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Dr. Wolfgang Lillge: Fighting diseases and pandemics through a policy of global development

Dr. Wolfgang Lillge

Editor-in-chief of the Fusion Magazine, Berlin, Germany

Audio


When we are talking about „Fighting diseases and pandemics through a policy of global development” that refers of course in the first place to the Ebola epidemic raging in West Africa and threatening to expand massively into other African nations, but with a high potential also into South and North America and Europe.

But it’s not only Ebola; there is great number of other old and new diseases that are spinning out of control, not only in the developing sector. However, the Ebola virus and the very closely related Marburg virus are probably the worst killers known to us. Ebola is a highly infectious virus that can kill up to 90 percent of the people who catch it, causing terror among infected communities. Ebola first appeared in 1976 in simultaneous outbreaks in Sudan and in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The latter outbreak happened in a village situated near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name. Since that time, several smaller outbreaks of Ebola occurred in remote places, which could be contained.

But the situation in the Ebola regions of West Africa now can only be described as horrific. It is the modern days’ image of the Black Death of the 14. Century, as it has been reported by aid organisations like Doctors without borders and others. Bare figures like the officially announced number of deaths of 4033 and 8400 cases of infection (as of Oct. 10) cannot catch the dramatic situation. Because of the lack of health and social infrastructure there are no reliable figures available. In several reports the numbers are believed to be 3-10 times as high. One specific projection says, we will have more than 20,000 cases by October 24. However, if nothing changes and the epidemic continues to rage as it currently does, then the projections are that as many as 4.7 million people will have been infected and 1.2 million will have died in the next six months.

So, these prospects, in fact, are horrendous, but not really surprising.

The source of this threat to the existence of civilization clearly is the British Empire
and the intentional policy of the British Empire to kill off as many people as possible, if not by war, then by deadly epidemics. That is the long standing conviction of people like Bertrand Russell or Prince Philip, as we know. This does not necessarily mean that the Ebola virus was cooked up in some secret lab in London or so. The modus operandi works differently: It’s the policies of the International Monetary Fund, of the EU Troika, and of the big banks, which intentionally create conditions in which diseases such as Ebola get out of control.

Everybody in Europe, even more in the United States, is rightly terrified about the situation. We are faced with a process very similar to the 14th Century with the Black Death, which spread across Europe, based on the ongoing financial and economic collapse after the breakdown of the Peruzzi and Bardi banking houses, combined with the insanity of the flagellants and other insane religious fanatics, just as we see them today in form of the ISIS terrorists.

In fact, the same failed strategy by the Obama Administration in fighting ISIS is applied also at the homefront in fighting the danger of Ebola spreading in the United States. Now, after the second nurse being infected with Ebola in the Texas Hospital, where one patient died from the virus, it becomes clear, that the US health system is utterly incapable of protecting the population from the disease. In a conference call on the Ebola disaster with over 11,500
nurses on the call, the National Nurses United union was getting reports from across the US on the utter unpreparedness of the US health system for the disaster of the Ebola pandemic, and placing the blame squarely on Obama. A letter to Obama was read to the participants, calling on everyone to get it to Obama, the Congress, and their state politicians, demanding that Obama take action to protect the nation, and especially the nurses in the face of the “clear and present danger” of the Ebola pandemic.

Obama and US government institutions – but also officials in Europe – are caught just lying to the population that everything is safe and fine. Reports from nearly all hospitals in the US are saying: Nurses and staff have no training, no protective gear, no means of disposal of infected material, no respirators, and no protocols — all despite claims by the hospital administrations and the CDC that they are prepared for highly infected patients.

The US in fact has only four clinics that can provide a biosafety level-4 treatment of Ebola patients. These Level 4 units require a separate area. Each room has an anteroom, where medical staff can put on or take off their personal protective gear. Inside the room is a negative air pressure, so air is always being sucked into the room from the ventilation system, instead of floating out.

Germany has 7 such units.

Because of that carelessness, the US faces now the prospect of an uncontrolled spread of Ebola in the whole country and beyond. In fact, the second infected nurse was allowed to fly on a plane from Texas to Cleveland and back, although she had developed already symptoms of the disease, and in that condition she may have been highly contagious.

Thus, another lie has been exposed, that Ebola propagating in the developed world would be very unlikely.

Actually, for the virus it does not make a difference, in which country it is doing its job. We, the humans beings, are preparing the ground for Ebola by allowing defenses against diseases to be torn down, as it has happened on a massive scale in Africa and the transatlantic world in the recent decades. Fortunately, the only prospect of hope in this respect are the BRICS nations and their allies that are engaged in a massive build-up of the physical economy in their regions.

