What we have heard rumoured, or more than rumoured, is now pretty much official. The attitude of Georgia’s Western “friends” to the country has been laid bare by the announcement that the Republic of Georgia is fast becoming the testing ground for a wide range of new vaccines and questionable treatments.
Is there something intrinsically superior about the Georgian people, their European DNA, who would provide the testers with important scientific data? Or is it more likely that no one wants to risk treating their own nationals with these experimental medicines, but no one minds murdering a few Georgians in the name of better health in the West?
Anti-vivisectionists, those against operating and experimenting on animals, will doubtless applaud this move. “Better than testing on defenseless animals”, they will say. Things are only tested on animals because no one knows if they are safe for humans. Now Georgians are being treated like those animals, and their government is doing nothing about it – indeed, abusing its own people is very probably a price imposed upon the Georgian government for continuing to receive Western support.
What we know
On April 22 a company called Gilead officially announced that it was using Georgia as a free-drug test lab for hepatitis C elimination. As reported by Reuters,
“Gilead Sciences is seeking to convince governments and multilateral agencies worldwide that hepatitis C can be eliminated with a demonstration project in Georgia offering free drugs to all those who need them.
“The unprecedented program will make the Caucasian country a testbed for uprooting the liver-destroying disease, using Gilead’s highly effective but costly pill Sovaldi, plus its newer product Harvoni once approved.
“Georgia has the world’s third highest prevalence of hepatitis C, after Egypt and Mongolia, with nearly 7 percent of adults carrying the virus. It also has a wide range of viral variations and different types of patients.”
If Georgia really has such a hepatitis C prevalence it might be reasonable to test the drug there. Indeed, public health experts closer to the actual figures claim that the prevalence of various blood, instrument and sexually transmitted viruses is even higher, with even as many as 25 percent of the adult population infected. This is generally ascribed to a range of factors, including a lack of marketing of prevention methods, a blood bank system based on paid and replacement donors, which is a high risk group for donations, and a low level of instrument sterilization in hospitals, dental offices and needle sharing.
Intravenous drug use and the selling of tainted blood based on paid and replacement donations are also major factor in the spread of hepatitis C and other TTIs, transfusion transmitted viruses. Is it likely that a country which was run for years by the biggest hard drug dealer in the region, the former government, was ever going to enact drug safety measures or give more than lip service to public health?
Blood banks also failed to use the most effective methods of testing for blood transmitted virus as a cost saving measure, opting for inexpensive rapid tests that are not to an acceptable standard of accuracy. Georgia’s blood donation system is indeed poor and inherently dangerous. Due to the window periods of blood not demonstrating antibodies to a virus for up to 45 to 60 days after a person may have been infected, they can pass on a virus without it being testable, thus compounding the problem.
All of this is known and addressed in other countries. Are we to believe this cannot be done in Georgia? We are told that Georgian doctors lack the knowledge and training to devise and operate safe blood banking and sterilisation systems. Is it not possible for this training to be imported to Georgia, as it is to other countries, or for Georgian doctors to obtain this training in other countries?
If this really is impossible, Georgians should be told why, but no one has ever done this. Indeed, Georgian doctors are notoriously reluctant to talk about their profession too closely, for one simple reason: it would damage their personal and professional reputations irretrievably if they had to admit what they really know, and the compromises they have had to make to be a part of it.
What we are not supposed to know
Another important factor in the spread of disease in Georgia has been the country’s willingness to make itself available for any Western military scheme, however dubious. It has been quite happy for the US, in particular, to do all kinds of things on its territory which it would never get away with at home, which obviously encourages Western countries to think that Georgians are just there to be used, and do not have the human dignity of others.
Georgia has well-documented connections with US-sponsored bio weapons programmes. Those who have been part of these have drawn a direct connection between the announcement of new drug testing and Georgia being willing to turn a blind eye to the health consequences of various military projects. It is sometimes argued that Georgians make themselves vulnerable to these by being prepared to accept a low level of informed consent, being pressured to vaccinate, even parents who had suffered the childhood diseases.
But it is doctors who should inform patients about what that is, and make sure their patients can give appropriate levels of consent. It is inconceivable that Georgia’s medics do not know that people are being willfully deprived of the opportunity to give this by not being given the necessary information.
This was the case in one programme where the US Department of Defense was funding 75,000 emergency vaccinations in response to a measles outbreak in Georgia a few years ago. My adopted daughter suffered from measles and was hospitalized but still the hospital insist that she be vaccinated, and the mother [and me at 60 years of age]. Both of us refused after learning this was donated by the US Department of Defense and the motivation was highly suspect.
For this is hardly the first case. Others have gone so far as to claim that Georgians are being used as white rats, and what is going on now is but the tip of the iceberg of human experimentation programmes which would make the notorious Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele marvel.
