Category: COVID-19
Fort Detrick, where the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID) is located, is the center of U.S. bio-military activities and notorious for its illegal, non-transparent and unsafe practices.
worker | August 31, 2021 | 8:41 pm | COVID-19 | Comments closed

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-08-26/Full-text-Doubtful-Points-about-Fort-Detrick-USAMRIID–1323OC7GDgA/index.html

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Full text: Doubtful Points about Fort Detrick (USAMRIID)
CGTN

The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland, U.S., April 4, 2006. /CFP

A senior Chinese diplomat said on Tuesday that the labs of Fort Detrick and University of North Carolina in the United States should be subject to “transparent investigation with full access” for the origins tracing of COVID-19.

Ambassador Chen Xu, permanent representative of China to the United Nations (UN) Office at Geneva, said in his letter to World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus that the hypothesis of introduction of SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – into human population was caused by lab leak in the Wuhan Institute of Virology is “extremely unlikely.”

The following is the full text of the non-paper attached to the letter by the diplomat titled “Doubtful Points about Fort Detrick (U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease).”

Fort Detrick, where the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID) is located, is the center of U.S. bio-military activities and notorious for its illegal, non-transparent and unsafe practices. Serious concerns have long been raised by the international community over U.S. activities at Fort Detrick, in particular about USAMRIID, and there are many doubtful points about its connections with COVID-19.

1. Fort Detrick was the center of the U.S. biological weapons program in history and USAMRIID was the main research entity there.

Fort Detrick was known as the center of the U.S. government’s darkest experiments. It remains the development center for U.S. germ warfare research, even after U.S. renouncement of all offensive biological weapons programs in 1969 and ratification to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) in 1975.

2. The BSL-4 lab in USAMRIID is the only BSL-4 lab of the U.S. military.

USAMRIID stores almost all known deadly pathogens, such as Ebola, anthrax, smallpox, plague, and coronaviruses including SARS. Several staff in USAMRIID have conducted researches related to SARS, MERS and other coronaviruses. Back in 2003, after the SARS outbreak, USAMRIID worked with Ralph Baric’s team from the University of North Carolina (UNC) and developed a novel reverse genetic system for manipulation of a full-length cDNA of the SARS-CoV, and relevant outcomes were published in a paper in 2003.

According to the paper, within two months after obtaining the RNA of the SARS virus, the full-length cDNA of the virus was successfully synthesized. This shows that as early as 2003, these institutes already had the advanced capabilities to synthesize and modify SARS-related coronaviruses.

In 2007, USAMRIID published a paper in the Journal of Virology about using the Ebola virus to conduct animal testing on rhesus monkeys. The virus strains used in the experiments were obtained through reverse genetics techniques, to specifically remove the furin cleavage site, in order to compare the changes in virulence of the viruses. It is worth noting that the furin cleavage site is believed to be one of the reasons that make SARS-CoV-2 highly virulent.

In 2018, USAMRIID carried out experiments on African green monkeys. The monkeys were experimentally infected with MERS-CoV to help study viral pathogenesis and develop vaccines. After COVID-19 broke out, USAMRIID and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), a research institute affiliated to the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, co-developed the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

A staff works in the USAMRIID’s BSL-4 lab, November 15, 2002. /CFP

3. Multiple bio-safety incidents have occurred in USAMRIID.

In 2001, five people were killed in an anthrax attack in the United States, and the suspect was a former employee of USAMRIID. In 2009, U.S. officials found during inspections that multiple pathogens studied in the institute were not listed in the lab database, and suspended some of the lab’s research.

In May 2014, Waverley View Investors LLC sued the U.S. Army for loopholes in Fort Detrick’s disposal of toxic waste, which caused the levels of trichloroethylene in the area to be 42 times as high as the federal standard. In February 2015, 106 families and individuals from Frederic County of Maryland filed a class action lawsuit against Fort Detrick for harm and death caused by exposure to hazardous materials from Fort Detrick and asked for $750 million in compensation. However, the U.S. government and army have consistently denied wrongdoing.

