Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The WHO Plays with Pandemic Fire

The WHO Plays with Pandemic Fire

The Continuing Saga of the Flying Pigs Pandemic Flu

by F. William Engdahl

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According to information from within the World Health Organization in Geneva, the UN organization supposedly monitoring global health dangers, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan plans to declare a Phase 6 Official Pandemic Alert in the coming days. This bizarre act if declared would come at a time that the country which had to date reported far the latest number of suspected H1N1 cases, the USA, has simply arbitrarily stopped reporting new cases.

If you consider to let your family get scared into taking drugs like Tamiflu that not only do not prevent or even ameliorate symptoms of flu, but in some cases are so toxic they cause severe paralysis, breathing problems and even death, you should at least know the facts before.

The report that WHO may declare an official Pandemic global alert any time is all the more bizarre given the fact that the global wave of cases reported to date to WHO from around the world reportedly have been so mild as to be indistinguishable from the symptoms of ordinary flu.

And the relatively small number of deaths alleged tied to swine flu as it originally was named, appear in no way definitely tied to to H1N1 causes. In a May 28 CDC press briefing, the CDC reported, ‘When we look at our deaths, we have information on 11 of the 12 deaths that have been reported to us so far. And it appears that 10 of those fatalities occurred in people who had an underlying condition that put them at greater risk for severe complications of influenza.’ That is what epidemiologists call correlation not causality or ‘opportunistic infection’ deaths.

European epidemiologists privately believe that there is no proven link between supposed H1N1 Influenza A illness and the deaths, rather that the deaths are ‘coincidence’ or what health professionals term ‘opportunistic infections.’ The CDC report would seem to strengthen that argument.

US CDC stops regular reporting?

Even more bizarre for a supposed pandemic ‘threat to all mankind’ the official monitoring agency in the nation with so far the largest number of reported case counts, which notably include ‘probable’ ad well as ‘confirmed’ H1N1 cases, namely the United States, the CDC announced en passant, on that May 28 press briefing that, ‘beginning next week, we're going to shift to a different schedule. We'll be updating our case count information less frequently.’ That statement came from Dr. Anne Schuchat, Deputy Director for Science and Public Health Program of the US Centers for Disease Control. She declined to say what ‘less frequently’ was or even why such a decision was reached at the same time the US Government is dedicating billion dollars fast track funds to drug makers to produce H1N1 vaccines.

Oops! Wait a minute. I thought we were teetering on the edge of declaring a global Pandemic Emergency, Phase 6 where travel restrictions, mandatory quarantine and other extreme steps would be implemented. Then the responsible national agency in the country with something like 67% of all reported cases of H1N1 Swine Flu decided casually not to report so often?

Another anomaly in the increasingly bizarre situation is the release of new WHO Pandemic guidelines on April 20, 2009, conveniently enough just in time to affect the current world pandemic scare. According to a WHO official responsible for the report, the revision of revised 2005 WHO Pandemic guidelines was begun ‘well before the Mexican flu cases were first reported.’ The official spoke off record.

Even more curious is the fact that the latest April 2009 WHO Pandemic response guidelines prescribe the exact same response for Phase 5 (sub-pandemic) and Phase 6 (so-called Pandemic), namely ‘implement actions as called for in their national plans.’ For that we need WHO?

Drug giants gearing up

The situation is becoming a golden harvest for the giant pharmaceutical makers as they receive samples from the CDC to begin producing possible vaccines as well as so-called antiviral drugs like Tamiflu.

The US government recently made available one billion dollars to help big vaccine makers like Sanofi-Aventis and GlaxoSmithKline ready production of new vaccines. Novartis leads the herd with $289 million in federal support, followed by Sanofi Aventis with $191 million and GlaxoSmithKline, which gets $181 million. In addition the US Government had decided to ‘de-risk’ the vaccine production, presumably removing usual safeguards for new vaccines. The US Health and Human Services Department (HHS) is placing orders with manufacturers with which it already has contracts to produce a pandemic vaccine for the never-pandemic H5N1 avian flu. More than $3 billion in federal funds since 2005 have gone toward developing, building manufacturing and stockpiling a vaccine to fight that disease. How long do such vaccines hold in stock?

