The Queen's Men Can't
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Minions of the British Crown pressured the World Health Organization (WHO) to schedule a two-day expert panel on the pros and cons of authorizing the use of untested experimental drugs inside the ebola outbreak zone. Celebrity microbiologists are hailing evangelical missionary Dr. Kent Brantly’s rebound from an ebola infection contracted in Sierra Leone, thanks to a novel wonder drug called ZMapp.
With rapt attention, world audiences watched a thrilling televised drama of a chivalrous medical volunteer helping his felled female colleague, followed by a desperate flight out of Africa and then a stake-out of reporters in front of an American hospital. Tales emerged from an isolation chamber of how a chilled vial of “secret” serum dripping into the hero’s veins saved his life within an hour.
If the astounding comeback from certain death sounds too good to be true, it probably is. In the media-driven panic over the spreading ebola contagion, any doubts about the antibody-based therapy and inconsistencies in the Brantly story are being trampled under a stampede of foreign medical personnel fleeing West Africa.
First off, the attribution of his near-instant recovery to ZMapp is fabricated nonsens. It is physiologically impossible for antibodies to trigger a patient’s immune reaction in anything less than a day. A closer look at the bio-engineered antibodies in the drug cocktail reveals a reckless disregard of the potential cancer threat to patients. The many proponents of monoclonal antibody (Mab) therapy are well aware of the cancerous anemia risks, because the few laboratory animal studies were much too short to monitor the aftereffects in rats and monkeys.
In the waves the media hype, some numbers needs clarification about ebola outbreak: The mortality rate from ebola is nowhere near 90 percent. At worst, it is less than half that, and most of those victims probably died from combination of pathogens not just ebola. While ebola killed less than 1,000 people this year, in the meanwhile the deaths of somewhere around a quarter million people in Africa, mostly children, died of malaria in the same period without making any headlines in the Western press.
Three Divos of Virology
A trio of London-based microbiologists strongly urged the use of untested experimental drugs in Africa to protect health workers in an August 8 conference call with officials at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. The shrill voices insisting on dispensing untested drugs include:
- David Heymann, director of Global Health Security at Chatham House, the British global-policy counterpart of the Council on Foreign Relations. As WHO assistant director, Heymann gained notoriety in 2002 for his medically incorrect pinning of the acronym SARS on to the Hong Kong coronavirus outbreak. Since coronavirus has dissimilar symptoms from severe acute respiratory syndrome, the term was a politicized reference to the territory’s Special Administration Region status following the handover of the Crown colony to China’s sovereignty. In Tory tradition, the American microbiologist was rewarded for the vengeful slap against decolonized Hong Kong when the Royal Family gave him the title of honorary Commander of the British Empire (CBE). Perhaps his disease of low esteem for one;s birthplace should be called BAS. Benedict Arnold Syndrome.
- Jeremy Farrar, a British professor of tropical medicine at Oxford University and director of the Wellcome Trust. The medical charity was established by a grant from Sir Henry Wellcome, a Wisconsin-born pharmaceutical tycoon who in the late 19th century founded the predecessor company of GlaxoSmithKline. In 1910, Wellcome became a British subject and was accordingly honored with a knighthood for treason against his native democratic republic. Second only to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust promotes prescription drug use in the developing world, including Africa.
- Baron Dr. Peter Piot, the Belgian co-discoverer of ebola filovirus in Zaire, is a professor at the Imperial University in London, former UN undersecretary, and ex-director of UNAIDS. His ennobling by King Albert II may seem inappropriate for a microbiologist until one realizes that feudal lords and their knights were also ruthless professional killers.
Of Mice and Men
Whatever the unverified claims from these maestros of bioscince, the ZMapp genetic-engineering method is fundamentally flawed. The cell fusion of murine (rat) spleen tissue and myeloma (cancerous white-blood cells in bone marrow) produces aggressive antibodies that shift the immune system into overdrive, causing cancerous anemia.. Excessive stimulation of marrow plasma produces “abnormal antibodies” that can also inflict serious damage to the kidneys and nerve system. “Saved from ebola, die of cancer” is no solution.
Besides these adverse side effects, there are basically three additional knocks against prescribing untested antibodies:
- first, these immune-disrupting agents can encourage the ebola virus to mutate toward greater virulence, similar to how antibiotics pushed bacteria into evolve into drug-resistance superbugs. A super-virus more powerful than ebola would wipe out the entire human race.
- Second, one of the three Mabs in the ZMapp drug cocktail was tested only in rats, a species that does not share the same blood clot or lymph node systems as humans, and clotting inside small arteries is one of the main life-threatening aspects of ebola.
- Third, the panacea of Mab treatment will promote the erroneous perception of immunity among injected foreign physicians and aid workers who, to the contrary, will be carriers. Unlike bacteria, viruses do not die but just go dormant. The RNA structure retains the ability to replicate when conditions are right. Wintertime indoor heating and dog-day summers provide ideal conditions in temperate zones for tropical virus reactivation. Without strict quarantines and lifelong tracking of potential carriers, the ebola virus could soon spread like the common cold to every person on this planet..
