Washburn's World

My take on the world. My wife often refers to this as the WWW (Weird World of Washburn)

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Location: Germantown, Wisconsin, United States

I am a simple country boy transplanted from the Piehl Township in northern Wisconsin to the Milwaukee metropolitan area who came down "sout" in 1980 for college and have stayed in the area since.
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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fort Detrick losing Samples

One of the things I like to watch for is news about Fort Detrick. This is because Fort Detrick is the source of the lethal pathogen used in the only known bio-terrorist attack within the US; The October, 2001 Anthrax attacks on:
  1. Two political opponents of George Bush,
  2. A newspaper photo journalist critical of Bush's drunken daughter, Jenna, and
  3. The unfortunate postal workers who were the delivery vehicle(s)
In two articles, here and here, it is noted that Fort Detrick has lost many samples of its various viruses and bacteria; both weaponized and not. Now to be fair, the lab may not have lost the samples, but just may have an inventory control system such that quartermaster at Fort Detrick cannot either
  1. locate the samples within Fort Detrick, or
  2. cannot determine when, where, or to whom the samples were transferred from Fort Detrick
I honestly don't know which scares me more; that the lab lost samples or has inventory control so poor that samples only "appear" missing.

To truly add to my pessimism is the fact that the Wall Street Journal opined that the current, scary strain of swine flu is synthesized from 4 different strains affecting 3 different species (Human, swine, and avian) from 3 continents (North America, Europe, Asia). The hysteria over the swine flu is just that: hysteria whipped up by pompous power grabbers looking for a chance to prove their usefulness via "appropriate responses". Also the initial report of the recombinant nature of the flu strain appears in error and may only be two comingled strains of pig flu which have, without warning or precedent, broken out first among humans instead of swine.

Also the US government turned over the current strain of swine flu, designated H1N1, to a Boston lab, Replikins Ltd sometime before April 8, 2008.

So what we have are dots which probably done even form a plane let alone a line.
  1. A laboratory with a history of providing/losing lethal pathogens to person or persons unknown who in turn release those pathogens on US citizens.
  2. A facility which admits doing research on the many strains of influenza virus
  3. Including the 1918 strain which Dr. Taubenberger, of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (located at Fort Detrick), ordered dug up from the Alaskan permafrost.
  4. A strain of the influenza virus identified last April as the one most likely to cause a pandemic, and
  5. This year that same swine flu virus emerges for the first time in the human population without first having emerged in the swine population.
It is unlikely these dots are as connected as the listing above would indicate, but it would be prudent to ask questions such as:
  1. When did Fort Detrick first receive the H1N1 strain of the influenza virus?
  2. Are all the samples of N1H1 virus at Fort Detrick properly secured and accounted for?
As always with Fort Detrick, there are far more questions than answers.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the h1n1 outbreak began, I thought of Ft. Detrick. When it became known that it seems to cause more severe symptoms in Mexican victims than in the rest of North America, I recalled the old US biological weap0n program goal of racially selective diseases. Lets hope this is all just a natural phenomenon.

Thu May 07, 07:10:00 PM CDT  

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