Engineer, computer scientist and senior pastor of Shepherds Flock International Church, Ikeja, Lagos State, Reverend Tony Akinyemi has said the novel Coronavirus pandemic currently ravaging the globe is not a naturally occurring virus, but was created in a laboratory. Rev. Akinyemi who is also a nutritionist and health expert spoke in this interview with OBINNA EZUGWU. He also outlines measures to put the virus in check.
Watching the video you released recently, in which you spoke extensively about Coronavirus: how it operates and so on, one is amazed. You are a pastor for instance, not a doctor. How did you manage to know so much?
Well, I can say that I’m a three-in-one person. I’m an engineer, a pastor and a nutritionist. That’s my background and that’s where my interest in health stems from. I’m also a board certified health practitioner by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.
Explain to us, what is your understanding of the characteristics of Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is one type or family of viruses. Coronaviruses are many. The COVID-19 that everyone is talking about is the one that made the family of Coronavirus popular. The Coronavirus family has existed for long. But COVID-19 is the new baby born into the family, and that’s the one causing trouble all over the world because of its unique characteristics. First of all, it is an engineered virus; it is not a naturally occurring virus, it was engineered in a laboratory. You can take an old virus and do some genetic re-engineering with it, it’s called biotechnology.
So, this is a newly engineered virus, created in a lab. It is possible that it accidentally escaped from the lab and started infecting people. It is also possible that it was deliberately released. Those are the two theories. If it was intentionally released, then the people who did it are bioterrorists and after the virus has been addressed, we need to fish them out and prosecute them. They would owe the world an answer for unleashing this terror on humanity. Many people have died, economies have been shut down; people have suffered all kinds of serious hardship as a result of this. It would amount to a very terrible crime against humanity if it was done intentionally.
But why would anyone want to release such virus intentionally?
This is not the first time. There is what you call bio warfare. They use viruses and other germs to fight battles, even though it is unethical. Sometimes, it can also be for reasons of economic gains. But these are all theories. That’s why I said we need to investigate it to know the motive, if it was intentionally released. And if it’s accidental, who is culpable because scientists are supposed to be well trained not to permit such accidental escape. There are some specialised laboratories that are particularly certified to handle such high level technology, it’s not just any lab that can handle it. So, we need to find out what the motive is. It could be economic motive. You see, there are three things involved in this kind of situation: You introduce a problem, you create a reaction from the people; they panic, then you give them an antidote. So, you make money
Listening to you, one might be tempted to say well, this is just one of those conspiracy theories. Is there sufficient evidence from your findings to prove that this is actually a lab created virus?
This doesn’t occur in nature by itself. It can only come from a lab. You don’t even need a research. This kind of virus doesn’t occur naturally. If it was a naturally occurring virus, we would have seen it in nature hundreds and thousands of years before now. These are laboratory engineered viruses.
But there have been epidemics and pandemics in the past like the Spanish flu. Were they also possibly created in a lab?
There are some epidemics in the past that were caused by naturally occurring viruses. And there are those that were caused by laboratory engineered viruses. There are different sources.
Whether COVID-19 is created in a lab or not, it is here with us and thousands are already infected in Nigeria and probably thousands more would be infected. For those who are already infected, what measures do they have to adopt to survive it?
First of all, there is no approved treatment protocol by the medical world for this COVID-19. In other words, neither the World Health Organisation (WHO) nor any medical association anywhere in the world has any approved protocol to say, this is the treatment for COVID-19. Right now, the scientific world is searching for a treatment protocol or a remedy that they will study, test approve and say, OK, this is how to treat this disease. We have not reached that stage yet. We are still at the stage of finding the remedy.
But for now, those who are currently infected are they going to wait until that remedy is found?
