Wed. Sep 29th, 2021


A survey of Covid-19 implications from an international perspective

by Adolfo Quizon Paglinawan

Chapter 4

Same old, same old

The US emphasis in fighting the H1N1 pandemic of 2009 was still on the first line of defense – vaccines and points of dispensation (PODs), or mostly medical in nature run by the big pharma industry. There was little sociological about it that will make it a wholistic war against an unseen enemy.

“While a monovalent (H1N1) pdm09 vaccine was produced, it was not available in large quantities until late November—after the peak of illness during the second wave had come and gone in the United States.

“From April 12, 2009 to April 10, 2010, CDC estimated that in the United States, there were “60.8 million cases (range: 43.3-89.3 million), “274,304 hospitalizations (range: 195,086-402,719), and “12,469 deaths (range: 8868-18,306) in the United States “due to the (H1N1) pdm09 virus.”

 “Additionally, CDC estimated that 151,700-575,400 people worldwide died from (H1N1) pdm09 virus infection during the first year the virus circulated.

Later, however, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy of the University of Minnesota, reported in 2013 that in a new analysis of serologic studies from 19 countries, researchers estimate that about 24% of the population were infected with the 2009 H1N1 (pdm09) influenza virus during the first year of the pandemic, a finding modestly higher than what US health officials estimated in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic.

All told, 24% is 1.644 billion out of an estimated 6.8 billion world population.

Why are all this surfacing now and not earlier?

CDC and WHO for that matter has been dismissive on why the world was not fully made aware of the H1N1 resurgence of this viral pandemic when it was the same Spanish flu but of a different strain (pdm09).

Was it because it originated in the United States?

CDC says it was first detected in the US in April 2009, despite the finger-pointing that year blaming Mexico.

So can we now call it “American virus”?

Vaccine for (H1N1) pdm09

Anyways, on August 10, 2010, following the discovery of an appropriate vaccine nine months earlier, the World Health Organization declared an end to the global 2009 H1N1 pandemic.

Note however, (H1N1) pdm09 virus continues to circulate as a seasonal flu virus, and causes illness, hospitalization, and deaths worldwide every year.

Earlier in this article, we traced the genesis of Covid-19 where the western media was quick to report said the novel corona viral strain could have jumped from bats, pangolins or wild animals to humans from a food market in Wuhan, China.

But the OIE Organisation Mondiale de la Santé Animale says the predominant route of transmission of Covid-19 is from human to human stressing that not all strains of the corona virus genre are “zoonotic.”

Later dissertations by epidemiologists, from Japan and Taiwan, also traces its most probable origin to Fort Detrick, Maryland. These countries are not entirely friendly to China, but cozy with the US.

So can we now call Covid-19 as the “Maryland pandemic”?

Last February 11, WHO announced that it would be referring to the novel corona virus, first acknowledged to break out in Wuhan, China, as Covid-19.

“Some people are worried about the disease. Fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma, for example, towards Chinese or other Asian Americans or people who were in quarantine,” the CDC website says.

The website adds that stigma “is associated with a lack of knowledge” about how Covid-19 spreads, “a need to blame someone, fears about disease and death, and gossip that spreads rumors and myths.”

The CDC’s advice to help stop stigma: “Communicating the facts that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups and how Covid-19 actually spreads can help stop stigma.”

President Trump does not agree.

Racism, politically justifiable?

When a reporter asks him why he keeps calling Covid-19 as Chinese virus, he replied “Because it comes from China. It’s not racist at all, no, not at all. It comes from China, that’s why. I want to be accurate.”

This drew a violent disagreement from Jill Filipovic, a journalist based in New York writing for CNN and author of the book on “The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness”.

Filipovic called this malicious.

She said “When Donald Trump wants to rally his base and distract from his many screw-ups, he falls back on xenophobic racism,” an intentional bit of provocation that evokes the turn-of-the-century “yellow peril,” when Americans and Europeans fanned the fear factor on East Asians.

