COVID-19 conspiracy or conundrum

While my first inclination is to avoid the topic, the increasing amount of theoretical speculation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic motivates me to weigh in on the issue.

To be clear, I have an inherent distrust of “big pharma,” “big health care” and “big money.”

I know that greed can and does drive far too many decisions, and that there are bad people, countries, businesses, and various organizations that do bad and arguably very evil things in the world.

With regard to the topic of vaccination — I believe in personal choice. Upon the advice of my primary-care physician who has looked out for my family for the past nearly 40 years, I have chosen to be vaccinated for pneumonia. My wife Claudette chooses to get an annual flu shot, while I have not. We chose some years ago to have our children vaccinated. Occasionally we have gotten tetanus and other types of vaccinations. These are our choices, and I believe people should retain the ability to make those individual choices.

But the online chatter supporting various theories as to the origin of the virus and the intent of various persons/countries/organizations has, in my opinion, too often gone over the top.

A friend posted online recently that she was concerned about her mother being in a nursing home where residents had tested positive for the virus. A commenter quickly chimed in: “They are doing it on purpose. Sending corona people to those homes.”

That commenter and many others appear to believe that the pandemic and related actions are all part of an international effort intended to depopulate the planet while making billions in profits off the vaccine. Some versions of the theory end in the total subjugation of the remaining population via “medical martial law.” Still others believe the vaccine will contain a microchip allowing government to monitor every citizen’s every move.

I receive seemingly daily emails from folks urging me to watch various YouTube videos of interviews with seemingly rational and educated experts asserting with the utmost confidence various renditions of similar scenarios.

The basic premise is that entities such as Bill Gates, the Rockefeller Foundation, George Soros, the Deep State, Jeff Bezos, the military-industrial complex or (fill in the blank) — have individually or collectively in collaboration with China, Russia, the Central Intelligence Agency, Israel or (fill in the blank) engineered and deliberately released into the world the COVID-19 virus.

The nature of a conspiracy theory involves connecting dots of “known truths” with dots of “well it could be true” with dots of “it was once true” with dots of “someone told me it was true” and circling back around to the dots of “known truths” — the more the cycle is repeated, the more believable it becomes.

It is true that overpopulation is seen by many as a primary cause of many of the planet’s problems. It is also true that many organizations have studied over the years various strategies, from increased access to birth control to government mandates, to reduce the environmental pressures that come from over-population.

It’s also true that there are those for whom vaccines aren’t good, with some people becoming sick or dying from adverse reactions to certain vaccines.

The likelihood of a pandemic such as what is now occurring has been predicted by many individuals and organizations over the years. Various groups and governments have planned for it, and even stockpiled supplies in anticipation of it. That does not mean they engineered it and made it happen.

Like everyone, I do my best to also “connect the dots” and come to my own conclusions about life. I look first and again last to those people in my community whom I trust, such as my primary-care physician and others in the medical profession whom I know personally. I also review a wide range of media. When a provocative statement of fact is made I will generally look for the “source” and do my best to determine if the “fact” is credible or not.

The well-known, right-wing talk radio provocateur Rush Limbaugh is fond of saying “Well it could be true.” He is, of course, correct, and this is the underlying fuel that lights the fire of every conspiracy theory.

I have no doubt that big pharma is racing to develop a vaccine, and that when it happens they will make billions. But I cannot imagine or believe a scenario where a virus like this is developed and intentionally released as a strategy to achieve world domination or as a way to make money.

I often bounce these columns off of friends and family for comment and feedback before submitting. I was told by one today, “You are writing an article to try and rationalize with irrational people. I don’t know if you can win.”

Well, if I cannot win, I can at least have the final word on my own column. Suffice for me to say that we would all be better off making sure the dots we connect are based upon facts, reason and an underlying faith in humanity.


Gary Hooser formerly served in the state Senate, where he was majority leader. He also served for eight years on the Kaua‘i County Council, and was the former director of the state Office of Environmental Quality Control. He serves presently in a volunteer capacity as board president of the Hawai‘i Alliance for Progressive Action, and is executive director of the Pono Hawai‘i Initiative.

  1. Jake May 13, 2020 3:02 am Reply

    You obviously don’t understand the purpose of vaccination. Ah, like, it is not about you, rather it is about the other 100 people at the movie theater that got the vaccination and won’t spread it, or all the medical bills (Medicaid if you can’t afford Healthcare) and wasted time in the ER, Urgent Care, or Hospital treating something that is preventable. But hey, “Let the Government pay my medical bill for something I could have chose to prevent”.

    This is a manufactured “Scamdemic” via the media and Dems because there is no other recourse to oust “Bad Orange Man” in November. You have a 99% chance of surviving COVID-19. If you are obese, elderly, or have other diseases, then just stay home and let the rest of the USA get back to work producing.

    We already have a vaccination for the Flu, and most do not elect to take it. And yet……wait for it………., 60,000 people die each year in the USA from the Flu. Why don’t we burn down the economy each and every year over the flu?????? Use some common sense.