No, they may have been dead. So in the meantime, what are the things people can do to increase their chances of beating COVID-19? That was why I did that video, to give people home remedies that they can use. Now, we have to study the nature of the disease and see how it works, because different viruses work in different ways. This particular one normally affects the respiratory system, principally the lungs; the airways. That is it where it affects because when it goes there, it provokes a reaction from the body. The body will know that this territory has been invaded by the virus and begins to fight back.
While it is fighting back, it will start producing all kinds of things. It will produce mucus; it will cause inflammation because of the rush of blood to the location. White blood cells, the soldiers, will migrate extensively to that location. Thus, the lung becomes the battlefield. And when two elephants are fighting, the grass suffers. That’s how the lungs begin to suffer. Excessive mucus, excessive inflammation, excessive arrival of troops, white blood cells, create what we call cytokine storm. It’s like a storm begins to brew in the lungs. There will be swelling, three is accumulation of fluid, there is inflammation, mucus, and so the lung is not able to do its normal job of getting oxygen into the body. Then the person begins to suffocate. That’s how COVID-19 kills its victims.
Now, especially those whose immune systems have already been wrecked before they came in contact with the virus – those who have underlying medical conditions that we call co-morbidities: Maybe somebody is already diabetic; is already hypertensive; has cardiovascular problems or has respiratory problem. Maybe he is asthmatic or any Chronic Obstruction Pulmonary Disease (COPD). So, the man is already weakened, and now an additional battle has come. Thus, he becomes a wreck. That’s why people die readily and easily from the virus.
Now, since we understand how the virus works, the remedies that are recommended in that video is to help block all those reactions; then how do I block the mucus so that my lungs can still breathe?
Those are the things that the remedies do. Then blood clot also forms to block tiny blood vessels, so how do I stop blood clot from forming? I need anticoagulants. The garlic that I mentioned is to prevent blood clot from forming. The turmeric and the Omega 3 are to prevent hyper inflammation. The ginger that I mentioned helps to break up phlegm so that the person can cough it out. It also contains zinc that can actually stop the virus from multiplying in numbers. It also boosts the immune system to help the body to fight well. So, you see a number of benefits you get from there.
And then, the virus does better in a cold than in a warm environment. Therefore you continue to take things that are warm and avoid cold things. When you do that, you will block all the things that can cause suffocation and possibly lead to death. And if you can sustain that for a period of two weeks, the virus will expire in two weeks. The person would then be free. Those are things we are telling people, and I expect that that’s what our governments and health officials should be teaching the people.
Does it mean that even without medication, the virus dies in 14 days?
Yes, within 14 days, it will wipe itself out. It is self-limiting. If the immune system is strong enough to contain it over those 14 days period, the person will start testing negative. So, you will see that probably 80 percent or more of those who actually contract the virus don’t develop symptoms because the immune system is handling the matter and keeping everything under control. Those who are developing symptoms are mostly those who have underlying medical conditions that have weakened their immune system. Otherwise, the immune system should be able to deal with the virus.
You mentioned that the virus doesn’t thrive in hot environment. Could it explain why it hasn’t wreaked havoc in Africa the way it has done in Europe and America?
Even though scientists are saying No, I personally believe that our temperature; our weather, plays a role in the minimum amount we are having in the tropics. I believe so, because you see, we don’t have the medical infrastructure in this part of the world, at least compared to what they have in the first word. If not that God gave us this kind of weather, we would have had more casualties than we are currently having.
But some say that day may still come and we are going to have dead bodies in the streets as Melinda Gates predicted?
No, that is not going to happen. It’s false prediction intended to create panic and fear so that when they finish developing their vaccine, they will say, come we have found a saviour for you, and because you have already panicked, you will just say, bring it as long as it will save my life. It’s a strategy. If you are looking for solution to COVID-19, there are three places you can go: One, we can go into the forest for herbs: trees and leaves, to look for herbal remedy. We can use herbs to make drugs that can address the virus. I mean, Madagascar has come up with their remedy. Packs Herbal in Ewu, Delta State, has come up with theirs also.
