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Joe Biden Said It's Time to Panic, Which Means You Shouldn't

It seems scientists are coming to the conclusion the swine flu is milder than the normal winter flu:

As the World Health Organization raised its infectious disease alert level Wednesday and health officials confirmed the first death linked to swine flu inside U.S. borders, scientists studying the virus are coming to the consensus that this hybrid strain of influenza -- at least in its current form -- isn't shaping up to be as fatal as the strains that caused some previous pandemics.

In fact, the current outbreak of the H1N1 virus, which emerged in San Diego and southern Mexico late last month, may not even do as much damage as the run-of-the-mill flu outbreaks that occur each winter without much fanfare...

Flu viruses are known to be notoriously unpredictable, and this strain could mutate at any point -- becoming either more benign or dangerously severe. But mounting preliminary evidence from genetics labs, epidemiology models and simple mathematics suggests that the worst-case scenarios are likely to be avoided in the current outbreak.

"This virus doesn't have anywhere near the capacity to kill like the 1918 virus," which claimed an estimated 50 million victims worldwide, said Richard Webby, a leading influenza virologist at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

We know the administration is in a constant "don't waste a crisis" mode, but this flu is turning out to be no more a crisis than any other winter flu.


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Comments (22)

Oh well, another day, anoth... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Oh well, another day, another Obama waste of $1.5 billion+ of our great grandchildren's tax dollars. But hey, he did save $100 million in "office supplies" so our great grandchildren will only have to pay $1.4 billion plus interest for this particular 1/1460th of Obama's rule.

The fact that many cases of... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

The fact that many cases of this flu have been mild doesn't take away from the fact this flu has been about 9% fatal. That's certainly a frightening fact. If millions in North America get this flu, 9% deaths is certainly a serious enough figure.

Let's see....I'm really cra... (Below threshold)

Let's see....I'm really crappy at math, so I could use a little help.

Does anybody know what 109 cases of swine flu represents as a percetage of the US population that's roughly 306,000,000 people?

Oh nenvermind, I know the answer: Pretty f***in' small...

Joe Biden? I'd say he's a d... (Below threshold)

Joe Biden? I'd say he's a doddering old fool .... but then I wouldn't want to be accused of being ageist. Or tautological (the horror). I've got relatives who are now actually afraid to leave their houses, to go get groceries.

Is it noon yet? Son of a b .... it is!

The headlines last night an... (Below threshold)

The headlines last night and this morning were 'swine flu pandemic looking more likely'.

This afternoon they're 'mexican official says swine flu cases leveling off'.

Molehill ===> Mountain

Paul your math is a bit off... (Below threshold)

Paul your math is a bit off. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) as of today there are 257 confirmed cases worldwide and 8 deaths. That comes to worldwide mortality rate of 3%. However, the distibution of deaths is not consistent.

According to WHO there are 109 confirmed cases in the U.S. and one confirmed death, so that comes to a mortality rate of 0.9%.

Eric,I think your ma... (Below threshold)

I think your math is off. You wrote 8 deaths meaning a worldwide mortality rate of 3%. I think 8 deaths means a worldwide mortality rate way, way, way less than 3%.

Elmo, I can and will call J... (Below threshold)

Elmo, I can and will call Joe Biden a doddering old fool because I am older than he is and can get away with it. Dave, Eric,Paul, quit quibbling about percentages - it all comes down to a lot of dead people of Hispanic origin - has anyone noticed that most of the victims are Hispanic? How many of us have read The Stand by Stephen King? It's basically a story about humanity getting one last chance to stand against evil! And it starts with a flu bug! You may commence goosebumps kids!

It's all crap. Come to think of it, so is this Administration!

No DaveD, there are 257 con... (Below threshold)

No DaveD, there are 257 confirmed cases worldwide and 8 confirmed deaths worldwide, so 8/257= .03 * 100= 3%

In the U.S. there are 109 cases and 1 death so
1/109 = .009 * 100 = 0.9%

In Mexico there are 97 cases and 7 deaths so
7/97 = .072 * 100 = 7.2%

For the rest of the world there are 51 cases and 0 deaths so
0/51 = 0 *100 = 0%

Gayle, so far we are talkin... (Below threshold)

Gayle, so far we are talking about 7 dead Hispanics, that is hardly a lot. That's a typical Friday night in Tijuana.

You chastise us about talking percentages and then go into The Stand. I've read The Stand, and the flu bug in that book had a mortality rate 99.44%, which meant that for any given 1000 people 994 were going to die from the SuperFlu.

