Swine flu? Government is more dangerous - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Swine flu? Government is more dangerous

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Posted: Friday, May 1, 2009 10:49 am | Updated: 2:38 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Thomas Lucente: The ability of human beings to overreact never ceases to amaze me.

Of course, I am referring to the unwarranted and silly reactions to the swine flu outbreak. People, get a grip! Seriously. 

The ability of human beings to overreact never ceases to amaze me.

Of course, I am referring to the unwarranted and silly reactions to the swine flu outbreak. People, get a grip! Seriously.

This minor outbreak has the Egyptian government slaughtering hundreds of thousands of pigs, even though no cases of swine flu have been reported there. Other countries, such as China, Russia and Indonesia, have banned the importation of pork products, despite the fact that you cannot catch the flu from bacon, pork or any other food product. Schools are closing their doors, and President Barack Obama has suggested closing more schools. People are wearing silly masks, which health officials have repeatedly said offer no protection against the swine flu.

Moreover, on Thursday, the buffoon occupying the Admiral’s House, Vice President Joe Biden, well known for his gaffes, told a national television audience that he was urging his own family to stay off commercial airliners and out of subways for fear of catching the swine flu. An apology from the White House quickly followed.

Scientists studying this flu have said it is milder than your typical flu strain. You have more danger of dying from a run-of-the-mill flu bug than you do this swine flu.

Swine flu aside, influenza kills tens of thousands of Americans every year and hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. In the United States, between 5 percent and 20 percent of the population becomes ill every year and 36,000 people die — a mortality rate of between 0.24 percent and 0.96 percent.

Yet, as I write this, the only swine flu fatality in the U.S. was a toddler visiting from Mexico.

The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that Dirk Brockmann, a professor of engineering and applied mathematics at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., used a computer model of human travel patterns to predict how this swine flu virus would spread in the worst-case scenario, in which nothing is done to contain the disease.

After four weeks, almost 1,700 people in the U.S. would have symptoms, according to his model, the newspaper reported. That is just a fraction of the country’s millions of yearly flu victims.

Still, that has not stopped the opportunistic administration of President Barack Obama to use the crisis to further his fascistic social agenda. Obama has requested $1.5 billion to fight a disease that has killed precisely one person in this country. That’s $1.5 billion.

To put that in perspective, during the swine flu outbreak in 1976, President Gerald Ford launched an ambitious program to inoculate every American against the disease after the death of a soldier at Fort Dix, N.J. The program only cost about $500 million in today’s money. Obama wants three times as much.

Ford’s program, by the way, ended when it turned out the inoculation was more dangerous than the swine flu. That is what happens when government tries to do good. Some 30 people died from the shot by time Ford halted the program and the pandemic never materialized.

Moreover, where is the avian flu pandemic government scare-mongers have been warning us about for nearly the last decade?

Still, as Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel, once infamously quipped, “You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste; it’s an opportunity to do important things that you would otherwise avoid.”

That is the same sentiment Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has expressed concerning global climate change and it seems to be the mantra of the Obama administration. The president is using every single crisis that presents itself, real or imagined, as an excuse to further reach government’s tyrannical tentacles into every aspect of our lives.

It is quite sickening, actually, and much more dangerous than the swine flu.

There are certainly larger threats to public health than this swine flu, yet there does not seem to be the same sense of urgency. Unfortunately, instead of shedding light on the situation and informing the public in a sane and rational matter, the U.S. media are part of the scare-mongering problem.

That leads me to the real fear that if the media are no longer serving as a legitimate check on government, tyranny is sure to follow.

Thomas J. Lucente Jr. is a columnist with The Lima (Ohio) News, a Freedom Communications newspaper. He is also a veteran of the Iraq war and a law student at the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio. Visit his blog at www.lucente.org.

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