Bingo, a commenter to the article about Indonesia shutting down NAMRU2, contends it is Indonesia who is aggrieved. They may feel that way but still, shutting down NAMRU2's operation is not helpful to anyone. It dangerous for Indonesia and for the world. Everyone, everywhere is at risk from infectious diseases, microbes don't respect international boarders. CIDRAP has a number of helpful articles available to give this decision context Indonesia denies seeking payment for virus samples, HHS official reports on Southeast Asia issues, HHS secretary blogs on impasse with Indonesia, and the Secertary of DHHS Mike Leavitt's Apr 17 blog post.
It's Indonesia that has linked virus sharing and NAMRU2 - for additional context on the ongoing virus sharing dispute see this CIDRAP News story "Virus-sharing pact eludes WHO group, but work will continue" from November 26, 2007.
The US Embassy in Jakarta yesterday denied recent allegations in a book by [Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadilah] Supari that the United States intends to make biological weapons out of avian influenza viruses, the Jakarta Post reported today.
A press release from the US Embassy said Supari's claims "are preposterous and a grave injustice to the people of the United States," the Post reported.
The embassy statement also said the United States is committed to working with other countries and international groups to halt the spread of avian flu, prevent a pandemic, and plan for pandemic-related health emergencies, according to the Post.
In February, Supari published a 182-page book, Time for the World to Change: God is Behind the Avian Influenza Virus, that included the claims about the United States, as well as allegations that the WHO was conspiring to profit from H5N1 vaccines.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono wrote a foreword to the book but later ordered Supari to recall copies of it, according to previous media reports. However, he has said he supports Supari's calls for equitable international virus-sharing policies.
Indonesia is playing a dangerous game. We need more information about what the virus is doing not less. We need not only blood samples from people who show symptoms of H5N1 infection but also of the general population and other mammals - both domesticated (cats, dogs, pigs) and wild (bats, cats, rodents). The fundamental problem is a lack of trust and in that Bingo is probably right that US international policies have not helped.