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Military Blockades

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Marshal Law To Combat Bird Flu?


By James Donahue

Oct. 4, 2005


U.S. President George W. Bush said this week he is considering using the military to enforce quarantines on various portions of the nation if and when the H5N1 virus strikes.


“The best way to deal with a pandemic is to isolate it and keep it isolated in the region in which it begins,” he said during a press conference.


The president said he knew that a large-scale quarantine will not be an easy thing to enforce and that the very idea might alarm the public.


But he said he has been giving the threat of a pandemic of a virus as deadly as this bug appears to be and has reached the conclusion that an enforced quarantine . . . in effect a declaration of Marshal Law . . . is the best way to keep it from spreading.


Bush urged Congress to give him the authority to use the military for this purpose it he believes it is needed.


The flaw in the Bush plan is that the virus is carried by migrating birds that do not recognize national, state or local borders and blockades. While soldiers may prevent infected humans from moving from place to place, the birds will be free to fly everywhere, infecting animals and humans where ever they go.


Mr. Bush said he has been talking with other world leaders and is reading material on the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic that left 40 million people dead. He also has been consulting with his staff and medical experts about this threat.


“I have thought through the scenarios of what an avian flu outbreak could mean,” he said.


“It’s one thing to shut down airplanes. It’s another thing to prevent people from coming in to get exposed to the avian flu. I think the president ought to have all . . . assets on the table to be able to deal with something this significant,” he said.


The president also said he has been urging world leaders to improve reporting of outbreaks of the virus so its progress can be carefully tracked and monitored. He said he also has been exploring a way to speed the production of a spray, now in limited supply, that might be used to “help arrest the spread” of bird flu.


“One of the issues is how do we encourage the manufacturing capacity of the country, and maybe the world, to be prepared to deal with the outbreak of a pandemic?” he said.


The World Health Organization has warned that the H5N1 virus is moving around with the migration of birds. This virus, first detected in Hong Kong in 1997, now has the capability of jumping species including to humans.


Some fear that now that entire families are being attacked by the disease in Indonesia, the virus has mutated again and now has the capability of jumping from human to human.


If this is true, we may only be weeks away from a world pandemic, health officials warn.


This virus is especially alarming because it produces a mortality rate of more than 50 percent in humans.


Early estimates are that a world pandemic might leave up to 150 million people dead. But psychic Aaron C. Donahue says he sees a disease so deadly that billions will perish. He said the stench of decaying bodies will be in the air for months because there will be no one left to dispose of them.


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