasting that if you’ve been infected recently, a vaccine will provide you further protection. No, it won’t:

A large Israeli study showed that the theoretical advantage Rockefeller had found for natural immunity was very real. Posted on August 25, the study revealed that people who were vaccinated were thirteen times as likely to be infected with Sars-Cov-2 as those who had natural immunity following a previous infection.

Berenson, Alex. Pandemia: How Coronavirus Hysteria Took Over Our Government, Rights, and Lives. Regnery Publishing.

A final player stepped into the Wuhan Arena as Pandemia trundles towards its final act in 2022. Big Social Media (Twitter, Google (YouTube), and Facebook, corrupted and transmogrified by their entry into politics, a process I describe in In Search of Stupidity: Over 40 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters), begin to stamp around the landscape and crush and mutilate news sources they and the U.S. government don’t like. Berenson’s work, which had relied on Twitter as its primary social channel, was an early target for their combined rage. On July 16th, White House Press secretary Jen Psaki called for social media companies to:

“…create robust enforcement strategies.” She added that the White House wanted different companies to work together to censor. “You shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not others if you—for providing misinformation out there.”

Berenson, Alex. Pandemia: How Coronavirus Hysteria Took Over Our Government, Rights, and Lives (p. 20). Regnery Publishing.

Berenson failed to take the hint, and on August 28th:

…Twitter permanently suspended my account, which at the time had almost 345,000 followers. The company did not email me to notify me which tweet had led to my suspension. In fact, it has never actually told me I’ve been suspended at all. But in response to questions from Fox News, NBC, and elsewhere, Twitter did issue a statement defaming my work: The account you referenced has been permanently suspended for repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation rules.

Berenson, Alex. Pandemia: How Coronavirus Hysteria Took Over Our Government, Rights, and Lives (p. 20). Regnery Publishing.

At a single shot, Twitter shut down the most accurate and predictive source of the origins, track, and performance of the Wuhan vaccines in the world. Today, America’s primary treatment for Wuhan resembles what we can do for HIV victims, only this therapy is almost only applicable to the elderly. Like AZT, it’s a shifting therapeutic that will need to be constantly readjusted and reformulated to be effective. There are legitimate questions being raised over the long term impact of constant reinoculation to Wuhan on a person’s health and reaction to the virus. Perhaps over time, the disease will soften its impact on the 60+ pluses and its grip will lesson. Viruses tend to adapt to their hosts and we’ll have to adapt to Wuhan. Expect it to be a factor in your life for the rest of it.

In November 2022, Elon Musk purchased Twitter and began releasing wide tranches of internal memos and tweets detailing the extensive efforts of the U.S. government to censor Wuhan news coming from Twitter and other major social giants it disliked. Many of these efforts were directed towards comments and opinions that turned out to be factual and correct, including Berenson’s. His account was soon restored.

Also in November of 2022, I contracted Wuhan. As a result of this, I am now immunized against the virus. 

I think. Well, maybe.


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