During U.S. CDC inspections to the USAMRIID lab in June 2019, serious violations were found. The CDC then shut down the lab and halted all researches in July 2019. The CDC reports laid out seven violations:

a. The USAMRIID systematically failed to ensure implementation of biosafety and containment procedures. Specifically, lab personnel were found to leave a door open while removing large amounts of biohazardous waste, greatly increasing the risk of pathogens escape and environment contamination.

b. An individual partially entered a room multiple times without the required respiratory protection while other people in that room were performing procedures with a non-human primate on a necropsy table, resulting in a respiratory occupational exposure to select agent aerosols.

c. The lab did not ensure that employee training was properly verified when it came to toxins and select agents, making it unable to assess whether lab personnel understood and commanded necessary skills.

d. Lab personnel did not wear gloves when disposing of biohazardous waste.

e. The lab failed to safeguard against unauthorized access to lab waste. Contaminated personal protective equipment was stored in specific area, but such area did not limit access to those with access approval.

f. Lab personnel did not maintain an accurate or current inventory for a toxin.

g. A lab building and its interior facilities did not have a sealed surface to facilitate cleaning and decontamination. Cracks were found around a conduit box, in the ceiling, and in the seam above a biological safety cabinet.

The lab restarted operation in November 2019, but it is not made public what has been done to redress these violations.

4. After the lab was shut down, outbreaks of respiratory diseases occurred in nearby communities.

In July 2019, 54 people in Greenspring, Virginia displayed respiratory symptoms including cough and pneumonia. The community is only one hour’s drive from Fort Detrick. According to a health official from the State of Virginia, the number of reported respiratory cases in the area went up nearly 50 percent in the summer of 2019.

In July 2019, a mysterious pneumonia outbreak associated with e-cigarette use was reported in Wisconsin. Symptoms included shortness of breath, fever, cough, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness and chest pain. Starting from then, an unprecedented outbreak of lung disease spread across the nation. As of December 17, 2019, more than 2,500 hospitalized cases were reported across 50 states. Experts believe this type of disease might represent one or more new clinical syndromes, and more researches are needed to determine the cause.

The 2019 influenza in the United States might have overlapped with COVID-19.

According to U.S. CDC statistics, there were about 39 to 56 million influenza cases between October 2019 and April 2020, resulting in 24,000 to 62,000 deaths. Given the similar symptoms, COVID-19 patients could have been misdiagnosed as influenza patients. To determine whether such cases exist, in particular in and prior to October 2019, a nationwide retrospective investigation and research should be done in the United States.

5. In March 2020, a petition was filed on the White House petition website, asking the U.S. government to disclose information related to Fort Detrick, especially the reason why the USAMRIID lab was shut down in 2019 and whether it had anything to do with COVID-19. The U.S. government has made no response, and the petition website has been taken offline altogether.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency
The U.S. intelligence community remains divided in its report on the origins of COVID-19 because their work was “intelligence-based instead of science-based,” Chinese virologists said after the report was released on Friday.
worker | August 31, 2021 | 8:27 pm | COVID-19 | Comments closed

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-08-29/Scientists-U-S-virus-report-divided-because-it-s-intelligence-based-137CVFtSjHa/index.html

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Scientists: U.S. report on COVID-19 divided because it’s intelligence-based, not science-based
By Wu Guoxiu

Uncle Sam’s selective vision on COVID-19 origins tracing. /CGTN

The U.S. intelligence community remains divided in its report on the origins of COVID-19 because their work was “intelligence-based instead of science-based,” Chinese virologists said after the report was released on Friday.

A Chinese virologist told CGTN on condition of anonymity that the report shows the U.S. intelligence community generally tends to believe the novel coronavirus came from nature, but they lack evidence and confidence in the conclusion. A small number of people still think it might have something to do with a “lab leak.”

The divided opinions inside the U.S. intelligence community rooted in their intelligence-based research method, the expert said.

“But the report ruled out the possibility that the virus was man-made or genetically engineered. It also acknowledged that the Chinese government did not have foreknowledge of the virus before the initial outbreak of COVID-19,” the expert said.

Another Chinese virologist close to the World Health Organization (WHO) – China joint study on origins tracing wrote in a statement to CGTN that the U.S. intelligence community continues to include the extremely unlikely laboratory incident as the potential origin for SARS-CoV-2.

The report “unfairly criticized China’s cooperation with the WHO, even though no other countries have invited the WHO to conduct origins tracing research twice since the pandemic began,” the expert added.

“Politicizing the issue is the most negative factor in delaying global efforts to trace the origins of the virus,” the expert stressed.

When asked whether the intelligence community should be involved in COVID-19 origins tracing, Marion Koopmans, a Dutch virologist and member of the WHO-China joint team who came to Wuhan in March, said in a written interview with CGTN that “I do not think that is up to me. The intelligence community defines its own agenda.”

“However, I do think that the discussion about origins has a political angle that makes it more difficult to work together as scientists,” she wrote.

