Chomsky slams US’s handling of virus as he warns nuclear war, global warming threats will remain after pandemic is over.
3 Apr 2020
The coronavirus crisis could have been prevented because there was enough information available to the world, according to Noam Chomsky, who has warned that once the pandemic is over, two critical challenges will remain – the threats of nuclear war and global warming.
Speaking from his office in self-isolation to Croatian philosopher and author Srecko Horvat, the celebrated 91-year-old US linguist offered a stark perspective on how the pandemic has been managed by different countries.
“This coronavirus pandemic could have been prevented, the information was there to prevent it. In fact, it was well-known. In October 2019, just before the outbreak, there was a large-scale simulation in the United States – possible pandemic of this kind,” he said, referring to an exercise – titled Event 201 – hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“Nothing was done. The crisis was then made worse by the treachery of the political systems that didn’t pay attention to the information that they were aware of.
“On December 31, China informed the World Health Organization (WHO) of pneumonia-like symptoms with unknown origins. A week later, some Chinese scientists identified a coronavirus. Furthermore, they sequenced it and provided information to the world. By then, virologists and others who were bothering to read WHO reports knew that there was a coronavirus and knew that had to deal with it. Did they do anything? Well yes, some did.
“China, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore began to do something, and they have sort of pretty much seemed to have contained at least the first surge of the crisis.”