We have all seen the recent question, “which is the bigger threat: ISIS, climate change or ebola?” Let’s change that question. Which threat is more profitable to multinational corporations? The actions by their lobbyists should answer that question.
There is big money to be made as long as the military industrial complex can be stoked by “wars on”. Climate change is for another day, after all the cash is milked from the petrochemical cow. By comparison, ebola is barely on the legislative radar.
Infection numbers are expected to rise from the current 6,000 reported cases (estimate to actually be 20,000 by The World Health Organization) to 1.4 million by January if we don’t change course. (1) The US has promised 100 field hospitals but will barely staff one. The funds expended by non-governmental organizations like Doctors Without Borders is coming from the Gates Foundation and The World Bank. (2) Facts updated just today paint an even more grim picture. (3)
If the serially defunded World Health Organization isn’t your preferred source, the Centers for Disease Control has reached the same conclusions. Important people are talking, but not enough people are in a position to act. (4)
Ebola has a 50 – 70% kill rate and infects a high percentage of those exposed. And while the situation is currently limited to post-conflict, almost “failed” nations, to believe that Americans do not face similar shortages of health care services in “medically failed” regions of the US would be a serious mistake. (5)
Add to this inadequate ability to respond to public health issues the fact that there are currently multiple strains of the disease and the real risk should begin to reveal itself. To paraphrase an auto ad from a few years back, “this is not your father’s ebola”.
My answer to the original question: ebola, climate change, ISIS in that order. And you?
Image thanks to theglobalmail.com