Scientists Create the Next Killer Flu. Will It Escape the Lab?
It was the worst epidemic in the history of humanity.
It spread at an astonishing pace, racing through towns and cities like wildfire. It attacked young, healthy adults most often—and people who fell in the morning were often dead by nightfall. Schools were closed. Church services were banned. Whole neighborhoods were quarantined. Public assemblies were forbidden.
And still people died…and died…and died… Funeral homes ran out of coffins. Towns ran out of space to store bodies waiting for burial—auditoriums and gymnasiums became makeshift morgues.
It was the so-called “Spanish” flu, and from 1918 to 1919 it killed more people than the whole of World War I.
So why do I have the Spanish flu on my mind right now? Not just because October is officially the beginning of flu season. No, what’s bothering me today is a strange convergence of coincidences which by themselves aren’t so remarkable but, taken together, make me wonder what evil plot may be afoot in the not-so-hallowed halls of the CDC.
Mad science in the internet age
The specter of the Spanish flu has haunted us for nearly a hundred years. It’s why scientists keep such a close watch on the many different strains of influenza circulating in any given year. They’re keeping an eye on what mutations may have happened since the last flu season. They’re watching for signs that a previously mild strain of flu may have become deadly. And they’re not just monitoring the various strains of human flu.
We’re far from the only animals that get the flu, as you’re probably well aware from news stories about swine flu and bird flu. And some of these animal influenza viruses are much more dangerous than the garden-variety flu we deal with on a seasonal basis. Luckily, most can’t infect humans. Or, if they can, they’re not very contagious.
Now, the great fear of flu researchers is that one of the more dangerous animal flu strains will make the jump to humans and become much more contagious, resulting in another killer pandemic like the flu of 1918-19.
So why on earth would researchers intentionally modify one of these killer flu viruses to make it easier to catch? Why would they take a strain of flu that kills more than fifty percent of its victims—but which thankfully is very, very hard for humans to catch—and change it so that it CAN be easily caught…and passed on to other people?
Because this is exactly what some Danish flu researchers did back in the early years of the current decade. But a U.S. researcher from the University of Wisconsin-Madison took this mad science several steps further. Not only did he combine one of the most lethal forms of flu—bird flu—with one that’s readily contagious among people (swine flu) to create a super-flu, he then offered a public webcast explaining just exactly how he did it.
His research was dangerous enough that the U.S. government had already called on scientific journals remove parts of his published study. The concern was that others could use his research to create a bioweapon—a very valid fear. And in the wake of that, he still made this information available to anyone and everyone who wanted it through his webcast.
There’s no doubt this stinks to high heaven. But the truth is, it’s old news. All this occurred back in 2011-13. The scientists involved claimed they were trying to get a head start on nature—looking at mutations that were likely to occur naturally so we can be prepared ahead of time, yada yada yada…and we’ve not heard a word about it since. In four years, not a peep about the mad scientists who purposely created separate strains of mutant, dangerous influenza.
Here’s where the coincidences start. Bear with me—it’s a bit unsettling.
Am I stuck in a time warp, or is something fishy going on?
The news right now is flu-heavy. After all, it IS the beginning of flu season—I even wrote a flu piece myself a couple of weeks ago. This time of year I expect to see the word “influenza” spread all over the internet.
But last week was different. I wasn’t seeing the usual “get your flu shot” stories or even “10 Ways to Beat the Flu Naturally.” Instead, last week the top story in my news feeds was some version of “scientists-create-mutant-flu.” Let me tell you folks—I have a LOT of news feeds…and this story turned up as the first story in a dozen of them.
Now here’s where it really gets weird.
I scanned the stories and bookmarked them to read in full the next day, thinking we had a new round of mad science going on.
However, when I went back to the stories the next day, I couldn’t access a single one of them.
Every single link gave me some sort of error. Now, I’m talking about big sites like Nature and The Guardian. And it was only these stories—the rest of the site, in every case, was fine.
This made me want to reach for my tinfoil hat.
Any time a news story just disappears it’s suspicious. And when a big, scary flu story disappears during flu season it’s doubly suspicious. But that’s not the strangest thing.
I did some digging. I searched “mutant flu.” I searched “scientists create flu.” I searched every phrase I could think of…and without exception, the only stories to turn up were from 2011, 2012, and 2013. So why had it been at the top of my newsfeeds? Were we just raking up old muck, or had there been another, newer story that had been taken down?
I still don’t know.
Has Big Pharma got a secret weapon?
The number of people getting a flu shot each year is dropping—not surprising, considering how ineffective it’s been the last few flu seasons even according to the CDC. The killer flu epidemics predicted in earlier seasons never panned out—people just weren’t getting as sick as often as the CDC fear-mongering mouthpieces warned. People are seeing that the emperor has no clothes.
Big Guys are losing Big Money because of this.
Now consider this: the CDC and HHS recently proposed draconian new regulations for monitoring and detaining people who “appear ill.” Public comments on the proposed rules are now closed, and it looks like the rule will be adopted as-is, probably sooner rather than later.
Granted, I AM wearing my tinfoil hat. But it seems the coincidence to end all coincidences for the mutant flu stories to suddenly top today’s headlines shortly after this—especially when they then conveniently disappear.
Was this just a fear-based ploy to get us all lined up for flu shot? Or does it mean that later on this season we’ll see a new and deadly strain of flu appear—one that the CDC conveniently has a vaccine all lined up for?
There’s no way of knowing right now. But before you call me a crazy conspiracy theorist, keep this in mind:
Back in 2009, when the deadly flu pandemic CDC predicted didn’t appear, several batches of vaccine contaminated with live H5N1 flu virus were shipped off to Europe. It was purely chance that it was discovered before the public was actually “vaccinated” with this. Is it so farfetched to think this could happen again, with a newer, easier to spread version of the virus?
Food for thought.
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