SINCE the beginning of the Covid -19 coronavirus pandemic, the United States (US) government has repeatedly announced an increase in assistance to African countries to combat the consequences associated with the new disease.
BY OWN CORRESPONDENT
In particular, the US embassy in Zimbabwe announced the allocation of $18 million as assistance towards the Covid-19 response in Zimbabwe.
At the same time, the US announced an increase in funding for programmes to fight HIV and Aids, tuberculosis, malaria and cancer.
Of course, such assistance is necessary and welcome.
For realisation of the American health assistance programmes, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) office was opened in Harare with epidemiologists, physicians and health experts across a full range of issues.
American specialists interact with both the Ministry of Health and Child Care of Zimbabwe and private and non-governmental organisations. They carried out various tests and medical research in several regions of the country.
For example, in 2019 an American medical centre,Abbott Laboratories, implemented a programme in Zimbabwe for the identification of HBV infection by using the Determine HBSAG 2 tests.
Studies were made in 25 regions of the republic. About 20 000 people were tested. The effectiveness of the test and the method was confirmed.
The good intentions and goals of the American medical programmes are declared not only in Zimbabwe, but also in other African countries.
In Africa, about 50 US biological laboratories and groups of epidemiologists are working under the control of the US Centers for Disease Control.
They are studying the sanitary and epidemiological situation, collecting samples of biological materials and testing new medicines.
Main tasks of these laboratories and groups, as well as of the Centers for Disease Control itself are the prediction of the likely damage caused by the use of viruses and other pathogens as weapons of mass destruction, the study of dangerous pathogens and their effects on the human body, as well as testing of newest drugs.
And the testing of medicines by American doctors and pharmaceutical companies is carried out mainly not in America, but in other, primarily developing countries, including Africa.
In the first place, it is advantageous, as conducting research in the USA and Europe are much more expensive.
And secondly, preference is given to states with more lenient laws that allow medical research on humans to bypass the current international norms and rules and, if necessary, to hide harm to patients and cases of their deaths.
It also speeds up the testing of newest medicines and the determination of the effectiveness of treatments without prior comprehensive safety tests.
American centers and laboratories activities are promoted to help fight deadly diseases. At the same time, it is hushed up that it can pose a threat to the local population.
Periodical pop-up facts about the negative and side effects of drugs used in treatment are often hidden. But sometimes they cannot be hushed up and then they leak to the press.
So in 2014, a scandal erupted in Kenya over the safety of the tetanus toxoid vaccine (TT) laced with a pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) that was being administered to women in the country. Implemented by Unicef and the World Health Organisation (WHO), the programme was funded by the Bill Gates Foundation.
Although the Kenyan government, Unicef and the WHO had all said that the vaccine was safe, the country’s Catholic leaders said they had proof that the doses given to Kenyan women were lacedwith a fertility-inhibiting hormone.
“We shall not waver in calling upon all Kenyans to avoid the tetanus vaccination campaign laced with Beta-HCG, because we are convinced that it is indeed a disguised population control programme,” the bishops said.
In a joint statement WHO and Unicef said the “grave allegations” were “not backed up by evidence.” The Kenyan government also denied that the vaccination programme was a secret mass sterilisation effort.
But in 2017, an article entitled “HCG found in WHO tetanus vaccine in Kenya raises concern in the developing world” was published in the Open Access Library Journal.
The report described young women in Kenya who were vaccinated with this vaccine on the pretext of preventing maternal and neonatal (baby) tetanus.
Many of the samples of the tetanus vaccine tested positive for HCG. Results were abortions in females already pregnant and/or infertility in recipients not yet impregnated.
In support of the concerns of the Kenyan Catholic leaders it was argued in the article that; “Three independent Nairobi accredited biochemistry laboratories tested samples from vials of the WHO tetanus vaccine and found HCG where none should be present.”