If you look at this graph, you see one of the reasons for what is going on in western Africa, in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea in particular. The graph shows a comparative reading of the level of poverty in this area, as compared to Spain, Germany, and the United States — where the situation is bad enough. And I definetely think that those figures for the United States, Germany, and Spain, are not reflecting the reality there, they are much worse than that. But it does give you an idea. In Liberia, 80% of the population lives in poverty; in Sierra Leone, 70%; in Guinea, 47%.

 

In another graph we have a comparison of the basic health infrastructure, specifically of hospital beds and also doctors per 100,000 population. On the left side of the graph, you see again, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, which countries have only 4-8 hospital beds per 100,000 people, which is miniscule as compared to Spain, Germany, or the United States.

In terms of doctors per 100,000, you can’t even discern Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea on this graphic, because the figures are so low, compared even to the inadequate situation that exists in Spain, Germany, and the United States.

The poverty in West Africa has been significantly worsened by 14 years of protracted internal conflict in Liberia, and 11 years in Sierra Leone, wars which made these states ungovernable. In that whole period, therefore, there was no education of the young generation, which is greatly complicating the efforts to inform the populations about the nature of the disease, and what has to be done to prevent it from spreading. 75 percent of the Liberian population is illiterate as a result of the internal war.

Thus, the two nations are ideal breeding grounds where epidemics can easily develop.

Because of deliberate negligence, the Ebola epidemic after it’s first outbreak did develop in the region unnoticed for several months. The first cases are believed to have occurred as early as December 2013. Since there is a lack of any significant surveillance and laboratory capacities, it took until March 21, 2014, that the first confirmed case was reported.

At that point, with an effective intervention, the spread of Ebola could still have been stopped, as it was done in the outbreaks before. But the World Health Organization WHO, the leading international body responsible for organizing the response to pathogenic outbreaks, was unable to react appropriately, since its capacities were massively cut down in the past. Due to massive budget cuts, experienced staff members, who retired, were never replaced, and in fact it is an open secret that the WHO is essentially bankrupt.

The Doctors Without Borders have been the only major international organization on the ground, that deployed over 300 doctors and health care workers into the region, but very soon they were overwhelmed by the rapid increase of Ebola-infected patients. Because of the spreading hysteria in the population, medical personnel has been violently attacked, they themselves suffered high infection rates, because they have to operate with wholly inadequate protection. At least 250 have died from the virus.

In fact, even the President of the World Bank, Yong Kim, in a speech at the recent meeting of the IMF and World Bank in Washington, said, “We, the world community, in the Ebola crisis, we have failed miserably. Now that there are cases in Spain and the United States the chance of the virus going to other European countries is fairly high. We were tested by Ebola, and we failed. We failed miserably in our response. So I say to finance ministers, look at what’s happening in Spain right now. It is going to get much worse.”

It is highly ironic, to say the least, to hear such statements from a representative of an institution that is responsible for much of the misery in Africa in the first place.

We have failed also to provide adequate health care in Europe itself. The health care systems in most European countries are running on the edge of bancruptcy and have been cut down to the bare minimum. In Germany, all the health care reforms of the last decades have been austerity programs to make hospitals and other institutions cost-effective. One aspect of that austerity has been the reduction of hospital beds in Europe between 2003 and 2014, as shown in the graph. In Germany alone, there are reports that more than 300 hospitals are about to be closed in the coming years.

In terms of doctors per 100

The situation is exactly what our organisation predicted to be the case, already in the 1970s, when Lyndon LaRouche commissioned to set up a task force which produced a study forecasting the consequences to the world’s population and the biosphere as a whole, were the “zero-growth” policies then being implemented by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank not drastically altered. We forecast at that time that, under these policies a global ecological holocaust would be the inevitable consequence.

We predicted specifically that

1. A biological holocaust would develop in successive waves of famine and disease, going downwards in a succession of exponential step functions, to a final potential general breakdown phase of the biosphere – to which we gave the name “Biological Holocaust”.

2. The process would include the emergence of new mutated deadly types of diseases, never before experienced by man, which would have the capacity of overwhelming the collapsed immunological defenses. We asserted that the combination of long-standing lethal pestilences and new “recombined” disease strains would have the potential of causing more general devastation to mankind than did the hideous Black Death of the 14th century.

3. We also forecast that the “cost efficient” World Bank and IMF programs would generate conditions of major desertification, laterization, and erosion of top soil, as ecological collapse takes place in fragile jungle zones. The growing desertification and destruction of photosynthetic dense jungle areas would have global consequences on weather patterns.

This forecast from the 1970s was first confirmed tragically by the outbreak of HIV/AIDS in the early 1980s, and is like an exact carbon copy of what is occurring with the Ebola virus today. The Zaire Ebola strain, the type which is behind the recent outbreak in Africa, is the most virulent of the five known strains and there are indications that in the process of massive spread the virus gains even more virulence. In fact, the current claim that Ebola is not an airborne disease must be put in question, because when you have a concentrated infectious situation like now all over West Africa, where many people are infected in relatively small areas, the disease becomes in effect airborne through the spreading of saliva, the diarrhea and the excretion of other bodily fluids, that are the core symptoms of these hemorrhagic diseases.

