How stupidly, small-mindedly paranoid is this?
... deep inside an 86-page supplement to United States export regulations is a single sentence that bars U.S. exports of vaccines for avian bird flu and dozens of other viruses to five countries designated "state sponsors of terrorism."
The reason: Fear that they will be used for biological warfare.
Under this little-known policy, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Syria and Sudan may not get the vaccines unless they apply for special export licenses, which would be given or refused according to the discretion and timing of the U.S. Three of those nations — Iran, Cuba and Sudan — also are subject to a ban on all human pandemic influenza vaccines as part of a general U.S. embargo.
So, let me get this straight: our government, in its infinite lack of wisdom, has decided not to export vaccines for a disease that could make the 1918 flu pandemic look like an outbreak of the sniffles, and their reasoning is that said vaccines might be "used for biological warfare."
Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me?
Let's check in with Mr. Reality.
The flu vaccine is a dead virus - you can't breed and mutate it and the scientific consensus is that the chances of using it to make a bioweapon are nil. But with a six month red-tape delay in sending vaccine to other nations, the chance that a mutation "in the wild" which isn't contained by having vaccine available and triggers a worldwide pandemic of a human-contagious strain of bird flu goes up astronomically.I'm sure that some people on the right believe this would be a bonanza - after all, they don't give a rat's ass about scary brown people dying in droves. Let the bird flu kill 'em all. That means less people we have to bomb to death, right? Somehow, they manage to justify this thinking without admitting they are inhumane, racists assholes.
Ethical considerations aside, let's see how well their "reasoning" plays out when a virus doesn't get stopped in its tracks by timely vaccination, mutates, and then spreads throughout the world. Neocons and right-wing paranoiacs seem to believe the United States is protected from other countries' germs by a magic bubble - or perhaps their magic sky daddy. Reality sez otherwise:
If ever there was a self-defeating and ridiculous policy in the age of global interconnection, this is it. When disease in a small village on the edge of the rain forest can travel to an international travel hub within the incubation period of virtually any known disease of concern, this kind of policy endangers everyone, including all US citizens.
Meanwhile, this merely vindicates that raging nutcase and incompetent, Indonesian health minister Siti Fadilah Supari, who first raised the issue of US bioweapons policy in the debate over sharing influenza viruses. Perhaps vindicates is the wrong word. More appropriately, it shows that the US has its own raging nutcases and incompetents, like U.S. Commerce Assistant Secretary Christopher Wall and his colleagues.
Small minds, thinking tiny, in unison.