FTC, la Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a publié le discours de son commissaire Bart Chilton sur le thème de la pandémie du Ponzimonium.
There is a fairly recent movie out called “Contagion.” Steven Soderbergh directed the film which has a large ensemble cast including Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Winslet, among others. I haven’t seen the movie, but it follows the progress of a virus that results in a pandemic. The movie sounds similar to a book I read over a dozen years ago—pre-9/11—called “The Cobra Event.” It’s a thriller and this single man, a terrorist, creates an incurable virus called “Cobra” that is a combination of smallpox and the common cold. The story starts right here in New York and a pandemic ensues.
The thing is—the theoretical possibility of such pandemics as Contagion and Cobra Event seem all too close to home.
When I worked at the United States Department of Agriculture around the same time I read Cobra Event, I became familiar with biosafety levels—or BSL—and the facilities that exist to contain these deadly things and to do research to find a vaccine or antidote. At the time, there were four BSL tiers, ranging from a biosafety level 1 which were facilities where the staff would isolate whatever it was they were trying to contain and they’d use some minimal protective garments. The BSL tiers became progressively more secure through BSL 4. A BSL 4 was reserved for dealing with pathogens and lethal agents—like smallpox, cholera, measles, etc…—exceptionally dangerous and infectious materials that if released could become pandemics. A BSL 4 is a super secure facility for dealing with these things. Staff wears what are essentially space suits with hoods. The buildings have self-contained oxygen and the air is all internally filtered. The entrance and exits have multiple showers, a vacuum room, ultraviolet rooms and a bunch of other safety precautions. Let’s just say it is pretty secure because it handles the most dangerous stuff on earth—things that could become pandemic. And guess what? There is a facility a mile and a half off of Long’s Island’s Orient Point. It is called Plum Island and it is 840 acres. It is, or at least it was, the only BSL 4 facility authorized to handle diseases that are communicable between humans and animals for which there is no known cure.
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