Chasing Terrorists vs. Chasing Swine Flu

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Emily Spence, 05 August, 2009.

Are inoculations and coercive military intervention the best strategies that the U.S. leadership can muster in response to worries erupting after the initial H1N1 outbreak? No, the innovative Chinese “plan” proves otherwise …

… “It’s true that influenza viruses are unpredictable, so it does call for a certain degree of caution. But one of the extraordinary features of this influenza — and the whole influenza saga — is that there are some people who make predictions year after year, and they get worse and worse. None of them so far have come about, and these people are still there making these predictions. For example, what happened with the bird flu, which was supposed to kill us all? Nothing. But that doesn’t stop these people from always making their predictions. Sometimes you get the feeling that there is a whole industry almost waiting for a pandemic to occur.”  

“The WHO and public health officials, virologists and the pharmaceutical companies. They’ve built this machine around the impending pandemic. And there’s a lot of money involved, and influence, and careers, and entire institutions! And all it took was one of these influenza viruses to mutate to start the machine grinding.”

“… With rhinoviruses, RSV and the majority of the other viruses, it’s hard to make a lot of money or a career out of it. Against influenza, though, there are vaccines, and there are drugs you can sell. And that’s where the big money from the pharmaceuticals industry is. It makes sure that research on influenza is published in the good journals. And that’s why you have more attention being paid there, and the entire research field becomes interesting for ambitious scientists.”

In a similar vein, Many in Congress Hold Stakes in Health Industry – NYTimes.com. As Greg Gordon and Andrew Donohue point out in “Members of Congress Face Conflict of Interest When it Comes to Drug Companies “, which contains an eye opening list of related articles:

“These senators, House members and their families own tens of millions of dollars in stock in drug manufacturers, whose profits could rise or fall depending on what Congress does about the soaring prices of medicine and the push for Medicare drug benefits.”

So, along with voting in favor of bailout funds to go to institutions in which they have holdings, why shouldn’t members of Congress be in favor of taxpayers’ money also going towards a gargantuan Swine Flu immunization program when it is, obviously, so personally lucrative? Would they care that “Conflict of interest taints vaccine approval process, charges US report “, posted at National Center for Biotechnology Information web site, exists? Are they concerned that lists like “Ten Things You’re Not Supposed to Know about the Swine Flu Vaccine ” are formulated as warnings for an undiscerning public whose fright over the illness has been intentionally whipped up to an irrational frenzy by sensational MSM coverage? Of course, these reports make no difference since greed and alarm trumps all!

In the meantime, you won’t find me at another American airport any time soon. At the same time, anyone expecting me to join the obedient conformist throng to be a new vaccination guinea pig had better think twice about holding his breath while waiting for me to get in line.

Put another way: “Government health agencies colluded with Big Pharma to hide the risks” , according to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. In view of that, I’m, frankly, not willing to gamble with my health at either a U.S. flight terminal or in experimental trials for hastily developed drugs.

Emily Spence is an author living in Massachusetts. She has spent many years involved in human rights, environmental and social services efforts. (full long text).

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