A Revolutionary Breakthrough in Oncology Treatment


Cancer kills 9,000,000 (9 million) people each year and despite having searched for centuries, a cure has yet to be discovered by scientists. At the center of the immune system is the T cell, a type of leukocyte which respond against bacterial and viral infections alike in an effort to keep their host healthy and alive. T cells determine between threatening and non-threatening foreign and non-foreign bodies within a host by leveraging a molecule upon the surface of all cells referred to as the “T cell receptor”. Jim Allison was the first person to successfully isolate and purify the molecule which recognizes this lock and key model for infectious disease, auto-immune disease, and other innocuous substances within the body be they foreign or internally created. In 1987, French scientist Pierre Golstein and his team discovered a new protein upon the surface of T cells which he named “CTLA-4”. To study CTLA-4 in laboratory rats, Allison had to build and design a rat antibody, a Y shaped protein which would trigger a reaction by CTLA-4. Cancers are mutations and should in theory be visible to the immune system, which is why the scientific community has struggled with the paradox of why tumors go undetected by the immune system for decades. There is no discernible reason as to why the immune system can recognize and resist influenza or any other foreign or domestic body but not cancer. Allison theorized that tumors have evolved an ability to fool the immune system, engaging CTLA-4 which turns on the T cells response to halt its search and destroy measures. Allison hypothesized that if he inserted a Y shaped antibody to block the gap in between the tumor and T cells, the tumor would no longer have its ability to hide, a trait which has been evolved by tumor cells over hundreds of millions of years. This would allow the T cell to infiltrate, attack from within the tumor, shrink, and ultimately kill the growth. Allison spent the next decade trying to turn this revolutionary breakthrough discovery into a medication which could be provided to cancer patients. Allison found Alan Korman, a scientist creating medications for auto-immune disease which provided him with the expert he required to turn this idea into a reality. Korman was tasked with taking the CTLA-4 antibody which Allison and partner Max Krummell developed for laboratory rats, and turn it into a medication which could safely work within human beings with this medication subsequently being named “Ipilimumab” (pronounced “ipi-lim-ooh-mab”). Korman ended up collaborating with a friend from graduate school, Nils Lonberg to accomplish this task. Ipilimumab consists of an intramuscular injection into the leg and a 90 minute intravenous medication drip in comparison to chemotherapy and radiation therapy which take months of treatment to complete and have devastating effects upon overall health as both bad and good tissue are destroyed in an effort to eradicate all tumor cells. Allison’s work with laboratory rats demonstrated that with the help of this newly developed antibody, T cells gained the ability enter into tumors and expand their size in an effort to destroy them from the inside out. This means that the fact that tumors grow initially upon administration is a positive marker and indicative of the medication working as it demonstrates successful infiltration of the tumor cells themselves. Patients often report feeling better after a few treatment sessions, sometimes even a single session, despite computer tomography scans demonstrating that their tumors are growing larger, which under normal circumstances would make a patient feel worse. Some patients even noted increased improvement after having stopped the Ipilimumab treatment, with no further therapy required. On March 25, 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released approval for Ipilimumab. Ipilimumab and its successors have treated nearly 1,000,000 (1 million) patients worldwide with many of these patients achieving permanent remission which is essentially the definition of having been cured of cancer. Although these medications do not work in every single case, they have definitively demonstrated to be a miracle medication for hundreds of thousands of people thus far. After completing this revolutionary discovery, Allison was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2018 for his series of discoveries related to T cells and their ability to halt cancer in its progression in perpetuity

The Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918 in London, England


At the end of World War I, soldiers coming back to London, England from the Western Front brought with them a particularly infectious version of influenza referred to as the “Spanish Flu”. Exact metrics are unknown because of poor data collection during the early 20th century but an estimated 50,000,000 (50 million) deaths occurred, 3x as many people than that which died during the entire span of World War I. Spanish Flu had its most devastating blitzkrieg upon London in the autumn of 1918, as thousands civilians and soldiers, weakened from 4.5 years of war, became ill within a few short days of Armistice Day. Spanish Flu works quickly to destroy the lungs of healthy victims, with those who contracted the pathogen feeling fine in the morning and often found dead, later that same evening. In 1918, 320 people died of Spanish Flu in London, but during 1919, Spanish Flu had a resurgence and exploded in severity with 16,000 – 23,000 people killed, a surge which caused a shortage of gravediggers and coffins, classifying Spanish Flu as the worst epidemic in living memory. The Spanish Flu outbreak came to an end in May of 1919 once enough of the British population had experienced the infection and either been killed or having survived, becoming immune to the point that the disease could no longer be passed through hosts efficiently enough to continue its spread