Given that HCG was found in at least half the WHO vaccine samples known by the doctors involved in administering the vaccines to have been used in Kenya, our opinion is that the Kenya “anti-tetanus” campaign was reasonably called into question by the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association as а front for population growth reduction.”
And some experts have argued that in 2014 in Kenya and as a result of tetanus vaccination programme financed by the Bill Gates Foundation 2.3 million Kenyan women had been unable to become mothers.
The media has repeatedly accused the US of creating and spreading pathogens of dangerous diseases, pointing out that outbreaks of epidemics often occur where American medical research centers and bio-laboratories are located.
So in 2018, the respected American publication USA Today published an investigation titled “Inside America’s secretive biolabs”. It investigated violations taking place in secret bio-laboratories in the US.
In particular, it is argued that USA Today investigation reveals that hundreds of lab mistakes, safety violations and near-miss incidents have occurred in biological laboratories coast-to-coast in recent years, putting scientists, their colleagues and sometimes even the public at risk.
Oversight of biological research labs is fragmented, often secretive and largely self-policing, the investigation found.
And even when research facilities commit the most egregious safety or security breaches — as more than 100 labs have — federal regulators keep their names secret.
There is no publicly available list of these labs, and the scope of their research and safety records are largely unknown to most state health departments charged with responding to disease outbreaks.
Even the federal government doesn’t know where they all are, the US Government Accountability Office has warned for years.
A team of reporters who work for the USA Today Network of Gannett newspapers and TV stations identified more than 200 of these high-containment lab facilities in the USA operated by government agencies, universities and private companies.
High-profile lab accidents with anthrax, Ebola and bird flu at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the discovery of forgotten vials of deadly smallpox virus at the National Institutes of Health raised widespread concerns about lab safety and security nationwide.
The US Department of Defense disclosed one of its labs mistakenly sent samples of live anthrax — instead of killed specimens – to labs across the USA plus a military base in South Korea where 22 people were being treated with antibiotics because of their potential exposure to the bioterror pathogen.
This information raises the question: “Why did the US military send samples of bio-hazardous substances to South Korea? Maybe for testing biological weapons in Asia?” No other explanation has yet been found.
“At the high-containment labs identified by USA Today, experiments are underway involving drug-resistant tuberculosis, exotic strains of flu, the Sars and Mers viruses, plague, anthrax, botulism, ricin and the Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fever viruses.
Studies are also being done on a wide range of bioterrorism pathogens that are less known to the public, such as the agents that cause exotic diseases like tularemia, Q fever and melioidosis. Still others are focused on pathogens that pose serious economic risks to agriculture, such as foot-and-mouth disease, brucellosis and “mad cow” disease.
At a few labs, experiments have been done with strains of flu and other viruses purposely made to be more dangerous in studies that seek to understand how they might mutate naturally.»
The USA Today Network investigation revealed that it’s impossible to obtain a full accounting of lab accidents or lab-acquired infections.
The programme, jointly run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Department of Agriculture, refused to release copies of detailed incident reports, citing a 2002 US bioterrorism law.
The USA Today Network investigation revealed many facts of leaks of bio-hazardous components from American biological laboratories. Many of them led to the deaths of people and animals. And this is just what was revealed in the US itself.
And how many incidents have occurred at American secret biomedical facilities around the world and what consequences they have led, remains unsolved. They don’t know.
But from time to time scandals emerge around American biomedical facilities, which, no matter how hard the US government tries, it fails to hush up.
So in 2018, Igor Giorgadze, a former state security minister of Georgia Republic made the groundbreaking revelation, claiming that a US-funded medical facility in Georgia may have been involved in illegal experiments on Georgian citizens.
He said he had managed to acquire over 100,000 pages of documents about the research done at the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health, located just outside the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi.
The lab, which was “established on the territory of a former military base some 17 kilometers from Tbilisi” as part of a US-funded project back in 2004, “was never meant to be a medical center and had nothing in common with a hospital.”
