World View: Will Ebola Become a Worldwide Pandemic?

World View: Will Ebola Become a Worldwide Pandemic?

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Will Ebola become a worldwide pandemic?
  • John Kerry’s testimony before the Senate: 1971 and Today

Will Ebola become a worldwide pandemic?

A section of the Congo River, made to look like the Ebola virus
A section of the Congo River, made to look like the Ebola virus

Here’s a question I received from a web site reader, commenting on yesterday’s World View article, inwhich I concluded on the subject of Ebola with, “It seems likely thatthe pandemic will have to run its course, meaning that almost allpeople in Liberia will sooner or later become sick with the disease,and either survive or not”:

“I find it difficult to square your comments about ageneralized and all-encompassing infection rate with the newscomments about the number of people who are reported infected.Your suggestion that “all” will get sick and survive or die is anApocalypse unknown in modern times. If any western nation were tolose 25% of its population there would be a complete collapse ofthe nation (in my opinion). Now you suggest that the death ratewould approach 50%. Should the infection spread beyond thesub-sahara region into North Africa with the Hajj approaching theinfection would go worldwide. This would be a game changer andthe perfect excuse for global war (in all of its forms) ascountries would be “forced” to close their borders. Smoot-Hawleydid not tickle the economies of the world as this would.

As the press is reporting the illness is striking people by thethousands and while it could strike thousands more this does notapproach the millions to be infected by your reasoning. I am notsure how you develop the thought of everyone contracting thedisease. Please write about how your develop yourreasoning.”

In the past few weeks and months, I’ve listened and read probablyclose to 1000 news reports and analyses on what’s happening inLiberia, and I take note of what’s said, and what’s not said.

What’s said over and over is:

  • “This is out of control.”
  • “This is expanding exponentially.”
  • “Ebola will forever be endemic in Liberia.”
  • “There are no hospital beds.”
  • “This will have to run its course.”
  • “I’ve said too much – I don’t want to scare people.”

What’s not said is: “This will be brought under control soon.”

So I reached the conclusion that I reached.

Say there are currently 1000 cases in Liberia. Ebola is expandingexponentially, with the number of cases in Liberia doubling every twoweeks or so. Since 2**10=1024, then the number of cases after teniterations (20 weeks) will be 1024*1000 which is over a million.

You suggest that I’m saying that it will be a worldwide epidemic,spread by the Hajj. I didn’t say anything like that, and theSaudis are taking every possible precaution, and have theexpertise and infrastructure to do so.

Factors that are specific to Liberia are lack of health careinfrastructure, superstitions, illiteracy and lack of education,anti-Western hostility, and funeral rites. These are the main factorsthat caused the initial spread, and now there’s an extremely fastexponential rate of growth caused by three more factors: Lack ofenough Ebola clinics, deaths of many health workers, and isolation ofLiberia from the rest of the world — meaning that new Ebola patientsare literally receiving no care whatsoever.

Things may change, but right now I don’t see any of these factors inplay in the U.S. or Europe or any developed nation. However, thosefactors may still apply in many underdeveloped places in the world,particularly megacities and slums, and so a global Ebola epidemic inspecific isolated places may yet occur. Also, a war in anylocation can destroy the health care infrastructure, and allowa pandemic to spread.

Another web site reader referred me to the following very interestingarticle on the history of pandemics: How plagues really work

John Kerry’s testimony before the Senate: 1971 and Today

Here’s what John Kerry said, testifying before the Senate ArmedServices Committee in 1971:

“I would like to talk, representing all thoseveterans, and say that several months ago in Detroit, we had aninvestigation at which over 150 honorably discharged and many veryhighly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed inSoutheast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on aday-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levelsof command….

They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut offears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to humangenitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies,randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscentof Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned foodstocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam inaddition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and veryparticular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power ofthis country.”

Now, here’s what he said on Wednesday, testifying before the samecommittee:

“Because ISIL is killing and raping and mutilatingwomen. And they believe women shouldn’t have an education. Theysell off girls to be sex slaves to jihadists. There is nonegotiation with ISIL. There is nothing to negotiate. And they’renot offering anyone healthcare of any kind. They’re not offeringeducation of any kind.

For a whole philosophy or idea or cult, or whatever you want tocall it, that frankly comes out of the stone age. They’recold-blooded killers marauding across the Middle East making amockery of a peaceful religion.”

When you compare the two statements, the US Army comes out a lot worsethan ISIL in John Kerry’s view.

John Kerry has expressed nothing but contempt for the US Army hisentire life. He reaffirmed his 1971 testimony when he appeared on theImus show in 2006, and in that time frame he said that US soldiers arestupid.

For John Kerry to be U.S. Secretary of State is a travesty and aninsult to all Americans. The only thing that qualifies him for thisor any government job is that his boss shares his attitudes.

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Ebola, Liberia, John Kerry
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