Awarded by royalty and rewarded by the pharmaceutical industry, the medical adventurists in London are playing Russian roulette with millions, even billions of innocent lives worldwide.
Queen Mab of the Plagues
By no coincidence, the portfolio of patents on monoclonal antibodies (Mab) that supposedly cured the two American missionaries are owned by Her Highness Queen Elizabeth II. The intellectual property rights (IPR) from state-supported research in the United Kingdom and its subordinate realms including Canada, do not belong to the inventors but entirely to the Crown.
Royal patents, as opposed to property rights under civil law, are not bound to a 50-year expiration period but are held in perpetuity as a prerogative of monarchy. The Crown IPR regime is not just the holdover of absolute monarchy, since any research findings can be secured under the Official Secrets Act. Behind a more liberal facade of decentralized copyright policies at the lower levels of the state, Crown patent rights remain basically unreformed.
The Queen’s copyright ensures that national health agencies in the developing world will never be permitted to manufacture monoclonal antibodies for their domestic population on a legal basis and therefore cannot market their generic drugs abroad. The ZMapp scandal is an abomination against the scientific spirit and human rights.
WHO headquarters in Geneva reacted favorably to London calling. In recent decades, the UN health agency has morphed into an insider club for lab-based microbiologists rather than a network of general practitioners on the front lines of public medicine. The call for an emergency two-day meeting of experts was issued by WHO assistant director Marie-Paule Kieny, who led the Initiative for Vaccine Research since its inception. Most vaccine development is a lucrative fraud involving government grants for research lackeys of the pharmaceutical industry.
Margaret Chan, the non-physician director of WHO, is an avid supporter of multibillion euro vaccine research, which is funded by taxpayers but beneficial only to the big pharmaceutical companies. During her term as director of the Hong Kong Hospital Authority during the SARS outbreak, Chan was an obstructionist foe of proposals for air-sterilization inside medical facilities and the use of herbal therapy, even after both innovative approaches proved successful in stopping the coronavirus in mainland China, in contrast with heavily funded but fruitless vaccine research. The misguided habits of thinking are resulting in unnecessary deaths and pain to millions of sufferers who deserve patient-centered care rather than institutional cruelty.
Trickery Instead of Therapy
Brantly’s return from the brink of death was neither a miracle of science nor an act of God. His salvation was due to the simple old-fashioned breaking of a fever. Intake of clean water reduces inflammation. In the process, the blood is diluted, thereby having an anti-clotting effect that lowers the risk of damage to the small arteries, a life-threatening aspect of ebola fever.
Whether the two infected American doctors make a full recovery does not prove the efficacy (effectiveness) of ZMapp treatment, since the odds of surviving a hemorrhagic fever are far higher inside an antiseptic isolation ward of Emory University Hospital, equipped with purified air, frequent showers, flush toilets and clean bed sheets, than in the dank humidity of disease-ridden rural Africa. In contrast with the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, country folk in the West African epicenter still draw water from sewage-polluted rivers and have no access to indoor-air filtration or even ice packs to cool a feverish forehead. No wonder the ebola mortality rate is so high.
Instead of a costly and untrustworthy panacea, what is really needed in West Africa is a massive amount of low-tech public health equipment, including portable water filters, air purifiers, small power generators, ice-making machines and small radio transmitters. Given the rampant corruption inside a region still wounded from war and rebelliont such supplies will never move beyond the major cities into the epidemic zone.
Media-generated fears of an ebola pandemic have sabotaged any effective medical-relief program outside of a few pockets of hope maintained by local clinic staffs, some churches and schools that serve as aid centers, and a minority of dedicated officials and community leaders. The situation, in short, is ripe for social-political destabilization in preparation for the recolonization of African states.
Rebirth of Empire
It is curious, indeed, how studies of Zaire ebola (ZEBOV) being quietly conducted in the backwater of Winnipeg, Canada, reached fruition just in time for the mysterious 2014 outbreak in Guinea. Even more inexplicable is why the outbreak wasn’t of the endemic (native) Ivory Coast EBO-C1 subtype but instead ZEBOV, which originates in distant Central Africa.
How could ZEBOV have traveled from the Congo region across 4,000 kilometers of farmland and jungle to West Africa without leaving a trail of misery or even a trace at any Congolese airport? The logical conclusion is that the first infection came from a European or American source, either from a laboratory specimen or as a deliberate act of bioterrorism. The first scenario should be excluded because nobody in their right mind would ship a vial of frozen blood serum or a blood-smeared slide into ebola-prone West Africa. The samples always go out of the region and not into it. Judging from the high state of alert at CDC headquarters in Atlanta, the 2014 outbreak is an act of biowarfare. Since no known terrorist group has claimed responsibility, it must be a state-sponsored program that launched biowar in Africa.
