US: bird flu biological weapon conspiracy
The Indonesian Health Minister has claimed the US is
using bird flu samples to manufacture and produce biological
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Indonesian President Susilo
Bambang Yudhoyono is understood to have ordered the minister, Siti Fadilah
Supari, to recall copies of her book on avian influenza, which alleges the US
and the WHO are conspiring against developing countries by seizing control of
bird flu samples.
WHO officials said they were dismayed by some of the claims and urged Dr
Supari to do more to control bird flu's spread and end her refusal to share
virus samples as this may hamper attempts to find a cure. But only if a fair and
equitable agreement is reached will Indonesia resume sharing bird flu virus
samples, said Dr Yudhoyono, adding that "concrete co-operation has to be based
US State Department spokeswoman Susan Stahl denied Dr Supari's claim that
Indonesian virus samples had been sent to a biological weapons laboratory in Los
Alamos. The laboratory possessed no bird flu viruses from Indonesia or
elsewhere, she said, adding that the facility's only involvement was hosting a
database of publicly available genetic-sequencing data to help track the
evolution of the virus.
Dr Supari reportedly stated that virus samples had been sent via the WHO to
the laboratory in Los Alamos. "Whether they use it to make vaccine or
develop chemical weapons would depend on the need and interest of the US
Government. It is indeed a very dangerous situation for the destiny of
The WHO's assistant director-general for Health Security, David Heymann,
said he was puzzled by the claims. "I don't understand why they would take this
virus to make a biological weapon; it doesn't transmit from human to human.
Indonesia needs to spend more time on dealing with infections with chickens and
stopping humans from being infected."
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