I told Aggie this was how I intended to title all of my UN posts, and I took her hysterical cackle for agreement.
Give Bill Clinton credit for saying so: when you step in the [bleep], sometimes you have to wear it:
Former President Bill Clinton, the United Nations special envoy for Haiti, has acknowledged the role U.N. peacekeepers played in a deadly cholera outbreak that has killed thousands in Haiti, according to ABC News. The U.N. has repeatedly denied its role in the outbreak despite the ever-mounting scientific evidence that its troops were the culprits.
“I don’t know that the person who introduced cholera in Haiti, the U.N. peacekeeper, or [U.N.] soldier from South Asia, was aware that he was carrying the virus,” Clinton said, adding that “it was the proximate cause of cholera. That is, he was carrying the cholera strain. It came from his waste stream into the waterways of Haiti, into the bodies of Haitians.”
Clinton also said that Haiti’s dismal sanitation conditions were the real culprit, not the U.N., “Unless we know that he knew or that they knew, the people that sent him, that he was carrying that virus and therefore that he could cause the amount of death and misery and sickness, I think it’s better to focus on fixing it,” he said.
Leading researchers from Harvard Medical School told ABC News they felt confident that the cholera strain came from Nepal and was carried to Haiti by Nepalese soldiers who served as U.N. peacekeepers in January 2010. Allegedly, the peacekeepers failed to keep sanitary conditions on their base.
Allegedly? [Bleep] allegedly!
The UN’s own study was clear: “The source of the Haiti cholera outbreak was due to contamination of the Meye Tributary of the Artibonite River with a pathogenic strain of current South Asian type Vibrio cholerae as a result of human activity.” In other words, somebody dumped human fecal matter containing a deadly cholera bacteria from South Asia into one of the country’s main sources of water for drinking and irrigation. Who might that be?
When Associated Press journalists visited Wednesday, they found open and cracked pipes behind the base, with U.N. military investigators taking samples. There was an overpowering smell of human waste, and a pipe leading toward a septic tank was leaking foul-smelling black fluid toward the river.
The waste is dumped across the street in open pits that residents, who live a few yards away, said often overflow into the Artibonite tributary running below.
A UN official told the BBC that “everyone knew the sanitary situation in the Nepali base was deplorable”.
And this ain’t your grandma’s cholera:
According to John Mekalanos, chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School, cholera strains from South Asia are far more virulent, and more capable of causing lethal epidemics. “These strains are nasty. So far there has been no secondary outbreak. But Haiti now represents a foothold for a particularly dangerous variety of this deadly disease,” he said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been over 470,000 reported cases of cholera and over 6,631 deaths during the Haitian epidemic, making it the worst cholera outbreak in recent history.
I would be more receptive to Clinton’s message of forgiveness if the UN took responsibility. Without that, who’s to say Nepalese peace-keepers won’t be crapping in other water tables the world over?
Oh yeah, as we also reported over two months ago, substitute Haitians for Nepalese:
More than 500,000 Haitians have been infected, and Mekalanos said a handful of victims who contracted cholera in Haiti have now turned up in Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and in BOSTON, Miami and New York, but only in isolated cases.
Oh, okay, only isolated cases. I want to drink a bottle of hand sanitizer just writing this.