Before discussing viowar capability, motivation needs to be examined. The creation of Chatham House following World War I was largely prompted by the influence of a political giant of foreign policy named Cecil Rhodes, the consolidator of the British Empire in Africa. The untapped potential of the “dark continent” was heralded by Rhodes as a treasure for Britain’s future during coming centuries. Rhodes’s imperial vision, however, was swept away in the past three decades by the tide of national liberation and the victory of the anti-apartheid movement.
The next great fall for British interests in Africa is coming from four powers, including France with its Francophone linguistic strategy; the US and the Pentagon’s Africa Command; the Islamic surge southward from the Sahara and Horn region; and China’s multibillion-dollar economic drive.
Without adequate military forces and a declining national economy, London is turning to a “soft-power” approach of using its scientific, academic and media assets to “missionize” African elites and the younger generation. The sudden ebola crisis proves to Africans that Britain with its antibody patents and influential tropical-medicine professors is providing the right sort of leadership armed with advanced science. However, it is easy to forget that those who control the antibodies are the only ones who can comfortably unleash a killer virus. Biowarfare ja key to the recolonization of English-speaking Africa.
One salient point in the ebola crisis is that England, with its huge population of West African immigrants, has not reported a single case of ebola entry. God save the Queen, even if all her horses and all her men cannot put the British Empire together again.
Inside the Death Labs
The Royals did not don white lab coats or inject serum into rodents to earn copyrights on antibodies. Those long hours inside hiidden labs were put in by her loyal subjects at Proton Down. The Ministry of Defense (MoD) bioweapons laboratory was located near Stonehenge in Salisbury, Wiltshire, a county better known for its cheese than for ricin and anthrax.
There, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) maintained two high containment areas for viral research, which started there in 1953. On its grounds, the Microbiological Research Establishment (MRE) routinely gassed and sprayed rabbits, sheep and even humans with bacteria and viruses.
Hemorrhagic fever viruses were field-tested long before the 1976 discovery of ebola. In the late 1950s, Porton Down microbiologists collected a lethal flavivirus, the tick-borne disease in Kyasanur forest monkeys from Karnataka, India. In partnership with the US Army Research Unit, the MRE conducted virulence tests on human test subjects who included war veterans, the elderly and mentally disabled. Related studies in hemorrhagic fevers were done on the Alkhurma and Omsk viruses, collected respectively from Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Seven years after the Biological Weapons Convention, the MRE was closed and its lab facilities were transferred to the “civilian” Centre for Applied Microbiological Research. The military-run biowarfare program was hidden inside the Defense Evaluation and Agency (DERA), which continued the biowarfare research ay secret defense labs or under contract with civilian research institutes at universities and hospitals.
Ebola research was compartmentalized and assigned to infectious and tropical disease laboratories of university departments, headed by respectable microbiologists like Professors Farrar, Heymann and Piot. Piecemeal allotment of research contracts shields these fine gentlemen from moral qualms over creating bio-agents that can indiscriminately kill millions of women and children.
Due to fears of virus escape in the densely populated British Isles, DERA outsourced ZEBOV Mab testing in monkeys with the National Microbiological Laboratory of the Public Health Agency of Canada in Winnipeg. Professors and students in the Immunology and Microbiology departments at the University of Manitoba conducted these simian experiments. By outsourcing, biological warfare is protected in flagrant violation of the UN convention, while foisting any liability risks on Canadian taxpayers.
After years of preparation, the Manitoba series of Mab studies in test monkeys were conducted in 2013 and 2013, with the findings published in November. The timing of efficacious test results of Mab in simians was remarkably close to the initial ebola outbreak that erupted in Guinea in March.
The American Role
An issue for American citizens is why two ailing doctors were flown to Atlanta at risk of spreading the pandemic to the US, when there are modern medical facilities in the affected African nations, such as the USAID-funded JFK Memorial Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, or American Hospital and Resorts in Lagos, Nigeria? The Methodist Church USA and American Catholics also fund in-patient medical centers in the region. These US-funded institutions should have launched an ebola task force for regional patient care and to protect visiting American medical workers, like Drs. Brantly and Whitebol.
The only logical explanation for admitting ebola patients into US territory is global biowarfare surveillance by the CDC, which is cooperating with the medical branches of the Defense Department. The legacy of the 2011 anthrax attacks in Washington DC have left the heavy hand of antiterrorism on public health. Aside from its nearly independent security-oriented CDC sub-agency, the US Department of Health and Human Services has had little civilian role in the public health response to the ebola threat.
The British drive for a revived imperium across Africa, along with the inordinate influence of GlaxoSmithKlein and Wellcome Trust in the WHO, will probably soon force Washington to reevaluates its current posture as a primarily a military-reaction force on the African continent. It is unclear whether the US presence in Africa can be reformed from its chaotic morass of Christian missions, Africa Command outposts, USAID projects and corporate brand marketing. The principled American vision of nurturing genuine democracy, sustained community self-development and public health on the other side of the Atlantic seems an evermore distant dream, if not a delusional mirage.
Yoichi Shimatsu, a Thailand-based science writer, organized a public-health team of medical experts for innovative approaches to the SARS and avian influenza crises in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.
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