Egypt claims miracle cure for HIV and Hepatitis
Almost certainly a political miracle rather than a medical one, Egypt's claim to have an instant cure for HIV and Hepatitis shows the lengths the coup leaders will go for legitimacy (UPDATE LINKED IN SECOND PARAGRAPH)
Two days ago, Egyptian media began big campaigns about a miraculous device (billed as ''Complete Cure'') invented by Egypt's armed forces for treating HIV/AIDS and the Hepatitis C virus.
The news stories depicted the machine as a breakthrough, and a real miracle for completely curing patients of any of the two resistant diseases, giving hope for 18 million Egyptians with Hepatitis C and tens of thousands with HIV. (All this in no time at all -- only 16 hours for the cure and one minute for detecting the disease.)
According to the Egyptian media, with the device there is no need to take a sample of the patient's blood to detect the infection. Moreover, Egypt's national TV channels ran a video that showed a physician making tests for an HIV patient using the device and telling him, "your tests are so great; you had HIV but now the disease vanished.''
The reports said that ''Complete Cure'' is two machines in one: ''C Fast'' (for treating Hepatitis C) and "I Fast" (for treating HIV). Furthermore, the reports confirmed that the military had been working for 22 years on the project and although ''C Fast'' had been ready to go since 2006, the inventing team preferred to wait until it could test the effectiveness of the machine on HIV patients.
There's even more. Major Dr. Ibrahim Abdel-Atti, leader of the machine-inventing team, stressed that Egypt will not export the machine to other countries so that it can be protected from international monopoly and the black market. He was quoted in the Al-Ahram newspaper as saying, "Marshal el-Sisi once said, ''we lagged behind and we should jump rather than walk so that we can compete with others'', and this is the first jump."
The strange thing is, the media stresses that the device can also treat swine flu or H1N1, a disease that has taken many Egyptian lives over the past few weeks.
The media message is, of course, clear: We can depend only on Egypt's armed forces; they're the hope; they're the people who can meet all our needs; they're the men of impossible missions; they're the best to lead Egypt in the coming years; they're the best in the world; they're big scholars and hard workers; they spare no effort to develop Egypt and improve the lives of its people.
They worked for 22 years for a machine that can make Egyptians happy. In short, the leader of Egypt must be a military man (in particular, Marshal Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi).
This kind of propaganda reminds us of old campaigns about the military's invention of two inter-continental missiles: Zafer and Qaher, during Abdel-Nasser's and Saddat's era.
The two rockets were said to be able to reach to the depths of Israel. During that time, the media depicted this as if it was a nuclear bomb that could deter any threats to Egypt.
However, General Saad Ed-Dien el-Shazli mentioned in his diaries later that this was just propaganda and the two missiles were in fact ineffective and had no destructive power. El-Shazli stressed that he was shocked every time the media told lies about the two missiles and every time Saddat threatened America and Israel with using them.
In the current period, ordinary Egyptians are building mountainous hopes on such new devices and think that, with them, they can find light at the end of the tunnel.
The large majority of comments in the news describe the machine as a blessing and a gift from God, and many happy people have wondered aloud in the media about when the machine will be available in the hospitals. Many have been seen expressing their gratitude for the military and Marshal el-Sisi.
The coup leaders have ambitious aims. Will the game work?
A Contributing Editor to The Commentator, the writer, currently based in Europe, is an Egyptian poet, actor, and political intellectual
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