Fittingly given the bizarre nature of the entire Flying Pigs panic being spread by WHO and CDC, the CDC reports that it expects the first H1N1 approved vaccines to be ready by Halloween. Trick or Treat?

In Australia the government has ordered 10 million doses of a new vaccine being developed by CSL. CSL plans to start producing a new vaccine in the next days that can be used for human testing. A vaccine based on the California strain of the virus is being tested in ferrets. China says that it will have samples of swine flu on hand by June and plans to start manufacturing a new A/H1N1 vaccine in July.

Many drugmakers are using techniques of genetic manipulation to produce their new vaccine offerings in a race to market. The Maryland drugmaker Novavax which reported severe annual income losses prior to the current Swine Flu scare, now is preparing a genetically modified vaccine they claim is suitable for H1N1 flu.




The 1976 Swine Flu fiasco

Once WHO declares a Phase 6 Pandemic Alert, all hell could break loose with governments and population going into panic, cancellation of international travel, severe domestic travel restrictions and other emergency measures resembling martial law.

In 1976 President Gerald Ford issued an Executive Order calling for every man woman and child in the USA to be vaccinated against a suspected outbreak of swine Flu at the Fort Dix US military base. Within months more than forty million unknowing Americans had been vaccinated, some 20% of the then total population despite the fact that no pandemic ever appeared. The flu was restricted to Fort Dix.

Interestingly, aside from severe weather and crowded barrack conditions at Fort Dix, every recruit coming in had immediately been given multiple vaccinations as routine, similar to what US soldiers are given today before being shipped to Iraq or Afghanistan, or similar to what US and European soldiers were given in 1918 during the spread of the misnamed Spanish Influenza of 1918. Was the Fort Dix wave of illnesses and one death a consequence of the vaccinations? We may never know as no government agency was interested in pursuing the notion.

In that 1976 US swine flu panic, aided by a nervous President eager to win re-election, there were thirty deaths due to adverse vaccine reactions and dozens if not hundreds of cases of the rare Guillain-Barre syndrome which led to halting of a national vaccination that was being given for a non-existent pandemic.

Free from liability?

There was one very significant difference between 1976 and today however. In 1976 US insurance companies refused to insure vaccine manufacturers against lawsuits for vaccine-related illnesses or deaths. Today drugmakers need have little fear of damages from product liability lawsuits. They can unleash whatever substances the FDA lets them, and indications are that under Pandemic declaration safety standards would be dropped in the rush to stab the population as widely as possible with vaccines.

Under rulings made under the Bush Administration, vaccines can be labelled as “unavoidably unsafe” meaning that when a product is ‘carefully designed, manufactured and marketed, but is dangerous nonetheless,’ it is not a defective product, even though it might cause injury. Clear? It certainly is clear to the pharmaceutical industry which lobbied hard for the determination.

A decisive victory for the drug industry came in January 2006 when Bush Administration Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt announced a new ruling in defiance of established precedent and the expressed intent of Congress. The new FDA rules pre-empted any state laws that allow citizens to sue drugmakers for producing unsafe drugs under the dubious claim that the FDA, an agency under HHS, had national responsibility for certification of drug safety and state lawsuits impinged on that national responsibility. As several Congressmen at the time pointed out the FDA track record for timely response to clear drug dangers as in the Vioxx cases was hardly to the benefit of the health and welfare of citizens suffering needless heart attacks and death as a side effect of the drug.

It would be relevant to ask if the Democratic Congress that protested the 2006 FDA liability-free ruling has plans to change that free ride for vaccine makers. That might do more than anything to reduce the effects of Swine Flu. Then people might realize where the real swine danger lies.

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