“It is part of the reality, and understandable given the impact of this pandemic and the global interest in finding the origins. But mixing political and scientific discussions is not a good combination,” she added.

Koopmans and 10 other international scientists on the WHO’s SARS-CoV-2 origins tracing team to China published an article in Nature on Wednesday. They warned that “the window of opportunity for conducting the inquiry is closing fast.”

Koopmans further elaborated on that in the interview with CGTN.

“We recommended specific studies, some of which are time sensitive. For instance, going back to test blood donations collected in the second half of 2019. We discussed this in Wuhan and were told donations would be kept, although normally they will be destroyed after two years. So in Wuhan this will still be possible. But we recommend studies in all places where there was evidence for early circulation, inside and outside China,” she said.

In the Nature article, the international scientists listed six priorities for follow-up origins-tracing studies, highlighting critical trace-back of people and animals in regions inside and outside China that have the earliest evidence for circulation of the virus, and targeted surveys of possible reservoir or intermediate animal hosts of the virus.

But it did not include the “lab leak” theory as a priority. They said in the article that no new evidence supporting the “lab leak” hypothesis has been reported to the WHO so far.

Koopmans told CGTN that they still stand by their conclusions in the WHO-China joint report, that a zoonotic spillover is the most likely origin of the virus.

“We feel that all cards are still on the table as long as we really do not know what happened. SARS-CoV-2 is a close relative of bat viruses, but what the steps in between have been we do not know. For instance, if the serological study would find evidence for pockets of cases earlier, that is where we would recommend detailed epidemiological investigation, including asking about lab work. We still stand by our conclusions in the report that we consider a zoonotic spillover the most likely pathway,” she said.

In a response to the U.S. intelligence community’s report, Zeng Yixin, deputy minister of the National Health Commission, said on Sunday that China supports the expansion of coronavirus origins tracing to comprise probes into multiple countries, including the U.S. He also said that COVID-19 origins tracing is a “scientific job.”

“Therefore, the Chinese government has always stated that the job should be conducted in a scientific way, and China opposes politicizing it,” he stressed.

That’s been echoed in the Nature article that “understanding the origins of a devastating pandemic is a global priority, grounded in science.”

(CGTN’s Cao Qingqing contributed to the report.)

Cuba receives medical supply donation from China as pandemic worsens
worker | August 31, 2021 | 8:23 pm | China, COVID-19, Cuba | Comments closed

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-08-29/Cuba-receives-medical-supply-donation-from-China-as-pandemic-worsens-137Su4Auhmo/index.html

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Cuba receives medical supply donation from China as pandemic worsens
00:42

Cuba on August 28 received medical supplies donated by the Chinese government to help it combat the spread of COVID-19, as the island endures a sharp rise in cases, deaths and hospitalizations.

The medical supplies include rapid COVID-19 antigen testing kits, surgical gloves and protective suits, adding to the ventilators and oxygen concentrators donated by China recently.

The Texas Covid Hospital Situation Is So Dire A Man Shot 6 Times 2 Weeks Ago Can’t Get Surgery.
worker | August 20, 2021 | 7:52 pm | COVID-19, Local/State | Comments closed

https://www.dailykos.com/story/2021/8/19/2046740/-The-Texas-Covid-Hospital-Situation-Is-So-Dire-A-Man-Shot-6-Times-2-Weeks-Ago-Can-t-Get-Surgery

Texas is where incompetence overlaps.  Maybe malevolence as well.  Unwilling to protect its citizens from gun violence, a man in Houston found out that if one gets shot, it might be a while before he gets help.

Let me restate that-a man needs surgery because he was shot.  He was shot because gun violence is wholly out of control in Houston.  Gun violence is out of control in Houston largely because you can buy one as easily as you pick up milk and bread.  And when the gentleman found himself victimized by a gun, shot six times, and in need of surgery, the overlapping incompetence that is exampled by a Governor who got himself infected with Covid, acts as a seventh wound.

It’s been 10 days since Joel Valdez was shot outside of a Houston grocery store, and he still hasn’t been able to undergo surgery, due to his hospital being overcrowded with COVID-19 patients.

Valdez was sitting inside his car on Aug. 6 when he was shot six times, an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire of a domestic dispute. He was brought to Ben Taub Hospital, where as of Monday morning the intensive care unit was at 103 percent capacity, with 33 percent of the beds filled with COVID-19 patients, The Washington Post reports.  Valdez was shot three times in his left shoulder and needs surgery, but the hospital is so overwhelmed by COVID-19 that he’s still waiting. “Everybody is really surprised I’m still in this bed a week later,” he told Fox 26 over the weekend.

