April 29, 2009

Government Flu Preparedness

High marks are going to the Obama administration for their handling the initial phase of this possible pandemic of swine influenza. However, we have actions of the Bush administration to thank for flu preparedness infrastructure that is now in place.

Other public health experts also endorsed the administration's response to the outbreak that emerged from Mexico. They gave much of the credit to President Bush, whose administration did extensive planning for such an emergency.

"We're seeing a payoff of the original investment made in pandemic preparedness by the Bush administration," said Jeffrey W. Levi, executive director of Trust for America's Health. The term pandemic refers to a widespread outbreak of an infectious disease.

Obama administration officials quickly found the plans for "What to do in the case of an impending flu pandemic" in a big filing cabinet labeled, appropriately "PLANS."

Oddly, the flu preparedness plans were under a manila folder upon which was scrawled roughly in crayon the words "BiRD FLu" and dated 2002. Within that folder was a haphazardly-typed, all-caps, single-page document entitled simply "WAR PLANS IN CASE OF FLU." It contained amateurish bullet points linking influenza to Iraq and Saddam Hussein. There was a yellow sticky note on the folder that read "Dick, do you think we could get Colin Powell to infect the UN with bird flu?"

The document was declassified and donated to Mad Magazine.

BTW, should you be worried about the flu? Check this:


Posted by James at April 29, 2009 9:49 AM
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So, nothing for monkey pox? I'm disappointed.

Posted by: Julie at April 29, 2009 8:01 PM

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