The Swine flu whipsaw

Troy Nelson
I feel like I'm watching a skit involving the Marx Brothers. A man pursuing another loses sight of him. He comes across Groucho just standing idly by and stops and asks, "Which way did he go?" To which Groucho responds by crossing his arms and pointing both directions saying, "He went that'a way!"

We're speaking of the H1N1 Swine flu "scare" that the Center for Disease Control and White House have been bantering about the last few weeks. First it was that the Swine flu was still active and might pose a problem this fall but no "red alerts" were necessary. There might be a small blurb buried in section B of a paper about the matter. Then came yesterday with headlines blaring "Flu could infect half of USA - 90,000 deaths, 2M patients possible," at least according to USA Today's headline from 8-25. The lead-in paragraph said:

The global flu pandemic expected to return to the USA this fall may infect as much as half the U.S. population, flooding hospitals with nearly 2 million patients and causing 30,000 to 90,000 deaths, according to the first official forecast of the scope of the flu season now getting underway.

In a textbook case of cognitive dissonance White House homeland security advisor John Brennan confessed later in the article that, "There's great uncertainty about what we're going to be seeing as this develops. We're trying to find a way to deal with various scenarios." Oooh, my head hurts. It must be the whipsaw thing.

Seriously, this USA Today headline sounds like end-of-days stuff. Grab your loved ones, lock the doors behind you, and flee for the hills! Or, at least purchase a 10 ft. pole and use it consistently when the Swine flu hits to avoid exposure.

But wait! Hold the fleeing to the country side panic. There's good news - I think. There's no scare! While the CDC and news outlets trumpeted the impending pandemic yesterday it's a different story today, sort of. Now it sounds like the trumpeting was more like trumped-up. The CDC's projections and stats haven't changed (the potential fallout from the Swine flu this fall could still be 30,000 to 90,000 deaths) but what the officials are saying has. From The Washington Post:

Calm Urged After Flu Death Estimates

Government health officials are urging people not to panic over estimates of 90,000 people dying of swine flu this fall.

"Everything we've seen in the U.S. and everything we've seen around the world suggests we won't see that kind of number if the virus doesn't change," Thomas Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a C-SPAN interview taped Wednesday.

On Monday the White House released a report from a group of presidential advisers that included a scenario in which as much as half the population could catch the H1N1 virus, and death possibilities ranged from 30,000 to 90,000.

"We don't think that's the most likely scenario," CDC flu specialist Anne Schuchat said of the presidential advisers' high-end tally. What is likely: A busy flu season that starts earlier than usual, Schuchat told the Associated Press.

The H1N1 virus so far has been no more deadly than the flu strains seen every fall and winter. And close genetic tracking of the new virus as it circled the globe in the past five months has shown no sign that it is mutating to become more virulent.

What's ironic about this is that in a post here at American Thinker yesterday the information italicized had already been written about. We didn't lose our heads here. What happened in Washington? The bizarre thing about this matter is the "facts" are still the same but the opinions are not. The pros at the CDC disagrees with Obama's spin.

The Swine flu is seasonal, fear-mongering not so much. I'll start believing Obama and his "disaster eminent" warnings about things like the Swine flu when swines fly. Where can I go to get an inoculation against this whipsaw pandemic?
I feel like I'm watching a skit involving the Marx Brothers. A man pursuing another loses sight of him. He comes across Groucho just standing idly by and stops and asks, "Which way did he go?" To which Groucho responds by crossing his arms and pointing both directions saying, "He went that'a way!"

We're speaking of the H1N1 Swine flu "scare" that the Center for Disease Control and White House have been bantering about the last few weeks. First it was that the Swine flu was still active and might pose a problem this fall but no "red alerts" were necessary. There might be a small blurb buried in section B of a paper about the matter. Then came yesterday with headlines blaring "Flu could infect half of USA - 90,000 deaths, 2M patients possible," at least according to USA Today's headline from 8-25. The lead-in paragraph said:

The global flu pandemic expected to return to the USA this fall may infect as much as half the U.S. population, flooding hospitals with nearly 2 million patients and causing 30,000 to 90,000 deaths, according to the first official forecast of the scope of the flu season now getting underway.

In a textbook case of cognitive dissonance White House homeland security advisor John Brennan confessed later in the article that, "There's great uncertainty about what we're going to be seeing as this develops. We're trying to find a way to deal with various scenarios." Oooh, my head hurts. It must be the whipsaw thing.

Seriously, this USA Today headline sounds like end-of-days stuff. Grab your loved ones, lock the doors behind you, and flee for the hills! Or, at least purchase a 10 ft. pole and use it consistently when the Swine flu hits to avoid exposure.

But wait! Hold the fleeing to the country side panic. There's good news - I think. There's no scare! While the CDC and news outlets trumpeted the impending pandemic yesterday it's a different story today, sort of. Now it sounds like the trumpeting was more like trumped-up. The CDC's projections and stats haven't changed (the potential fallout from the Swine flu this fall could still be 30,000 to 90,000 deaths) but what the officials are saying has. From The Washington Post:

Calm Urged After Flu Death Estimates

Government health officials are urging people not to panic over estimates of 90,000 people dying of swine flu this fall.

"Everything we've seen in the U.S. and everything we've seen around the world suggests we won't see that kind of number if the virus doesn't change," Thomas Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a C-SPAN interview taped Wednesday.

On Monday the White House released a report from a group of presidential advisers that included a scenario in which as much as half the population could catch the H1N1 virus, and death possibilities ranged from 30,000 to 90,000.

"We don't think that's the most likely scenario," CDC flu specialist Anne Schuchat said of the presidential advisers' high-end tally. What is likely: A busy flu season that starts earlier than usual, Schuchat told the Associated Press.

The H1N1 virus so far has been no more deadly than the flu strains seen every fall and winter. And close genetic tracking of the new virus as it circled the globe in the past five months has shown no sign that it is mutating to become more virulent.

What's ironic about this is that in a post here at American Thinker yesterday the information italicized had already been written about. We didn't lose our heads here. What happened in Washington? The bizarre thing about this matter is the "facts" are still the same but the opinions are not. The pros at the CDC disagrees with Obama's spin.

The Swine flu is seasonal, fear-mongering not so much. I'll start believing Obama and his "disaster eminent" warnings about things like the Swine flu when swines fly. Where can I go to get an inoculation against this whipsaw pandemic?