Here's an irony for you: Tobacco may save the world
One fascinating thing about COVID-19 is how it's turned every leftist theory and belief system upside-down. All the things leftists have advocated have only made us more vulnerable to epidemic disease. Now, in a supreme irony, there's a possibility that one of the things they most hate — tobacco — will ride to the rescue.
COVID-19, in many ways, may prove to be the undoing of leftism. Here's a short list of all the leftist ideas that are taking a beating thanks to the pandemic:
Globalism: It turns out that interconnectedness is dangerous and that international organizations, such as the WHO, are intellectually corrupt and in thrall to totalitarian governments.
Urbanization: Contrary to the leftist desire to pack people into cities (ostensibly to beat climate change but, in fact, to increase population control), dense urban areas are Petri dishes for COVID-19.
Public Transportation: For decades, the left has waged war against the comfort and convenience of cars because cars are not green. Cars may not be green, but they are clean, unlike public transportation, AKA a Petri dish on wheels.
Re-usable Bags: I've long called them Salmonella Sacks because using them drastically increases the spread of E. coli and salmonella. It turns out that the plastic bags that leftist governments all over America are banning (because Africa and Asia put them into rivers and oceans) are safer in pandemics.
China: Democrats screamed when Trump tried to decrease our dependence on China. He was correct to do so. Not only did China's Belt and Road project seed COVID-19 all over the world, but China's also sitting on most of the world's drug manufacturing. Yikes!
Reality may shatter another leftist shibboleth. The left has been waging war on tobacco for a long time. Before I go farther with this, let me say that I think smoking or chewing tobacco is a health risk because the connection between cancer and heart disease is too strong to deny. I also hate the smell, so I bitterly resent being on the receiving end of secondhand smoke.
However, the left's war on cancer is so vicious that it goes after vaping and e-cigarettes, which should fall squarely in the camp of letting people make their own decisions. Also, leftists are hypocritical because of their unwavering support for marijuana, which, when smoked, also causes lung damage.
Given their fanatic hatred for tobacco, leftists are likely to find horrifying the thought that Big Tobacco claims to have found within the tobacco leaf a vaccine for COVID-19:
The maker of Benson & Hedges and Lucky Strike cigarettes claims it has developed a coronavirus vaccine made from tobacco plants.
British American Tobacco (BAT) said it can manufacture up to three million doses a week starting in June if it gets support from the UK Government.
The unproven vaccine is currently being tested on animals. But BAT is calling on Whitehall to fast-track the vaccine through rigorous human trials which could otherwise take the best part of a year and make the June date impossible.
BAT said it had pivoted its vast resources - the company is worth £65.5billion - to fighting the pandemic.
The London-headquartered firm added that it would sell the tests to the Government 'at cost', meaning without making any profit.
Tobacco firms are currently barred from doing deals with governments under World Health Organisation rules, but BAT said it planned to contact the WHO.
The company said it had approached the US Food and Drug Administration and UK's Department of Health and Social Care about its vaccine.
The vaccine is being developed by BAT's subsidiary firm Kentucky BioProcessing (KBP) in the US, using tobacco plant technology.
KBP has previous experience of fighting outbreaks. It helped develop an effective drug for Ebola in 2014, called ZMapp.
A lot of companies are asserting that they've developed vaccinations, so this is one claim among many. Still, there would be something really delightful if the White Knight for the coronavirus were a cigarette company. For the sake of world health, I wish Kentucky BioProcessing all the luck in the world — and let's hope neither the WHO nor the FDA is stupid enough to turn its back on a possible cure just because the cure comes from the tobacco plant.