Yulia Latynina is one of Russia’s most prominent journalists and critics of Putin’s government. She is a columnist for Novaya Gazeta and The Moscow Times, as well as a popular talk show host at the Echo of Moscow radio station. In 2008, Latynina was presented the U.S. government’s Freedom Defenders Award by Condoleezza Rice. She has authored more than twenty fiction books, including crime drama and science fiction.
Latynina is also one of my favorite Russian-language columnists. She describes herself as a libertarian, although if she were to live in the U.S., she would probably be considered a conservative author of the magnitude of Ann Coulter, Mark Steyn, and Rush Limbaugh.
The following is one of her latest essays, in my translation. It was slightly shortened and edited to account for the differences in Russia’s and America’s broader polemical contexts.
‘Ebola in America’ and other fake problems our leaders love to fight
By Yulia Latynina
Originally published in Russian in Novaya Gazeta, Sept. 27, 2014
Speaking at the United Nations, President Obama called Ebola a major threat to humanity. The second place in this Threat-to-Humanity Olympics went to President Putin, with the Islamic Caliphate taking the bronze.
I’m naturally offended that my Russia didn’t finish first, but I’d rather talk about Ebola than about Putin. The Western TV commentators are as terrified of Ebola as the Russian TV commentators are terrified of what they call “Ukrainian fascists.” “The mortality rate is 90%,” claims the WHO. “The virus attacks the soft tissues of the body, kidneys, liver, blood vessels, literally melting everything into one bloody mess.” “There are no drugs or vaccines from Ebola.” The horror!
Let me ask a few inconvenient questions.
Africa has been a repeated source of terrible epidemics. In the middle of the sixth century AD, a plague that came from Africa to the Roman Empire killed in different areas 30 to 80 percent of the population. In the middle of the fourteenth century, a plague that came from Africa to Europe, killed in different areas 30 to 80 percent of the Europeans. Since airplanes weren’t in existence, the plague traveled by ship, rat, and flea. And in the twentieth century, with the advancements in air travel, Africa also gave us AIDS.
The Ebola virus (in its several varieties) has existed in Africa for thousands of years. How come this menace, which is worse than Putin and ISIS, has never caused epidemics similar to the plague, smallpox, or cholera, and was discovered only in 1976?
How come that since 1976, all of the 13 outbreaks of Ebola never left Africa, and even there the number of victims has been relatively small? (In 2007, the outbreak in Uganda claimed 37 lives, and the one in 2012 resulted in 17 deaths).
Let’s look at the facts.
First. The WHO says that mortality from Ebola is “up to 90%.” It’s a lie. More precisely, it’s a special kind of lie, which in Islam is known as taqiyya. This is when the words formally represent the truth, but because of the way they are phrased, the audiences hear something else.
Ebola reached 90% mortality only once, in 2003, in the Congo, where 128 people died out of 143 infected. But the current epidemic has the mortality rate of about 50%, and there were epidemics, when the rate dropped to 25%. We will later discuss what exactly, apart from the difference in the strains of viruses, causes such dissimilar death rates.
Second, very important. How does Ebola spread? The answer is that it’s not airborne. It is spread only through contact with blood or bodily fluids. The semen of a man who survived Ebola can remain a source of infection for up to three months.
In plain language, an Ebola epidemic can only happen in the total absence of hygiene. Therefore, the WHO statement on page one of its brochure on Ebola that the virus is spread “from person to person” is plain panic-mongering by means of the same taqiyya, that is, lying by withholding information. A virus that is only transmitted if one is using an infected syringe or a Third-World toilet, cannot cause an epidemic in the developed world.
Third, even more important. Ebola attacks different organs, but the main cause of death usually is, just as it is with cholera, dehydration. Give the patient enough fluids and administer an IV with saline solution to replenish the escaping potassium and magnesium, and the 90% mortality rate will become a 90% survival rate. Those “melting” internal organs aren’t caused by the virus, but are the result of the disappearing vital minerals that are being washed away through diarrhea and vomiting.