I know about three or four others in Nigeria who have come up with their own. Even though these remedies have not been tested, it goes to show that is one place where we can get remedies from. The second source is the earth. You can take minerals and petrochemicals from the earth to make synthetic drugs. Even though I don’t favour synthetic drugs as much, but that’s another source. The third one is to look for solutions in the laboratory. You go to the lab and you create vaccines. These are the three places. And if you have these three places, you can see that those who are saying that there would be dead bodies in the streets, the only place they are producing their own is in the lab.
And because they know there are seven billion people on the earth, if they can make their vaccine and it’s successful and they shut down all others, they bad-mouth those making herbs and say it’s not going to work, they are going to make billions of dollars. It’s an economic battle.
Even if they make profit of one dollar on each person, that is $7 billion. Now, if it is a vaccine we have to be taking every year, like the flu vaccine, that’s $7 billion cool cash every year. So, why won’t they tell you that there would be dead bodies in the streets so that when the vaccine comes you will receive it?
Does it explain the response of the West and the WHO to the touted Madagascar herbal remedy?
Exactly! That is the game plan. Because if we put the Madagascar solution and other herbal solutions to clinical trial and they work, then we have scuttled their own vaccine production. We won’t need the vaccines anymore. Why would I go for vaccines when there is a drink I can simply buy and drink and I would be OK? Why would I want anybody to be putting virus into my body? And that vaccine is a new vaccine that has never been used on human beings before. They are actually going to take the genetic materials of the virus and fuse it with our own genetic materials. That’s why I called it genetic engineering.
It’s GMO they are creating, and you can never predict what the outcome would be. The person who takes it may look well today and it would appear as if the vaccine is working. But the adverse effects may show up in the children or even the children’s children. So, it has to be tested for first generation, second generation, third generation and even fourth generation. You can use an animal to do the testing. They use ferret to test the Coronavirus vaccine now, because the animal exhibits similar reactions to the virus to humans. Sometimes they use guinea pigs, rats and different types of animals.
You inject it into the animal, you look at the effect on the animal, and you let that animal give birth to babies and look at whether the drug will have effect on the baby. It continues like that until the great grand children. If there is no effect, then you have completed the animal study. You then move on to human trials, to know whether it will have the same effect. That way safety can be established. There are two things that must be established: efficacy and safety.
But considering the urgency of the situation now…?
There is no urgency. That’s what I’m saying. The people have been tested positive and were isolated in the isolation centers or were treated and discharged. Are they not discharging people every day?
But people have also died…?
Were people not dying before now? What is the urgency there? There is something that is already getting people well. There is no emergency anywhere. COVID-19 is real, I’m not denying that, but the hype around it is excessive. There are people who don’t even go to isolation centres, they self-isolate and they come out of it on their own, using these simple remedies. The whole idea of creating the impression that this is an emergency is for them to provide their own solutions. But what if that solution leads to more deaths in the long run? We have to be careful. The Yoruba say that the solution to headache is not to cut off the head. The second wrong impression they are creating now is that the only solution must be vaccine. The solution doesn’t lie only in vaccine. It is only one of the options.
But if it was created in a lab as you said, couldn’t those who created it also make it in such a way that only vaccines can work?
No. They are not God at the end of the day. There is a limit to what humans can do. You see, even the genetic engineering, all the genetic materials inside, it is God who made it originally. They are just modifying it. And when it comes to genes, you can’t really predict how it will behave. You can only observe. Only God can predict accurately what the outcome will look like.
In the video, there was a point where you said that vaccines, even if they work, are not one stop solution. How so, because we are meant to believe that once you take vaccine, it prevents you from getting infected permanently? But polio vaccine is meant to be once in a lifetime?
Yes, that’s for polio. Each virus has its own characteristics. You can’t apply the rules for one on the other.
So, isn’t it possible then that we can have Coronavirus vaccine that can prevent it permanently?