Such experiments have been going on for years, conducted under various foreign-funded initiatives described as something else – “public health improvement”, “HIV-AIDS reduction” – “TB reduction”. As even the official figures show, these overseas aid programmes have had precious little effect on the prevalence of the diseases they were supposed to combat, but have succeeded in introducing new drugs which have not been approved elsewhere, with the recipients not being told anything significant about them.
What no one would want to know
Jeffrey Silverman, Bureau Chief for Veterans Today, a military-intelligence community publication, who has been investigating these projects for many years. He has stated that, as reported by Russian, Georgian and international press outlets, “Georgia has been used to conduct lab experiments into such infections as rabbit fever, smallpox and anthrax.”
These experiments have not [necessarily] taken place in actual labs but by using livestock and human populations, in which such infections can be made to evolve naturally and are suitable for testing new generation of vaccines and alternatives to antibiotics.
In all likelihood, this practice extends to the Georgian population, based on how new strains of flue and measles have inflicted the population in the last few years. He says that it is more than confidence that some of the vaccines donated by the United States Military to the Georgian Ministry of Health were ones delivered under questionable circumstances. Silverman also claims that the US was keeping a secret stash of smallpox in Georgia for a rainy day, as part of a so-called research programme; it was only because of media attention was this removed and covertly flown out of the country by the US military.
Some years ago US defence contractor Bechtel National signed a deal with the Georgian Technology Management Company (TMC) on biological non-proliferation, a strange thing to do when you are allegedly involved in purely civilian projects. It established a lab in Georgia which started out as a bio agent storage site but expanded into a network of labs and vaccine distribution manufacturing throughout Georgia and Ukraine which had military applications.
Some of these labs serve a double purpose and have become military command and control centres, whilst still operating under the umbrella of civilian research devoted to human and animal health, which have produced the chemical and bio weapons which find their way into the hands of US-inserted “fighters for democracy” who appear on the news every day murdering, pillaging and displacing “We The People.”
Staff working at the Tbilisi lab confirms the Lugar Public Health Reference Lab is still managed by the US Department of Defense. There is also a lab near Kobuleti working on plant warfare; however, that one is managed by the UK Ministry of Defence and does not pose an immediate public health risk.
Human Lab Rats – Exploiting the world’s poor for clinical trials
Georgia might argue that other “developing countries” have the same problems. Georgia is maybe even LESS protected by law and legislation against the same sort of evils afflicting Argentina. Big pharmaceutical companies are increasingly outsourcing clinical trials to such developing countries to create new medicines.
By taking advantage of relaxed regulation, uneducated populations, it is the world’s poorest who are paying with their lives. The following is an excellent video and very informative and shows that drug companies want to find populations with similar characteristics to European in order to do clinical trials in record time and for low costs, regardless of the human cost.
Georgia appears to be one of the few places close to Europe where such things happen on a massive scale, thanks to many of the hospitals and clinics being owned by drug companies under a privatization process. It can now make a virtue out of allowing its Western darlings to get away with anything for the sake of cooperation and corporate profits. This is “integration”, they say – as in Association Agreements. The few Georgians who know about all this however have other words for it, MURDER.
Take for example a middle aged woman, Marina, personally known to the author, who was being treated in the Abastumani TB clinic not far from the Turkish border three years ago. She wrote a letter to a friend, in Georgian and English, about the experimental drugs from EU companies which had been used on her, without her knowing that they were unapproved and dangerous.
Marina is now dead, as many of the other patients in that clinic who were treated with her at the time. Such a death rate is, to say the least, unusual, even in TB clinics in the poorest and most medically backward countries. But we may never know the truth and why other TB treatments were not used, including DOTs, Direct Observed Treatment.
Perhaps this helps explain Georgia’s lost of population, as of November 5, 2014, the population of Georgia, excluding the former territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, amounted to 3.729,635 people, which is 14.7 percent less (641 of 900) than the census results of 2002 (4.371,535).
The zero tolerance crime policy and locking up a high percentage of the Georgian population, on trumped up changes, under the regime of now deposed president Mikhail Saakashvili worked well. Many of the patients ended their prison terms and were immediately sent to the Abastumani TB clinic for residential treatment—a death sentence. This policy and terrible prisons provided more than an ample supply of patients with resistant forms of TB. But who cares about the deaths of ex cons and those from the lower echelons of society?
In 1997 then-US President Bill Clinton apologised for the Tuskegee Experiment; it was oflficallya called the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male.” in which African-Americans had been injected with syphilis to see how it affected them, causing illnesses and repeat infections among participants and their wives, whilst being told they were receiving free government health care. That experiment had lasted for many years, simply because no one had wanted to believe such things could be happening. It is everyone’s duty to ensure that the Guardians of Democracy do not treat the citizens of any other country the same way they treated their own for so long, just because their own public will no longer allow them to do so.
Henry Kamens, columnist, expert on Central Asia and Caucasus, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.