I don’t know if I had the smallpox vaccine. I was around in the 1960s when it was still being given but it wasn’t compulsory then. The compulsion ended before 1900, but the vaccine worked so well that smallpox was eradicated in the wild by 1980.
It’s probably in my medical records somewhere, but it doesn’t matter. There is no smallpox any more.
So, how was this acheived, and why isn’t it now done with more viruses? Well, smallpox was something of a unique disease. It only affected humans, it didn’t have an animal reservoir. Coronaviruses are found in bats and other animals, so are cold and flu viruses and most other diseases. Smallpox, however, only ever affected humans – so all we had to do was make sure nobody caught it and it died out. That’s not going to work with anything else.
Smallpox is gone, and yet it’s back in the news. Bill Gates suggested that a bioterrorist could use smallpox to launch an attack. The FDA has approved a new smallpox vaccine and Canada has ordered millions of doses. Why?
None of it makes any sense at all. Why a ‘new’ vaccine? The old one did the job exceptionally well. If there is any risk of a return of smallpox, why not just make more of that one? Well of course there’d be no money in it – the ‘new’ one will still be in its profit phase.
Why would anyone order millions of doses? The only smallpox in existence is in a very few, very secure laboratories. Anyone wanting to study it should of course be vaccinated, but as it no longer exists in the wild, there’s no need to vaccinate the whole population. I suspect the answer there is likely to involve money again.
As for using it as a bioweapon, that’s the most insane part of all. It does not exist in the wild. There would be no question that it came from a lab because it doesn’t exist anywhere else. The list of suspects would be really quite short too.
I saw that Bill Gates interview. He quite specifically said ‘smallpox’. Not any infectious disease, not one that is still out there in the wild, like say anthrax, plague, tuberculosis, polio, nothing like that. He said, specifically, smallpox. Which would be likely to be the hardest one for any bioterrorist to get hold of.
This hypothetical bioterrorist is not going to isolate smallpox from a contaminated sample or a patient. He’s going to have to break in to a high security lab and then into a -70C freezer – which are always locked – and he will have to know exactly what he is looking for and get it out of that freezer without losing fingers to frostbite or infecting himself with the smallpox sample or anything else that will be in there. Basically, he would have to be working in that lab with enough training to know what he is doing. He’s not going to be hard to find.
It’s also the most idiotic choice for a bioweapon. Once you let this thing out you’re not going to find it easy to put it back. It has a nine day incubation period. Patient Zero is spreading it for over a week before they even start to get sick. So is everyone he interacts with. Back in the 1800s this might be containable but now, nine days is enough for someone to travel over most of the planet.
If you release this, it’s coming back to bite you. You cannot contain it.
So, if you have a new, experimental vaccine and you don’t know if the vaccine is safe or not, you have to take it. You have no choice. There are no effective treatments and unlike Covid, this time you have a 70% chance of dying from smallpox. Even if you survive it, it can leave you with permanent disfiguration.
If Bill Gates really is deranged enough to even consider this, someone needs to talk him out of it fast. It’s well known that he hasn’t had his children take any vaccines. This one though, he’ll have to. He’ll have to take it himself. Even if it’s a dodgy mRNA potion.
Smallpox is a lousy choice of bioweapon. It cannot be contained once released. Its origin can be traced very quickly since it has to come from a lab, and there aren’t many that have it. It would have to be handled by an expert otherwise the risk of contaminating themselves is huge. There would be little difficulty in finding out who was responsible, and once they are caught they are going to talk. A lot. They won’t want to take all the responsibility for something like this, whoever paid them is going to get named.
It would be an extraordinarily risky move, so I don’t think it’s going to happen.
What might happen is a fake smallpox scare. We’ve seen this recently with necrotising fasciitis, mad cow disease, Zika and Ebola. It takes less than ten cases for everyone to think they’re all doomed. A couple of Ebola cases in the UK (they were medics who had returned from treating African victims) and the whole country went into panic. Stirred, as always, by the media.
Necrotising fasciitis had stories of people visibly dissolving on trains. It never actually happened. Mad cow disease had about ten cases in a year, this was projected by a ‘scientist’ (with an impressively straight face) to become 100 cases over the next ten years. Yeah, that’s ten cases a year. There aren’t any at the moment, as far as I am aware.
All of these things are gone now. I’m sure there are still cases of necrotising fasciitis but they are very rare (I think at its height there were eight cases in a year) and not newsworthy.
You really don’t need to release a virulent bioweapon. You just need to make people think it’s going to happen and you can sell them vaccines. Even vaccines against a disease they have no chance of catching. A couple of photos of chicken pox or cowpox sufferers, magically saved by your smallpox ‘vaccine’ and there you go. They’ll line up to pay for your cure.
In the fiction that was ‘The Macbeth Trio‘ I used scrofula as the sales pitch to sell a vaccine nobody needs. I didn’t think smallpox would be a credible one to use.
Seems someone else thinks it is.