"Swine flu hysteria"

From a piece that I wrote for the Washington Times:

As the swine-flu death toll rose to 152 in Mexico Tuesday, the world was stricken with terror. News shows considered a worldwide epidemic with millions of predicted deaths. The Associated Press referred to Mexico as "the epicenter of the outbreak" - making it sound as if a nuclear bomb had gone off. Tuesday's Washington Post warned, "Outbreak threatens global recovery." The Drudge Report's banner headline cried out: "COUGH FEAR!"

Some perspective is needed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the seasonal flu infects 28 million to 56 million Americans each year. Of these, 100,000 are hospitalized and about 36,000 die. This averages out to almost 150 deaths a day during the eight months of a normal flu season.

Watching the melodramatic news, no one would know that there have been swine-flu outbreaks with similar strains in the past. . . .

See also this from Fox News.

After reading those pieces see what the Democrats are doing with this "crisis."

With the swine flu officially out of the pen in the United States, Democrats and their allies have taken to heart Rahm Emanuel’s maxim that “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

The first 48 hours of the health emergency saw everyone from the president to the left-wing blogosphere finding opportunity at hand – with Republicans spending most of their time trying to inoculate themselves from blame.

President Obama used the outbreak as an Oprah-style teachable moment, drawing a connection between the flu scare and the need to fund scientific research.

The commander in chief noted during a speech at the National Academy of Sciences that “if there was ever a day that reminded us of our shared stake in science and research, it’s today,” and he underscored the idea that “our capacity to deal with a public health challenge of this sort rests heavily on the work of our scientific and medical community.”

Up on the Hill, flu-fighters pumped out press releases of the don’t-just-stand-there-do-something variety. . . .

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Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

Excellent post, Dr. Lott.

The 1918 breakout was bad, but this current little mess does not come close to 1918, nor the yearly death rates we have now.

4/30/2009 5:06 PM  

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