Yes, History Indeed Repeats Itself

COVID-19 was not the world’s first rodeo. Did we learn anything from past pandemics, or are we doomed to repeat history?

Just outside the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Philippines, a statue of Spanish King Charles IV looms over the square. The monument was built in the 19th century to honor Charles for bringing the smallpox vaccine to the small nation. In the early 1800s, a Spanish expedition arrived in the Philippines, and the ship was carrying 25 orphaned Mexican boys who were infected with smallpox. Historical accounts paint this as an accidental exposure. Was this an unfortunate accident, or was it planned? After all, the Spaniards purposefully introduced smallpox to the Americas in the 16th century. The disease wiped out 25 million Aztec, Mayans and Incans, decimating the once great empires.

In the early 1800s in the Philippines, the governor general soon took control of the situation. He formed the Junta de Sanidad (Council for Health) and in turn, the council created positions for vacunadores (vaccinators) who would convince (coerce) the public to be vaccinated. The governor general even had his own children injected with the smallpox vaccine so that citizens would not fear vaccination.

The Philippines was not only ravaged with smallpox but also with deadly cholera. Significant death occurred between 1820 and 1882, so much so that Manila had to open a new general cemetery, the Cementerio General de Dilao. As with many pandemics, the Philippines imposed quarantine measures and improved sanitary conditions. They also established a welfare program for those adversely affected, of which there were many.

In the early 1900s, the US imposed forced vaccinations on the native Filipino population. How did the US get involved? This was a result of the Spanish-American War in which President William McKinley issued an ultimatum to Spain; declarations of war ensued when McKinley decide to capture the Philippines from its colonial Spanish oppressors. The result was a nearly decade-long military government led by the US. Interestingly, the US made Filipino healthcare its top priority, and created the Military Board of Health which implemented strict vaccination of the populace. By 1914, an estimated 18 million Filipinos were vaccinated against smallpox and other diseases.

During that time, the natives were forced to take smallpox vaccines. Prior to vaccination, the case mortality was about 10 percent, but after vaccination, it was 30 percent. In 1918-1919, despite the fact that over 95 percent of the population was vaccinated, the Philippines suffered its worst-ever smallpox pandemic. The deaths were three times higher than they had ever been, with death rates as high as 60 percent in some areas, compared to a previous 10 to 15 percent rate.

It Happened Elsewhere, Too

This is a story that repeats itself time and time again. Not only did it happen in the Philippines, around the same time, a smallpox epidemic happened in Leicester, England. Despite a 95% vaccination rate, which the town bragged about, Leicester suffered more deaths than London, where there was a less vaccinated populace. Leicester was faced with the obvious evidence that the vaccines were useless, and their citizens rejected further vaccine mandates and instead improved the city’s sanitation. After these new measures were in place, they had about 20 cases of smallpox per 10,000 people.

While some towns like Leicester wised up, people in general were terrified of the highly contagious smallpox. About 30 percent of people who contracted it died, but that means that 70 percent lived, however, survivors were left with scars from the characteristic pustules.

Amazingly, the same pandemic was happening in the US in areas like Cumberland, Maryland. One historical account is about Mrs. Troxell, who was diagnosed with the town’s only known smallpox case by her doctor in 1882. She as well as all asymptomatic family members was quarantined. Guards were placed at the door to ensure the family complied. Anyone who had come into the slightest contact with Mrs. Troxell raced to be vaccinated. Some people who didn’t even have contact with Mrs. Troxell, but who knew her, were vaccinated just in case. Mass hysteria ensued when two additional cases of smallpox were suspected; the cases turned out to be chickenpox.

A quote in The Daily Times said it all: “Though there is but one case of smallpox in our city, … there is as much excitement as if the ten plagues of Egypt and a threatened Red Sea drowning were imminent.” How refreshing, and what a difference they are than our mainstream media today.

Just in case things got out of control, the mayor also became the chairman of the board of health. (You know, kind of like the World Health Organization (WHO) becoming the world decider for future pandemics in our time.) Cases seemed to be breaking out on the rail route from Baltimore to Pittsburgh; these could have originated with an infected person but the smallpox could have also resided on an infected surface on the train. In response to the railway fright, the town council divided the city into districts (a la Hunger Games) and assigned one doctor per district to vaccinate door to door. Their rationale was that preventative care was better and cheaper than pandemic care, but the protocol also gave these physicians immense authority to require proof of vaccination and charge people 25 cents to be vaccinated (50 cents for children). Refusing the jab landed one with a stiff fine of $5 to $10.

Sadly, Mrs. Troxell died from the disease during her quarantine, and no other cases other than hers were ever confirmed during the Cumberland “outbreak”.

It happened in Japan as well. Japan had endured 13 years of compulsory vaccination, when in 1885, a law was passed requiring boosters every seven years. In a six-year period from 1886 to 1892, over 25 million Japanese were revaccinated. Despite vaccination, the country had a 25 percent mortality rate from smallpox – nearly 40,000 deaths and over 150,000 cases. So the Japanese government did what governments do best; they “followed the science” and required boosters every 5 years, leading to an even higher mortality rate of 30 percent.

History Repeats Itself

In the 1870s, most European nations had compulsory vaccinations. Soon, the abysmal failures of smallpox vaccination campaigns convinced the public about the dangers of vaccines. The public resisted, and in many cases the Catholic clergy stood in solidarity with the people to oppose the state-mandated vaccination programs. Every country soon repealed mandatory vaccines.

A few decades later, big pharma was born and mass advertising campaigns targeted the next generation, “educating” them on the benefits of vaccination. When it came to smallpox, the WHO declared the disease eradicated in 1980. Isn’t it amazing that the very next year, in 1981, the HIV-AIDS epidemic started – an epidemic which to date has killed an estimated 42 million people?


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Fed Up Texas Chick is a contributing writer for The Tenpenny Report. She’s a rocket scientist turned writer, having worked in the space program for many years. She is a seasoned medical writer and researcher who is fighting for medical freedom for all of us through her work. 


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