Things That Are Beginning To Add Up

Yesterday the U.K. Daily Mail reported that on January 21, 2020, China filed a patent for Remdesivir, one of the drugs being used to treat the coronavirus. January 21st was the day after China confirmed human transmission of the disease.

The article reports:

The revelation that it moved so fast fuels concerns about a cover-up of the pandemic when it erupted in Wuhan last year, and suggests that China’s understanding of the virus was far advanced from the impression given by its public stance.

Last night, Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, joined the growing global clamour for a full, independent inquiry into China’s role.

‘It is quite clear there is an awful lot that we don’t know about the emergence of this disease and the responses to it,’ he said. ‘We all need to learn the lessons of the outbreak so the international community can respond better in the future.’

China’s Communist Party leaders face accusations that they suppressed data, blocked public health teams from investigating, silenced doctors seeking to warn the world about the epidemic and delayed admitting there was human transmission.

We need to remember that in dealing with China, we are dealing with a closed society. The people of China either say and do what the government tells them to say or do or they wind up dead, missing, or in re-education camps. China is in no way a free society, and the information they put out cannot be trusted.

The article concludes:

Professor Martin Landray, a leader of the Oxford study, said doctors would probably end up with a range of drugs to fight the virus, adding: ‘It is unlikely we will get a wonder drug that will knock out the infection.’

Prof Landray said drugs might be used in combinations to help reduce death rates.

He added: ‘Even if you find a drug that reduces the death rate by one fifth, that would have meant we would have been able to save about 4,000 lives already in Britain.’

We need a reliable cure for the coronavirus more than we need a vaccination or a lockdown.

Actions Have Consequences

I am not a doctor, and I raised children before the controversy over vaccines began. I had my children vaccinated because it was what their pediatrician recommended. At the time that was pretty standard. Times have changed, and I am not sure what the right answer is, but at some point it seems that common sense should play a role.

The Hill is reporting today that state lawmakers are considering eliminating the vaccine  exemptions that have been granted to parents. The reason is the recent outbreaks of measles.

The article reports:

But the most recent measles outbreaks, which have infected 159 mostly unvaccinated people in 10 states, is leading some states to reconsider.

“That goes beyond religious freedom,” said Burke.

Every state requires that students be vaccinated to enroll in school, and all states allow exemptions for children who are too sick to receive vaccines or who have a weakened immune system.

Most states also allow exemptions for religious reasons, and 17 states, including Washington and Texas, allow exemptions for both religious and personal or philosophical beliefs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Both Washington and Texas have seen measles outbreaks this year.

Lawmakers in Iowa, New Jersey and Vermont, which already ban personal or philosophical exemptions, are now debating proposals to eliminate religious exemptions.

I am concerned that if these exemptions are eliminated, exemptions for more controversial vaccines will also be eliminated. I am also concerned that smallpox vaccines are no longer given to American children because the disease is said to have been eradicated in America. Unfortunately, a person recently stopped while attempting to enter America illegally was diagnosed with smallpox. I would like to think that he was the only person with the disease attempting to enter America, but I am not sure that is realistic.

The article concludes:

Outbreaks can occur in communities where there is not a high enough percentage of people who are vaccinated.

Described as “herd immunity” by public health experts, at least 94 percent of a community must be vaccinated against measles to prevent the disease from spreading.

Herd immunity protects those with weakened immune systems, babies who can’t be vaccinated or those who are too sick to receive vaccinations.

But as more and more parents claim vaccine exemptions, experts say, the disease is more likely to spread.

And federal officials have indicated the government might step in if state legislatures don’t.

“Some states are engaging in such wide exemptions that they’re creating the opportunity for outbreaks on a scale that is going to have national implications,” Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNN last week.

If “certain states continue down the path that they’re on, I think they’re going to force the hand of the federal health agencies.”

Health committees in the House and Senate are set to hold hearings on the measles outbreaks this month.

It will be interesting to watch the hearings. Good arguments can be made on both sides of this issue.

Smile, You Have Been Manipulated

Last Sunday KRAE News 13 posted an article with the following headline, “Measles outbreak casts spotlight on anti-vaccine movement.” We all heard about the supposedly scientific report that showed a link between vaccines and autism. We also heard later that the research was fraudulent and there was no link. Generally speaking, I think I would vaccinate my children, which is what I did, but not everyone makes that choice. Because of the outbreak of measles that began in Disney World, there has been a focus on those parents who have not vaccinated their children–as if they were responsible for the outbreak of measles. Admittedly, they may not be helping the situation, but before we attack those parents who have refused vaccinations for their children, let’s look at some facts.

A website called stason.org posted statistics on the number of children worldwide who receive vaccinations. These are statistics from the early 1990’s, but they are interesting. In America, parents opt out of vaccines because they fear the consequences of the vaccine more than they fear their child contracting the disease in question. In many other countries, the vaccines are simply not available or not affordable.

According to stason.org (1992 figures):

 About 80% of the world’s children aged less than 1 were
reported to have received measles vaccine

The CDC Website cites a measles vaccination rate for Americans of about 91 percent.

So what am I getting out here? Most American children are protected against measles.

The article at KRAE News 13 reports:

Health authorities believe the outbreak was triggered by a measles-stricken visitor to one of the Disney parks who brought the virus from abroad last month.

As one of the world’s biggest tourist destinations, Disney was a perfect spot for the virus to spread, with large numbers of babies too young to be vaccinated and lots of visitors from countries that do not require measles shots. The disease has since spread beyond Disneyland.

Last summer there were a number of children from South American countries who crossed the Mexican border into America. What percentage of those children was vaccinated? It seems to me that rather than focus anger on parents in America who have refused the measles vaccine, we should be looking to the number of illegal aliens in this country (both children and adults) who because of poverty have never been vaccinated. One of the unintended consequences of President Obama’s policy of not enforcing our southern border may be a much more serious measles epidemic than might have otherwise occurred.