By Spy Uganda Correspondent
The United States is stockpiling medications for radiation sickness, which might be a worrying sign of the times.
On Wednesday, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it would spend $290 million to secure an undisclosed quantity of Amgen’s blood disorder drug Nplate, which has been approved to treat blood cell injuries caused by acute radiation syndrome (ARS) in both children and adults.
In a press release, HHS stated that ARS, also known as radiation sickness, happens when a person’s body is exposed to a high dosage of penetrating radiation that is capable of “hitting interior organs in a matter of seconds.” Low platelet counts, which can cause uncontrolled and potentially “life-threatening” blood clotting issues, are symptoms that can result from ARS injuries.
Other than immune thrombocytopenia, which results in low platelet counts, the Amgen medication is licensed for use in children and adults.
Additionally, anti-radiation tablets are apparently being distributed in Ukraine amid rising concerns about a nuclear attack from Russia.
According to news sources, the Kyiv City Council has been distributing potassium iodine tablets that aid in reducing radiation absorption.
When taken near nuclear radiation exposure, the pills prevent damaging waves from entering the body through the thyroid gland.
HHS did not elaborate on the reasoning behind the Nplate stock-up, despite the fact that the action coincides with rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has threatened nuclear reprisal and portrayed the dispute as an apocalyptic war between Russia and the West.
Although there is disagreement among experts as to whether Putin is lying, sources reported that the White House is taking the warnings seriously. As a result of shelling near the Ukrainian nuclear power facility in Zaporizhzhia, for which Russia and Ukraine trade accusations, neighbouring nations to Ukraine, including Poland, are apparently giving iodine tablets.
The US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), more recently recognised for its substantial agreements with vaccine players at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the West Coast biotech Amgen jointly developed Nplate. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases contributed to the development of blood disorder medication as well.
BARDA is utilising its authority under the Project Bioshield statute of 2004 for the current agreement, in addition to providing the $290 million in Project Bioshield cash to buy the unknown Nplate supply.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the press last week that Russia was “preparing their society” for nuclear war, but that “Putin is not ready to do it.”
There are fears that Putin could use smaller tactical nuclear weapons in response to the slowing of Russia’s progress in its invasion of Ukraine, heightened by a Ukrainian counteroffensive in the last month.
US President Joe Biden said he didn’t think Putin was joking when he made those threats, adding he didn’t think there was a way to use tactical nuclear weapons and not have it result in “armageddon.”
“We have not faced the prospect of armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis,” Joe Biden said.