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“In all, 86 per cent of the increased life expectancy was due to decreases in infectious diseases. And the bulk of the decline in infectious disease deaths occurred prior to the age of antibiotics. Less than 4 per cent of the total improvement in life expectancy since 1700s can be credited to twentieth-century advances in medical care.”
Laurie Garrett, Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health
“Ebola haunted Zaire because of corruption and political repression. The virus had no secret powers, nor was it unusually contagious. For centuries Ebola had lurked in the jungles of central Africa. Its emergence into human populations required the special assistance of humanity's greatest vices : greed, corruption, arrogance, tyranny, and callousness.”
Laurie Garrett, Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health
tags: health
“Public health is not an ideology, religion, or political perspective—indeed, history demonstrates that whenever such forces interfere with or influence public health activities a general worsening of the populace’s well-being usually followed.”
Laurie Garrett, Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health
“The skills needed to describe and recognize perturbations in the Homo sapiens microecology are disappearing with the passing of the generations, leaving humanity, lulled into a complacency born of proud discoveries and medical triumphs, unprepared for the coming plague. 1 Machupo BOLIVIAN HEMORRHAGIC FEVER Any attempt to shape the world and modify human personality in order to create a self-chosen pattern of life involves many unknown consequences.”
Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
“In 1982 President Ronald Reagan called for a war on drugs: by 1990 more men were in federal prisons on drug charges alone than had comprised the entire 1980 federal prison population for all crimes combined.”
Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
“Consider the difference in size between some of the very tiniest and the very largest creatures on Earth. A small bacterium weights as little as 0.00000000001 gram. A blue whale weighs about 100,000,000 grams. Yet a bacterium can kill a whale … . Such is the adaptability and versatility of microorganisms as compared with humans and other so-called “higher” organisms, that they will doubtless continue to colonise and alter the face of the Earth long after we and the rest of our cohabitants have left the stage forever. Microbes, not macrobes, rule the world. —Bernard Dixon, 1994”
Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
“In 1980 the Latin American nations collectively were receiving from their external creditors—major banks, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank—about $11 billion more than they were losing in capital transfers back to wealthy-nation interests. But by 1985 these nations would be losing $35 billion more a year in capital transfers to North America and Europe than they received in loans and investments.41”
Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
“To comprehend the interactions between Homo sapiens and the vast and diverse microbial world, perspectives must be forged that meld such disparate fields as medicine, environmentalism, public health, basic ecology, primate biology, human behavior, economic development, cultural anthropology, human rights law, entomology, parasitology, virology, bacteriology, evolutionary biology, and epidemiology.”
Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
“Humanity’s ancient enemies are, after all, microbes. They didn’t go away just because science invented drugs, antibiotics, and vaccines (with the notable exception of smallpox). They didn’t disappear from the”
Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
“This book sounds an alarm. The world needs—now—a global early-warning system capable of detecting and responding to new emerging infectious disease threats to health. There is no clearer warning than AIDS. Laurie Garrett has spelled it out clearly for us. Now we ignore it at our peril.”
Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
“The Institute of Medicine report hit the public health community like buckets of ice water, waking it up but leaving it shivering in its impoverished, unheated facilities, unable to muster the energy to tackle the problem.”
Laurie Garrett, Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health
“Only mosquito can save Nigeria. Only mosquito can save South Africa. Only mosquito can save Zimbabwe Only mosquito can save Namibia. Only mosquito can save Africa. Only malaria can save Africa. Only yellow fever can save Africa.”
Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
“If we hadn't broken every single WHO rule many times over, we would never have defeated samllpox. Never. - Arita, leader of smallpox eradication effort”
Laurie Garrett
“According to official Soviet statistics submitted to the World Health Organization in the 1970s, virtually every imaginable infectious disease was on the decline or had disappeared, thanks to communist policies. It was widely believed in international health circles at the time that these statistics were wholly fabricated. 9”
Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
“Nature isn’t benign,” Lederberg said at the meeting’s opening. “The bottom lines: the units of natural selection—DNA, sometimes RNA elements—are by no means neatly packaged in discrete organisms. They all share the entire biosphere. The survival of the human species is not a preordained evolutionary program. Abundant sources of genetic variation exist for viruses to learn new tricks, not necessarily confined to what happens routinely, or even frequently.”
Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
“We’ll never escape the limits of the ecosystem. We are caught in the food chain, whether we like it or not, eating and being eaten.”
Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
“diseases which spring from insects and animals to humans, through manmade disruptions in local habitats.”
Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
“Fourteen percent of Americans believe Ebola is likely to sicken them or someone in their family in 2014,”
Laurie Garrett, Ebola: Story of an Outbreak
“The city of Strasbourg alone savagely slew 16,000 of its Jewish residents, blaming them for spreading the Black Death.10”
Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
“Nobel laureate Sir MacFarlane Burnet was moved from his perspective as an immunologist to issue similar warnings about humanity’s overconfidence. True, he said, vaccines and antibiotics had rendered most infectious diseases of the Northern Hemisphere controllable. But, he cautioned, “it is almost an axiom that action for short-term human benefit will sooner or later bring long-term ecological or social problems which demand unacceptable effort and expense for their solution. Nature has always seemed to be working for a climax state, a provisionally stable ecosystem, reached by natural forces, and when we attempt to remold any such ecosystem, we must remember that Nature is working against us.”43”
Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
“A new global iatrogenic form of malaria was emerging—“iatrogenic” meaning created as a result of medical treatment. In its well-meaning zeal to treat the world’s malaria scourge, humanity had created a new epidemic.”
Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
“planet when Americans and Europeans cleaned up their towns and cities in the postindustrial era. And they certainly won’t become extinct simply because human beings choose to ignore their existence.”
Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
“Fear, without potential mitigating”
Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
“solutions, can be very volatile.”
Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
“lulled into a complacency born of proud discoveries and medical triumphs, unprepared for the coming plague.”
Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
“Besides, there wasn’t much the lab could tell a physician in 1940 that a well-trained, observant doctor couldn’t determine independently.”
Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance


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