Monday, November 08, 2021

Dr. Scott Gottlieb: Next Panicdemic, We'll Have To Involve Our Instruments Of National Security

nakedcapitalism |  “We’ll have to involve our instruments of National Security.” This is mere question begging. Surely the intelligence agencies are not the only state organs capable of prediction and analysis? (To be fair, I can understand why one might wish to fall back on one of the few institutions in our sclerotic state that actually does function, rather like calling in the Army to handle nursing home staffing or container jams.)

One obvious reason run screaming from the room if anybody proposes Gottlieb’s idea is this episode. From Scientific American, “How the CIA’s Fake Vaccination Campaign Endangers Us All“:

In its zeal to identify bin Laden or his family, the CIA used a sham hepatitis B vaccination project to collect DNA in the neighborhood where he was hiding. The effort apparently failed, but the violation of trust threatens to set back global public health efforts by decades.

It is hard enough to distribute, for example, polio vaccines to children in desperately poor, politically unstable regions that are rife with 10-year-old rumors that the medicine is a Western plot to sterilize girls—false assertions that have long since been repudiated by the Nigerian religious leaders who first promoted them. Now along come numerous credible reports of a vaccination campaign that is part of a CIA plot—one the U.S. has not denied.

The deadly consequences have already begun. Villagers along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border chased off legitimate vaccine workers, accusing them of being spies. Taliban commanders banned polio vaccinations in parts of Pakistan, specifically citing the bin Laden ruse as justification. Then, last December, nine vaccine workers were murdered in Pakistan, eventually prompting the United Nations to withdraw its vaccination teams. Two months later gunmen killed 10 polio workers in Nigeria—a sign that the violence against vaccinators may be spreading.

Such attacks could not come at a worse time. The global polio campaign has entered what should be its final stages. The number of cases has dropped from 350,000 in 1988 to 650 in 2011. The disease spreads naturally in only three countries—Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria—down from more than 125 countries a quarter of a century ago. Disrupting or postponing vaccination efforts could fan a resurgence of polio around the world.

The distrust sowed by the sham campaign in Pakistan could conceivably postpone polio eradication for 20 years, leading to 100,000 more cases that might otherwise not have occurred, says Leslie F. Roberts of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “Forevermore, people would say this disease, this crippled child is because the U.S. was so crazy to get Osama bin Laden,” he argues.

100,000 crippled children because CIA operatives hijacked a public health effort, good job. Gottlieb is, of course, aware of this episode. His idea is that if the public health people are “at the table” good things will happen. Perhaps the Norms Fairy will intervene, I don’t know. Page 370:


In Netanyahu's America, IDF Veterans Get American Veterans' Preferences...,

responsiblestatecraft  |   In what might sound like something out of Louis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, or for the more modern twist...