With the highly contagious Delta variant spreading across the United States and millions of people still not vaccinated, hospitals in Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, and other states are reporting bed shortages. Valdez told Fox 26 it’s “a little frustrating” that he has “broken bones and bullets in me” but doctors don’t see getting him into surgery as an urgent matter. He advises his fellow Houston residents to “do your best to maintain your health and not end up in a situation that puts you in the hospital right now.”

As one might expect after being shot, Mr. Valdez would like to repair his bullet wounds in a timely manner if at all possible.

This makes sense.  Bullet holes in a human being tend to age poorly.  Most humans like to have said bullet holes fixed, so they can get back to their daily routines of playing Hunger Games: Road Rage Edition, trying to not get poisoned by a chemical plant leak, and building a waterproof platform on their roof for the now yearly floods climate change has wrought.

And don’t forget in wintertime some lucky Texans get chosen by electricity providers to do historical re-enactments where they burn anything combustible to stay alive.

Yes it is always an adrenaline rush in Texas.

So as you can see, Mr. Valdez has a lot challenges to face.

I wish him well and hope that there is no next time he gets shot, but if he does, it is during a time where hospitals don’t resemble something that could serve as the inspiration for the next Saw sequel.

Good luck Joel.

This is one horror movie none of us auditioned for.

And I wish someone would yell, “Cut!”

But ok.  That is one story.  However I need to spread more positivity.  The next story is the power of the woozle, particularly the woozle’s nose, and how it is helping us to fight Covid.

Airports have implemented safety measures to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, including temperature checks, cleaning robots and health apps. A recent trial used sniffer dogs to identify passengers with the virus. Dogs have up to 100,000 times the smelling sensitivity of humans, meaning our canine friends could be a helpful addition to Covid-19 screening measures at airports.

Complementing the likes of temperature checks and enforced Covid-19 testing, a new method is being trialled to identify passengers who test positive for the virus; the use of medical detection dogs. A canine screening trial recently took place with six dogs trained by charity Medical Detection Dogs to recognise the smell which is produced by people with Covid-19.

During the trial the dogs were able to correctly identify 88% of Covid-19 cases; however they also incorrectly flagged 16% of people who tested negative. The research is at an early stage which could see these false positives figures improving over time.

Full story at the link.  I just wanted to counter another aggravating Covid story with something positive.

It isn’t all bad news.  We just need to turn to faithful companions like pooties and woozles and birdies sometimes to see the brighter side of life.  Somebody is going to not be stricken with Covid because a trained hero woozle will sniff it out and isolate the victim.  Brick by positive brick we will build a Covid free nation.

One wet nose at a time.

 

Texas judge allows county to impose mask mandates in defiance of Governor Abbott’s ban for now
worker | August 12, 2021 | 6:11 pm | COVID-19, Local/State | Comments closed

https://www.rt.com/usa/531698-texas-judge-mask-mandates/

Texas judge allows county to impose mask mandates in defiance of Governor Abbott’s ban for now

Texas judge allows county to impose mask mandates in defiance of Governor Abbott’s ban for now
A Texas judge has ruled in favor of county officials who wish to revive mask mandates in their public schools, temporarily overriding a statewide ban on such measures as a number of school districts also vow to resist the order.

In a ruling on Tuesday, District Judge Antonia Arteaga said that Bexar County, including its largest city of San Antonio, may reinstate masking and quarantine requirements at public schools and other government facilities for now. The decision is temporary, however, pending another hearing on the issue set for next Monday.

Arteaga said she did not take the decision “lightly,” adding that she was swayed by public guidance from Junda Woo, medical director of San Antonio’s Metropolitan Health District and a vocal advocate for universal masking.

ALSO ON RT.COMDallas school district defies Texas gov’s mask mandate ban, says face coverings required as schools reopenImmediately after the decision, both San Antonio and Bexar County reinstituted mask mandates and quarantine rules for their public schools.

“We can get back to managing what is a very dangerous surge of this Delta variant in schools and otherwise,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said, referring to a more contagious mutation of the coronavirus making the rounds in the US.

The move comes on the heels of a lawsuit launched by officials in Bexar and San Antonio seeking to challenge Governor Greg Abbott’s recent ban on mask mandates. Tuesday’s ruling marks the first legal blow to his executive order, though school districts in Austin and Dallas have also vowed to ignore it. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, meanwhile, filed a similar lawsuit on Monday, which has yet to conclude.

