Updated: Jan 22
COVID is like the Kardashians. There are many of them. Each different. But each… a Kardashian. Variants. They have a "family resemblance" but each is individual, each toxic in a unique way. I wrote this months ago, as I predicted new variants on the horizon.
Omicron proves me right
Why oh why can we not have vaccines for the Kardashians? At least, we don't have new mutants, just the current cluster. And you don't have to pay attention to them.
In the case of COVID, vaccines haven't made the problem go away. And with new variants, it's wack-a-mole. And you can't ignore the problem.
I wrote this months ago, as I predicted new mutations on the horizon.
Omicron proves me right about those mutations. I wish I weren't right -- but I am. Of course, we don't know what these mutations actually do. After all, COV-1 mutated from a disease with a very high fatality rate, into something more benign.
WHO says "don't panic"-- perhaps thinking of COV-1.
That's smart advice for public servants who don't actually serve you -- and mostly serve people like Bill Gates. Maybe bad advice for you.
Because public panic can help by putting pressure on governments. Maybe if people get upset and angry, the highly effective Russian and Cuban vaccines might finally get authorized. It's important because with Omicron these vaccines are easier to tweak than Big Pharma USA's hi-tech mRNA vaccines--which might well be unavailable in many places for over a year.
One of my day jobs is as a media analyst. What that means is that I look at the media and sort through the propaganda, misinformation, disinformation and fakery, identifying omissions and contradictions. That leads to conclusions, which inevitably generate predictions, or at least probabilities. In this area, I have a better record than Nate Silver. Yes, I predicted Brexit, the election of Trump, the divisive election of 2020, Biden's policies, recent events in Afghanistan -- and, in the health area, new COVID variants like Omicron. IN fact, I predicted a pandemic long before COVID!
The“19” in COVID19 stands for 2019 — WHO nomenclature for a coronavirus that emerged in 2019 and was identified in Wuhan in early 2020. There was and is no scientific consensus about the origins of this virus but it clearly mutated from some other member of a coronavirus family — most likely not in China — and variants were quickly discovered early on.
All existing vaccines — Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Sputnik V and the like — are based on creating antigens for the ’19 versions — which, unfortunately for you, have been mutating and differentiating . The brand is still “COVID’ but within the brand, there is a lot of choice. Not choice for you--choice for the Viroids.
Forget “herd immunity”. Didn’t work us with the Kardashians did it? No matter how awful, they are still popular. I digress....
Ipso facto, COVID19 became COVID20, then COVID21, with new mutations. COVID22 is Omnicron. . No doubt trendier and — but from a virus’ point of view — better, with super advanced features, like winning against that Pfizer jab you were counting on..
In the case of smallpox, we virtually eradicated the disease by universal vaccination, in the last half of the 20th Century. But the first vaccine was developed in 1796 by Jenner. In those days, only a few could get inoculated. Most of the world couldn’t . And the vaccine wasn't all that effective.
We face a similar situation with COVID today.
We used smallpox to wipe out indigenous populations and the Poor. In the 20th Century, smallpox killed about 300 million people! Today, the most vulnerable are still the Poor and people of one color or another.
You can not develop herd immunity without vaccinating 90% of the world’s population with vaccines effective against all variants of a disease. And, ideally, the vaccines have to offer "immune sterility", rather than just reducing susceptibility, as is the case with all current COVID vaccines.
In this respect, the US represents a problem, not a solution-- with its essentially imperial but insular “We are the World” psychology. For the Evil Empire, the only people that matter are Americans --or, in other countries, Honorary Americans, like the Japanese or the Brits.
If we had started when the first vaccine appeared--the highly effective Sputnik V--, we could be on our way today to vaccinating everybody.
American mRNA vaccines are even more effective --but expensive and Big Pharma has a thing about "intellectual property" and profitability trumps humanity (in all senses of that word). Worse, the mRNA vaccines need refrigeration that simply isn't available where you most need it. And, of course, the "West" could never cooperate with countries like Russia, China and Cuba to deal with a global pandemic...y'know...globally.
The coronavirus we called COVID19 mutates slowly — but relentlessly. Despite it being two years on, we still know little about it and its sequelae, other than it damages the entire vascular system and has long term post-infection effects even with asymptomatic cases and the young, who are actually the majority of cases.
Will it shorten the lifespan of an entire generation of younger people? Will today’s seniors outlive their juniors? That is a possibility, hopefully smaller rather than larger. The worst case is it mutates to something only 2 to 3% fatal to a disease that kills over 50%. The Pandemic is not a Plague -- but that's in the cards.
Again, who knows? So...yeah...PANIC! Please panic. Fear is the Great Motivator.
Money, the Bible says, is the root of all evil.
In the case of vaccines, that is especially so.
But the US of A is really a Gordon Gekko country. Here, greed is good. Evil=Good.
American Big Pharma really doesn’t want COVID to go away — it is the biggest money maker since Viagra. Better than 'oxy. For our corporate cartels, the disease is is a marketing and branding bonanza--just like the Kardashians. They envisage creating new vaccines for each of the new COVIDs on a seasonal basis.
