MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘biodefense’

National Security State Left US Defenseless Against Coronavirus – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on April 8, 2020

For decades, the military-industrial-congressional complex has force-fed the American public a warped conception of US national security focused entirely around perpetuating warfare. The cynical conflation of national security with waging war on designated enemies around the globe effectively stifled public awareness of the clear and present danger posed to its survival by global pandemic.

…the HHS made no serious effort to replenish the country’s diminished stockpiles of masks, ventilators, and other critical supplies. And even if it had, it would have had to have competed with a much more powerful military-industrial complex for funding…

Big government is the problem, not the solution.

https://original.antiwar.com/porter/2020/04/07/national-security-state-left-us-defenseless-against-coronavirus/

Responsibility for pandemic preparation was privatized under the Obama and Trump administrations. It·s time to face down the national security state that wasted trillions on imperial wars and abandoned Americans to fight coronavirus alone.

Donald Trump’s failure to act decisively to control the coronavirus pandemic has likely made the Covid-19 pandemic far more lethal than it should have been. But the reasons behind failure to get protective and life-saving equipment like masks and ventilators into the hands of health workers and hospitals run deeper than Trump’s self-centered recklessness.

Both the Obama and Trump administrations quietly delegated state and local authorities with the essential national security responsibility for obtaining and distributing these vital items. The failure of leadership was compounded the lack of any federal power center that embraced the idea that guarding for a pandemic was at least as important to national security as preparing for war.

For decades, the military-industrial-congressional complex has force-fed the American public a warped conception of US national security focused entirely around perpetuating warfare. The cynical conflation of national security with waging war on designated enemies around the globe effectively stifled public awareness of the clear and present danger posed to its survival by global pandemic. As a result, Congress was simply not called upon to fund the vitally important equipment that doctors and nurses needed for the Covid-19 crisis.

At the heart of the growing coronavirus crisis in the US is a severe shortage of N95 respirators and ventilators. Those items should have been available in sufficient numbers through the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), which holds the nation’s largest supplies necessary for national emergencies. But the stocks of crucial medical have not been maintained for years, largely because Congress has not provided the necessary funding.

Congress has been willing to dole out load of cash after pandemics hit the US. When the H1N1 flu crisis hit the United States in 2009, and close to 300,000 Americans were hospitalized, Congress appropriated $7.7 billion in special funding, including support for building up the SNS. That allowed the stockpile to provide 85 million respirators and millions of ventilators to hospitals around the country, especially during the second half of the yearlong crisis.

But since that 2009-10 crisis ended, the stockpile of such vital equipment has never been replenished. In 2020 the stockpile holds only 12 million N95 respirators – as little as 1 percent of what is now needed by health workers – and just 16,000 ventilators, compared with the estimated 750,000 people at minimum who will need a ventilator because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

These numbers are so scandalously low in relation to what is needed that senior officials Department of Health and Human Services have refused to reveal publicly how many they have in stock.

The failure to maintain those items in the stockpile was not the result of any lack of warning about the serious risk of a global pandemic that could be worse than any since the 1918 Spanish flu. It has been obvious that the frequency and ferocity of such rapidly spreading flu pandemics has been steadily rising throughout the 21st century.

The parade of recent pandemics began with SARS in 2002-3, continued with the much more serious H1N1 pandemic in 2009, and escalated with the spread of MERS IN 2012. Each one involved influenza viruses.

The H1N1 pandemic infected nearly 61 million Americans and hospitalized 274,000, causing 12,500 deaths. Another epidemic of the Ebola virus spread across much of Africa in 2014-16 but made only a slight appearance in the United States.

George Poste, a former director of Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute with close ties to the US military-intelligence apparatus, warned in 2018 that even though the horror of the 1918 flu epidemic had not been repeated, it was “inevitable that a pandemic strain of equal virulence will emerge.”

The awareness of the threat of a pandemic even reached into the National Security Council. In 2015, once the Ebola crisis had passed, the Obama administration’s departing Ebola coordinator convinced the White House to create an National Security Council (NSC) office for the threat from pandemics.

Then, a week before Trump’s inauguration, Obama’s outgoing homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco, organized a simulation based on how the administration would respond to what she called a “nightmare scenario”: a flu pandemic that forces a halt to international travel and causes a stock market crash and for which there is no effective vaccine.

