Ebola and a Secure Border


Marine Corps General John F. Kelly, head of the U.S. Southern Command, commented several times this last week on issues of border security, and the international concerns over Ebola.

While attending a conference of defense ministers from the Americas, he explained to news organizations that leaders from Caribbean and Central American countries are voicing concerns that small or under-developed nations in the region would have a difficult time coping with an Ebola outbreak.

On Tuesday, his address to the National Defense University was a little more colorful. In Kelly’s speech, he cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s prediction that 1.4 million people could be infected with Ebola by the end of the year, with 62 percent of those infected dying from the disease.

“That’s horrific,” Kelly said. “And there’s no way we can keep Ebola contained in West Africa.”

Kelly stated that if the disease reached countries like Guatemala, Honduras or El Salvador “it will cause panic, and people will flee the region.” He also spoke about the dangers of organized criminal networks smuggling people into the U.S. that could be infected with the virus.

Kelly reminded his audience of the problems earlier this year when tens of thousands of children crossed the Mexican border into the U.S. from Central American countries, sent by frightened families who could similarly try to flee to America to seek treatment or get away from the Ebola threat.

“There is no fear mongering here. Its part of my job to anticipate that kind of thing,” said Kelly. “A lot of countries don’t have really capable preventive medicine. … It’s not that they don’t have any medical capabilities, it’s that they don’t have a lot.”

 “If it breaks out, it’s literally, ‘Katie bar the door,’ and there will be mass migration into the United States,” said Kelly. “They will run away from Ebola, or if they suspect they are infected, they will try to get to the United States for treatment.”

The general also issued a public warning about the real Ebola threat to America. “That threat doesn’t come via direct flights from Africa,” Gen. Kelly insists, “but rather from Ebola spreading in Central and South American nations, causing populations to flee northward, toward the U.S. southern border.”

Kelly sited an incident on a recent visit to Central America with U.S. Embassy personnel, when he visited the border of Costa Rica and Nicaragua where they witnessed men waiting to enter Nicaragua. “The embassy person walked over and asked who they were and they told him they were from Liberia and they had been on the road about a week,” Kelly continued. “They met up with a network in Trinidad, and now they were on their way to the United States. Illegally, of course.”

Although there is little being said about the general’s dire predictions, the Department of Defense website has posted an article stating “The potential spread of Ebola into Central and Southern America is a real possibility.”

Meanwhile, a missionary from Guinea who traveled through Morocco, arrived in Brazil’s Paraná state on September 19, and is now suspected of having Ebola. If he does turn out to have the disease, it would be the first known case of a person in Latin America with the virus. Although the 47-year-old man could just as well be suffering from malaria or even yellow fever, the country’s health minister has ordered him quarantined until tests are complete in a measure of abundant precaution.
Understanding Ebola
The CDC (Center for Disease Control), the federal government, or even the media has said very little about the origin of Ebola or even what it is, other than “it’s a virus.”

The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses currently recognizes five Ebola viruses: Ebola virus (EBOV), Sudan virus (SUDV), Reston virus (RESTV), Taï Forest virus (TAFV), and Bundibugyo virus (BDBV). Four of these viruses (excepting RESTV) are known to cause the Ebola virus disease in humans.

What may be more disturbing than all of the dooms day predictions and hyperbole, is the possibility that the modern-day version of Ebola so aggressively circulating through West Africa today may actually be a bioengineered virus.

According to Dr. Cyril Broderick, Professor of Plant Pathology, “Ebola is a genetically modified organism or (GMO).” Broderick explained in a story published in the Liberian Observer (the largest newspaper in Liberia) claiming the existence of an American Military-Medical-Industry that conducted biological tests on primates.

As supporting evidence, Broderick offered patent number CA2741523A1 issued to the U.S. government in 2010, which claims intellectual property ownership over all Ebola variants. According to Broderick, “This means the U.S. government claims all control over Ebola research, too, because any research project involving replication of the virus would violate the government’s patent. In fact, the vastly improved transmission ability of the Ebola strain currently circulating (compared to previous outbreaks in years past) has many people convinced this strain is a variant which either broke through containment protocols at government labs or was intentionally deployed.”

According to Broderick’s article, “Previous outbreaks of Ebola virus disease in humans were rare, and often traceable to a single case where an individual had handled the carcass of a gorilla, or chimpanzee. The virus then spreads person-to-person, especially within families, hospitals, and during some mortuary rituals where contact among individuals becomes more likely. Before outbreaks are confirmed in areas of weak surveillance on the local or regional levels,

Ebola is often mistaken for malaria, typhoid fever, dysentery, influenza, or various bacterial infections which may be endemic to the region. Learning from failed responses, such as that to the 2000 Uganda outbreak, public health measures including the World Health Organization’s Global Outbreak and Response Network were instituted in areas at high risk. Field laboratories were established in order to confirm cases, instead of shipping samples to South Africa.”

Broderick’s article also included a chart that indicates the first human fatalities date back to 1976. The outbreak occurred in the Sudan between June and November of that year claiming 151 lives of the 284 people infected. The disease mainly spread by personal contact in hospitals. Many of those infected were medical care personnel.

General Kelly apparently recognizes the Ebola virus as a potential threat from America’s southern exposure. He has long spoken out about our porous border situation and believes America must act responsibly and acknowledge the “existential” threat to the country, and correct our vulnerability at the border. Fears are growing throughout the country that Washington’s indecisive reaction to the Middle East crises may be the tactical posture taken at our southern borders in a “too little too late” response to the clear and present danger evolving at the border.



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