The Chinese Governments Intentional Deception of the World Public Regarding COVID-19



Wuhan, China is the second most populated city in China in respect to the number of universities available to students. Wuhan is economically and geographically within the heart of China, a city subject to a constant flux of people coming in and out, making it one of the worst possible areas in China for a viral outbreak to occur. 4 weeks after the first recorded infection, the Chinese government notified the World Health Organization of the outbreak, but it was far too late by this point as Wuhan was now experiencing an enormous influx of people migrating in and out of the city for the Chinese Lunar New Year festivities. The absolute worst period for a viral infection to occur in China is during the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration as hundreds of millions of people migrate back to their families causing enormous increases in public transport use (e.g. busses, aircraft, taxis etc.). This period of a few short weeks is the largest annual mass migration in the world, as people travel in and out of as well as across China, to be with loved ones

It is believed that Coronavirus Disease 2019, commonly abbreviated as “COVID-19”, developed in Wuhan’s seafood and wildlife market, most likely from bats as this is what the genetic data collected appears to confirm. Often an intermediary animal host plays a role in opportunistic pathogens like COVID-19 and it is believed that pangolins, which are small mammalian creatures, may be this intermediary species. It is not believed that the consumption of bats and/or pangolin is what caused COVID-19 to affect human beings, but rather physical contact during handling of these animals while preparing their meat which was butchered for human consumption

As the number of cases increased in Wuhan, physicians began sharing data in a private Wechat chat group. Well before the world became familiar with COVID-19, a small number of medical professionals within Wuhan attempted to notify the public. Dr. Li Wenliang (pronounced “lee wen-lee-yong”) posted within this chat group with former university classmates that patients had begun coming into his clinic with what appeared to be the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, commonly abbreviated as “SARS”, a viral pathogen which is a coronavirus in and of itself, one which appeared between 2002 – 2004, in China. Dr. Li wrote within this group chat, “7 SARS cases were confirmed in the Huaban seafood market. The main mode of transmission of the virus is droplet transmission at close range or contact with respiratory secretions of patients. This can cause a specialized pneumonia that is evidently contagious and capable of affecting multiple organ systems. The reason Chinese physicians were worried about this new outbreak was because SARS is incredibly infectious, with a relatively high mortality rate of 10%, and a large number of healthcare practitioners died of SARS during the 2002 – 2004 outbreak because of the complexity involved while attempting to impede transmission. On the same day as Dr. Li’s warning, the Wuhan Health Commission sent an urgent internal notice to hospitals with regard to the treatment of pneumonia with an unknown etymology. This memorandum stated, “some medical institutions in our city have seen patients steadily with pneumonia of unknown cause. If you find patients with unexplained pneumonia, actively adjust the resources and treat them on the spot”. This notice warned healthcare professionals to keep the outbreak quiet, stating, “without authorization, no units or individuals shall release treatment related information to the outside”. Dr. Li and his colleagues continued to share information, warning each other to protect loved ones and avoid the Huanan seafood markets but ran into many blockades by the Chinese government for doing so, with their Wechat conversations being monitored and eventually forcibly shut down. It is now understood that Wuhan health authorities purposefully withheld and covered up pertinent information as these authorities and their employees were explicitly told not to speak about COVID-19 under threat of undefined punishment. Dr. Li and 7 of his colleagues were detained shortly after and brought in for interrogation by law enforcement. Law enforcement internal documents state “after investigation and verification by the public security organs, 8 offenders have been summoned and handled according to law. The police will investigate and punish with zero tolerance those illegal acts that fabricate and spread rumors and disrupt social order”. Dr. Li was also reprimanded by the hospital he worked for in addition to the interrogation and intimidation instituted by law enforcement

The central Chinese government frequently received reports from health authorities and hospitals but actively chose to conceal this information, attempting to control the epidemic internally. This contradiction of western medical practice standards prevented Chinese health authorities from properly mobilizing in an effort to control the spread of this new pathogen. Had the Chinese government adopted an approach used by western health authorities and governments, the spread of COVID-19 would have been severely reduced as early detection and intervention would have been implemented ubiquitously across all Chinese outbreak zones. Although internal controls were put into place, the information purposefully kept from the public greatly exacerbated the prevalence of the COVID-19 pathogen. The COVID-19 virus could have been traced during the first 2 – 3 weeks of it first being observed, but this opportunity was squandered and lost due to the mismanagement and political ineptitude of the Chinese state

