"High bio-hazard risk:" Sudanese fighters seize bio-lab

(AP Photo/Bullen Chol, File)

I didn’t have this on my bingo card for 2023.

According to the WHO–the always-reliable organization that handled COVID so transparently and well–unspecified Sudanese fighters have seized a bio-lab in the heart of Khartoum that is filled with deadly pathogens.


WHO knows this because, well, they fund the lab. I am beginning to think that funding bio-labs in the hearts of cities might be a bad idea. Just spitballing here, but maybe that is a policy that might require revision.

GENEVA (Reuters) – There is a “high risk of biological hazard” in the Sudanese capital Khartoum after one of the warring parties seized a laboratory holding measles and cholera pathogens and other hazardous materials, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva via video link from Sudan, the WHO’s Nima Saeed Abid said technicians were unable to access the National Public Health Laboratory to secure the materials.

“This is the main concern: no accessibility to the lab technicians to go to the lab and safely contain the biological material and substances available,” he said, declining to specify which side had seized the facility.

Given what a basket case Sudan has been since…forever…perhaps funding a bio-lab there is not the best idea in the world, either. It’s not like nobody else is doing relevant biological research, and I seriously doubt that the science of cholera would be seriously diminished if the research took place somewhere else.


“There is a huge biological risk associated with the occupation of the central public health lab,” said Abid.

He pointed out that the lab held so-called isolates, or samples, of a range of deadly diseases, including measles, polio and cholera.

The director of the lab had also warned of the danger that “depleting stocks of blood bags risk spoiling due to lack of power,” Abid said.

“In addition to chemical hazards, bio-risk hazards are also very high due to lack of functioning generators,” he said.

Would not storing biohazards in third-world countries hurt the feelings of whatever tyrant is in power in Sudan at any given moment? Do they simply have to have their own bio-lab for prestige or something similar?

I don’t know and I don’t care. It is a manifestly terrible idea to fund such a facility in a country like Sudan. It’s pretty clear that even wealthy countries like China are not in a position to run such labs properly, so I am pretty sure that Sudan is unlikely to have the skills and resources to do so.

The WHO is pushing to get a treaty–and most countries seem willing to sign onto it–that would give them vast new powers when they declare a biological emergency. Powers to take away our freedoms based upon the whims of international bureaucrats.


This is a terrible idea for many reasons. I will write about those at some later date.

But a quick look around the world and it’s pretty clear that the WHO can’t do the job it has right now. It certainly isn’t competent enough to set global policies in the midst of a real or imagined emergency.

No thank you.

Hell no.

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