Feds Botch Swine Flu Vaccine Distribution

Kyle-Anne Shiver & Lee Cary
The federal government is slow to distribute the N1H1 vaccine. And these people want to run our entire healthcare system?

Today, a Senate hearing is underway concerning the Swine Flu and the slow distribution of the N1H1 vaccine. The CDC, and not private contractors, is executing vaccine distribution. Now that the illness is building momentum, the media should be asking - What's the holdup? Who's responsible?

But they won't.

It's just another example of their inbred bias that, with regard to flu epidemics, once ran against N5H1 (Avian or Bird Flu) and the Bush administration, but now is blind concerning the Obama administration and the N1H1. 

AT readers saw this post entitled "Different Virus, Different President, Different Media Treatment" last September 2:

The legacy media treated President Bush's handling of the H5N1 virus differently than it's treating President Obama's handling of the H1N1 bug.

Here are several samples of how the legacy media characterized Bush's handling of the avian flu:


ABC News, "Avian Flu: Is the Government Ready for an Epidemic?" by Brian Ross, September 15, 2006: "According to Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, Bush's call to remain on the offensive has come too late. ‘If we had a significant worldwide epidemic of this particular avian flu, the H5N1 virus, and it hit the United States and the world, because it would be everywhere at once, I think we would see outcomes that would be virtually impossible to imagine,' he warns."

New York Times, "Fear of Flu Outbreak Rattles Washington," by Gardiner Harris, October 5, 2005: "Thirty-two Democratic senators sent a letter to President Bush on Tuesday expressing ''grave concern that the nation is dangerously unprepared for the serious threat of avian influenza.''

[snip]

Mr. Leavitt [then Secretary of Health and Human Services] warned in the briefing last week that an outbreak could cause 100,000 to 2 million deaths and as many as 10 million hospitalizations in the United States, one person who was present said. Those numbers have been presented publicly many times before. But hearing them in closed session gave them urgency, some who were at the meeting said. The briefing ‘scared the hell out of me,' Senator Reid said recently."

Then, in another piece in the New York Times dated October 8, 2006 and entitled "Bush Plan Shows U.S. Is Not Ready for Deadly Flu," Harris wrote,

"A plan developed by the Bush administration to deal with any possible outbreak of pandemic flue shows that the United States is woefully unprepared for what could become the worst disaster in the nation's history."

Now, here are excerpts from two Boston Globe articles.

Boston Globe, "Bush's risky flu pandemic plan," by George J. Annas, October 8, 2005:  "Whenever the world is not to his liking, President Bush has a tendency to turn to the military to make it better. The most prominent example is the country's response to 9/11, complete with wars in Afghanistan and Iraq...On Tuesday, the president suggested that the United States should confront the risk of a bird flu pandemic by giving him the power to use the US military to quarantine ''part[s] of the country" experiencing an ''outbreak." So we have moved quickly in the past month, at least metaphorically, from the global war on terror to a proposed war on hurricanes, to a proposed war on the bird flu.  Of all these proposals, the use of the military to attempt to contain a flu pandemic on US soil is the most dangerous."

Boston Globe, "Bush suddenly wakes up to threat of avian flu," by Thomas Oliphant, October 11, 2005: "If President Bush had been awake at the switch earlier this year -- instead of, for example, obsessing about Social Security privatization schemes -- the United States would probably not find itself near the end of an international line for influenza medicine.  As it is, his sudden realization that the potential of a public health disaster looms has set of an unseemly governmental scramble that mostly misses the point."

So how did the avian flu come out? According to the Washington Post,

"It infected 8,000 people, killed about 800, and cost the world $80 billion. Yet the control of SARS was an unprecedented success. A report by the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine in 2004 said that "the quality, speed, and effectiveness of the public health response to SARS brilliantly outshone past responses to international outbreaks of infectious disease." (David Brown, November 7, 2005)
"An unprecedented success?" How could that be?

Let's fast-forward to the H1N1 virus, originally called the "swine flu." 

"As of September 1, 2009, the World Health Organization reports 1,799 deaths worldwide. In the United States, 566 have died. Already, over twice the deaths worldwide brought on by the N5N1 avian flu. (Source)

So is the federal government prepared for a new virus-borne health emergency? 

Good luck finding criticism of the Obama administration. And when it's even implied, it's too vague to notice as it is in this piece from United Press International entitled "H1N1 vaccine campaign faces problems," dated August 23, 2009:
"Officials are predicting a shortage of H1N1 vaccine in mid-October when a new wave of swine flu infections could be peaking in the United States...The lag in vaccine production and the rush to test it for safety and effectiveness shows the potential for complications in trying to immunize so many people so quickly, health officials told the Post."

Different virus. Different president. Different media treatment.  Gee, what a surprise!