Critics like Dr. Wu Qiang, (pronounced “woo chung”) who had previously lost his ability to teach university level subjects for defying a ban instituted by President Xi Jinping which stated that university students were forbidden from learning about western democracy, continued to speak out regarding the Chinese government’s incompetency and lack of understanding in handling such a precarious public health danger

On January 9, 2020, the first death of COVID-19 was recorded, experienced by a 61 year old male who visited the seafood market where COVID-19 was first observed. This death was kept under wraps for 2 full days before being made public. It is believed that the local authorities kept this information from the public due to political concerns, as annual political summits were occurring in Wuhan and Hubei province in which Wuhan is situated. On January 22, 2020, the Chinese government finally acknowledged the complexity and severity of the COVID-19 epidemic at a press conference in Beijing, China. Wuhan went into lockdown the following day on January 23, 2020 with all public transport including busses, trains, ferries, and airports shut down, and 11,895,000 (11.8 million) people under forced quarantine

By late January, Wuhan hospitals struggled to cope with the enormous increase in COVID-19 cases confirmed, with staff subjected to intolerable conditions with many experiencing emotional outbursts and talk of suicide due to deceased patients being left upon the floor to be stepped over by healthcare workers and patients alike. With patient case numbers soaring, the Chinese government began constructing 2 new hospitals at blistering paces set, involving 24 hour work schedules in an effort to open both facilities within a few short weeks

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation of Australia, commonly abbreviated as “CSIRO”, the Australian federal government agency responsible for scientific research, began cultivating COVID-19 within the countries highest security facility after the first COVID-19 case was confirmed on January 25, 2020 in the state of Victoria, Australia. The Australians became the first country to isolate the COVID-19 pathogen outside of China, and purposefully grew COVID-19 in the laboratory so that the disease could be better understood in respect to its characteristics and behaviors within biological models. The virus was then introduced to test animals, specifically ferrets because ferret respiratory systems are very similar to that of human beings. The goal for these experiments is to better understand how COVID-19 behaves and how it progresses as this permits for the development of immunizations

900,000,000 (900 million) Chinese have access to smartphone technology, 69% of China’s 1,300,000,000 (1.3 billion) person population. Extreme dissatisfaction with the Chinese government and its handling of COVID-19 was observed online, with unprecedented volumes of complaints and anger reported, more so than at any other time within the past decade of China’s recent modern history. Chinese nationals took particular issue with Wuhan’s local government and its ineffective response towards epidemiological and disaster relief strategies, the paralysis of local healthcare institutions, and the immense risk now faced by Wuhan’s 11,895,000 (11.8 million) person population. Wuhan effectively became cut off from the rest of mainland China due to the COVID-19 epidemic which was accelerating upon an exponential trajectory. There have been reports accompanied by video footage by Chinese citizens of authorities spraying doorways and other high traffic areas with disinfectant in anticipation of overflowing sewage becoming a potential vector of COVID-19 transmission and some reports have demonstrated with video footage, evidence of Chinese authorities welding the doors of entire apartment buildings shut so that no one can get in or out, regardless of the severity of an emergency (e.g. cardiac arrest, cerebrovascular accident, pancreatitis etc.)

Professor Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist for the Imperial College of London has stated on record that the U.K. estimates that China only detects 10% or less of all infections detected and that up to 50,000 new infections occur each day in China, numbers which are in stark opposition to the official case numbers released daily by the Chinese state. Tragically, Dr. Li, the physician who first attempted to warn the public of COVID-19 died on February 7, 2020 at age 33 causing an outpouring of anger and grief towards the Chinese government. Chinese censors worked around the clock to find and remove commentary online related to this incident

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director General of the World Health Organization has stated upon record that COVID-19 is “public enemy number one” and that COVID-19 could pose a larger global threat than terrorism as a “virus can have more consequences than any terrorist action”

