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A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943

COVID-19: Amid Drums of War

Just as fears of COVID-19 are easing, new anxieties are arising about war with Russia. Are you prepared?

The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) announced by Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) would, if passed, “allow President Joe Biden to deploy American troops to defend Ukraine if Russia uses chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons. The President would be authorized to “determine if Russia has used WMDs.”

Under the 2002 AUMF, the U.S. invaded Iraq based on the claim that it had WMDs. Perhaps it had them, but they were never found.

Some say that COVID-19 is a biological weapon. Is it? If so, what is the source? China has been accused. Russia has not. How could we be sure that a virus was released as a weapon, and what would be the appropriate response?

And what about leaks? Many safety lapses and violations have been documented at U.S. biosafety laboratories that conduct research on dangerous agents and toxins. The formerly Soviet labs in Ukraine have purportedly been converted to peaceful research, but U.S. Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland expressed concerns about them.

Putin has indeed threatened the use of nuclear weapons under certain circumstances and has placed nuclear forces on combat-ready status. The Wall Street Journal ran an Apr 27 commentary titled “The U.S. Should Show It Can Win a Nuclear War.”

Blowback from economic sanctions on Russia could cause severe damage to the American dollar, and food shortages are probable due to loss of grain and fertilizer from Russia and Ukraine.

What can Americans do? They must not assume that the war is just “over there” or that supplying weapons and training to Ukraine does not make the U.S. a belligerent rather than a neutral party. Pay attention to what other nations are doing. Germans are being advised to “have candles in your house.” The Swiss are checking their shelter stocks.

While stocking up on toilet paper, don’t forget:

  • Water
  • Staples and canned goods
  • Cash in case ATMs and credit cards don’t work
  • Essential medications (about 90% of drugs come from China)
  • Emergency lighting (flashlight batteries, candles)
  • Information on nuclear weapons effects

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