Tag Archives | Smallpox

U.S. Balks At International Effort To Destroy Smallpox Virus

Bangladeshi child with smallpox.

Bangladeshi child with smallpox.

Citing the “war” on terror is a useful catchall for the U.S. government to do anything distasteful that it desires, even in defiance of the rest of the world, it seems. Betsy McKay reports for the Wall Street Journal:

The U.S. and Russia will fight international efforts this week to set a deadline to destroy the last known stocks of smallpox, saying the deadly virus is needed for research to combat bioterrorism.

Members of the World Health Organization meet on Wednesday to begin debating the future of what is left of what was one of the world’s most lethal viruses before it was eradicated more than 30 years ago: samples kept in tightly guarded freezers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and a Russian government lab near Novosibirsk.

The U.S. says it needs to maintain the virus samples to develop new drugs and vaccines to counter a potential bioterror attack or accidental release of smallpox from an unsanctioned stock.

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