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Mr. VIce President, Please Get a Grip About Swine Flu Pandemic

Posted Apr 30 2009 2:17pm
Overall, I have been impressed by the Obama Administration's handling of the swine flu pandemic, which as these things go, does not appear to be Armageddon. (I am sure the Deep Ecologists are disappointed.) Part of the reason the government was so prepared, according to President Obama, is that the Bush Administration, working with the Congress, put in place a good plan several years ago on just what to do in the event of such a threat. The Administration has been following that contingency plan to good result, which Obama graciously acknowledged in his press conference yesterday. From the transcript:

I do want to compliment Democrats and Republicans who worked diligently back in 2005 when the bird flu came up. I was part of a group of legislators who worked with the Bush administration to make sure that we had beefed up our infrastructure and our stockpiles of antiviral drugs, like Tamiflu.

And I think the Bush administration did a good job of creating the infrastructure so that we can respond. For example, we've got 50 million courses of antiviral drugs in the event that they're needed.
The President has taken a proper and measured approach to all of this. Alas, Vice President Biden didn't get the message of calm. Indeed, if we all followed his advice, all commerce would cease as none of us would fly, go on trains, take buses, or go to school, work, church, and sporting events. From the story:

Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that he would not recommend taking any commercial flight or riding in a subway car "at this point" because swine flu virus can spread "in confined places." A little more than one hour later, Biden rushed out a statement backing off. "I would tell members of my family--and I have--I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now," Biden said on NBC's Today show.. "It's not that it's going to Mexico. It's [that] you're in a confined aircraft. When one person sneezes, it goes all the way through the aircraft. That's me...So, from my perspective, what it relates to is mitigation. If you're out in the middle of a field when someone sneezes, that's one thing. If you're in a closed aircraft or closed container or closed car or closed classroom, it's a different thing.”
And they worried about Sara Palin being the proverbial heartbeat away.
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