A blast from the past
Don’t you hate it when you’re rooting through your storage closet, looking for some old high school yearbooks, and you stumble across a few vials of smallpox you forgot to destroy? Yes, smallpox—declared eradicated 34 years ago—is serious. But there is irony here. Recall the year 2002, when our political leaders used the threat of “hostile groups or governments” in order to implement a smallpox vaccination campaign (one that failed miserably, achieving vaccination of only 10% of its stated target). Alas, Saddam didn’t have smallpox, but he might have stood a chance to procure it if he had only befriended the night janitor at a certain lab in Bethesda.
I’ll use this opportunity to highlight the 2002 NY Times editorial that called out Mike and his hospital for refusing to implement this misguided vaccine campaign. In retrospect, quite a badge of honor to have been deemed “deplorable” in the paper-of-record, for making a reasoned decision to protect patient and healthcare worker safety.