Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pandemic of Government Stupidity Over Swine Flu Sweeps Globe

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The biggest thing to fear from the current swine flu outbreak is the stupid reactions of government officials. While we would like to think that we live in a world where intelligent scientific thought dominates and ignorance and irrational emotional reactions are not the basis for important decisions, the reaction to swine flu indicates otherwise. The global medical establishment, highly trained scientists, have reacted more like voodoo shamans instead of engaging in rational analysis. The mainstream press, instead of acting as a responsible gatekeeper, has had a field day spreading panic. Government officials have followed up by doing some of dumbest things imaginable (in case you don't understand what is going on with how they are dealing with the Credit Crisis -think about how well that's probably being handled).

One of the most outrageous government acts so far has taken place in Hong Kong where authorities have sealed the downtown Metropark Hotel, where a sickened Mexican tourist had stayed, trapping 350 business travelers, tourists and employees inside. Riots have broken out in Egypt when police have tried to fulfill the government's mandate to kill all of the country's pig population - there is no evidence that any of pigs have swine flu there. In Baghdad, the Boars in the zoo were slaughtered even though there is no swine flu in Iraq. The U.S. has closed down hundreds of schools. In Mexico, the capital is totally closed down and will remain so for a few more days. Officials from the CDC, the federal Health and Human Services Department and the New York City Health Department have made irresponsible statements that have helped engender panic. The first two warned of an increasing death toll from swine flu and the latter that there were already hundreds of cases in New York City last week - none of which has turned out to be true.

The source of all the worry about swine flu is and always has been suspect. There have been two competing strains of information that have led to contradictory conclusions. Authorities throughout the world have chosen to believe the unreliable information source over the reliable one. The first strain of information are reports and statistics on swine flu from Mexico - a country with a chaotic health care system and questionable data gathering ability. The second data source is from the developed world, where health statistics are reliable. Based on initial reports out of Mexico, swine flu was a deadly virus. However, even as of today, there have been no fatalities elsewhere - and that's hard reliable data. When you are exposed to contradictory information from two sources with widely varying credibility, which do you believe? In the case of swine flu, it as if the medical authorities chose to believe Star Magazine over the New York Times.

Moreover, it has since been demonstrated that the initial reports on swine flu from Mexico were pure speculation and are not supported by the facts. Over a week ago, there were already supposed to have been 160 deaths there from swine flu in Mexico. The current count has risen to 19. What? Tests for swine flu were not being done initially and now that they have been only 19 people so far who have tested positive for swine flu have died. Whether or not they died from swine flu is not proven and should be questioned considering that no one outside of Mexico dies of swine flu. These 19 could have died from any number of other illnesses and considering there was an epidemic of virulent pneumonia in Mexico, this would be a strong candidate for the actual cause of death. How are the Mexicans handling this rather embarrassing situation? Just today, in a news release, Mexico's Health Secretary said "11 people were suspected to have died from the virus in the previous 24 hours". Huh? While the glaring headline seems to indicate swine flu deaths are increasing, what was meant was that testing has shown the number of supposed deaths from swine flu jumped from 9 to 20 (including the Mexican toddler that died in Texas). Note to Mexico's Health Secretary, 20 is a much smaller number than 160.

U.S. medical authorities are already backtracking and making the case that their highly irresponsible actions were justified. In appearances on the Sunday talk show circuit, it was stated that a vaccine for swine flu is being prepared and after it was created it would then be decided whether or not to order large amounts of it be produced in the fall. Despite their hemming and hawing, it was quite obvious they realized they had screwed up big time. Don't expect an admission of this and don't expect any one of these bozos to be fired. After all, why should the health of the American people be in the hands of competent people.

NEXT: Banks Get Swine Flu; William Cohan at New York Investing

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup

This posting is editorial opinion. Like all other postings for this blog, there is no intention to endorse the purchase or sale of any security.

1 comment:

AMIT said...

Swine Flu is hitting world very badly.