Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Killer Combination

For the record, I did not spend the day in a rage, stewing over the actions of a government that seems determined to botch the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a beautiful sunny day, so I ran some much needed errands, buying fresh vegetables and shelf-stable staples. Now, though, I'm raging, and it's all about, via Doktor Zoom, the defunding of virologist Peter Daszak's EcoHealth Alliance, which studies the ability of viruses like the one that causes COVID-19 to jump the species barrier. The EcoHealth Alliance was cut $3.7 million in taxpayer funds, an amount which wouldn't have been sufficient to purchase a 30-second Superbowl ad. The real tragedy is that Dr Daszak's on record in 2004 talking about the need to research emerging viruses, specifically SARS coronaviruses:

*Insert half-despairing 'who could have predicted?' joke...

The real sticking point is Dr Daszak's payment of one-hundred thousand dollars to the Wuhan Institute of Virology to fund a collaboration, which was spun by the right-wing media as a $3.7 million dollar payoff:

Right-wing bloviators, and some Trump administration officials have tried to promulgate the idea that the COVID-19 outbreak originated as a Wuhan Institute of Virology engineered bioweapon.

Part of this scandal is the attitude that anything which might benefit China is automatically to our detriment, that the United States shouldn't act in a manner which benefits all nations. There's also the racist 'yellow peril' narrative which has been pushed since the existence of an emerging respiratory infection was made public. The combination of xenophobia and a tendency to see life as a 'zero-sum' game will be our downfall. The United States is disarming in the epidemiological war at precisely the time that a redoubled effort, in conjunction with the international scientific and medical communities is needed, and people are dying because of it.


Anathema Device said...

I'm too exhausted to rage, but what you said. Doing this at any time would be criminal. Doing it now is breathtakingly idiotic and mean.

Al said...

I don't believe in the China conspiracy but I do believe that China is not our friend and wants to do us harm. I believe that China
knew about how dangerous COVID19 is but failed in its response, just like every capitalist country. The USA and Europe failed to respond to the early warning signs of a COVID19 pandemic, also. China shut down Wuhan but didn't stop airlines flights out of China which started the spread around the planet. Now did China do that on purpose? I don't know. I do believe the science that COVID19 came from animal to human transmission from the open air meat markets in China. What I do rage about is our bipartisan Republican and Democrat bailout of the richest 1000 people in the US while at the same time doing nothing for the most poor and vulnerable people in this country. Plus the US is still bombing people during a pandemic. That is pure evil.

Anathema Device said...

" I do believe the science that COVID19 came from animal to human transmission from the open air meat markets in China."

The second part of that statement is not proven, actually.

"A study by Chinese researchers claimed the first person to be diagnosed with COVID-19 was identified on December 1, 2019 and that person had "no contact" with the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market."

I cosign everything else you said.