The 2009 Swine Flu: The Hype and the Response

208

Anyone who has read a newspaper, listened to the radio, gone on the internet or watched the evening news on TV over the last week or so, might believe that there is a real possibility that millions of Americans and hundreds of millions of other people throughout the world could be wiped out by a new deadly swine flu virus that is sweeping across the globe.

The worldwide media has been turning out countless numbers of stories and producing hundreds of TV special reports about the possibility of a swine flu pandemic, complete with on-site videos with people wearing face masks, colorful graphics and interviews with scores of medical experts-for-hire. But is all this news coverage based on a genuine concern for the health and safety of the people, or is it just media hype designed to sell newspapers, TV advertising, anti-flu medicines and vaccines?

On May 1, 2009, The World Health Organization reported only 331 cases of swine flu worldwide, but still declared the crisis to be at level 5 alert on a scale of 6, meaning that this strain of flu might be considered an all-out pandemic if the numbers keep rising. On the same date, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that there were 109 cases in the U.S., with several states possibly confirming an additional 22 cases. Do these numbers indicate that a national crisis is at hand?

Let’s put these numbers in perspective: According to the Centers for Disease Control, 36,000 Americans die each year (almost 100 a day) from various forms of the flu virus, yet it is not considered a pandemic or a crisis. Worldwide, Malaria kills 3,000 people every day, but the World Health Organization only considers it “a health problem” and not a pandemic. Of course, there are no fancy vaccines for malaria that can rake in billions of dollars in a very short time period when governments and individuals order millions of doses of vaccines and medications in response to a threat of a new flu pandemic.

Back in 1976, when the Swine Flu last hit America, the Ford Administration tried to use the fear of a pandemic to force 220 million Americans to accept the idea of mandatory vaccinations. In a very short period of time, the pharmaceutical industry made $135 million on their vaccines, which had been given to nearly 40 million Americans before the accumulation of fatalities and crippling side effects caused the program to be stopped. When the questionable “pandemic threat” was over, only one person in America had died from the Swine flu, but 25 other Americans had died from the vaccine. By the way, the pharmaceutical companies managed to protect themselves from lawsuits by pre-arranging for the government to assume any liabilities in case there was a problem with the vaccines.

More recently, in 2006, there was another worldwide pandemic threat called the Avian flu. The same type of videos and stories appeared throughout the media. ABC News even pushed the possibility of a pending worldwide apocalypse to the public by featuring a doctor-for-hire who predicted “that 50% of the population of the world could die” because of the Avian flu. Of course that never happened. Although the death of any person is a tragedy, only 257 people in the entire world died from the Avian flu.

That’s 257 people out of 6.5 billion. It could hardly be considered a pandemic or a worldwide health threat. Because of the Avian Flu scare, the Bush Administration purchased and stockpiled millions of doses of anti-flu drugs in case of a future pandemic. Back then, some people thought that the threat of the Avian flu pandemic was cleverly created, manipulated and designed to frighten the American people, in order to line the pockets of politically connected investors and pharmaceutical companies.

If the profit motive is not part of the reason for the current hype and the threat to the American people is real, then why has our government not taken the overt actions necessary to protect its own citizens? With almost 2,000 official swine flu cases originating in Mexico, most European and Asian countries, including China, have closed their airports to flights from Mexico in order to protect their citizens. Our government has taken no such steps to protect its citizens against this threat and our borders remain wide open with no restrictions or limitations on Mexicans entering the United States.

The Department of Homeland Security advised that they are on top of the situation and are watching people entering the U.S. for signs of illness. On the surface it sounds like the government is at least doing something, until you read the April 27 Reuters report on what is really happening at the border and that “Mexicans are continuing to (illegally) cross the border by car and foot, seemingly unconcerned by the influenza scare and only a handful are wearing masks.” The failure to secure the border in a time of emergency in order to protect the health and welfare of American citizens is a sign that this administration has chosen political correctness over the safety of its own citizens. It’s sad to say, but I don’t believe a Republican administration would take the necessary steps either.

I am sure that by mid-May the whole Swine Flu scare will be over and the hype will have died down. The American borders will remain wide open for illegal immigrants and terrorists to enter the country; the pharmaceutical companies will have made billions; the media companies will have made hundreds of millions from pharmaceutical company advertising and the administration will take credit for a job well done. Thank God it wasn’t a real emergency.

_______________________________________

“For Freedom, Liberty and Sovereignty”

New York Campaign for Liberty

Chatham, New York

www.NYCampaignForLiberty.com