The vaccine is still being developed and tested. So, you can’t even tell whether the effect will last for one year or ten years. Yellow fever vaccines for example, they said will last for about ten years. Like, if you take it now, it’ll generate anti bodies that will keep it away for ten years. So, this one is still being tested. Supposing it is tested and the effect is going to last for only six months? So, we cannot lock down the whole world because we are waiting for you to come out with your vaccines. That is unfair.
Talking about locking down the whole world; there has been this controversy especially as it concerns men of God like yourself, the argument about whether churches should open or not. Which side are you?
I have a middle of the road approach to this: a little to the right and a little to the left. I will explain. If you look into the Bible, even there, lock down is prescribed, quarantine is prescribed. For example, there was a plague in Leviticus, plague of leprosy, and God instructed Moses to train the priests who were like the doctors of the day – they didn’t have medical doctors like we have now – to quarantine anyone who is suspected to have leprosy for seven days in the first instance. And then, if it’s still not clear whether the person has leprosy on not, the person has to be quarantined for further seven days, making it a total of 14 days. They didn’t have all the testing tools, they only diagnosed by observation.
So, quarantine is in the Bible. The person who is infected can be isolated, that’s in the Bible. If you go to the book of Isiah 26: 20 – 21, you will also see that when there is a pandemic, God prescribes a lock down. He says, go inside your house, shut your door and wait for a short while. It shouldn’t be too long. You don’t shut down the economy for too long. After you have solved the problem of the pandemic, you will now have economic problem to deal with, which may even take longer to resolve than the medical problem you are trying to solve.
So, we have to find a balance. You don’t take decisions and formulate health policies that would solve health problems and then create very huge economic problems that you may not be able to come out of easily. There has to be a balance. So, once a period of lock down, like I said the virus is self limiting, if it doesn’t transmit from one person to another, if everybody will stay in one place, so that there is no person to person transmission, those who currently have it, by the end of the 14 days, those who will die will die, those who will recover will recover. And all the viruses would have died. Then life will continue as normal.
But because people didn’t really obey the lock down when they should have obeyed, it didn’t allow that window of 14 to maybe maximum of 21 days to wipe out the virus. Because once the virus enters a new person, it starts replicating in that person, and it has another 14 days, it has continued. But the lock down should not be too long; it should not be permanent. And there should be a phased opening. After sometime, all of us will develop what is called herd immunity, just like we have herd immunity from malaria in West Africa. I mean if an European who has never developed malaria comes into the country, the first time she develops it, he may die from it. But for us, malaria is like one of those sicknesses that comes and goes. Every Nigerian knows how to treat malaria, either with orthodox medicine or with herbs. It’s a common thing. A time will come when the virus will become like that. But before that time, unfortunately, some people will die.
You made the point about people not staying at home. But there is also the other reality that it’s a country where a vast majority of people earn their living daily. So, it’s inevitable that people must come out. With this reality in mind, what are the measures they have to observe to keep safe as much as possible?
Let me take the question a little back. This idea of lockdown is actually a decision taken by the first world: America, European Union, Canada and the rest of them. And when they were taking the decision to lock down, certain things were put in place. They knew what the fallout of that would be. People would eat their daily bread. So, those governments already arranged palliatives and those palliatives are not noodles or bread, everybody’s account was credited with substantial amount of money, even foreigners living in those countries. There are people I know who received alerts in their bank accounts in Canada, U.S, UK and other European countries. Some, even children, get $500 monthly. Adults get up to $1200 monthly, that’s like half a million naira. So, if you have half a million naira in your bank account, will you bother to go out?
Except to buy food…?
Yes, but even the food, they do home delivery. You can do online. They come and deliver it at your doorsteps. So, those countries which instituted the lock down already had those palliative measures already thought out and implemented. We simply copied the lockdown; we didn’t copy the palliative, because we don’t have the resources to do it. We are not organised. I call it cut and paste policy. You cut what they are doing in UK, you paste it in Nigeria, but you are cutting only half of it. That’s why lock down does not work here.
