The Tradition and Method of Selecting a New Pope

Vatican-SmokeMurder, bribery, and nepotism were the primary ways in which a pope would enter or exit the papacy prior to the 12th century. It was during the 12th century that cardinals who were senior clergy in Rome, Italy created what they referred to as a “college” to act as a council which would regulate the elections of future popes. This system became referred to as the “conclave” which refers to the practice of a “private meeting assembly of cardinals for the election of a pope”. The term “conclave” was chosen because of the Latin term “con” with means “with” and the Latin term “clavin” which means “key”, more literally translating to “locked room” as cardinals would be locked away to avoid the interference of outside politics. As of 1274 A.D., all papal elections are held in secret, adhering to this strict tradition in an attempt to remain unbiased. Elections are held again and again until a 66% majority is achieved at which point white smoke is released to signify that the council has reached a decision. The election ballets from each voting round are burned so that the election is completely anonymous and private, even for those who are present in the meeting. It is this burning which creates the iconography of the smoke being released to signify a decision. In the Middle Ages, cardinals added damp straw to the ballots which created black smoke to signify that a pope had not yet been chosen. White smoke was created by burning the paper alone, but during the modern day, chemical additives are added to ensure the white smoke color is as unambiguous as possible

The Rationale Why Pharmaceutical Organizations are Not Incentivized to Develop Antibiotics and Why This is Dangerous for the Worlds Next Pandemic

antibiotic-resistanceWithin 5 short years of release, approximatly 20% of antibiotics become subject to resistance from bacterial pathogens which means that antibiotic proliferation is chronologically limited within its life expectancy. Coupled with this, if an antibiotic is highly effective, the scientific and medical community often rally against its usage so that such a tool can be saved in reserve for a global bacterial pandemic. In either scenario, return upon investment is less than what it would be with a different class of medication (e.g. selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor, statin, hypnotic etc.) which is why pharmaceutical organizations are less interested in research and development dedicated to antibiotic medicine in favor of other, more profitable medication categories. This lack of investment however is myopic and will inevitably backfire upon the pharmaceutical industry as a whole if new antibiotics are not developed because medications used to treat cancer will become less in demand due to the fact that cancer patients are highly likely to acquire an infection during treatment when their immune system is comprised, with this infection often killing the patient if antibiotic solutions are not available. This would expectedly lead to a sharp decline in cancer medication treatment and subsequently pharmaceutical sales of related medications as patients would be likely to adopt living the rest of their life as fully as possible and forgoing treatment as they would be damned if they accept the cancer treatment and develop an infection which kills them but also damned if they don’t accept the treatment and let the cancer run its course which is almost always fatal

To provide comparison of the research, development, and manufacturing contrast between oncology medications and antibiotics, as of 2020, there are currently 800 medications in development for cancer and hypertension whilst only 28 antibiotic medications undergoing that same research phase and development process, with 2 of these antibiotics expected to become fully developed and able to reach the market and patients. The last new antibiotic class, lipopeptides, were introduced in 1984 with a gap referred to as an “antibiotic void” occurring during the 1990’s, 2000’s, 2010’s, and now moving into the 2020’s. The urgency of this threat is projected to become dire within the coming decades, with scientists predicting that by 2050, medicine could potentially come full circle to the pre-antibiotic era, with microbes which are completely and totally resistant to every antibiotic known to medicine

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”