The newest, most contagious and vaccine-resistant members of the COVID family all come from countries such as India, South Africa and Brazil, countries that have limited vaccination programs. The US says it wants to suspend patent rights--but--that 's just PR-- nothing much as been done in this regard. Believe it when it happens, keeping in mind that many countries don't have the tech for mRNA production.
And the US is pressuring countries not to buy cheaper and equally effective foreign products like Sputnik V, which does offer local manufacturing rights, and is much cheaper, simpler to produce, and does not require extreme refrigeration. The American media regularly diss the Chinese vaccines. Sinovac is about as effective as Astrazeneca and J&J -- with arguably fewer fatal side effects.. Sinopharm is considerably more effective than Sinovac. And the Yellow Peril are testing a new and promising vaccine, ReCov, a recombinant DNA vaccine with those closet reds, the Kiwis. But hey!-- you can't trust the commies, even if they do manufacture the majority of American medicines.
The bottom line in the "West", it’s not human life that matters— just dollars and cents--or national ego. And, really, death is more profitable. The Land of the Free? Free to Die (at your own expense).
Simply put, any vaccine, even the simple, less effective Chinese vaccines can limit the spread of the virus--although you are going to need a third shot and a fourth and probably a fifth.. But everybody has to take them. Even marginal "herd immunity" is not possible unless over 80% of a population is fully vaccinated. So anti-vaxxers have their heads quite literally up their asses.
Intellectual Property Is A Bitch
Pfizer and Moderna’s hugely expensive vaccines use a new technology, mRNA — messenger RNA. According to Pfizer, the actual creators of this application of mRNA are Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman — but they are really just two “primaries” in a complicated developmental process — mostly funded by taxpayer money.
The vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna, which are likely to be the first to win FDA approval, in particular rely heavily on two fundamental discoveries that emerged from federally funded research: the viral protein designed by Graham and his colleagues, and the concept of RNA modification, first developed by Drew Weissman and Katalin Karikó at the University of Pennsylvania. In fact, Moderna’s founders in 2010 named the company after this concept: “Modified” + “RNA” = Moderna, according to co-founder Robert Langer.
“This is the people’s vaccine,” said corporate critic Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program. “Federal scientists helped invent it and taxpayers are funding its development. … It should belong to humanity.”
OK, so the taxpayer and the NIH invested a huge amount of time, effort and money in fostering mRNA technologies. Their payback?
Who does profit?
How much money will eventually go to the discoverers or their institutions isn’t clear. Any existing licensing agreements haven’t been publicized; patent disputes among some of the companies will likely last years. HHS’ big contracts with the vaccine companies are not transparent, and Freedom of Information Act requests have been slow-walked and heavily redacted, said Duke University law professor Arti Rai.
Gordon Gekko wins again.
Greed slows down the ability of vaccine research to keep up with mutations, which makes corporate products inevitably retrospective. — with companies firewalling research, inhibiting collaboration among the international scientific community and killing creativity — all so that their executives can buy that new Ferrari or the summer home in the Hamptons. Their wealth must grow like Kim Kardashian's ass.
Pfizer’s says it can produce a new vaccine for Omicron in just a hundred days. That's 3 and a half months but they won't have data to start for about a month or two, it needs testing, although not as much as the Alpha version. Production will take time, so the vaccine might not be available in quantity for about a year.
Neoliberal greed focuses on short term returns in the vassal states of the American Imperium — Japan, Europe and a few others--and, if it has any benefits at all, they go to those countries. Neoliberal=neocolonial.
Two-thirds of the world’s population however are outside American influence. And much of it cannot afford Big Pharma's very expensive mRNA vaccines or (as mentioned) simply don't have the infrastructure to support refrigeration.
These countries will buy Chinese, or Russian — or Cuban.
Compare the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and Sputnik. In terms of cost-performance, the Russian vaccine wins every time — at least three times cheaper, much safer, and equally effective.
Tiny Cuba, which devotes more than half of its national budget to healthcare, medical training and development of medicines has been developing sub unit vaccines, which use peptides from existing viruses. The Cubans have a huge amount of experience in developing vaccines and are proceeding with immense caution and care, among other things using computer modeling to predict viral mutations. So their approach is forward looking, making it easier for them to come up with a solution to Omicron or the next variant after that.
Pfizer wants steady income from vaccines — which means it doesn’t really want the disease to just go away, despite all the hoopla about AI predicting mutations. The Cubans want to get rid of the disease like smallpox or polio.
Despite US sanctions, the new Cuban vaccine Abdala is 92.8 % effective after 3 doses. It is much cheaper than Moderna or Pfizer and does not require hi-tech handling.
In addition, the Chinese are developing their own mRNA vaccines — and, of course, cooperating with the Cubans and Russians. Let us keep in mind that China remains the ONLY country to have successfully defeated COVID to date. I don't know about you-- but I trust success over failure.
If the Chinese and the Russians and Cubans are successful, COVID might be defeated. Someday.....
Then, we will only have to deal with the Kardashians.