    1. Common Sense May 13, 2020 3:20 pm Reply

      We’ve already surpassed the much-touted 60K per year death toll of the “regular flu” (we’re at near 85K) and we’re not even half-way thru the year… and that’s WITH a national lock-down in effect. So using that statistic to somehow diminish the severity of Covid is moot.

      1. Jake May 15, 2020 2:59 am Reply

        Is it not simply fascinating…… that we have found cures for pneumonia, asthma, pulmonary hypertension, diabetes, obesity, CLRDs, heart disease….

        The CDC announced it already….. anyone even remotely SUSPECTED of being a COVID-19 patient gets that put on their death certificate. No testing is required, and even each state does COVID-19 testing differently.

        Soooooooo, a person with flu, pneumonia, heart attack, cancer death, you name it, is open to be listed as a COVID-19 death. Ergo, the numbers of COVID-19 deaths…It is called a Scamdemic.

    2. WAVE May 13, 2020 3:25 pm Reply

      ScamDemic is right Jake Good Name !!!:)


    3. Uncleaina May 13, 2020 5:53 pm Reply

      165 million people in the US get the flu vaccine each year. And still up to 60,000 die. Those are the actual facts.

      1. Jake May 14, 2020 3:15 am Reply

        “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to estimate flu vaccination coverage for the U.S. population of adults aged ≥18 years during the 2017–18 flu season. Flu vaccination coverage among adults was 37.1%”

        Like I said, “Most do not elect to take it”

    4. Jill Friedman May 14, 2020 4:54 pm Reply

      Are you not aware that COVID -19 is worldwide? Every country is struggling to contain it and deal with it, and the US was not the first to get it. Your belief that it’s all a scam created by one political party in the US to use against the US President indicates that you’re not well informed and haven’t thought this through clearly.

  2. Peggy Price May 13, 2020 9:41 am Reply

    Thank you for a reasoned view of this pandemic. My hope is that globally there are more people working for the common good than those conjuring up more fear in order to manipulate and control. I appreciate your columns.

  3. Uncleaina May 13, 2020 9:52 am Reply

    You keep saying “big pharma” and you say they’re going to make billions. Are they our enemy now? Who else is going to make the billions of vaccines needed to overcome Covid 19 ? Many of these drugs are actually given free by the pharmaceutical companies. Truth is we desperately need the large pharmaceutical companies to prevent the deaths of millions of people. Not sure why you’re so anti-science Gary, but it’s not helpful during a pandemic. Vaccines work – and they should not be a choice if you want to be in public. We require vaccinations for school children for this very reason. I remember when you were railing against “smart meters” – seems like they’re pretty harmless actually, especially when every place you go already has WiFi routers. And how can we forget your idea to make Kauai a test case for bringing in tourists? Not sure why we have people with no experience in public health weighing in on what they think we should do.

  4. Lilyana May 13, 2020 1:34 pm Reply

    Gary, well spoken and it seems we must be in the same generation. I too believe in choice. There is no justice or freedom in someone telling us what we have to do in a country that likes to seem interested in personal freedom. I would love to get your opinion on Agenda 21 from the United Nations. I believe a lot of people’s fear may have come from reading what is in the plan. Or CDC’s suggestions of required vaccination to keep your Social Security – like the Shingles one – a red flag indeed. And most of my clients are medical professions and alternative practitioners. They ALL tell me that the flu shot is almost always only 35% effective each year depending what virus is thriving. The worst flu I ever got was from one of clients a Head nurse from San Jose Hospital in CA. She had been required to take a flu shot.
    My degree is in Biology and I have extensively studded Genetics and Quantum physics. I am addictive to curiosity and Truth. So I look for patterns and I follow the money trail. So I do not trust or believe that Drug Companies have our best interest at heart. And will sell you a drug for anything. Many cause worse ailments like HMG-CoA (Statin’s) and Metformem. And also believe they knew how bad the deadly poison mercury would be to humans in their vaccines but instead chose a longer self-life instead. I won’t even go into vaccinations and Autism. I will just say do the research – don’t blindly trust anything anyone wants to put in your body and refuse to tell you what is in it. Some of my clients that have had flu shots were not able to get a list of what was contained within them. I go the more natural way of getting immune booster shots with ingredients for lymph and inflammation. I have not had the flu or even a severe cold in the last 3 years after I started this. I found it after medical Drs. prescribed antibiotics (literally anti life!) for the flu. Red Flag the flu is viral.. antibiotics work on bacteria. After two bout of the antibiotics and getting worse – I discovered the key is to boost your immune system… not their “cure”.

    And to Jake – I have no idea why a personal that took a vaccine does not trust that it works by being threatened by someone that didn’t have one. That makes NO logical sense to me. Therefore do what you will with your body with my blessings.. but your opinion on mine is just that.

    And to Uncleaina – Gary is not unscientific.. he is just makes informed decisions. I am a scientist and I still questions everything that has an impact on my life. Do you ever listen to all the side effects that most drugs they advertise on TV. So many are much worse that what your disease is. And none of them help strengthen your body to resist on it’s own. We have an amazing immune system – if it was drained from what we drink, eat, and breath.
    Also do your research before you set your opinions in stone. Life is about be flexible and learning from each and every person and experience. If not then we become to set in our ways and since all things are meant to change… if we don’t then we become contracted which causes being conservative without cause. Aloha

  5. ChemBio May 13, 2020 1:51 pm Reply

    ChemBio warfare isn’t in full effect.

