MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS
Since the great influenza pandemic of 1918, the United States has been spared terrifying epidemics. There have been odd synchronicities and historic connections to epidemics that have spanned nearly one hundred years. They are certainly interesting to ponder but now that the 2019 Novel Coronavirus has become a horrible reality – Americans have become helpless epidemic voyeurs.
In my Facebook feed, I see videos of people dying in the streets of China, shaking and jerking with blood drooling out of their mouths. I was watching a video where I saw a group of construction diggers feverishly making a 1000 bed quarantine hospital that after two weeks, Is now a building that has beds wall to wall and bars on the windows.
I am reading that China has been locking down cities larger than New York or Los Angeles.
I have noticed the ramped up 24/7 manufacture of face masks and protective gear. I see that a lot of it online is sold out. I watch as the Chinese deploy its armed forces medical corps to treat ailing citizens, send enormous convoys of food and supplies to anxious citizens of Wuhan, and release terrifying, growing tallies daily of its swelling patient populations.
Americans are now looking in horror at panicked lines of masked people waiting to learn if their fevers are caused by the deadly disease.
You can see bodies lying on cold floors in overcrowded hospitals, and people crying out from behind their masks for help.
But on our national TV networks we see political fighting, impeachment, failed caucuses and more political punditry about 2020 and who will win the big prize of the Oval Office.
Has anyone ever stopped to think about what the United States is doing to protect us from this type of anarchy? What can the Whitehouse do when a President is held up form doing his job?
Well, obviously the answers are not at all reassuring.
The media will bend over backward to scare us about Climate Change but apparently it is not politically expedient to report what is happening with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.
What is also concerning is that we experienced a chilling moment on our show two days when Jack, a regular caller from San Diego was talking to us about the whistleblower Ophthalmologist Dr. Li Wenliang that blew the whistle about the Wuhan Coronavirus.
He tried to give us an update about his health.
During the call, we started to hear static on the line which interfered with the call and then without warning the line dropped usually we hear the call disengage – this was different – it just went dead.
Two days later it was reported that the doctor died of the very virus he tried to warn the world about.
Dr. Li posted his story on Weibo, a social media platform from a hospital bed a month after sending out his initial warning.
The 34-year-old had noticed seven cases of a virus that he thought looked like SARS, the virus that led to a global epidemic in 2003.
On December 30th, he sent a message to fellow doctors in a chat group warning them to wear protective clothing to avoid infection.
Four days later he was summoned to the Public Security Bureau where he was told to sign a letter. In the letter, he was accused of “making false comments” that had “severely disturbed the social order”.
He was one of eight people who police said were being investigated for “spreading rumors” Local authorities later apologized to Dr. Li.
In his Weibo post he describes how on January 10th he started coughing, the next day he had a fever and two days later he was in the hospital. He was diagnosed with the Coronavirus on January 30th.
The death of Dr. Li Wenliang has now become a political disaster for China.
When the director director-general of the World Health Organization declared the Wuhan Coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern, he praised the Chinese for taking unprecedented steps to control the spread of the deadly virus.
While the praise was laid down thick and heavy even though Communist China has been exploiting the habitual mutual trust of western people to manipulate public opinions about how they have handled human rights, government efficiency, and Climate Change.
Initially, we were repeatedly told that there was very little to be concerned about because it was very unlikely that human to human transmission was happening. But now we know that this virus spreads very, very easily between people. Another thing that we were repeatedly told by the mainstream media was that a victim had to start showing symptoms before they could spread the disease. Unfortunately, now we know that is completely and totally false.
That means that there could be thousands upon thousands of people that aren’t exhibiting any symptoms at all that are spreading this virus around like wildfire all over the globe right at this moment.
Why didn’t they just tell us the truth right from the beginning?
The mainstream media in the United States has failed to give us important information about this novel strain, why it is different from other coronaviruses and why have internet platforms now decided to block any information that they deem conspiracy theory about this particular strain?
Ever since the 2019 Novel coronavirus outbreak first began, the mainstream media has been feeding us misinformation over and over again. Now it seems that while one of our lifelines for information is the internet – many digital platforms are also getting into the act of framing the narrative in order to somehow appease the Chinese government and using the race card stating that many of the independent reporting of the virus is racist and hateful.
Some people on social media have detailed examples of people avoiding them in public spaces, or even confronting them in public about coronavirus.
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus has infected thousands of people and the death toll is climbing. Rapidly there have been many cases have been diagnosed in countries around the world, including the United States.
There has been increasing concern about racist vitriol and incidents.
However, while this virus is not an excuse for treating people with disrespect Xenophobia is to be expected when we are constantly being told that the disease is spreading amongst the Chinese and beyond.
Once again this type of Xenophobia can all be blamed on an irresponsible media and the method in which the Chinese Government and the World Health Organization has not been forthcoming with how diseases such as this can appear out of nowhere.