A spokesperson for the governor, Renae Eze, responded to Arteaga’s ruling later on Tuesday, saying Abbott’s “resolve to protect the rights and freedoms of all Texans has not wavered” and that “dozens” of legal challenges to prior executive orders had been struck down before.

We expect a similar outcome when the San Antonio trial court’s decision is reviewed by the appellate courts.

In banning mask requirements late last month, Abbott insisted that Texas must rely on “personal responsibility rather than government mandates” as it fights the Covid-19 pandemic, also threatening penalties of up to $1,000 for local officials who refuse to abide by the order.

ALSO ON RT.COMGovernor Abbott threatens to fine local govts that order Texans to mask up as CDC U-turn triggers wave of new mandatesThink your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Jarvis DeBerry: As Louisiana’s COVID-19 cases spread, a gospel of selfishness spreads, too
worker | August 12, 2021 | 6:08 pm | COVID-19, Local/State | Comments closed

https://www.nola.com/opinions/article_b8e0ef54-f931-11eb-9c4f-5f9a2edbaef7.html

Jarvis DeBerry: As Louisiana’s COVID-19 cases spread, a gospel of selfishness spreads, too

NO.vaccinegraffiti.0001.JPG
A sign encouraging people to get vaccinated on the marquee of the First Grace First Grace United Methodist Church is seen vandalized with red paint in New Orleans, La. Friday, Aug. 6, 2021. (Photo by Max Becherer, NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)

Every Christian should know the story of the legal scholar who tells Jesus he knows he’s commanded to love his neighbor as much as he loves himself, but professes not to understand who his neighbor is. Without actually reciting the parable of the man who’s ambushed on Jericho Road and then revived and rescued by his presumed enemy, Gov. John Bel Edwards, who’s Catholic, has repeatedly alluded to that passage of Scripture when he’s begged residents to think of COVID-19 mitigation efforts as part of their duty to be good neighbors.

In a state where 84% of people say they’re Christian, convincing them to show concern and compassion for others shouldn’t be a hard sell. However, nearly all the opposition to the governor’s emergency orders has come from conservative Christians (some evangelical, some Catholic) who have elevated the so-called right of the individual not to be mildly inconvenienced over the public good of fewer deaths. We’ve heard theologically flimsy arguments against crowd restrictions, vaccinations and masks, all which suggest a belief that Christianity requires not neighborliness, but a selfish disregard for the well being of others.

“So it’s not love your neighbor so much,” Du Mez said by phone. “Well, you know, they’ll say the way that we love our neighbors is to stand for truth and righteousness and they are welcome to come join us. But, you know, it’s a different conception of loving one’s neighbor, for sure.”

COVID-19 hospitalizations are skyrocketing, and last week, Edwards wisely — if belatedly — announced a new statewide mask mandate. He also said Louisiana can’t lay claim to being the “most pro-life state in the nation” if its people won’t do the simplest things to thwart the spread of disease and its politicians won’t stop fomenting defiance of public health guidelines.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, a Catholic, is not an evangelical, but on the same day Edwards issued the new face mask order, Landry was offering form letters to parents looking to gin up religious or philosophical objections to face masks. “I do not consent to forcing a face covering on my child, who is created in the image of God,” the religious objection form says.

“I don’t believe he’s consulting with any public health experts,” Edwards said of Landry on PBS’s “Amanpour & Co.” Wednesday, “and what he’s doing has no basis in the law.”

It has no basis in the Bible either, notwithstanding Landry loading up that letter with scriptures.

“That’s just ridiculous,” Obery Hendricks, a professor of systematic theology, said of Landry’s suggestion that people use “image of God” language to get out of mask mandates. That would mean believers shouldn’t wear hats, Hendricks said, or “wear clothes at all.”

Hendricks, an elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church who teaches at Columbia University, has studied the same right-wing takeover of the faith Du Mez has. He calls his latest book “Christians Against Christianity: How Right-Wing Evangelicals Are Destroying Our Nation and Our Faith.”

“If they cared about the Bible, they would act very differently,” Hendricks said of people here and across America citing religion to resist health guidelines. “They would support the governor’s call for neighborliness. It seems their Bible doesn’t even include ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Seems like the part about obeying authority has fallen out with it. When the oppressed have protested mistreatment, conservative Christians have routinely flipped to Romans 13 and lectured that authorities are to be obeyed. But Democrats — even pro-life Democrats — aren’t called authorities. They’re called tyrants.

It doesn’t matter that conservative Christians are a small part of the population. They own a political party. That means their gospel of selfishness imperils us all.

