While Ron Hart is most likely sincere in his world view, [ See “Fauci needs to go, common sense needs to be invited in,” The Star and Times, June 3, 2021 ], he is just wrong and I need to take issue with his claims.
Dr. Fauci, while certainly not a perfect public scientist, does not deserve the kind of blame that Mr. Hart faults. During the pandemic, while our medical scientists were learning what to do, there were several procedural contradictions, not unusual considering that this was a “novel coronavirus,” meaning “new.”
Why Mr. Hart excuses President Trump for politicizing the virus and preventive treatments, nor does not blame the neoliberal order that has weakened public health facilities, is an ideological choice. We know the American response to COVID was the worst in the world and our case rate and death rate show that truth (while India is busy trying to catch up). I can only conclude that it is easier to blame Fauci and China than to face up to our shortcomings.
Blaming China seems to be a popular message these days for many reasons, mostly having to do with American corporate elites to maintain hegemony, while profit-taking from the arms industry must also be a factor. The danger of this ideology is that 1) it threatens war, even nuclear war; 2) it damages collaborative efforts in the fields of climate change and medical research. Now, more than ever, the world needs to cooperate and set aside petty differences.
While it is important to study the origin of COVID-19, especially since there are bioweapons and clinical laboratories all over the world studying deadly pathogens, this effort should be undertaken in a spirit of discovery, not of condemnation. And, there are too many instances of false news about the virus. One bit was the story of the unfortunate Dr. Lee, an ophthalmologist who alerted his colleagues about symptoms of a new SARS virus. He was not punished, as Ron Hart claims, but politely admonished not to spread rumors without medical corroboration; he died of COVID but was later praised by the government (things happen in China at many political levels).
The most reasonable theory of COVID-19's origin is the Mojiang bat-cave mining theory. In 2012, six guano miners working in a deep, abandoned mine several hundred kilometers from Wuhan became sick and were hospitalized, probably from breathing in dust from the bat guano. For many, many days they lingered in the hospital and several died. During this time, the virus, deeply imbedded in their lungs, underwent the many mutations necessary to adapt to the human lung environment, essentially mimicking the "gain of function" research of laboratories. Subsequently, the virus samples taken from the miners by researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology must have escaped years later from the lab and/or from other labs in the world - these people share research. If so, this theory just shows the weakness of this modern world.
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