Here comes the fear-mongering:
President Obama declares H1N1 flu a national emergency
From The Washington Post (Emphasis mine):
It says that Obama does “hereby find and proclaim that, given that the rapid increase in illness across the Nation may overburden health care resources and that the temporary waiver of certain standard Federal requirements may be warranted in order to enable U.S. health care facilities to implement emergency operations plans, the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic in the United States constitutes a national emergency.
“The H1N1 is moving rapidly, as expected. By the time regions or health care systems recognize they are becoming overburdened, they need to implement disaster plans quickly,” White House spokesman Reid Cherlin said Saturday.
White House officials downplayed the dramatic-sounding language, saying the president’s action was not prompted by a new assessment of the dangers posed to the public by the flu.
“National emergency?” “Disaster plans?” Way to downplay the language. As per their strategy, an action like this will ultimately find its way prominently in the fear-hustling media.
The Post then goes on to quote a Mr. David Fidler.
Said David P. Fidler, a professor of law at the University of Indiana, “The declaration has political implications in that it will intensify scrutiny of the federal government’s preparedness and response for this kind of event (e.g., are we seeing a nationwide microbial Katrina unfolding, or are the CDC and DHHS, in fact, doin’ a heck of a job).
For corn’s sake, Mr. Fidler. “A microbial Katrina?” Get over your disdain for George Bush, already.
” I also wonder whether the increasing impact of H1N1, coupled with the presidential declaration, will make the U.S. move more slowly in sharing the H1N1 vaccine it promised to donate to developing countries… especially in light of all the problems being experienced with access to the vaccine in the U.S. now and for the foreseeable future,” Fidler said in an e-mail.
As with many liberal loons, Mr. Fidler seems more concerned about the welfare of other nations than our own.
For some perspective, here are death statistics for several flu viruses that have occurred:
Spanish Flu (1918-1920): 50 million
Asian Flu (1957-1958): 1.5-2 million
Hong Kong Flu (1968-1969): 1 million
Asiatic Flu (1989-1990): 1 million
Influenza (Normal yearly world-wide): 250-500,000
H1N1/Swine Flu (2009 world-wide): 5,000