The Ebola Contagion Epidemic of 2014

Ebola-virusIn late December of 2013, children of Meliandou, Guinea in West Africa found hundreds of bats nesting in a hollowed out tree. The children had no way of knowing that bats are the suspected carriers of the ebola virus. The children lit a fire and the bats scattered from the tree, allowing the children to catch and consume these bats as a source of protein. It is suspected that this is what triggered the ebola epidemic of 2014. Villagers originally thought that the illness spreading was due to witchcraft but authorities quickly identified the outbreak as ebola in an attempt to quarantine and curb the spread of the infection. Illness rapidly spread across the forest region of Guinea as those who were ill came into contact with healthcare workers whilst seeking medical attention which lead to surrounding areas becoming impacted. For 3 months, the symptoms of ebola were mistaken for cholera and malaria, which is why the contagion was unable to be controlled and halted. The problem quickly spiraled out of control with thousands becoming ill and a total of 11,315 deaths across 6 countries including Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Mali, and the U.S., however the U.S. faired best with only 49 of the total deaths. The government of Guinea had no idea how to respond as all previous ebola outbreaks had occurred over 1600 kilometers away, however the relief group Doctors Without Borders had decades of experience and were able to be flown in in and effort to curb the spread of the pathogen. Within 48 hours of arrival, Doctors Without Borders had setup a field hospital in the village of Guéckédou, Guinea, the epicenter of the ebola outbreak. Past outbreaks have taught physicians that the best counter attack is to isolate the ill, monitor those who have had contact with the sick, and safely bury the dead. Due to the scale of the problem and the fact that it was not isolated to a single group or village, Doctors Without Borders did not have the resources to contain this potential global threat which is why the World Health Organization became involved, a group which is part of the United Nations and has access to the best and most expensive resources in the world, with a mandate to help governments coordinate responses to outbreaks. The main problem facing the World Health Organization is that the organization itself does not take precedent nor command of any medical situation as it is the country which is dealing with a contagion that must take this lead. Due to the fact that Guinea is a poor nation with few resources, grabbing hold of the ebola outbreak was exceedingly difficult as physicians did not have proper oversight by those in power with ebola experience, the governments of affected nations were some of the poorest in the world, and the World Health Organization was in the process of downsizing, causing the entire process to become more complicated and convoluted as decision making was scattered and often conflicted. This created the perfect storm for ebola to quickly spread across the African continent and into the western world. The government of Guinea accused Doctors Without Borders of sowing panic among the public which further elevated tensions between the 3 organizations involved. Guinea’s Ministry of Health demanded that only laboratory confirmed cases be counted towards the total ebola death count which tied the hands of physicians and their governing organizations as this act downplayed the importance and severity of just how severe the ebola outbreak truly was which lead to further contamination as the public did not treat the disease with the full gravitas of what it demanded. It is believed that this single political act is what allowed ebola to jump across borders, starting with the neighboring country of Sierra Leone as residents of both states are permitted to freely cross the borderline of either nation as often as they wish, a political policy which should have been suspended during a period of mass outbreak. Rumors of foreign physicians killing impoverished residents with syringes helped inflame already growing tensions between healthcare professionals and the general public which made working with infected or potentially infected individuals exceedingly difficult for healthcare practitioners. The corpse of an ebola victim is highly infectious but in West Africa, it is customary for friends and family to spend hours with a person after death, washing and preparing them for their burial (e.g. cutting nails and braiding hair etc.). The sudden cessation of the ability to perform this ritualistic act deeply embedded within West African culture fueled even more resent from the public which caused mass rioting and chaos to ensue, endangering the lives of those who were there to help, made worse by the lack of education, language barriers, and cultural barriers already present. It is theorized that this cultural convention played a major and definitive role in the spread of the ebola virus, as mourners often touch the body during the funerary procession. It is believed by the inhabitants of West Africa that if a body is not laid to rest properly, the ghost of that person will return to haunt the people of the village which is why this ritualistic process is so deeply embedded and revered in this region of the world. The government of Guinea had no method of contact tracing, that is to say, there was no method in place to monitor those who had come in contact with ebola victims which allowed for hundreds of cases to go undetected. The World Health Organization debated whether or not to declare an international health emergency which would have acted as a global distress signal, enacting the aid and preparation for a counter attack from many of the worlds most industrialized nations (e.g. the U.S., Canada, Japan etc.). Officials worried that declaring a global emergency would create panic which would only help exacerbate the issue as many countries, particularly in Europe and the Middle East, could potentially close their borders in an effort to ensure the ebola virus remained exclusively in Africa, the worlds most impoverished continent. To exacerbate the already fevered tensions between government officials, healthcare workers, and