Update: So, UP noted the shortage that's now becoming apparent. But who will they hold accountable?
The federal government is slow to distribute the N1H1 vaccine. And these people want to run our entire healthcare system?

Today, a Senate hearing is underway concerning the Swine Flu and the slow distribution of the N1H1 vaccine. The CDC, and not private contractors, is executing vaccine distribution. Now that the illness is building momentum, the media should be asking - What's the holdup? Who's responsible?

But they won't.

It's just another example of their inbred bias that, with regard to flu epidemics, once ran against N5H1 (Avian or Bird Flu) and the Bush administration, but now is blind concerning the Obama administration and the N1H1. 

AT readers saw this post entitled "Different Virus, Different President, Different Media Treatment" last September 2:

The legacy media treated President Bush's handling of the H5N1 virus differently than it's treating President Obama's handling of the H1N1 bug.

Here are several samples of how the legacy media characterized Bush's handling of the avian flu:


ABC News, "Avian Flu: Is the Government Ready for an Epidemic?" by Brian Ross, September 15, 2006: "According to Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, Bush's call to remain on the offensive has come too late. ‘If we had a significant worldwide epidemic of this particular avian flu, the H5N1 virus, and it hit the United States and the world, because it would be everywhere at once, I think we would see outcomes that would be virtually impossible to imagine,' he warns."

New York Times, "Fear of Flu Outbreak Rattles Washington," by Gardiner Harris, October 5, 2005: "Thirty-two Democratic senators sent a letter to President Bush on Tuesday expressing ''grave concern that the nation is dangerously unprepared for the serious threat of avian influenza.''

[snip]

Mr. Leavitt [then Secretary of Health and Human Services] warned in the briefing last week that an outbreak could cause 100,000 to 2 million deaths and as many as 10 million hospitalizations in the United States, one person who was present said. Those numbers have been presented publicly many times before. But hearing them in closed session gave them urgency, some who were at the meeting said. The briefing ‘scared the hell out of me,' Senator Reid said recently."

Then, in another piece in the New York Times dated October 8, 2006 and entitled "Bush Plan Shows U.S. Is Not Ready for Deadly Flu," Harris wrote,

"A plan developed by the Bush administration to deal with any possible outbreak of pandemic flue shows that the United States is woefully unprepared for what could become the worst disaster in the nation's history."

Now, here are excerpts from two Boston Globe articles.

Boston Globe, "Bush's risky flu pandemic plan," by George J. Annas, October 8, 2005:  "Whenever the world is not to his liking, President Bush has a tendency to turn to the military to make it better. The most prominent example is the country's response to 9/11, complete with wars in Afghanistan and Iraq...On Tuesday, the president suggested that the United States should confront the risk of a bird flu pandemic by giving him the power to use the US military to quarantine ''part[s] of the country" experiencing an ''outbreak." So we have moved quickly in the past month, at least metaphorically, from the global war on terror to a proposed war on hurricanes, to a proposed war on the bird flu.  Of all these proposals, the use of the military to attempt to contain a flu pandemic on US soil is the most dangerous."

Boston Globe, "Bush suddenly wakes up to threat of avian flu," by Thomas Oliphant, October 11, 2005: "If President Bush had been awake at the switch earlier this year -- instead of, for example, obsessing about Social Security privatization schemes -- the United States would probably not find itself near the end of an international line for influenza medicine.  As it is, his sudden realization that the potential of a public health disaster looms has set of an unseemly governmental scramble that mostly misses the point."

So how did the avian flu come out? According to the Washington Post,

"It infected 8,000 people, killed about 800, and cost the world $80 billion. Yet the control of SARS was an unprecedented success. A report by the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine in 2004 said that "the quality, speed, and effectiveness of the public health response to SARS brilliantly outshone past responses to international outbreaks of infectious disease." (David Brown, November 7, 2005)
"An unprecedented success?" How could that be?

Let's fast-forward to the H1N1 virus, originally called the "swine flu." 

"As of September 1, 2009, the World Health Organization reports 1,799 deaths worldwide. In the United States, 566 have died. Already, over twice the deaths worldwide brought on by the N5N1 avian flu. (Source)

So is the federal government prepared for a new virus-borne health emergency? 

Good luck finding criticism of the Obama administration. And when it's even implied, it's too vague to notice as it is in this piece from United Press International entitled "H1N1 vaccine campaign faces problems," dated August 23, 2009:
"Officials are predicting a shortage of H1N1 vaccine in mid-October when a new wave of swine flu infections could be peaking in the United States...The lag in vaccine production and the rush to test it for safety and effectiveness shows the potential for complications in trying to immunize so many people so quickly, health officials told the Post."

Different virus. Different president. Different media treatment.  Gee, what a surprise!

Update: So, UP noted the shortage that's now becoming apparent. But who will they hold accountable?