Bird Flu: A Case for Good Government

The Bird Flu worries might not worry us so much with more rational and competent people in the Bush Administration.  They tell us that the Bird Flu is coming, and as a solution, we’d better stock up on tuna fish.

What about stocking up on retro-viruses?  What about building a national infrastructure of health care that can help minimize the impact?  How about any rational response from the government we elected and we pay for than for them to tell us we’re on our own?

ABC News: Ready or Not, Bird Flu Is Coming to America

March 13, 2006 ? – In a remarkable speech over the weekend, Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt recommended that Americans start storing canned tuna and powdered milk under their beds as the prospect of a deadly bird flu outbreak approaches the United States. Ready or not, here it comes.

This is preposterous.

They keep scaring us about this, but they don’t tell us what *they* are going to do about it.  Instead, they keep showing us predictions and models that cannot be confirmed and cannot be discounted as though that was enough to count as evidence of a problem:

The bird flu virus, to date, has rarely been transmitted to humans. There have been lots of dead birds on three continents, but so far, fewer than 100 reported human deaths. Compare that to more than 30,000 deaths each year in the United States from seasonal flu.

Should that change, the spread could be rapid.

ABC News has obtained a mathematical projection prepared by federal scientists based on an initial outbreak on an East Coast chicken farm. Within three months, with no vaccine, almost half of the country would have the flu.

That, of course, is a worst-case scenario — but one that cannot be completely discounted.

This is what serves as good government, these days. Say what you will about the dire predictions of environmentalists about global warming, they at least propose to do something about it. The Bush Administration makes predictions about this because terrorism ain’t cutin’ it for poll numbers, these days.

Don’t misunderstand me: I have no way of knowing weather they’re right or wrong about the Bird Flu epidemic. What I am saying is that scaring people with the prospect of dying of the flu without offering the first bit of pro-active government response is just a scare tactic, however real the threat. And for the media to play into this game without even asking questions of the government’s response makes them, I am sorry to say, collaborators in this.

It’s playing with people’s lives for political gain, and it’s sick.

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.

1 reply on “Bird Flu: A Case for Good Government”

As they used to say in the Depression, “Root hog, or die”.

This is the universal response of well-heeled plutocrats to any adversity facing the rest of us: suck it up, plebe, I’m busy watching the stock market.

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