But because economic necessity compels people to risk going out, what should they do? It’s like someone says, if I go out and I catch the virus and it kills me I’m dead, if I stay home and I don’t go out, hunger will kill me and I’m also dead. So, it’s like choosing between two different kinds of deaths. But for the virus, it’s either it kills you or you kill it.
So, for those who want to take that chance, what measures should they put in place?
I said in the beginning that when a person comes in contact with the virus, the battle line is drawn between the virus and the immune system of the person. So, if you know that your immune system is the one to enter the boxing ring with the virus, strengthen your immune system such that when it enters the boxing ring, it has a winning chance. You don’t know whether you will come in contact with the virus as you are going out for economic activity. In case you do and the battle line is drawn, make sure you have nurtured and strengthened your immune system so it can win the battle.
How do you do that?
Those were the very things I said in the video.
But can you highlight them again?
The first one is, each person should make sure to avoid being stressed. Because if you are very stressed, your immunity will be weak. Take enough time to sleep, at least six hours. It will refresh you and strengthen your immunity. Again, exercise regularly. When you exercise, your immunity will be strong. Eat nutritious food, fruits and vegetables. Avoid sugar, soft drinks, bread and so on; you would be weakening your immunity. But when you take fruits of the season, your immunity will be strong. If you need to, take supplements. I mentioned zinc, vitamin C. You can get vitamin D free of charge by spending one hour under the sun daily. The best time is before the sun becomes hot.
It’s called sensible sunshine exposure. Vitamin D will boost your immunity. Then we have all these spices around us, like ginger, garlic turmeric… blend them into your food and that will give you some minerals and some immune boosting properties. Those are the measures that those who want to take a chance to go out should put in place to make sure that in case they come across the virus, they stand a good chance of winning the fight.
There is also another controversy with respect to whether Coronavirus is real or not. There is this video of Pastor David Ibiyiomie in Port Harcourt arguing that Coronavirus is unreal. Before him, another pastor said it was 5G network. And indeed, when you speak with people in the streets, many tend to suggest that the virus is not real. Is Coronavirus real?
As a scientist, I cannot say it’s not real, because it is real. What I can say, however, is that some interests are trying to use it as an opportunity to enrich themselves. They see it as an opportunity to execute their agenda. But It is real, I mean, it’s a virus that is out there. However, they decided to hype it out of proportion. Like I said, you create a problem, you get a reaction from the people and then you proffer a solution and your solution makes money. I’m a computer engineer, that’s the first certificate I earned. And when I was practicing computer engineering in those days, between 80s and early 90s, we had computer viruses that suddenly broke out from out of nowhere.
The same people that created the virus also created a software called antivirus to help you clear your computer of viruses, and they were selling it for money. Up till today, antiviruses are still being sold. There are companies that have been operating for 30 to 40 years making money from antivirus. Some people will write the virus code and other people will write the anti virus code and they make money out of it. The same thing is happening right now. Everybody is looking for opportunities to make money.
Look at malaria for the example. Israel has successfully wiped out malaria today. If you find any mosquito in Israel, they don’t carry the malaria parasite. So even if mosquitoes bite you in Israel, you won’t get malaria. Several other countries in Europe have successfully wiped out mosquitoes. Now, how did they do it? It remains a trade secret. Why can’t they teach us how they did it so we can do same? But rather than do that for us, they are saying they would develop malaria vaccines for us. They are still working on malaria vaccines as we speak because that’s where they will make money. So, for me, it goes beyond whether the viruses are real or not real.
They are real. But the other side is that there are interests that are looking for ways to make those micro organisms money spinners for themselves. And they want to make sure that we are always at the receiving end. We are the consumers of their products. They don’t want us to produce our home grown solutions for ourselves and even export to them. They don’t want that to ever happen.