the public at large, an event transpired which threw much of the West African population into a panic. In Kenema, Sierra Leone, a woman purporting herself as a nurse, began shouting in the center of the cities most populated marketplace, “there is no ebola! I say to everyone it’s not real. Ebola is not real. It’s cannibalism”. The crowd started to cry for others to come over, to hear the supposed confessions of a nurse stating that physicians are killing innocent people for the consumption of their bodies as meat. The tide quickly changed and the crowd began turning upon the healthcare staff present, throwing stones, giving chase, and threatening their lives, forcing the evacuation of virtually all physicians, nurses, and other interdisciplinary healthcare personnel. This woman was not a nurse, rather she was a person afflicted with mental illness, but her impact greatly exacerbated an already uneasy hoard of people, so much in fact that law enforcement were forced to attend and disperse tear gas to control the ire of the group. By this point, the ebola outbreak had claimed more than 800 people across 3 countries. Physicians urged the World Health Organization to declare an international emergency however organization officials refused to do so because it was believed that this act would only add fuel to an already raging and seemingly out of control inferno of illness and chaotic unrest. It was at this point that the ebola outbreak rose to a new level when an infected Liberian traveled to Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, and the U.S., forcing the World Health Organization to declare an international emergency, by holding a press conference given by Dr. Margaret Chan, the Director-General of the organization itself. A high ranking team was assembled and deployed to Geneva, Switzerland in response, devising and enacting a plan to employ thousands of western medical professionals in an attempt to curb an infectious outbreak which was growing by this point at an exponential rate. The outbreak was so beyond the reach of control by this time that it had spread across a broad geographical area, unlike anything ever witnessed in modern memory. The main caveat to the curated plan was that the World Health Organization did not have a standing force of physicians, nurses, laboratory technicians, and other various healthcare practitioners, ready and willing to help serve in the fight to combat such a prevalent contagion, nor did they have the budget to build one. The only option available was to appeal to the worlds wealthiest nations, persuading and to an extent pleading with trained and qualified healthcare workers who were willing and able to travel abroad and join the collective effort. This endeavor would take time as acquiring a team en mass is an extraordinarily ambitious goal to accomplish. Rioting continued to occur with some hospitals being overrun by disillusioned citizens who were angry, frightened, and frustrated enough to allow every patient under quarantine to run back into the village, allowing for the proliferation of the disease to spread even further. Governments attempted to respond by sending in military squadrons to guard sanctioned quarantined buildings in an effort to help contain an outbreak which for all intents and purposes was completely out of control and continuing to spiral into calamity. Citizens were killed both by soldiers with firearms as well as infection as those who were infected were in the streets, amongst the general populous. Doctors Without Borders began constructing ELWA 3 (pronounced “ell-wah-three”), the largest Ebola treatment center ever built, but despite their best efforts, the facility was not large enough to contain the sheer volume of people who needed medical aide. It was at this point that Doctors Without Borders made an urgent plea directed solely towards the U.S to provide thousands of soldiers immediately in order to help isolate and treat patients. Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Center of Disease Control, traveled to the ELWA 3 clinic in Monrovia, Liberia to see first hand, just how bad the epidemic was. Frieden recounted his experience by stating that he witnessed a “level of devastation that I have never seen” and that he was “seeing a country essentially in free fall and knowing, knowing with certainty that no matter what we did, it was going to get a lot worse before it got better”. Frieden called then President Barack Obama stating that the outbreak was expanding at an exponential pace, doubling every 3 weeks, resulting in a tripling of results with every month of delay instituted. Obama responded by implementing emergency U.S. aide, sending thousands of soldiers and medics, 10 months after the outbreak had initially begun, in an attempt to quell and eradicate the spread of this viral disease. Other industrialized nations soon followed suit and the United Nations created a new emergency mission for the World Health Organization and other related agencies to coordinate the response. Work began on the ground with the building of new treatment centers and training to teach those deployed how to properly bury affected victims. Despite these monumentous efforts, the ebola virus was still ahead of the response and threatened to spread beyond African borders. Shortly after this humanitarian response, cases in Monrovia began to sharply decline, but experts believed that the downward trajectory would bounce back in an even more dramatic resurgence as people were now staying home due to the events which had recently transpired across the African continent, allowing them to infect more people than if they had been under isolation. Fortunately, the drop in reported cases remained steadfast in its declination as Liberians stopped trying to nurse their sick and started burying the dead in an appropriate and safe manner. Liberians began to understand that the ebola virus was so drastically deadly that previous cultural customs had to be shelved for the time being so that the disease could be expunged and life could return to normal for those who had survived. Thousands more continued to die across West Africa, but the changed behavior of West Africans and the massive international response gradually turned the tide of the war