“Preliminary research on the documents … indicates that biologists from the US military medical group in Georgia and private contractors under a federal contract with the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), a combat support agency of the Pentagon, which deals with weapons of mass destruction, could have indeed been conducting secret experiments on Georgian citizens,” Giorgadze said.
Giorgadze pointed out that the facility had been the subject of rumours, and seemingly linked to mysterious incidents from the very beginning.
“The people, who lived there complained about frequent headaches, sickness and a strange smell”, which they said emanated from the lab, the ex-minister said. The beginning of work at the laboratory strangely coincided with an increase in the incidences of some diseases on Georgian territory, he added.
A separate batch of documents published by Giorgazde shows some highly controversial results in the treatment of people diagnosed with Hepatitis C with medicines developed in the US. The papers show that almost three dozen patients died, with their deaths attributed to «unknown reasons”, or simply not explained.
All patients who suffered from various adverse effects or died were treated with Sovaldi – a US drug once hailed as a revolution in the treatment of Hepatitis C. What looks even more sinister is the fact that 27 patients died on the same day.
“What happened to them? Were they infected with something? Where were they buried? We need answers,”Giorgadze said, noting the chilling incident might be just the tip of the iceberg. The documents contain almost none of the patients’ personal information, except for their age and gender in some cases.
The American biomedical footprint was also noted in Ukraine. In April this year, Ukraine’s Opposition Platform – For Life party urged the Ukrainian authorities to probe the operation of 15 US military biological laboratories. It argued that since their emergence Ukraine has seen outbreaks of dangerous diseases.
“These laboratories carry out unlawful activity that threatens the life and health of Ukrainian citizens,” the head of the party’s Political Council, Viktor Medvedchuk said in the statement.
“We demand that the authorities should make public the instances of illegal ‘cooperation’ between Ukraine and the United States concerning the activity of US bio-laboratories in our country,” the message says.
As an example the Science and Technology⁶ Center in Ukraine (STCU) – an international organisation funded by the US authorities whose employees enjoy diplomatic immunity was mentioned.
“This center is involved in financing projects for the creation of weapons of mass destruction,” Medvedchuk said.
According to him: “The emergence of US bio-laboratories in Ukraine and the financing of STCU projects was accompanied by several outbreaks of serious infectious diseases in the country. “
In view of the growing rates of serious infectious diseases there are solid grounds to say that covert and non-transparent activity of dangerous foreign biological facilities in Ukraine is in reality aimed at testing viruses and bacteria on Ukrainian citizens».
In the message, the opposition leader mentioned the outbreaks of dangerous infectious diseases in Ukraine in recent years, which might be connected with the activity of US laboratories.
In 2009, a virus caused a hotbed of hemorrhagic pneumonia, which claimed 450 lives. In 2011, Ukraine saw an outbreak of cholera, with 33 patients taken to hospital.
Three years later another 800 patients were diagnosed with cholera. One year later, more than 100 cases of cholera were identified.
In 2016, 364 people died in Ukraine of the swine fever virus A (H1N1) pdm09, the very same strain that caused the 2009 pandemic. Several outbreaks of Hepatitis A occurred in Ukraine in 2017.
At the time, the US embassy denied Ukrainian opposition reports about US military laboratories in Ukraine.
The US embassy stressed that in Ukraine, the US Department of Defense’s Biological Threat Reduction Programme works with the Ukrainian government to consolidate and secure pathogens and toxins of security concern in Ukrainian government facilities, while allowing for peaceful research and vaccine development.
At the same time, it remains unclear why the US Department of Defense units are mainly involved in conducting “peaceful research”, but not other American departments.
After all, as it’s known, the primary task of the relevant units of the Pentagon is the development of various types of weapons, including weapons of mass destruction.
And the disregard by the American administration of all possible norms of international laws and international treaties, together with the US readiness to use any means to achieve its own superiority in the world, give reason to believe that the US will continue to act only in its own interests.
This does not give credence to the thinking that American medical programmes and biological laboratories around the world are aimed at providing health assistance to other countries.