Blowing in the Wind, Bob Dylan
How many deaths will it take…
They were boys in 1966, 20 +/- 2 years. Company A is now cohort A- they’re 75 years old, +/-2 they earned cohort status and medals for valor and bravery because American Air Force tankers unleashed a deluge of agent Orange spray on them for anywhere from one to an estimated 25 times.
Rushing manufacturing as a Pentagon imperative for clearing enemy cover in the jungle, Monsanto sped up production and introduced a contaminant, dioxin, whose lethal properties are profound.
The initial exposure, skin surface, nose, mouth, inhalation to throat, lungs, then systemic, is quite like the new killer on the block.Agent Orange vets are getting unusual aging maladies in greater numbers than non agent Orange men of the same age.
As in most science, it will take some time for statistical significance to catch up with self-evident causality.
When the government played the agent Orange defense originally, they played the coincidence and correlation but not causality card in litigation, to duck financial responsibility.
Federal judges over the years, and juries, have found otherwise.
Vietnamese are suffering among all three generations exposed, then genetically transmitted; descendants of agent Orange , so to speak.
Meanwhile, two veterinarians paid state laboratory workers to give them 100 positive and 100 negative blood samples. The workers brought them out to the dumpster, as was the usual routine. The lab used to fill one dumpster a week; now it fills one a day.
Don’t ask. A landfill keeps its secrets (except when it leaks); attributed to Jimmy Hoffa.
The vets have two blood hounds and together they are about to make medical history.
Two vets, two dogs, 200 blood samples and a scribe although later PETA would complain that the dogs were endangered. Standard scent detection training, 30 days, two sessions a day.
By day 21, the dogs were correct 90% of the time, so they stopped training. Next stop, a venture capital group in Boston.
The meeting was perfunctory as the VC people had seen the data and their biologic and pharma partners agreed on everything except where to get that much cash without leaving a trail.
When the vets came back a week later for what they thought was a human/
clinical trials planning session, they were presented with two hand trucks stacked with plastic containers holding ten million dollars each.
Thinking outside the box which made him a partner at 25, the new VC went to four casinos to get the cash at a premium of 10% and worth every scent.
The dogs are a red herring. It’s not their sense of smell, it’s what they smelled that the VC scientist found in the data and by spectrometry. The Vets were good practitioners. They found the holy grail and sold it for scrap money.
The VC scientist parlayed his MD/PHD instincts into both legal and shady bio/pharm speculations. He attributed his cough to the dry air on the 33rd floor.
Brings the dogs. We’ll find them good homes and you’ll forget we ever met.
Are we cool, the VC asked in his best Pulp Fiction voice.
Ya, we’re cool.
What do you think is gonna happen?
The VC starts his own company?
He ignores his symptoms and takes the holy grail to his grave?
His partners have been taping and filming his meetings. He slips and falls overboard from the aft deck chair while tuna fishing with the partners. He gets tangled in his line and then is pulled into the propellers. The boat has three 250’s so getting his remains, the coroner and coast guard agree was valiant but futile.
The coroner is too busy with his new calling and the Coast Guard resumes its alien interdiction patrols around Buzzards Bay
When the virus jumped from the animal hosts to the humans, it left a marker, a launch pad-diving board-trampoline, if you will. Young VC found three virus lines, from different animals, which explained pretty much everything. He was composing his Nobel acceptance speech and not watching his two rods and a pile of line on the deck when the Buddha shark took the hooks.
He jumped to grab the rods, was how the managing partner described the tragedy.
Big fish, remarked the coast guard investigator. Pulled your friend overboard and snapped the deck chair right off the bolts didn’t it?