In May 2018, Luciana Borio, the director for medical and biodefense preparedness on the NSC staff, declared publicly that a flu pandemic that we “know cannot be stopped at the border” was the leading health security threat, and that the United States was not prepared for it.

But neither the NSC office nor the NSC itself produced a major initiative to focus political attention on the pandemic threat. The office’s role, as described by Beth Cameron, who oversaw it, was limited to closely monitoring global health threats to provide early warning of any potential pandemic.

So when arch-militarist John Bolton promptly downgraded the office after becoming Trump’s national security adviser, it made little difference.

Responsibility for domestic preparedness for a pandemic has always belonged not to NSC but to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS organized a month-long simulation in 2019 involving a number of federal offices that ultimately demonstrated how seriously unprepared the government was to cope with a pandemic. Following such an exercise, it should have been obvious that a new stockpile of necessary medical gear was urgently needed.

However, the HHS made no serious effort to replenish the country’s diminished stockpiles of masks, ventilators, and other critical supplies. And even if it had, it would have had to have competed with a much more powerful military-industrial complex for funding, and almost certainly would have failed.

Deeply entrenched bureaucracies and defense contractors dominate the federal government. Thanks to hefty campaign contributions and other benefits to members of Congress who control budgetary decisions, the national security state is easily able to secure its demands. In contrast, no such lobbying complex exists to ensure the country is adequately prepared for a pandemic.

In fact, as Greg Burel, the director of the US strategic stockpile from 2009 to 2021, explained, HHS and the Strategic National Stockpile lost all responsibility for sending N-95 masks and ventilators to state and local health services and hospitals in a national health emergency. Hospitals and state and local health departments must therefore compete with one another to obtain limited commercially available suppliers after they are already knee-deep in a pandemic.

Responsibility for the preparation for the most significant threat to US security – a pandemic that would upend the economy and society as a whole – was thus privatized under both the Obama and Trump administrations.

At the same time, a bipartisan consensus emerged around shoveling $15 trillion in taxpayer money into wars that had little to do with national security in any true sense, and focused instead on the perpetuation of American empire.

The catastrophic human consequences of the failure to provide these essentials for a minimally adequate response should become the basis of nationwide political movement that takes on the national security state and its deadly grip on Congress.

Multi-billion-dollar weapons systems may have provided lucrative kickbacks to members of Congress and spacious Northern Virginia McMansions to arms industry lobbyists, but they have not provided an iota of security from coronavirus.

Such a movement would have seemed impossible only a few weeks ago. But after decades of preemption of resources for the parochial interests of a self-serving national security bureaucracy and its elite political allies, it is clear that most Americans have been abandoned before a pandemic their leaders dismissed and ignored.

A simple insistence that the actual security interests of the American people be served, rather than those of militarists who have hijacked the concept of national security for their own self-interest, is paramount.

A movement demanding this radical shift could be driven by very reasonable expectation that untold hundreds of thousands could die during a series of viral outbreaks throughout the next decade. As Dr. Peter Daszek, the president of the EcoHealth Alliance and a leading expert in predicting their impact of pandemics, recently told the Wall Street Journal, “We’re going to be hit with a much bigger one sometime in the next 10 years.”

Be seeing you

Government IS the Problem | PA Pundits - International

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

All Roads Lead to Dark Winter – TheAltWorld

Posted by M. C. on April 8, 2020

More recently, this past July, the same Fort Detrick lab would be shut down by the CDC, after it was found that researchers “did not maintain an accurate or current inventory” for toxins and “failed to safeguard against unauthorized access to select agents.” The closure of the lab for its numerous breaches of biosafety protocols would be hidden from Congress and the facility would controversially be partially reopened last November before all of the identified biosafety issues were resolved.

http://thealtworld.com/whitney_webb/all-roads-lead-to-dark-winter

The leaders of two controversial pandemic simulations that took place just months before the Coronavirus crisis – Event 201 and Crimson Contagion – share a common history, the 2001 biowarfare simulation Dark Winter. Dark Winter not only predicted the 2001 anthrax attacks, but some of its participants had clear foreknowledge of those attacks.

