This past week, while the nation sat transfixed by endless stories of President Biden’s pathological dishonesty, Hunter Biden’s cocaine-laced corruption and Rep. Nancy Mace’s just-plain-weird boasting of her wanton sex life, another headline of equal if not more significance may have escaped your attention.
On July 24, the World Health Organization reported that a male citizen of the United Arab Emirates had been hospitalized with MERS-CoV, a coronavirus variant with a 35% mortality rate.
Clare Watson, a self-described fact-checker writing for ScienceAlert, introduces the story this way: “A man has tested positive for MERS-CoV in Abu Dhabi. … So far, the 28-year-old is the only case to test positive out of [multiple] close contacts identified.”
Apparently, the man checked into a private medical clinic multiple times in early June, complaining of symptoms including vomiting and pain when urinating. As his condition worsened, he was admitted into an intensive care unit at a UAE hospital, where he is receiving palliative treatment.
Since the man was hospitalized, health authorities have identified “108 close contacts who’ve been monitored for 14 days [post-engagement], and all tests have so far come back negative.”
To date, “no secondary cases have been detected,” according to a statement released by the World Health Organization, but the organization does take pains to clarify that it “does expect additional cases will be reported from the Middle East or other countries where the virus circulates via its animal host.”
“MERS-CoV,” Ms. Watson says, “was first [recognized] in the Middle East in 2012 after the virus made its way into humans via dromedary camels. It’s one of [several] zoonotic viruses (those that jump from animals into people) that health authorities keep close tabs on.”
Ms. Watson goes on to report that “at least 94 MERS-CoV cases … have been reported to the WHO from the UAE since July 2013. Globally, labs have confirmed 2,605 MERS-CoV cases since 2012, and 936 associated deaths as of July 2023.”
In summary, what we have here is a disease we’ve known about for over a decade, and in that time, it has infected slightly over 2,600 people, resulting in 936 of them dying from it. That’s a mortality rate of over 35%.
With these facts in play, what can we learn from this story regarding scientism’s plans for us in the coming days? To answer this question, let’s go back to Ms. Watson.
“The WHO,” she tells us, “‘re-emphasizes the importance of strong surveillance. …’ [This Abu Dhabi case] shows that infectious disease alert systems are working as designed, albeit a little slowly. … Researchers keep scrutinizing how these systems could work better. Because as we know from the COVID-19 pandemic and outbreaks before it, what happens next — how authorities respond and continue to monitor the situation — is critical.”
Ms. Watson concludes that despite “evidence of human activity intensifying spillover risk, experts warn we’re not doing enough to prepare for the next pandemic. Even with widespread evidence, investment in public health pandemic data systems within the health sector continues to be overlooked by most governments globally. Such preparedness appears significantly urgent with the unprecedented pandemic era of current and emerging public health threats.”
Does all this talk of “expert warnings and authority responses” sound familiar?
In early 2020, many of us warned about the precedents we were setting via government-imposed quarantines, stay-at-home orders, travel restrictions, forced vaccinations, and the like.
We said there would be consequences to the shredding of our country’s Constitution.
We predicted the COVID-19 lockdowns would look like child’s play compared to what was to come.
We cautioned that we were opening Pandora’s box for now-President Biden or any successor to put the National Guard in the streets and force everyone into their homes, perhaps even at gunpoint, should another more deadly virus come.
We warned of martial law, of people jailed, and of setting the stage for America to look more like the ghettos of Warsaw than any of us care to admit.
We asked what would stop the likes of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and California Gov. Gavin Newsom from fencing off communities and trucking in food and other services via locked gates.
We said it over and over again: If Americans will bow so willingly to this Chicken Little nonsense because of a disease with a 99% survival rate, what in the world will we do if the next virus has 90%, 80% or, heaven forbid, 70% or even 60% survivability?
We may soon find out.
• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host.