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As the countdown to the World Economic Forum’s discussion on the formidable “Disease X” draws closer, the anticipation surrounding this hypothetical and potentially deadlier threat than Covid-19 has ignited a social media frenzy. Right-wing accounts, in particular, are expressing skepticism and criticism towards the outlined plans for dealing with this unprecedented situation.

The World Economic Forum’s Agenda

Scheduled for next week, the WHO meeting titled “Preparing for DiseaseX” aims to assemble a panel of international experts, including representatives from the World Health Organization, pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, and conglomerate Philips. The objective is to explore innovative strategies necessary to fortify healthcare systems in anticipation of the multifaceted challenges that may arise.Disease X

Decoding Disease X

“DiseaseX” is not a tangible ailment but a term employed by scientists to stimulate the development of countermeasures such as vaccines and tests. The World Health Organization convened a group of over 300 scientists in November 2022 to delve into the potential threat posed by an “unknown pathogen” capable of causing a severe international epidemic. This hypothetical disease is speculated to have a mortality rate 20 times higher than that of Covid-19.

Social Media Controversy

The news of the World Economic Forum’s upcoming meeting has triggered a heated debate on social media platforms, particularly among right-wing users. Concerns have been raised that preparations for this unknown disease might lead to measures reminiscent of the Covid-19 lockdowns. Some users even drew parallels to baseless theories, such as the unfounded claim that Covid-19 was a planned event.

Notable Voices in the Debate

Monica Crowley, a former Fox News contributor and assistant secretary for public affairs during the Trump administration, expressed apprehensions on Twitter. She suggested that a new contagion could provide a pretext for world leaders to implement lockdowns, restrict free speech, and erode freedoms. This sentiment seemed to echo a baseless theory associating Microsoft founder Bill Gates with a supposed plan to control vaccine recipients through a microchip.

Clarification from X (Formerly Known as Twitter)

Amidst the controversy, X (formerly Twitter) issued a disclaimer emphasizing that this disease is not an actual disease but a hypothetical one with the potential to cause a serious international epidemic in the future.

Background Insights

Michael Ryan, the executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, stressed the importance of targeting viruses and pathogens for research and countermeasure development. He asserted that such efforts are essential for a swift and effective response to epidemics and pandemics. The research not only focuses on Disease  but also addresses a list of priority viruses and pathogens, including Covid-19, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, Ebola, Marburg, Lassa fever, MERS, SARS, Nipah, Rift Valley fever, and Zika.

Richard Hatchett, CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, argued that preparing for Disease X is imperative. A 2021 paper published in the Cambridge University Press compared a potential outbreak of Disease X to other unforeseen infectious diseases that have historically shaken medical confidence and caught the medical world by surprise.

Read More: Dusk News

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