This is an absolute nightmare scenario which can only be dealt with by a massive containment of the virus in the affected African nations and beyond. Measures taken so far have been much too little and much to late. The spread of the virus has been significantly faster at each point of time than all the actions to contain it, especially once the virus moved out of the forest areas and jumped over into the urban centers of the affected countries.

The failure of containing the epidemic, however, is also due to the nature of the disease itself. When someone is infected with Ebola, he or she is not yet contageous, before symptoms of the disease suddenly appear. Without treatment, people may die then within a couple of days, and they may spread the virus uncontrollably in that time. Additionally, the early symptoms of an Ebola infection are almost identical to those which you develop with malaria and many other tropical diseases, which are widespread in many parts of Africa. But, even when an infected individual is identified, there is no health infrastructure available in these African countries to track all of the contact persons.

So, the task of containing and defeating Ebola requires a huge commitment. Where do we stand?

There are more statements inside the United States about the total inadequacy of Obama’s reaction to the crisis. Dr. Michael Osterholm, who is the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and a prominent public health scientist and biosecurity expert in the United States, said on a recent symposium at Johns Hopkins University that there is no effective policy from the US government for dealing with the Ebola crisis. „When the president announced five weeks ago, to send 3,000 military people into Africa,“ Osterholm said, „and last week there were only 200 on the ground, and today there are 300 on the ground for logistical support – these are not 3000, this is woefully inadequate.“ So in fact, nothing has happened: Plan A has been a failure, and there is no Plan B.

Just to add here: According to a commentary published Sept. 17 by Dr. Osterholms Center, the Ebola virus has the potential to be transmitted by aerosol particles, and therefore, healthcare workers should be wearing respirators, not only facemasks in dealing with Ebola patients. The authors urge the CDC and the WHO to purchase and transport these respirators to all healthcare workers fighting Ebola in Africa, and beyond.

As an immediate intervention to curb the epidemic, we need an emergency international mobilization, a full-scale effort to build the necessary health infrastructure in West Africa. This includes scaling up isolation centers, deploying mobile laboratories to improve diagnostic capabilities, establishing transport hubs to move personnel and equipment to and within West Africa, and building a regional network of field hospitals and establishing special units to treat suspected or infected medical personnel. Also the deployment of hospital ships into the ports of West Africa would support the immediate response to the crisis. And we must be open to any additional option.

This must be an international effort, because almost all advanced-sector nations, most especially the United States, Russia, and Japan, have developed capabilities to fight major biological threats. The military in both the United States and Russia, and likely, other countries, must make available their expertise in bio-hazard containment. Those assets, along with civilian disaster response teams backed by massively expanded logistical capabilities, must be deployed, in close collaboration with the sovereign governments in the area.

Nothing short of that scale of deployment has a chance of success. And as Lyndon LaRouche stated recently, the immediate aim must be to reverse the death rate. Nothing less than that will prevent a potential catastrophe for all mankind.

However most urgent also is a Plan C, which would be the development of a vaccine against Ebola. That would be the most effective intervention to halt the disease in the medium term. Most promising are reports from the Russian Health Minister, that Russia is planning to send a new, experimental vaccine against Ebola to Africa in two months. The efficiency of the drug, which is to be tested on the ground, is about 70-90 percent. An Ebola vaccine is being developed also in Canada which will need some more month before it could be tested.

As in many other cases, vaccines are the most effective protection against viral diseases. Small pox for example has been eradicated from the face of the earth by that method.

In the case if Ebola, the challenge for a vaccination campaign is incomparably greater. No other virus kills its victims faster than the Ebola virus. So, the virus has a clock that runs extremely fast. In order to contain it, we must be at least as fast as that inner virus clock, otherwise it will always be in front of our efforts to contain it. But if we succeed to inoculate large enough portions of the population, then the further rapid spread of the virus will be slowed and then stopped at some point. That must be a joint international project involving the USA, Russia, China und Europe.

The next immediate step must be the massive economic development of Africa, especially the setting up of a health and transport infrastructure, not only in the Ebola-affected countries of West Africa, but on the whole continent, up to levels as they exist now in Europe or the U.S. For that the BRICS process of cooperation has to become the paradigm for development, away from the destructive policy of feeding the bankrupt western banks with bail-out or bail-in money that will destroy the physical economy even more.

We have always been scientific and cultural optimists. Therefore, let’s use the optimism that has been unleashed on the planet around China’s Helium-3 fusion power policy and around the BRICS process, to also set in motion a Biological Defense Initiative, of the sort Lyndon LaRouche has called for repeatedly in the past, to stop the Ebola and related New Dark Ages crises from destroying humanity.

Thank you