You can’t make this stuff up. Science, the most prestigious science periodical in the US, is reporting that the federal National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease is attempting to revive a $110 million previously cancelled plan to deliberately infect people in Brazil with the zika virus just to test the efficacy of an experimental vaccine because the natural rate of zika infection is too low to test the vaccine. For comparison, $110 million is about half the entire federal autism research budget. We have wholly inadequate resources devoted to the causes, treatment, and potential cures and prevention for autism. This zika boondoggle should be cancelled and the funds redirected toward autism research.
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Pre-natal exposure to Zika was targeted as the cause of a surge in the number of children born with microcephaly in an area of northeastern Brazil in 2015. Zika infection is endemic in tropical areas of Latin America and microcephaly was not reported anywhere outside of Brazil or before 2015, nor since. Nonetheless, zika hysteria was manufactured and more than $2 billion US tax dollars were slated for a crash program in zika research. That’s twice the federal Autism research budget spent during the past ten years. But then in 2016 the rate of zika infection collapsed to an extent that researchers claim the deliberate infection of healthy people with zika is necessary because they can’t find enough natural cases of zika to test the vaccine. The $110 million vaccine project reportedly cannot move forward without the deliberate infection of human test subjects.
Zika is communicable and can be spread through semen so the researchers want to only infect women for the experiment. How they plan to deal with the possibility of the microcephaly they claim zika causes is not clear. Health authorities are not pursuing alternate explanations for the surge in microcephaly in one area of Brazil in 2015.
Scarce federal research dollars should not be wasted on infecting Brazilian women with zika when the ostensible reason for the research, microcephaly, is obviously not caused by zika, except by those with a financial interest to say it is. In 2017 there were 15 confirmed cases of zika in the US according to the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/zika/reporting/2017-case-counts.html.... Yet about 3% of American children now have autism. Who makes these ridiculous research priorities?
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