Swine Flu and Katrina

November/02/2009 18:00PM
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Both disasters have been estimated to have killed 1,000 Americans. Before it’s over, the H1N1 virus will more than double the deaths from Katrina. In both disasters, a prompt response by the government could have saved many lives. That’s where the similarities end.

With Katrina, the media spent endless hours criticizing President Bush, FEMA, and the government for their slow response. Rightfully so. Remember Bush saying “Brownie” is on top of it. The idiot he put in charge had no clue. The mayor and the governor stood by and blamed the Feds. Meanwhile little was done for several days. By then the situation was completely out of control. Hence, 1,000 deaths, many elderly, most drowning, occurred. Brownie was fired. Obama went to Louisiana last month to remind people about Bush’s mess.

According to the Guardian.co.uk, Paul Harris, “President Barack Obama has declared a national emergency in America as swine flu deaths reached 1,000.” Of the 1,000 more than 100 were children. So far 11 million doses of the vaccine have been shipped to providers. Production, which relies on chicken eggs is set to speed up . David Axelrod said the 40 million doses set to be delivered in the next few weeks is now going to be closer to 20 million. Another delay. More will die.

Axelrod did not mention the $1.8 billion the government has paid the vaccine manufacturer. Nor, did he mention the important fact that the government was urged by many to delay the production of the conventional flu vaccine and move the H1N1 to the front. The seasonal flu occurs later and the threat to life is much less. No, the powers to be choose to stick with the original schedule. Let the seasonal flu vaccine be produced then make the H1N1 vaccine. Nor did he mention the technology issue. Europe is producing vaccine without using the old process of chicken eggs. The FDA has not approved that here despite the fact that it has worked elsewhere without problems and can be produced quickly.

Last, but not least, are you sitting down, he did not announce the detainees at Gitmo are getting the vaccine. Now, not next month, but now. This was announced on Friday, a slow news day.

Any big media outcry about the 1,000 H1N1 deaths so far? Any media stories about the slow response? About the Gitmo vaccinations? Has anyone said anything about the seasonal flu vaccine getting priority over the H1N1 vaccine? Or, the European technology and the FDA not approving the process to speed up vaccine productions? Did anyone like Brownie get fired for letting 1,000 Americans die?

What is the difference between these two stories? Two presidents screwed up and let many Americans die needlessly. Their responses were far too slow. The people they appointed to respond to disasters of this kind did not get the job done. They show the inability of the Federal Government to manage these situations. Regardless of the party in power.

One difference, and only one. One took the blame by the media and the public. The other gets a pass. Right in the midst of a health care debate that would suffer if more people looked at the inability of the Federal Government to manage H1N1, let alone every one’s complete health care. Rationing–terrorists get priority over kids.

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