Fourth. Those Americans diagnosed with Ebola were all infected in Africa, bringing the disease to the United States. The death rate among them is zero. All have recovered and one is still being treated. The American doctors are admitting they aren’t sure what has helped more: the drugs or the general supportive care. [UPDATE: the infected Liberian man who entered the US has since died as his treatment had been unfortunately delayed – O.A.]
In 1972, an American doctor Thomas Cairns doing missionary work in the Congo, cut himself with a scalpel during an autopsy on a patient who had died of Ebola – a disease yet unknown to medical science. He survived because his wife, even under those conditions, treated him with a basic drip.
Fifth. That there is no cure for Ebola is also a lie. There already exist drugs like TMK-Ebola and ZMapp. If the medical bureaucracy is screaming into our ears about the terrible threat from Ebola, while being too clumsy and incompetent to approve the anti-Ebola drugs, that only means the deadly threat comes not as much from Ebola as from the bureaucracy itself. The same way, one can ban all TB medications and then scream, “Tuberculosis is fatal! There’s no cure!” By the way, the Japanese flu medication, Favipiravir, also helps with Ebola.
Sixth. That there is no vaccine for Ebola is also a lie. The vaccine exists; it was created by GlaxoSmithKline. At the beginning of the epidemic a few months ago, GlaxoSmithKline contacted the WHO with the offer to help, but was politely told to make itself scarce.
Seventh. The fact that the medical bureaucracy is sitting on its hands and still hasn’t approved the drugs and the vaccines for this dangerous disease (the devastating effect of Ebola on the human body is hard to overestimate) means only what most doctors already know: the wealthy developed countries aren’t under any real threat from the Ebola epidemic.
To summarize: Ebola epidemics occur only in Africa, due to the disastrous lack of hygiene and just as disastrous lack of healthcare. There is no chance that the virus, which is transmitted through vomit and contaminated syringes, and kills by dehydration, can create an epidemic in the United States, in Russia, or even in Albania.
The Ebola story is very similar to that of the Haitian earthquake. Remember how in 2010, a 7.0 point earthquake killed 220,000 people in Haiti? A few months later, a much stronger, 8.8 point earthquake in Chile killed about 700 people. Keep in mind that each whole-number point represents a 32-fold increase in released energy, and that the magnitude of 7.0 corresponds to the lower limit of a major earthquake.
That is, the Haitians were dying not so much because of the earthquake as because of the squalor and lack of proper construction materials. In the modern world, all devastating catastrophes (well, almost all) result not from natural disasters, but from disasters that are social and political. It is true for the viruses as much as it is for the earthquakes.
One of the original sources of the Ebola infection is the meat of our cousins – chimpanzees, gorillas, and monkeys. This is practically cannibalism: chimpanzees have the mind of a 4-year-old human child. Would you eat a 4-year-old child? In the Congo, they eat not only apes and monkeys, but also pygmies.
Today’s Ebola epidemic, the largest in history, has killed 2,900 people out of 6,200 infected. Did you know that every single year, according to the same WHO, 250,000-500,000 people die of the flu?
So what do we have in conclusion? We have poor African countries, where Ebola – no doubt a terrible disease – is only one of the symptoms of a major social disease known as the failed state. We also have the international bureaucracy, incapable of quickly approving new drugs and vaccines because of its large size and incompetence, while at the same time screaming, “Give us more money so we can save humanity from destruction!” And we have President Obama, who can’t even cope with real problems – whether it’s the 50 million Americans on food stamps, or the Islamic Caliphate, or Vladimir Putin – and instead, declares the major problem to be Ebola, which has no chance to become endemic in the United States.
When one doesn’t know how to solve real problems, it becomes necessary to invent fake ones. Those are easier to solve.
That is why the Islamists, instead of confronting their own squalor and barbarism, are fighting America. That is why Putin, instead of confronting theft and corruption in Russia, is fighting America and Ukraine. And Obama, instead of confronting Putin and the Islamists, is fighting against Ebola.
EDITORS NOTE: This column was first published in the American Thinker.