Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Partial Truths of the Zika Crisis and Why Athletes, Corporations, and Citizens Must Boycott the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics

Two weeks ago I began this petition: Participating Countries, Athletes and Citizens: Boycott the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics

The level of misinformation that is circulating in mainstream media has been jaw-dropping. There are plenty of journalists revealing (or trying to reveal) how we, the public, cannot rely on the "big six" anymore. 

Next is a comment I tried to leave on this article. I tried for at least 20 minutes to post it. I still do not know why it did not get published; however, I noticed an hour later the prompt "Commenting is now closed for this story". Other comments of mine were published except those with links to the open letter by Amir Attaran et al. and my petition.

Zika virus: WHO's expert panel meets next week to review Rio Olympics comments
Comment I tried to post on Zika virus article June 8th, 2016 (Click to enlarge)

Case in Point

Yesterday, NBC posted a Reuters piece titled Zika Unlikely to Infect Many at Olympics, Studies Show. The big push lately seems to be for the 2016 Summer Olympics to go ahead (as planned) this August.

And to appease the recommendation of 223 scientists, doctors and health experts and U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, the World Health Organization (WHO) is sending the exact same "group of independent experts" that convened in March.

Clearly, this isn't the "independent group" the world-renown experts are calling for in this open letter to Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO's Director-General and the International Olympic Commitee (IOC).

Jaw-Dropping Facts

It's shocking to see how divided Brazilian vs. North American scientists are when asked in The Science Advisory Board Opinion Research Study if the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro should be postponed or cancelled due to the Zika virus outbreak.

The gist: 55.9 percent of North American scientists agree the games should be postponed or cancelled yet only 22 percent of Brazilian scientists feel the same.

So when I read that two Brazilian  research groups (both Sao Paulo-based) pegged the "predicted Zika infections in foreign visitors at the Rio Olympics" at only 15 and 16 cases in the same Reuters post, I couldn't believe they didn't factor in the rest of the equation:

These two studies did not assess the risk of even one of these visitors carrying the virus back to their home countries where they – and local mosquitoes – will spread this newer, deadlier strain of the Zika virus.

Prof. Amir Attaran reminded us: Nuno Faria of Oxford University suggested Zika was carried to Brazil by a single individual in 2013. And by early 2016, about 1.5 million people were infected.

One person with Zika + three years time = about 1.5 million people infected

Two key points in the study by Faria et al:

"Results of phylogenetic and molecular clock analyses show a single introduction of Zika into the Americas, which we estimate to have occurred between May and December 2013 ..."

"If the Zika epidemic in Brazil did indeed arise from a single introduction, then the virus must have circulated in the country for at least 12 months before the first case was reported in May 2015."

Does anyone else see how the IOC and WHO will have nothing to fear when the Brazilian strain of Zika explodes in other countries of the world? No one will be able to conclusively prove that it was because of the Olympic Games being held in Rio this August that we face a global pandemic.

Furthermore, is the IOC and WHO going to be financially "on the hook" to treat the 15 or 16 cases of Zika that is predicted thus far?

And what if those 15 or 16 cases becomes millions of people worldwide?

This is all reminiscent of when General Motors killed over a 100 people by knowingly installing defective ignition switches in over a million vehicles. Sadly, some of GM's employees knew about the problem for over a decade.

I'm pretty sure that both the IOC and WHO will not be found liable in any of these cases (mosquitoes and humans will bear the brunt of the blame).

Want to Stop What a Global Pandemic? Please sign and share:

Participating Countries, Athletes and Citizens: Boycottt the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics

Thank you.

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