Osama Bin Laden’s CIA Uses Obsessive Vaccines For Public Health Efforts

Coronavirus vaccination rates around the world are low for a multitude of reasons: low supplies in developing countries, lack of trust in government implementation of vaccinations, and conspiracy theories about what’s in vaccines. Xin and its side effects. But experts point to another possible factor that has received less attention: the CIA.

In the mission to find and kill Osama Bin Laden, spies at the CIA used the hepatitis B vaccination program as a cover in an attempt to collect DNA samples that could locate the family of the 9/11 mastermind in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The attempt failed and put a doctor hired by the CIA in a prison in Pakistan. But a decade later, public health experts and researchers say capers may have helped erode critical confidence in the vaccination efforts now needed to end the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. Pakistan — and in some cases globally.

Sam Worthington, CEO of InterAction, an international coalition of NGOs, told The Daily Beast: “The CIA’s fake vaccination program crossed the line that they engaged in a complete operation. completely humane and completely related to health and wellness. . “By presenting a degree of distrust regarding vaccination, I think there is harm to vaccination programs in sensitive areas around the world.”

For years after the CIA spoofing campaign, the Taliban worked to attack polio vaccination efforts, citing concerns that the programs could be a front for espionage. The Pakistani The government ordered the Save the Children charity to leave the country after linking it to the CIA program. (Save the Children has denied it was involved.)

Since the campaign, Pakistanis have stepped back from vaccination; although the country was on the verge of eradicating polio at that time, but revive after the CIA’s operations were exposed. Vaccination rates fell by two-fifths, according to search recently published in Journal of the European Economic Association, by Oxford University Press. The World Health Organization soon after had to declare a state of polio spreading in several countries, including in Pakistan, a state of emergency.

The authors of the CIA vaccine study, Monica Martinez-Bravo and Andreas Stegmann, told The Daily Beast in a joint statement that “disclosure of vaccine ruse can undermine trust in vaccines.” pleads (and possibly the official health sector) by lending support to rumors and misinformation spread by groups like the Pakistani Taliban. “

That skepticism seems to have stretched into the coronavirus pandemic. It is unclear to what extent the CIA’s covert vaccination effort could complicate Pakistan’s current COVID eradication efforts, but polls show Islamabad is struggling to convince Pakistanis to get vaccinated. pls fight coronavirus. According to polls, nearly half of Pakistanis expressed unwillingness to accept a COVID-19 shot if offered. made by Gallup.

A health worker injects a COVID-19 booster in Karachi, Pakistan, this month.

Akhtar Soomro / Reuters

Worthington told The Daily Beast: “Vaccines are ultimately based on people’s ability to accept them, and when people’s trust is broken, it’s going to be difficult for medical or humanitarian actors to do the work they do. than.

The CIA itself recognized that running a fake vaccine operation was a mistake and unwarranted damage to public health and vaccine efforts in 2013. The spy agency banned its use. vaccination programs for subsequent espionage, according to a letter that Lisa Monaco, the president’s homeland security adviser at the time, wrote to the principals of public health schools expressing concern.

When reached for comment, a CIA spokesman indicated that vaccines were indeed distributed during the operation.

“The 2011 vaccinations in Pakistan were real, and many children were vaccinated through that program,” the spokesperson said. “In response to concerns raised by the public health community, in 2013 the then Director of CIA directed vaccine programs that would not be used in future operations.”

The spokesperson suggested that the CIA does not believe that its use of a vaccine campaign to carry out espionage has led to worldwide suspicion or concern about vaccines.

“There are many theories and misinformation that cause vaccine hesitancy, but we do not see significant global concerns today stemming from underreporting of the vaccine program,” said a spokesperson. vaccine was used in Pakistan more than 10 years ago”.

But Worthington says the damage was done, and to this day underground flow belong to distrust caused by a CIA program that left public health workers trying to get vaccines in weapons in Pakistan and beyond.

“The problem is that trust, once broken, is very difficult to rebuild,” says Worthington. “And the UN or other NGOs or governments have a responsibility to rebuild that trust in areas where it might be broken and focus on the benefits of vaccines — why is this? do not harm people. It just makes everyone’s job a little harder.”

Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer who served as a senior adviser on South Asia and the Middle East to four presidents, said the disinformation that plagued the program and its failure was long-standing.

“The CIA program, which has been used by anti-American groups in Pakistan to smear America, has become a weapon,” Riedel told The Daily Beast. “Actually, it was a very small part of the bin Laden program, but, politically, it has become much larger. It has acquired a history that will not be lost. ”

https://www.thedailybeast.com/cias-osama-bin-laden-vaccine-ruse-haunts-public-health-efforts?source=articles&via=rss Osama Bin Laden’s CIA Uses Obsessive Vaccines For Public Health Efforts

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