As with AIDS—Advance Scientific Research, Build Hospitals
March 9, 2020 (EIRNS)—In 1988, when the world faced an unknown and deadly pathogen which later came to be identified as the AIDS virus, the late economist and statesman Lyndon LaRouche publicly and simply stated what had to be done. First, put $3 billion into biophysical research on this and related pathogens and antidotes, employing NASA’s space science and nuclear science capacities. Second, test aggressively and offer aid and isolated treatment. Third, build new, modern hospitals on a large scale with intensive care units.
LaRouche’s strategy is the one for this novel coronavirus crisis. His “New Bretton Woods” policy, proposing the leaders of the United States, China, Russia and India collaborate to fix their exchange rates and create a new international credit facility for infrastructure building in many countries, clearly can provide the funding forrapid hospital construction worldwide. China did it spectacularly in Hubei Province when the coronavirus epidemic first began raging there. It can take a lead in the great effort to save human life in this way. Military forces can set war aside and be deployed with their logistical medical capabilities to help.
We should be determined to face what we are facing, without blaming and without dismissing it. Dr. Richard Hatchett, former U.S. Homeland Security Council official and principal author of the 2006 National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Implementation Plan, told Britain’s Channel 4 on March 7:
“It’s the most frightening disease I’ve ever encountered in my career, and that includes Ebola, it includes MERS, it includes SARS. And it’s frightening because of the combination of infectiousness and a lethality that appears to be many-fold higher than flu.... The most concerning thing about this virus is the combination of infectiousness and the ability to cause severe disease or death. We have not since 1918—the Spanish Flu—have we seen a virus that combined those two qualities in the same way.”
On March 8, the South China Morning Post reported that Prof. Yuen Kwok-yung of the University of Hong Kong, whom it described as the city’s leading epidemiologist, declared the COVID-19 epidemic will not end this year because the contagion has spread worldwide. In a television interview in Hong Kong, he said the epidemic may abate in the Northern Hemisphere during the spring and summer, but will be spreading in the Southern Hemisphere winter and then feeding back into the countries with serious epidemics now. He elaborated this in an interview published March 9 with China’s business magazine Caixin (“Exclusive: Q&A with Hong Kong’s Yuen Kwok-Yung, Who Helped Confirm Coronavirus’s Human Spread”). Professor Yuen believes the pandemic will end only with the cheap availability of a safe and effective antiviral or vaccine—this, as authorities have made clear, is not likely to occur in 2020—or, when the majority of a population has contract the virus and developed immunity, at a great cost in human life.
In January, Yuen was part of a team sent to Wuhan to investigate the new disease, and one member of their group, whom Yuen described as “a professional, top-tier scientist in the field of epidemiology,” recommended Wuhan be locked down.
If COVID-19 is also going to persist, the horizon to aim at is the fall of 2020 when new hospital and intensive care facilities must have been built and/or repurposed all over the world, with the leading drive of such a credit and research agreement of these four powers. This will overcome the pessimism and acclimation to economic austerity which currently holds most leading medical figures back from proposing it.