During the presidency of George H.W. Bush in the early 1990s, something disturbing unfolded at the U.S.’ top biological warfare research facility at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Specimens of highly contagious and deadly pathogens – anthrax and ebola among them – had disappeared from the lab, at a time when lab workers and rival scientists had been accused of targeted sexual and ethnic harassment and several disgruntled researchers had left as a result.

In addition to missing samples of anthrax, ebola, hanta virus and a variant of AIDS, two of the missing specimens had been labeled “unknown” – “an Army euphemism for classified research whose subject was secret,” according to reports. The vast majority of the specimens lost were never found and an Army spokesperson would later claim that it was “likely some were simply thrown out with the trash.”

An internal Army inquiry in 1992 would reveal that one employee, Lt. Col. Philip Zack, had been caught on camera secretly entering the lab to conduct “unauthorized research, apparently involving anthrax,” the Hartford Courant would later report. Despite this, Zack would continue to do infectious disease research for pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and would collaborate with the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) throughout the 1990s.

The Courant had also noted that: “A numerical counter on a piece of lab equipment had been rolled back to hide work done by the mystery researcher [later revealed to be Zack], who left the misspelled label ‘antrax’ in the machine’s electronic memory.” The Courant’s report further detailed the extremely lax security controls and chaotic disorganization that then characterized the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) lab in Fort Detrick.

This same lab would, a decade later, be officially labeled as the source of the anthrax spores responsible for the 2001 anthrax attacks, attacks which are also officially said to have been the work of a “deranged” USAMRIID researcher, despite initially having been blamed on Saddam Hussein and Iraq by top government officials and mainstream media. Those attacks killed 5 Americans and sickened 17.

Yet, as the investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks unfolded, accusations from major U.S. newspapers soon emerged that the FBI was deliberately sabotaging the probe to protect the Anthrax attacker and that the CIA and U.S. military intelligence had refused to cooperate with the investigation. The FBI did not officially close their investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks, nicknamed “Amerithrax,” until 2010 and aspects of that investigation still remain classified.

More recently, this past July, the same Fort Detrick lab would be shut down by the CDC, after it was found that researchers “did not maintain an accurate or current inventory” for toxins and “failed to safeguard against unauthorized access to select agents.” The closure of the lab for its numerous breaches of biosafety protocols would be hidden from Congress and the facility would controversially be partially reopened last November before all of the identified biosafety issues were resolved.

The same day that the lab was controversially allowed to partially reopen, which was the result of heavy lobbying from the Pentagon, local news outlets reported that the lab had suffered “two breaches of containment” last year, though the nature of those breaches and the pathogens involved were redacted in the inspection findings report obtained by the Frederick News Post. Notably, USAMRIID has, since the 1980s, worked closely with virologists and virology labs in Wuhan, China, where the first epicenter of the current novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases emerged. The Chinese government has since alleged that the virus had been brought to China by members of the U.S. military, members of which attended the World Military Games in the country last October.

Such similarities among these Fort Detrick lab breaches, from the early 1990s to 2001 to the present, may be nothing more than unfortunate coincidences that are the result of a stubborn federal government and military that have repeatedly refused to enforce the necessary stringent safety precautions on the nation’s top biological warfare laboratory.

Yet, upon examining not only these biosafety incidents at Fort Detrick, but the 2001 Anthrax attacks and the current Covid-19 outbreak, another odd commonality stands out — high-level war games exercise took place in June 2001 that eerily predicted not only the Anthrax attacks, but also the initial government narrative of those attacks and much, much more.

That June 2001 exercise, known as “Dark Winter,” also predicted many aspects of government pandemic response that would later re-emerge in last October’s simulation “Event 201,” which predicted a global pandemic caused by a novel Coronavirus just months before the Covid-19 outbreak. In addition, the U.S. government would lead its own multi-part series of pandemic simulations, called “Crimson Contagion,” that would also predict aspects of the Covid-19 outbreak and government response.

