Show Details for the week of October 13th, 2014

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On The Monitor this week

  • Ebola: Are We Being Told the Truth? An interview with Meryl Nass


CNN reports: “Thomas Eric Duncan, a man with Ebola who traveled to the United States from Liberia, died Wednesday morning at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, the hospital said.” Reuters reports at least 3,439 people have died in the current outbreak.

More about this week’s guest:

Meryl Nass writes at the Anthrax Vaccine blog. Her recent pieces include: “Drilling Down Into the Facts Regarding Airborne Spread of Ebola” and “U.S. Ebola: [United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention head] Frieden Said Every Hospital Was Ready. He is Wrong.”

Meryl Nass is a physician in private practice who is known for uncovering the use of anthrax as a biological weapon in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), and for her outspoken criticism of the mandatory use of anthrax vaccine by the military. This use persists despite high rates of serious adverse reactions, and despite the fact that the vaccine was never proven effective nor licensed for the purpose for which it is being used (inhalation anthrax).  In fact, the vaccine is in Investigational New Drug (IND) status for inhalation anthrax.

Dr. Nass has been a leading opponent of military policies that continue to treat servicemembers as a ready pool of experimental subjects, in the absence of meaningful informed consent.

She has shown that many studies indicate anthrax vaccine is one cause of Gulf War Illnesses, and furthermore that recently vaccinated servicemembers have developed identical illnesses. She has provided testimony before two Institute of Medicine committees on Gulf War Illness exposures (Dec. 15, 1999), and safety and efficacy of the anthrax vaccine (Oct. 3, 2000). She provided written comments to the FDA and the House National Security Subcommittee (Shays’ Committee) on Executive Order 13139, which created a new policy regarding use of unlicensed therapeutics in human subjects.

Dr. Nass discussed experimental anthrax vaccine use in testimony to the House National Security Subcommittee on April 29, 1999, and discussed accelerated drug licensing and abbreviated testing of vaccines and drugs intended for responding to bioterrorism in testimony for the House Government Reform Committee hearing on Nov 14, 2001 (“Preparing a Medical Response to Bioterrorism”)

Among her publications addressing ethical violations in medical research:

“Who Is Protecting the Public Health? Can We Trust the Regulators?” By Meryl Nass, Z Magazine:

“The Anthrax Vaccine Program, and an Analysis of the CDC’s Recommendations for Vaccine Use.” American Journal of Public Health. May 2002.

“The Model Emergency Health Powers Act Creates Its Own Emergency” April 8, 2002.

“The Extremely Difficult Task Of Tracking Vaccine-Related Side-Effects.” April 22, 2002.

Quote:“Thomas Eric Duncan died in spite receiving the highest level of intensive care, including dialysis and ventilation. The CDC and much of the media have been saying that you can only get Ebola through direct contact with body fluids — and at the same time they’ve been backing the use extraordinary measures to prevent transmission. The fact is, there’s no doubt that Ebola has a history of airborne droplet transmission and pundits are beginning to admit it. When only one to ten live viral particles are needed to cause an infection you are looking at airborne droplet and fomite transmission as viable routes of spread, and healthcare facilities being a locus of spread. See from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy: “Health workers need optimal respiratory protection for Ebola.” The USAMRIID [United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, based at Fort Detrick, Maryland] and Tulane University had a unit physically located near where the Ebola outbreak began. This unit’s job was to test blood for Lassa antibodies; they were also testing for Ebola as part of their work. So USAMRIID had a bird’s eye view into the Ebola epidemic from the start. Maybe WHO [World Health Organization] and CDC were too bureaucratically hamstrung to understand the implications of a big Ebola outbreak, but USAMRIID, our premier biodefense center, has no excuse that it did not understand what was happening. The military now says that they proved that Ebola had been in the area for at least eight years and a whopping 9 percent of samples tested positive for Ebola. Why wasn’t this noticed?”
Nass notes the Boston Globe is reporting: “BU biolab nears OK amid hopes for tackling Ebola, safety concerns.” But earlier this summer, she points out that there was reporting on widespread escapes at such labs. See: USA Today report in August: “Hundreds of bioterror lab mishaps cloaked in secrecy.” Nass states: “It would be a mistake to license another high containment lab in the middle of Boston when existing labs have a terrible track record of containing the very organisms they are charged with studying.”

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