Many people are unaware that there are now four coronavirus strains that commonly infect humans as common colds or pneumonia. They have been around for years.
Disease outbreaks are a bit like fires. The virus is the flame. Susceptible people are the fuel. Eventually, a fire burns itself out if it runs out of kindling. A virus outbreak will end when it stops finding susceptible people to infect.
With the new coronavirus, it’s still hard to how it might burn out on its own. That’s because at the moment we don’t totally know exactly who is susceptible.
It will either burn out quickly or we will have to watch it move across the world as there is no way to stop it.
This isn’t a desirable scenario. It will involve many more people getting sick, possibly dying. How bad it would depend on aspects of the disease officials are trying to understand: how many people who catch the infection get sick, how many of those people die, and how easy is it to spread from one person to the next.
We may see this virus become yet another common virus that will never go away.
This has happened before. In 2009, a new strain of the H1N1 flu virus encircled the globe in a pandemic. But, after a while, it became a part of our normal repertoire of what might come up each flu season.
It’s possible that this virus becomes the fifth annual coronavirus that we fight and like the flu, it could come and go with the seasons. Possibly, it could become a seasonal virus in China. or, it could, like the flu, or it could be a virus that is mutating into something far more deadly in its second stage.
In some areas of the globe, we are hearing that this virus is moving into a second stage mutation that is attacking people, causing them to collapse and bleed from the mouth.
Chinese officials have confirmed that even those showing no symptoms at all can spread the disease. But perhaps the biggest fraud of all has been the “official numbers” that the Chinese government has been putting out.
Over the past several days, thousands upon thousands of very sick people have been absolutely overwhelming the hospitals in Wuhan, China. In some cases, people have literally had to wait in line for two days to see a doctor, and in other cases, people have not been able to see a doctor at all.
Chinese officials are assuring us that they have everything under control because they have now locked down a whole bunch of major cities.
But that isn’t going to stop the spread of the virus. Millions of people left Wuhan before that city was quarantined, and many others have been able to skirt around the travel restrictions quite easily.
The mainstream media did not report that the much-needed quarantine and lockdown in Wuhan, where the virus originated was far too late, because as Wuhan’s mayor Zhou Xianwang revealed during a press conference, about 5 million residents had already left Wuhan before the lockdown because of the deadly coronavirus epidemic and the Chinese New year.
While many news and information outlets are failing to report the facts and while many internet social outlets are blocking content. There is a danger that people who are not well informed will fall into a form of complacency and ignorance about what to do – it is very peculiar to see how “silence” and “censorship” are being used to block the public’s right to know.
But this is not a time for fear or panic, yes, things are going to get a lot worse. And yes, a lot more people are going to die.
But it appears that there is a cover-up going on – the only question is what is being covered up and why?
Well, after looking over the situation, consulting with a few people that know about what we are up against I have learned a few things that we should discuss. The world is getting sicker and we are still arguing over whether acquittal means innocence and whether or not Nancy Pelosi should go to jail over ripping up the State of the Union speech.
In 2018 the Trump administration fired the government’s entire pandemic response chain of command, including the White House management infrastructure. Now if the United States still has a clear chain of command for a pandemic response, the White House urgently needs to clarify what it is.
Here at home the real business of assuring public health and safety is a local matter, executed by state, county, and city departments that operate under a mosaic of laws and regulations that vary jurisdiction by jurisdiction.
Some massive cities, such as New York City or Boston, have large budgets, clear regulations, and epidemic experiences where they have a huge roster of medical and public health talent.
But much of the United States is less fortunate on the local level, struggling with underfunded agencies, understaffing, and no genuine epidemic experience. Large and small, America’s localities rely in times of public health crisis on the federal government.
An organization that is capable of handling novel diseases like this matters. Without a well prepared local affiliate, there’s nothing to coherently manage an alphabet soup of agencies housed in departments ranging from Defense to Commerce, Homeland Security to Health and Human Services
A $30 million dollar Complex Crises Fund was eliminated and there were cuts made in the global disease-fighting operational budgets of the Centers of Disease Control, National Security Council, Department of Homeland security, and the Department of Health & Human Services.
Acting fast, President Trump Trump announced the creation of the President’s Coronavirus Task Force, a group of a dozen advisors, five from the White House staff. Chaired by Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, the task force includes men from the CDC, State Department, DHS, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Transportation Department.
With all of the campaigning, grandstanding and the monopoly of the impeachment debacle our government has resorted to improvisation.
That is our coronavirus response. Making it up as we go. There is also the social media response—censorship.
Back in October, a “high-level pandemic exercise” entitled “Event 201” was held in New York City. The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in conjunction with the World Economic Forum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, brought together “15 leaders of business, government, and public health” to simulate a scenario in which a coronavirus pandemic called CAPS was ravaging the planet. The current coronavirus outbreak that originated in China did not begin until December, and so at that time, it was supposedly just a hypothetical exercise.
