Monkeypox: Natural Emergence or Bioweapon?

What is monkeypox and how did it get here?

We're talking about the monkeypox virus: its incubation period, symptoms, transmission, how contagious it is, treatment and mortality rate. It's similar to smallpox, which only two countries are officially in possession of WHO authorized smallpox repositories of. Iraq, North Korea and France are also believed to possess “illegal” stockpiles. If you enjoy our content, become a patron and unlock our premium episodes. 1

We discuss how Russia produced tons of biological weapons using similar plagues. As Pulitzer Prize winner Ed Yong of The Atlantic said, “The US has spent decades thinking about how to handle smallpox bioterrorism. The two cases of monkeypox in 2021 provided handy test runs for those plans.” The State Centre for Research on Virology and Biotechnology in Novosibirsk called Vector is in possession of smallpox and anthrax, as well as more recent pathogens like Ebola. 2

Smallpox had a 30% fatality rate at its peak. Monkeypox is between 1-10% depending on the strain and care available. The COVID SARS 2 R0 is 8. Monkeypox’s R naught is less than 1 (average) so far. R0 is the average number of people who will contract a disease from one person with that disease. Although it's rare, if you have swollen lymph nodes, fever, headaches, pustules, puss filled blisters, or lesions on your hands and feet, extremities, and face you should probably head to the ER...

Monkeypox is transmitted by bodily fluids. It is not an airborne virus like COVID, monkeypox is also a DNA virus so it doesn’t mutate easily. The virus is mostly carried by rodents. In 2003 USA had a monkeypox outbreak in Illinois after an import of rodents from Ghana. What’s different now is so many cases without a clear prime source. Rarely, monkeypox makes away from it's endemic areas in Nigeria, Ghana, and Congo. When it does,outbreaks are usually in the single digits, not this time.

On May 20th confirmed cases were in the US, UK, Spain, and Portugal. As we record on May 24, monkeypox is in all NATO countries plus a few. Those first affected were men who have sex with men. It is important to not stigmatize any group of people. Early narratives about a disease can become lore. And narratives turned stigma can stop people from reporting symptoms. Stigma and disinformation is exactly what evangelical Republicans and the Russian orthodox church will likely do, though.

We discuss Russian experiments with Marburg, Ebola, bubonic plague, anthrax, HIV, and camelpox. Catherine the Great was the first Russian vaccinated for smallpox, and all these years later this outbreak has the stocks of companies with an interest in vaccines like TPOXX and TEMBEXA such as Siga, Tonix Pharmaceuticals, Emergent BioSolutions, and Bavarian Nordic soaring.

We discuss Vektor Labs in Koltsovo, Siberia (as well as its predecessor, Biopreparat) where Putin's doctors work on the latest vaccines... they say... maybe also bioweapons. Ilya Drozdov was in charge of Vector, but he's now the world's most famous missing scientist, either accidentally or on purpose. If there is still a Russian bioweapons program they're in volation of the Biological Weapons Convention. Vector is the second largest such facility in the world behind the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. Our Russian bioweapons history knowledge mostly comes from defector Ken Alibek who testified about his time in Russian bioweapons research before Congress.

1. Mary G. Reynolds et al. ...Risk Factors for Human Monkeypox.... Emerging Infectious Diseases. Vol 13, November 2007. 

2. Ed Yong. So Have You Heard About Monkeypox?. The Atlantic. May 2022. 

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