Tuesday, December 19, 2006

December 19 Flu Update

After a year without flu, Vietnam is reporting avian cases in two provinces in the Mekong Delta.

Bird flu is rejected in France as the cause of death for birds.

The White House reports on its progress preparing for the bird flu, saying it has met "most of its early goals."

The focus of the federal government's efforts to combat a pandemic is on vaccination, and Townsend said, "There are a number of barriers that will prevent us from having large amounts of vaccine quickly during a pandemic."

Who is the world's largest chicken exporter? Brazil...and they are rallying from the bird flu issues earlier this year.

CIDRAP on the state by state analysis...keyword "slow"

The pandemic strategy for Prince Edward Island has been released.

Column talks about "straight talk"for bird flu....answering hard questions about who gets treated, civil liberties, etc.

Bird flu has been found in 44 local government areas in Nigeria.

We ran the article from Michael Furmento of Weekly Standard recently about the "Chicken Littles" being wrong about the flu. Revere responds.

Kazakh scientists say they have a vaccine for birds.

ProMed is back with this story on a team of scientists doing surveillance in South Korea.

Bird smugglers foiled in Buffalo.

USAID has provided 4,500 flu testing kits to Pakistan.

Bush signed three health related laws, including one dealing with pandemic flu.

News for librarians--plans in Dallas say you may have to be phone operators if they do not report for work during a pandemic.


At 9:22 AM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Wow, glanced at your articles and guess what ? I looked first at Effective Measure's Revere's comment's about the Michael Fumento article " Chicken Little" story, to see if I called it correct, and I did a few days ago. I even saw where Mike himself responded to Revere by calling the Effect Measure community, a " bunch of stupid readers". What a amazing guy. If he even used half of his cerebellum, he'd be really dangerous. The fact that H5N1 incident reports are still coming in from Vietnam, Indonesia and Africa tells me this guy is really in another universe and just doesn't get it.

The best way to describe Michael Fumento, is that he is a charlatan, and a true spinner of half truths. As one Effective Measure reader responded - the activity going on right now about avian influenza, is all about preparation and worldwide "effective intervention".

I am greatly concerned that since Fumento's article has now been pretty widely circulated, that this willl cause many people to put down their guard. This would be a very bad move. Don't do it folks. Like I commented several days ago, I would love to enter into a lengthy debate with Fumento on this subject, but I doubt that will ever happen.

The other article that caught my attention is the one about "We need straight talk about flu pandemic". I truly believe this article hits upon a central problem that must be addressed, and I have alluded to this many times - what happens during any national crisis, or even a pandemic situation, when people perceive that they are not being communicated with, or being treated fairly ? One word - trouble. The number of people, both good and bad, that are armed in the US, is absolutely unbelievable. This leads me to believe that the "groundrules and guidelines" to be followed during a pandemic, must be communicated and well understood by, everyone. Even if it's frightening. Whether we like the answers we hear or not about priorities, every community, every state, and the federal government, must make sure consistent information is being conveyed and understood. This is an important lesson from previous disasters. I agree wholeheartedly with the following statement made in the article: " telling people not to be afraid is destructive", because this is untruthful and misleading, and only leads to confusion and distrust.

However, I absolutely disagree with this statement made in the article: "How do we balance rights against the greater good ?" The real answer is, sometimes, for the sake of stability and the preservation of society and a nation, you have to temporarily set civil rights aside - especially during a national catastrophy. The last thing we need during a pandemic or national emergency, is a bunch of ACLU lawyers running around whining about civil rights being violated.


At 11:24 AM, Blogger Orange said...

I don't understand, Wulfgang, why the right responds to everything with such contempt. Every part of his tone and verbiage says that people concerned about this is a complete loser.

It does bring up the subject of balance. I, myself, try to run everything I see in this blog. People can make their own mind up about Michael Fumento, and if they can't, then there isn't much hope anyway. I am sensitive to the idea that people think blogs like mine are, for lack of a better term "chicken little" stuff, and I'm not going to hide opinions to the contrary.

We also have to keep in mind that we all hope and pray that what we fear could happen doesn't happen.

I also love that he (purportedly) logged in to comment.

On the more practical side, articles like his will cause some reassurance in people. They want to think that nothing is going to happen....heck, I'd love to know nothing was going to happen, too.

At 3:18 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I think Michael Fumento represents the extreme right. Conversely, there are individuals who are at the extreme left. Somewhere in between the two extremes is a sense of normalcy, in my view. I personally have no axe to grind against the guy, other than the reporting he does is blatantly misrepresentative, inaccurate and deceitful.

I think you run one of the more accurate, insightful, well-balanced and moderated blogs, as compared to some of the other wild-west versions that attracts some extremists on the net. My opinion is that you are providing a valuable source of information to people, so I wouldn’t worry about the “chicken little” comments. If in fact, H5N1 does mutate and becomes easily transmissible, you will be viewed right up there with Albert Nobel or Marie Curie. I will admit to you though, if we are still here five years from now fretting about this without any world incident, then we all need to get a life and move on. I do not believe this to be the case though, unfortunately.

Myself, I am here because I feel a sense of urgency to help spread a message of preparedness to your readers, because in today’s world of luxury, instant gratification and complacency, most people are utterly clueless how much their lives could change within any twenty four hour timeframe. From my little government knot-hole, I have a much different perspective of this H5N1 threat than most people, who believe that science, the federal government, or luck will intervene. It might, but don’t count on it. I have seen some very scared brilliant scientific and medical people involved in H5N1 pandemic discussions and planning. I figure, if these geniuses are worried to the extent that they got pneumonia shots, sixty days of supplies of food, disinfectant, masks and medicine – then ol’ Wulf-baby better stock up on twinkies and aspirins too.

Mama didn’t raise no fool.



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