With thanks to Dana Ullman, MPH 15.12.08
Just prior to Donald Rumsfeld becoming our Secretary of Defense, he was the Chairman of the Board of Gilead Sciences, the company that created Tamiflu. Rumsfeld and his associates seem to be as (in)effective in fighting viruses as they are terrorists, but this doesn’t stop them from making a buck or two (or more).
In fact, according to Marcia Angell, MD, (the former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine), the top 10 drug manufacturers in the Fortune 500 made more profit in 2002 than the remaining 490 (!) companies combined. The medical industrial complex can whip the military industrial complexes ass.
The “good” news about Tamiflu is that research shows that it will reduce a person’s symptoms of the flu by ONE day (isn’t that worth the $1 billion that President Bush proposed in his 2006 State of the Union address?). The fact that there is no evidence that Tamiflu will cure the “bird flu” or even reduce its symptoms in a significant way seems to be a perfect fit for what might be the “Bush Doctrine.”
The diagnosis and prognosis of a “Western medical disease” (what might be called a “WMD”) seems to be based on faulty medical intelligence or simply selective medical intelligence.
Tamiflu does have a tendency to cause various side-effects, but side-effects (and collateral damage) are simply the price that we have to pay for health (or war). Some of the side effects from Tamiflu include suicide–but only if you’re a child; delirium–but heck, if you’re delirious, you won’t even know it; convulsions–but you might learn some new dance steps; hepatitis and liver disease, but maybe it’s good “exercise” for the liver; asthma and allergy symptoms–it is so good for you that it takes your breathe away!
Sadly and predictably, using Tamiflu for treating the common flu will tend to increase the chances of creating super-viruses that will become immune to anti-viral drugs. It is almost as though this drug has the capacity to create thousands (or millions) of “terrorist cells” that could threaten the body (and the body politic).
It is no surprise that former Secretary of State George Schultz is another member on the Board of Directors of Gilead Sciences, and some business analysts have asserted that no other drug company has such a cozy relationship with the Bush Administration as this company (now, give me that look of “big surprise!”).
So…do not miss the boat. Create your own infectious disease pandemic and media scare! Just fill out the below questionnaire, and you can create the next disease that will be feared by all…you might even get a chance to NAME this disease…or better, get it named after YOU!…and if you are really smart, you’ll pre-invest into the drug company that will successfully be able to treat one or two symptoms of the disease, even though some people may die from the drug’s side effects.
And by the way…whether the bird flu ever becomes a reality or not (or whether YOUR disease ever becomes a reality or not), you can claim with confidence that it was your concerns that helped PREVENT the pandemic. You win either way!
PICK AN ANIMAL AND A VIRULENT SOUNDING INFECTIOUS AGENT FOR YOUR NEW PANDEMIC:
a) cow prions
b) tortoise bacteria
c) duck virus
d) swine fungus
e) mosquito parasite
f) gerbil worm
g) fruit bat turds
CHOOSE AN INFECTION METHOD:
a) you touched or petted an infected animal
b) you eat meat or ate something that the infected animal once touched
c) you tied your shoes, but the laces had touched the ground in which the diseased animal walked
d) you had unprotected sex with nurses
e) you had unprotected sex with gerbils
CHOOSE A PART OF THE ANIMAL THAT IS PARTICULARLY DISEASED
a) cow brains
b) tortoise feet
c) pig fat
d) duck liver
e) dog tongues
f) bat blood
HOW DO YOUR VICTIMS DIE?
a) Dehydration from chronic urination
b) Eyes protrude out of their sockets with profuse bleeding
c) Head explosion
d) Throat constriction
e) Skin melting
SPEED OF THE DISEASE:
a) Slow, agonizing deaths with a protruding tongue
b) Slow and gentle progression into the night (with poetic dreams)
c) Rapid progression of the disease with fear and loathing
d) Rapid progression of the disease with mental confusion and other stuff (you’ll hardly even know that you’re sick!)
CHOOSE A TRAGIC, INNOCENT FIRST CARRIER:
a) Pregnant women
b) Katey Couric
e) Paris Hilton
CONSTRUCT A WORST-CASE SCENARIO WITH A POSITIVE SPIN ON IT:
a) Disease creates fear about any type of exchanging bodily fluids, making “Become a master of your own domain” the new public health slogan.
b) Disease schrivels breasts, creating depression for men and women, but makes a bundle for plastic surgeons.
c) Disease only kills the 1st born…but because new research has confirmed that terrorists are primarily 1st born children (they have early training on their younger siblings), terrorism disappears.
d) Disease smites the God-fearing Christians; people learn to love God.
THE MAGIC BULLET (with minor side effect):
a) Anti-viral (grows hair on your palms…making being a master of your own domain easier to take)
b) Anti-fungal (reduces athletes foot too but creates web feet)
c) Anti-worm (creates acidic urine that kills earthworms in soils, destroying ability to compost food, but gives companies that manufacture fertilizers a major boost)
d) A herb (causes garlic breath)
e) A homeopathic medicine (doctors assert that it was an MD who discovered homeopathy in the first place, so they insist that they invented it)
CONGRATULATIONS! YOU’VE JUST CREATED:
a) A pandemic of fear and damnation
b) A pandemic of vaccine-related diseases
c) A pandemic of new drug sales for a disease that doesn’t exist yet but that could occur at any time
d) A pandemic of cosmic and comic proportions
NOW, YOU HAVE TO GIVE THIS NEW DISEASE A GOOD NAME. MATCH YOUR ANIMAL AND ITS BODY PART TO ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:
a) cow prions pox
b) duck virus plague
c) duck virus wasting disease
d) fruit bat auto-immune disorder
To add fuel to the fire, make certain to announce that there are presently inadequate amounts of the drug you need for treatment. This is very important because it gives people the real sense that they are being left out…and that they MUST have this drug (whether it works or not…and whether the disease is real or not!).
AND NOW…THE BEST PART: YOU CAN CREATE YOUR OWN VACCINE FOR THIS THEORETICAL DISEASE.
Please know that you do not have to prove that your vaccine works. For instance, according to the LANCET (October 1, 2005), a systematic review of all previous studies testing vaccines for influenza to elderly populations has not shown that they are effective in preventing this disease. Another important study in the LANCET (February 26, 2005) analyzed every study published in any language, and they could not find a single study that showed a flu vaccine led to the reduction in mortality or serious complications from the flu in children.
Tom Jefferson, MD (ya gotta love that name!), the author of the above two studies in the LANCET, asserts, “What you see every year as the flu is caused by 200 or 300 different agents with a vaccine against two of them. That is simply nonsense.” (NOTE: Dr. Jefferson has acknowledged that the abstracts to his articles may provide some confusing information. For more accurate information about the study, please read the study itself, and/or read this article in which Dr. Jefferson was interviewed.
Don’t just sit there…call the media now…
Dana Ullman, MPH, graduated from UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health in 1978. He has written 9 books on homeopathic medicine. His newest book is The Homeopathic Revolution: Why Famous People and Cultural Heroes Choose Homeopathy (North Atlantic Books/Random House, 2007), and his most popular book is Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicines (Tarcher/Putnam, 2004). His greatest honor was when UC Berkeley’s alumni magazine featured a 4-page interview with him (February 1999).