Upon further investigation, key leaders of both Event 201 and Crimson Contagion, not only have deep and longstanding ties to U.S. Intelligence and the U.S. Department of Defense, they were all previously involved in that same June 2001 exercise, Dark Winter. Some of these same individuals would also play a role in the FBI’s “sabotaged” investigation into the subsequent Anthrax attacks and are now handling major aspects of the U.S. government’s response to the Covid-19 crisis. One of those individuals, Robert Kadlec, was recently put in charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) entire Covid-19 response efforts, despite the fact that he was recently and directly responsible for actions that needlessly infected Americans with Covid-19. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

US Biowarfare Programs Have 13,000 Death Scientists Hard at Work – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on March 17, 2020

Boyle’s remarks came in response to written questions from Sherwood Ross, a Miami, Fla.-based columnist. Asked if the recent outbreaks of Ebola in Sierra Leone and Liberia could be from U.S. Government-backed facilities, Boyle replied:

“These Ebola vaccines were experimental U.S. biowarfare vaccines that were being tested out in West Africa. It was a result of testing out of the U.S. biowarfare vaccines at our lab in Kenema, Sierra Leone, that created the West African Ebola pandemic in the first place.”

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/03/no_author/u-s-biowarfare-programs-have-13000-death-scientists-hard-at-work/

By Sherwood Ross

Report by reporter Sherwood Ross of Statements made by Francis Boyle who Drafted the US Implementing Law of the Biological Weapons Convention

America’s $100-billion Germ Warfare
Industry a “Criminal Enterprise,”
Author of U.S. Biowarfare Act Says

The American legal authority who in 1989 drafted the law Congress enacted to comply with the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention says the U.S. today [October 11, 2015] is in flagrant violation of that Convention.

“Since Sept. 11, 2001, we have spent somewhere in the area of $100 billion” on offensive biological warfare, charges Professor Francis Boyle of the University of Illinois, Champaign.

Boyle said an estimated 13,000 “death scientists” in 400 laboratories in the U.S. and abroad, are employed making new strains of offensive killer germs that will be resistant to vaccines.

For example, Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka’s group at the University of Wisconsin has found a way to increase the toxicity of the flu virus by 200 times! Boyle says Kawaoka is “the same death scientist who resurrected the genocidal Spanish Flu virus for the Pentagon for offensive biowarfare purposes.”

As for fighting flu, the National Institutes of Health in 2006, a typical year, got only $120 million from Congress to fight flu, which kills an estimated 36,000 Americans annually.  By contrast, Congress gave NIH $1.76 billion for “biodefense,” even though the anthrax outbreak in 2001 killed just five persons.

“These distorted budgetary allocations,” (spending 15 times as much for germ warfare as for fighting flu) demonstrate that the priority here is not the promotion of the public health of American citizens but rather to further develop the U.S. offensive biowarfare industry that will someday ‘blowback’ upon the American people with a catastrophic pandemic,” Boyle said.

He went on to say the Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) are “ready, willing, and able to launch biowarfare when it suits their interests…They have a super-weapons-grade anthrax that they already used against us in October, 2001.”

Boyle here was referring to the anthrax pathogens mailed to two U.S. Senators (Tom Daschle, of South Dakota and Patrick Leahy, of Vermont) and others after 9/11 that were traced back to the Government’s biowarfare lab at Fort Detrick, Md.

Boyle’s remarks came in response to written questions from Sherwood Ross, a Miami, Fla.-based columnist. Asked if the recent outbreaks of Ebola in Sierra Leone and Liberia could be from U.S. Government-backed facilities, Boyle replied:

“These Ebola vaccines were experimental U.S. biowarfare vaccines that were being tested out in West Africa. It was a result of testing out of the U.S. biowarfare vaccines at our lab in Kenema, Sierra Leone, that created the West African Ebola pandemic in the first place.”

Boyle warned that the Galveston National Laboratory in Texas, a high-containment research lab, has been seeking for potential biowarfare agents in the wild in other parts of the world “in order to turn them into biological weapons.”

He said, “They should shut down Galveston as an ongoing criminal enterprise along the lines of the S.S. and the Gestapo — except that Galveston is far more dangerous to humanity than Hitler’s death squads ever were.”

Boyle added, “American universities have a long history of willingly permitting their research agenda, researchers, institutes, and laboratories to be co-opted, corrupted, and perverted by the the Pentagon and the C.I.A. into death science. These include Wisconsin, North Carolina, Boston U., Harvard, M.I.T., Tulane, University of Chicago, and my own University of Illinois, as well as many others.”

Be seeing you

Insecticide lethal to Monarch Butterflies will be used ...

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »