Was the U.S. Unprepared for the China COVID-19 Virus?

Being sequestered at home gives one the opportunity to reflect on the political actions taken over the past several weeks and the associated praise and criticisms resulting from those actions. 

President Trump has repeatedly referred to the actions he's taken in terms of military execution, and rightfully so.  His team has garnered their resources to get key supplies to combat this viral enemy at the hot spots that arise.  There is no politicizing priorities of help.  After all, it appears the hardest hit states are run by Democrats.  There’s little politicizing the facts about human-to-human transmission of the Chinese virus and its fission-like spreading, either.  It makes one wonder when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her ally, Rep. Adam Schiff promote a 9/11-like commission regarding response to the spread of the virus when Pelosi championed Chinese Lunar Year celebrations in San Francisco just weeks earlier.  My assumption was that they were referring to the 9/11/01 commission and not the 9/11/12 (Benghazi), but I digress.

The reason I ask the question about preparedness is because I wonder how many of us remember or were even aware of the multiple simulated biowarfare attack exercises performed over the past in major urban areas.  I have to admit that I was a little surprised that 60 Minutes had uncovered in the 1970s or early 1980s the existence of such exercises.  The government used high concentrations of certain bacteria and spores for the simulations.

I graduated frpm college in 1972 and thought that I would like to get into biomedical engineering.  I was very fortunate to get a job coming out of school then.  One of my colleagues in chemical engineering had graduated in 1971 and he was still searching for a job.  I finished school on Friday and started the following Monday.  One of the “programs” I worked on was the Partichrome Mark VI.  This equipment is used to detect biowarfare agents in the atmosphere.  We used simulants such as serratia marscescens, a common soil bacteria, bacillus globigii spores (similar structure to anthrax), and Aspergillus Niger spores.  Oddly enough these may have been referenced in the aforementioned 60 Minutes story.  As an aside, it was interesting to test the ambient atmosphere outside of the climate-controlled tent that I worked in.  We were close to the EPA’s Whittier Narrows developmental sewage treatment plant.  Let me put it this way, there’s a reason why I never wanted to live near another similar plant and it wasn’t because of periodic anaerobic releases of reduced sulfur to the atmosphere.

The 60 Minutes story mentioned the high incidence of deaths in these cities after the testing.  These casualties were often ill elderly folks in nearby hospitals with respiratory conditions such as pneumonia.  Have you ever read Michael Crichton’s book or seen the movie, The Andromeda Strain?  It was published in 1969.  The basic story line is that some sheep and cows died mysteriously one day in New Mexico.  The “Roswell” mentality pervades and some think the cause was aliens.  Even though this book is fiction, it is based on facts of an occurrence in 1965, I believe it was.  You see, the Army has testing grounds in Dugway Utah.  They were testing the detection equipment, an earlier version of the aforementioned Partichrome.  As it was described to me by my colleagues who were there, the solenoid valve on the canister containing the pressurized anthrax, failed to open over the target area.  However, it did open over the non-target area.  The result was the killing of ranch animals similar to the book’s script.

The point is, the federal government plans for such attacks, whether they be inflicted intentionally or not.  These plans are not simply a paper exercise.  There are organizational plans for the military and public health experts to execute, to stabilize and treat the hot spots, and restore the country to normalcy.  Why else would there be a strategic stockpile of medical PPE that the Obama administration allowed to deplete and not replenish?

The “science” of biowarfare or rather, production of deadly organisms, has advanced over the past half century.  Genetics has proven to be a beneficial science to mankind but there are some evil folks in the world who want to use scientific advances for power and control.  Many of us have read books or have seen movies that suggest this theory.  Anecdotal evidence suggests that the Chinese virus was the brainchild of the Wuhan (biowarfare test) laboratory.  I read one American Thinker comment arguing that the Chinese got the transmissivity part of the equation right but failed to advance the desired toxicity levels in genetically engineering the virus.

If you do not believe the hypothesis about use of genetics for biowarfare, read Colonel Michael J. Ainscough’s, “Next Generation Bioweapons: the Technology of Genetic Engineering Applied to Biowarfare and Bioterrorism.”  The Russians were into anthrax as a bioweapon when I worked briefly in this arena nearly 50 years ago.  They got into the genetic engineering aspect which meant that the U.S. needed to do the same to analyze the effects and determine proper responses and countermeasure plans.  This is an apolitical issue.  We want to either save lives or not.  The Dugway Utah incident occurred during a Democratic (LBJ) president’s watch.  Yes, we were in the midst of the Cold War.  Convince us that we are not in the midst of an economic war with the most populous country in the world.

In 1968, the U.S. population was 200 million when the “esteemed” professor from Stanford, Paul Ehrlich, advocated in his book, “The Population Bomb,” to limit population growth due to food shortages.  We are currently over 330 million people in the U.S. and we export food around the world.  China’s population was 775 million in 1968 and currently they are at 1.4 billion.  They scavenge the world for resources unavailable in their country.  Did Chairman Xi Jinping take Ehrlich’s book to heart and damn the rest of the world?

China may have tossed us this curve but the responsiveness of our President Trump and his team have been phenomenal in my humble opinion.  He has improved the playbook via private industry partnering with slow government bureaucrats.  His leadership in this crisis is the envy of the world.  The globalists are cowering in the shadows but are waiting to strike at a moment’s notice once he hits the restart button on the economy.  Please show our support to not only those who have responded to keep us healthy and provide us the resources to live like our grocers and upstream folks from the farmers on down.  Give a shout out to our president, too.

Image credit: Vimeo screen shot

Being sequestered at home gives one the opportunity to reflect on the political actions taken over the past several weeks and the associated praise and criticisms resulting from those actions. 

President Trump has repeatedly referred to the actions he's taken in terms of military execution, and rightfully so.  His team has garnered their resources to get key supplies to combat this viral enemy at the hot spots that arise.  There is no politicizing priorities of help.  After all, it appears the hardest hit states are run by Democrats.  There’s little politicizing the facts about human-to-human transmission of the Chinese virus and its fission-like spreading, either.  It makes one wonder when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her ally, Rep. Adam Schiff promote a 9/11-like commission regarding response to the spread of the virus when Pelosi championed Chinese Lunar Year celebrations in San Francisco just weeks earlier.  My assumption was that they were referring to the 9/11/01 commission and not the 9/11/12 (Benghazi), but I digress.

The reason I ask the question about preparedness is because I wonder how many of us remember or were even aware of the multiple simulated biowarfare attack exercises performed over the past in major urban areas.  I have to admit that I was a little surprised that 60 Minutes had uncovered in the 1970s or early 1980s the existence of such exercises.  The government used high concentrations of certain bacteria and spores for the simulations.

I graduated frpm college in 1972 and thought that I would like to get into biomedical engineering.  I was very fortunate to get a job coming out of school then.  One of my colleagues in chemical engineering had graduated in 1971 and he was still searching for a job.  I finished school on Friday and started the following Monday.  One of the “programs” I worked on was the Partichrome Mark VI.  This equipment is used to detect biowarfare agents in the atmosphere.  We used simulants such as serratia marscescens, a common soil bacteria, bacillus globigii spores (similar structure to anthrax), and Aspergillus Niger spores.  Oddly enough these may have been referenced in the aforementioned 60 Minutes story.  As an aside, it was interesting to test the ambient atmosphere outside of the climate-controlled tent that I worked in.  We were close to the EPA’s Whittier Narrows developmental sewage treatment plant.  Let me put it this way, there’s a reason why I never wanted to live near another similar plant and it wasn’t because of periodic anaerobic releases of reduced sulfur to the atmosphere.

The 60 Minutes story mentioned the high incidence of deaths in these cities after the testing.  These casualties were often ill elderly folks in nearby hospitals with respiratory conditions such as pneumonia.  Have you ever read Michael Crichton’s book or seen the movie, The Andromeda Strain?  It was published in 1969.  The basic story line is that some sheep and cows died mysteriously one day in New Mexico.  The “Roswell” mentality pervades and some think the cause was aliens.  Even though this book is fiction, it is based on facts of an occurrence in 1965, I believe it was.  You see, the Army has testing grounds in Dugway Utah.  They were testing the detection equipment, an earlier version of the aforementioned Partichrome.  As it was described to me by my colleagues who were there, the solenoid valve on the canister containing the pressurized anthrax, failed to open over the target area.  However, it did open over the non-target area.  The result was the killing of ranch animals similar to the book’s script.

The point is, the federal government plans for such attacks, whether they be inflicted intentionally or not.  These plans are not simply a paper exercise.  There are organizational plans for the military and public health experts to execute, to stabilize and treat the hot spots, and restore the country to normalcy.  Why else would there be a strategic stockpile of medical PPE that the Obama administration allowed to deplete and not replenish?

The “science” of biowarfare or rather, production of deadly organisms, has advanced over the past half century.  Genetics has proven to be a beneficial science to mankind but there are some evil folks in the world who want to use scientific advances for power and control.  Many of us have read books or have seen movies that suggest this theory.  Anecdotal evidence suggests that the Chinese virus was the brainchild of the Wuhan (biowarfare test) laboratory.  I read one American Thinker comment arguing that the Chinese got the transmissivity part of the equation right but failed to advance the desired toxicity levels in genetically engineering the virus.

If you do not believe the hypothesis about use of genetics for biowarfare, read Colonel Michael J. Ainscough’s, “Next Generation Bioweapons: the Technology of Genetic Engineering Applied to Biowarfare and Bioterrorism.”  The Russians were into anthrax as a bioweapon when I worked briefly in this arena nearly 50 years ago.  They got into the genetic engineering aspect which meant that the U.S. needed to do the same to analyze the effects and determine proper responses and countermeasure plans.  This is an apolitical issue.  We want to either save lives or not.  The Dugway Utah incident occurred during a Democratic (LBJ) president’s watch.  Yes, we were in the midst of the Cold War.  Convince us that we are not in the midst of an economic war with the most populous country in the world.

In 1968, the U.S. population was 200 million when the “esteemed” professor from Stanford, Paul Ehrlich, advocated in his book, “The Population Bomb,” to limit population growth due to food shortages.  We are currently over 330 million people in the U.S. and we export food around the world.  China’s population was 775 million in 1968 and currently they are at 1.4 billion.  They scavenge the world for resources unavailable in their country.  Did Chairman Xi Jinping take Ehrlich’s book to heart and damn the rest of the world?

China may have tossed us this curve but the responsiveness of our President Trump and his team have been phenomenal in my humble opinion.  He has improved the playbook via private industry partnering with slow government bureaucrats.  His leadership in this crisis is the envy of the world.  The globalists are cowering in the shadows but are waiting to strike at a moment’s notice once he hits the restart button on the economy.  Please show our support to not only those who have responded to keep us healthy and provide us the resources to live like our grocers and upstream folks from the farmers on down.  Give a shout out to our president, too.

Image credit: Vimeo screen shot