    Kauai was a battle ground with the chem bio companies that hid under the disguise of seed/AG companies.

    Just recently, states have adopted laws against the contamination on land, air, plant, animals and sea by these toxic companies.

    If you don’t believe that this is a manufactured pandemic than you have no idea what really makes the world go round.

  6. Everythingisawesome May 13, 2020 2:22 pm Reply

    “I have an inherent distrust of “big pharma,” “big health care” and “big money.””

    Then you can empathize with my inherent distrust of “big government”. The difference is that government has the power to put you in jail.

    “Not sure why you’re so anti-science Gary, but it’s not helpful during a pandemic. Vaccines work – and they should not be a choice if you want to be in public.”

    If YOU get the vaccine, you have nothing to fear from those that DIDN’T. A vaccine protects those who get it. When someone chooses (My body, my choice!) not to get vaccinated, they are the only person they are putting at risk. Movie theater with 100 people where 98 are vaccinated and 2 who aren’t? The 98 have nothing to fear from being around the 2.

    Why then do some governments require some vaccinations? Some diseases are too severe to allow to go unchecked. Can you imagine the financial burden to a nation where .5% of the children were crippled for life (polio)? Or where 5-15% of children would lose one or both parents to HIV (AIDS in west Africa) and need to be raised by the state? What constitutes “too severe to go unchecked”? Well, historically, a governments primary concern would be the perpetuation (continuation) of the established government (itself). Can you imagine if hospitals were overrun with sick patients to the point that there weren’t enough healthy doctors to treat people? Or grocery stores ran out of food because there were no healthy people to plow fields or tend the dairy cows? Or there weren’t enough healthy LEOs or Firefighters to maintain order and respond to emergencies? We would slip into anarchy and there would be needless deaths because man, in his natural state, doesn’t usually exhibit aloha to his fellow man. That’s why governments get involved in healthcare. It’s not because their mission is to keep you personally from getting sick. Governments care about the lives of their citizens to the extent that it maintains order for all. The response of our Government to this virus sets a dangerous precedent. This virus never rose to the level that required declaring a national emergency because even if it had a known mortality rate of 2%, well beyond what we know it to be, it would not have jeopardized our established government.

    What other reason is there for a government to require a vaccine? Well, well-intentioned (stop people’s pain) but shortsighted (liberty is overrated) people like Gary get involved with government and think they are helping people by putting them out of their misery, when in reality, he is just putting them out of his.

    1. Old Fart Haole May 14, 2020 4:38 am Reply

      Great comment. Thanks for making it.

  7. KauaiFarmMan May 14, 2020 7:07 am Reply

    It’s not a conspiracy about micro chipping everyone with the vaccine. It’s a fact . You can watch a video of Bill Gates saying the vaccine will come with an invisible tattoo, which is a microchip. This virus is a hoax. 99% of deaths have been in people with 1-4 preexisting conditions. Over 30% of deaths in nursing homes. On top of that anyone who tests positive for covid and dies fromANY CAUSE within 28 days of test is listed as covid death. People with late stage cancer are being listed as covid deaths. More people will die from suicide and starvation. End this non sense already. We are all willingly becoming SLAVES.

  8. Rev Dr Malama May 14, 2020 7:57 am Reply

    Ann Frank is quoted “I believe that people are essentially good” whereas the political commentator of this regular Kauai Newspaper article is quoted “Bad, bad, bad bad….”
    Let’s all just lay low and practice the GOLDEN RULE for a change?!
    Huh, connected dots for most of us is WHERE IS MY NEXT MEAL COMING FROM?!!!

  9. JKS May 14, 2020 12:10 pm Reply

    Hooser dances around the conspiracy theory fire and pretends he is not burning.

  10. Pete Antonson May 14, 2020 3:57 pm Reply

    It’s like all the Flat Earth and conspiracy nuts have had nothing to do since their failed attempt to drive the GMO industry into the sea. Now they look at CONVID-19 and say: “Oh boy! We’re back in business!” All the misinformation techniques, the lack of evidence smugness, the power of the false suggestion, has been pulled out of the closet, dusted off, and thrown in here where it’s NOT WELCOME!

  11. RSW May 14, 2020 5:04 pm Reply

    “To be clear, I have an inherent distrust of “big pharma,” “big health care” and “big money.”
    But you love & trust big government and the control it has over us?…you are a real dunce, Gary.
    Government is responsible for more death and despair than any of the other “bigs” you mention. (sadly 4 right here on Kauai) The irony is participation with pharma, health care and big money(whatever you mean by that) is voluntary…on the other hand you can’t opt out of big government.
    Sorry, Gary, but in big government’s eyes you are one of what VI Lenin termed a UI (useful idiot). Just go away and spare us your meaningless drivel.

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