It is this information that is being shut down by the social media platforms of the internet calling it a conspiracy theory when there really was an event that was similar to many others where tabletop exercises are carried out in order to try and combat the possible end of the world scenarios. There was also the Clade X, Dark Winter, and Atlantic Storm exercises and in each event, millions die.
These exercises were funded and carried out by the same financial backers of the institute that was granted a U.S. patent for “an attenuated coronavirus” in November 2018. The patent was filed in July 2015. by the Pirbright Institute. Some of the major backers of the Pirbright Institute include the World Health Organization, the European Commission, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Nobody in the mainstream media is likely to connect the dots nor will they report that a virus similar to the 2019 Novel coronavirus SARS has escaped from secure labs in Beijing many times before.
With social platforms shutting what they call conspiracy theory – messages are being buried.
Facebook though is just satisfied with saving face with their Chinese investors and has decided to settle on the idea that people will only glance appear at ludicrous Facebook headlines, Twitter posts and WhatsApp messages, only to hit the like, retweet and forward buttons on the stories they approve.
We see just how precious man-hours are being wasted posting stories about Pelosi and her tirade – anger over the decision to acquit President Trump. Facebook also finds it a bit more dubious to try and disprove fake news, repackaged old stories and what they call conspiracy theory shutting down anything that is not framed by the mainstream, lying media.
That is not to say that Facebook has not had its share of disinformation but that is the nature of the beast.
Conspiracy theory happens when a media does not report on what the people want to know or need to know –what they don’t know they speculate about and sometimes believe more in their speculations than the truth.
As the number of coronavirus cases increases, Americans are growing more fearful, which is creating new problems that the government and the media is leaving unaddressed.
Medical face masks and latex gloves are selling out all over the country.
Searching online for protective masks reveals that dozens of products intended for use to block dust and particles far larger than viruses are selling big —but none that are available that can actually prevent viral exposure.
People are also buying up food sources and filling their pantries in case of quarantine or product cessation. Food storage companies like My Patriot supply are keeping up with the demand – that is why it is important to not delay getting a two week supply of food.
Countering misinformation, so-called conspiracy theories, rumor-mongering, and discriminatory behavior against people believed to be disease spreaders requires thoughtful communication from leadership at the highest levels of government.
Since Washington DC and the media have been hung up on the impeachment hearings none of this is happening.
Meanwhile, people are dying – the political pigs that are wasting our time should be ashamed because people are dying and there has been no real news about what can be done to help matters, only scare stories of quarantined cruise ships and the reports of death tolls.
Censorship rarely works. Pretending everything is fine will backfire badly – consider the fury of Wuhan’s residents who feel they were lied to from the start.
Education can help: people, of all ages, need to be more discerning about news and information. How it is shaped, used and abused. But sometimes, it’s just a question where we focus our energy.
Policymakers and opinion shapers, whether public or corporate, must realize that crises have to now be dealt with asymmetrically.
We used to fight over territory. Now, the framing war is over attention spans, politics and various extreme ideologies and even in the face of a major pandemic people still find the time to care about political nonsense.
I urge local radio stations to organize information panels and hold and air meetings where professionals can speak directly to communities to give them the right kind of advice.
It is also important to investigate whether this virus is a genetically sequenced bioweapon and why was it released.
What were its real origins and why has it mutated into a cytokine killer?
When the immune system is fighting pathogens, cytokines signal immune cells such as T-cells and macrophages to travel to the site of infection. In addition, cytokines activate those cells, stimulating them to produce more cytokines.
Normally, this feedback loop is kept in check by the body. However, in some instances, the reaction becomes uncontrolled, and too many immune cells are activated in a single place.
The precise reason for this is not entirely understood but may be caused by an exaggerated response when the immune system encounters a new and highly pathogenic invader.
Cytokine storms have the potential to do significant damage to body tissues and organs.
If a cytokine storm occurs in the lungs, for example, fluids and immune cells such as macrophages may accumulate and eventually block off the airways, potentially resulting in death.
It literally drowns a person slowly, then the person walks around in a daze as they lose oxygen and fall over dead from the Cytokine reaction.
We have seen this happening in the streets of China as we have become pandemic voyeurs.
But as we watch and wait we cannot know which way this will go.
Four weeks from today, the number of cases may increase a thousandfold. More deaths, more fear, and more quarantines all over the world including the United States.
Six months from today, it may officially be called Wuhan pneumonia. It can lay to waste the souls of thousands of people – it could recede – or not.
We are faced with two mortal challenges, in the short term and the long term. Short term: We must do everything we can, with intelligence, calm and a full commitment of resources, to contain and extinguish this Novel Coronavirus outbreak before it becomes, as it could, a devastating global pandemic.
Long term: We must remember, when the dust settles, we will realize that in its aftermath, the new coronavirus did its damage because of a pattern of choices we made while we still had a chance of killing it.