“In 1882, the United States passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which barred Chinese immigrants from coming to the country — not so very different from Trump’s own racist and fear-mongering 2017 travel ban that predominantly targets Muslim-majority countries,” adds Filipovic.

Reactionary media, self-interested political figures and racist whites then blamed Chinese people for taking “white jobs”, resulting decades of discrimination in immigration policies, in housing and education and violence against Asians, not excluding mass atrocities.

Filipovic explains “When there’s a lack of information, you understand why everyday people grasp at the nearest possible explanation. But by the President of the United States? There’s no excuse.”

She said the president’s wrong direction and obfuscation in the face of scientific evidence has put citizens at risk, as he invites them to think of the disease as “Chinese” and not a wholly American crisis sweeping our nation:

“(Trump) has screwed up the corona virus response royally, downplaying the threat with ludicrous pronouncements in front of TV cameras. While his health care officials issued grave warnings, he told them it will pass soon and other nonsense that warm weather will help.”

This is outrageous, because as Filipovic frames it, pandemics are frightening because you cannot see a virus. Throughout human history, rampaging illnesses have been cast on some outside force, from God sending down a pestilence, to unpopular minorities allegedly bringing in disease. People living in rural areas have blamed city dwellers for polio and HIV was blamed on gay men.

Americans are sick and dying — and it’s going to get worse, in large part because the administration has been slow to make testing available, she added.

True enough as halfway through this writing, a friend passes this on to me by FB Messenger – according to UK’s Mail Online, the United States now has the most corona virus cases in the world with 83,553 infections and 1,205 deaths.

(An updated figure says it’s now 712,184 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 32,823 deaths in the United States. – Ed.)

New figures released on April 9 showed that the US has overtaken China and Italy with the number of confirmed cases in the global pandemic.

At that point Italy was still the hardest hit country in terms of deaths.

Its Civil Protection Agency reported reported corona virus death toll has today soared by 712 to 8,215 by far the highest in the world, with more than 6,100 new cases recorded, sending the running total to 80,539, almost as many as China, where COVID-19 was first detected in December but where deaths only exceeded 3,000.

The number of corona virus infections worldwide has now topped a half-million, with 510,108 coronavirus cases confirmed and 22,993 deaths reported as a result of the virus. 

(An updated data says worldwide, there are now 2,256,844 cases and 154,350 deaths. – Ed.)

It comes after the World Health Organization predicted a grim outlook for the US, saying that the country would quickly become the global epicenter of the corona virus pandemic given the ‘very large acceleration’ of confirmed infections. 

All this as the US president trumps up the disease as a Chinese virus!

US stops funding WHO

Because WHO has been confirming the Chinese timeline to illustrate its transparency in disclosing information to the rest of the world, I said it would just a matter of time when Trump will pull out Americans funds supporting the organization.

Finally on April 15, 2020, he announced the end of US funding, amounting to about $ 400-million per annum, to the WHO.

There is absolutely no fear that the WHO will be left to suffer as many other countries will certainly step in to fill the gap. The United Kingdom has already pledged to donate £200-million. And there is no doubt that China, which has already shown immense magnanimity in sending anti-Covid 19 assistance to over 100 countries, will step in.

The Philippine BRICS Strategic Studies said “This certainly seals the fate of the US as a superpower in the world.”



Ado Paglinawan is a daily commentator at Radyo Pilipinas1, and a regular columnist at the newest daily news website and its partner magazine The Sovereign. He is a former Philippine diplomat, serving in the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York as press attaché, spokesman and special assistant to Ambassador Emmanuel N. Pelaez. He has served a strategic consultant to Agriculture Secretary Luisito Lorenzo, Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon and Finance Secretary Roberto de Ocampo. He studied for 1 5 years at San Beda College from grade 1 to 4th year college majoring in English and Philosophy, minor in political science and history. He is a veteran of the First Quarter Storm, participating as president of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines. Ado has taken continuing studies in world politics and diplomacy, international public relations, information technology and remote sensing, Christian and Islamic studies in various universities in Washington DC.


Leave a Reply