Covid End of US Empire?
worker | August 12, 2021 | 5:53 pm | COVID-19, Imperialism | Comments closed

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/202108111083581935-covid-end-of-us-empire/

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The United States is facing perfect storm conditions for the grueling continuation of the Covid-19 pandemic. The long-term economic impact could hasten the end of its global power as we know it.

Infections, hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise again – as they are in other capitalist states. But the outlook for the U.S. is uniquely bleak.

Already, the US has the shameful title of having the world’s biggest death toll from the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and its disease Covid-19. At over 630,000 deaths, that represent nearly 15 percent of the world’s total. Despite a relatively high level of vaccination (50 percent of the population), the disease appears to be resurgent.

OCTAVIO JONES
Ambulances stand outside Morton Plant Hospital amid a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Clearwater, Florida, U.S., August 3, 2021. REUTERS/Octavio Jones

The problem for the United States is the dominance of capitalist imperatives over social policy which prevents a coherent, effective public health strategy. The imperative of private profit is also present in European nations, but to a lesser extent compared with the US. Britain is probably closer to the US than any other European country in its compliance with capitalist interests, and it is no coincidence that Britain has the worst Covid-19 mortality in Europe, despite having a high rate of vaccination.

Compliance with capitalist interests prevents a proven policy of containing and eradicating the Covid-19 virus. That policy is best seen in practice in China where the government implements strict lockdowns, travel restrictions, widespread testing, rapid tracing of infections, masking-wearing in public, and mass vaccination. However, that policy is made feasible because China’s socialist system provides the public resources to enable compliance. Public health is the priority, not commercial interests.

By contrast, in the United States, the public is largely expected to bear the costs of lockdowns, long-term unemployment and general living costs. With an over-reliance on vaccination alone, the Biden administration is declaring the end of lockdowns, social distancing and wearing of masks. Government aid for the unemployed and rental assistance for families is being terminated.

Workers are being forced back to workplaces and schools are being reopened in total denial of the epidemiological scientific advice to maintain isolation. Why? Because of the imperative for capitalist businesses to resume profit-making. And of course, without adequate government support to laid-off workers, many millions of citizens are frustrated by the need to get back to work.

One can easily understand anti-lockdown protests when people are not given financial support to cope with lockdown. The problem is not the practice of public health policy per se, it is the practice of public health policy in a capitalist society where there is little support for furloughed workers.

People in masks stand on the observation deck of the Empire State Building during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, U.S.
© REUTERS / ANDREW KELLY
People in masks stand on the observation deck of the Empire State Building during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, U.S.

Another distinctive problem for the United States – and to lesser extent European states – is the inordinate level of misinformation. Millions of Americans believe that there is no pandemic. Despite the death toll and prevalent sickness, it is incredible that so many people are convinced that the pandemic phenomenon is all a hoax. Such a view is particularly popular among Trump supporters and US Republicans who hold the outlandish conspiratorial belief that it’s all a giant ruse to take away individual liberty, impose a “Grand Reset” and a “fascist liberal tyranny” (what a discombobulation!).

This kind of unscientific conspiracy delusion feeds into other irrational convictions that are opposed to wearing face masks in public or against the administering of vaccines. Irresponsible pundits and media commentators especially on the right-wing Murdoch outlets Fox and Sky promulgate anti-vaccination theories that are deterring large sections of the population from taking up inoculation. Some of the wilder fringes actually believe that vaccines will turn us into zombies as in the horror film, I Am Legend. Then these same pundits talk about the danger of “Covid civil war” breaking out. Well, they have helped create an atmosphere of confusion, fear, ignorance and distrust.

The United States is doomed. In its private-profit-driving society, all basic measures of public health management are confounded. On top of this, the level of misinformation and misdirection also further thwarts a rational plan to contain the pandemic. That is why we are seeing a grave resurgence in the pandemic across the United States. By failing to contain the disease, the perfect storm conditions in the US make for the emergence of new deadlier variants of Covid-19. The biggest worry is that the existing vaccines will no longer be effective against a newer virulent strain of the virus.

Millennia of history attest that deadly plagues have altered the course of history and have even wiped out civilizations.

For most of the past century, many observers have pondered on whether the United States and its global imperial power would be taken down through war with a geopolitical rival such as the Soviet Union or more recently Russia and China.

Then along comes an invisible danger, a virus, that is ripping through the United States in a way not foreseen. And the vulnerability of the US is all down to its own internal failings as a capitalist society saturated with misinformation.

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.