So far the mortality rate of this flu has been 0.9% in the U.S. So for any given 1000 people 9 people would be expected to die.

I think you can see the difference between 994 out of 1000 vs 9 out of 1000.

We are not living out The Stand.

Eric,You are right. ... (Below threshold)

You are right. Sorry, I don't know where my head was at when I was reading your post. Gayle, uh, on second thought, nevermind.

This flu crap is really tur... (Below threshold)

This flu crap is really turning into a circus. In Egypt, they began slaughtering hundreds of thousands of pigs because of fear of an epidemic.

WHO decided they are going to change the name from swine flu to the "technical scientific name H1N1 influenza A". What a bunch of bozos.


In other news (pffff!), "The World Health Organization (WHO) raised its pandemic level to phase five, meaning a pandemic is imminent. According to Rondello, the best way to think of a pandemic is multiple epidemics occurring simultaneously across different geographic regions." The swine flu is being called a "gentle pandemic", which usually means a preview of things to come.


When Biden said "panic", that is probably what he meant by generated international crisis, and I don't believe Obama was included in the equation as previously planned. They had him dangling imaginary teabags instead.

LeMedusa, The 300,00... (Below threshold)

The 300,000 pigs being slaughtered in Egypt
belong to the Coptic Christians.
The new novel H1N1 flu is not being caused
by swine. There is an effort to change the
name of the flu to something less confusing.

I watched Robert Gibbs talk... (Below threshold)

I watched Robert Gibbs talking about this flu at the daily presser. A reporter brought up Biden's comments. Gibbs said "What he meant to say" and the whole press room laughed. What a dunderhead. Our economy is hurting but he suggests staying off public transportation and aircraft. Is this guy brilliant or what? ww

maggie, thanks for the inpu... (Below threshold)

maggie, thanks for the input. Precisely. It's originated from, but not caused by, so why would they even call it that? That's probably one of the lines I should have highlighted from the links I posted. That even further makes this thing nonsensical. If it had been called its technical name to begin with, there would have been no confusion. The fact remains, though, this pandemic is a small preview of the panic and crisis the WHO wants to ensue.

This also from the same link I posted:

The swine flu virus originated in pigs, and has genes from human, bird and pig viruses. Scientists don't know exactly how it jumped to humans. In the current outbreak, WHO says the virus is being spread from human-to-human, not from contact with infected pigs.

In the U.S. there are 109 c... (Below threshold)

In the U.S. there are 109 cases and 1 death so
1/109 = .009 * 100 = 0.9%

Not really the death was a Mexican child.
He was brought accross the border for treatment to a US hospital. It really should be a Mexican Death.
Now we need to see if anyone who came in contact with that child durring transport and care fairs worse.

MeDusaI read this mo... (Below threshold)

I read this morning the Mexican government
is looking at the water supply in Mexico
City. I have not read anything concrete as
to it being the cause, just suspect.

Yes, that could be an optio... (Below threshold)

Yes, that could be an option, maggie. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me a bit.

I actually am home sick wit... (Below threshold)

I actually am home sick with the flu right now and saw him speak this morning. The man is an oxygen thief and any utterances are best ignored.

Ya mean the sky isn't falli... (Below threshold)

Ya mean the sky isn't falling afterall? Rats! And here I was getting all ready for Armageddon. Now I'm told "never mind".

The Chinese news service Ch... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

The Chinese news service China View is reporting a total of 176 desths in just Mexico alone for May 1, with about 14-17 average deaths per day for this new strain of flu in which a vacine was not prepared to stop. That's a significant health situation regardless of your own personal political philosophy or how you wish to minimize the death figures. The fact of the matter that's 176 person dying from a new cause of death, this particular flu strain. And if just one third of Americans, or about 100 million should contract this illness, then deaths in the area of 3-9% percent would mean 3-9 million deaths in this country. That's worst than any war, 9/11 or any other crisis by far for the U.S. This is serious business here. The American Civil War only killed about 618,000 Americans by comparison. And each death will cost about $6,000 in average funeral costs, also a financial disaster for many American families, especially during this severe recession. Keeping this outbreak small is the only way to avoid a large pool of deaths and financial costs to the health care of Americans and taxpayers.

Hooson - You're so full of ... (Below threshold)

Hooson - You're so full of shit your eyes are brown.

Chinese news "agency!" Are you daft?!!!

WHO I may - "1 May 2009 -- The situation continues to evolve rapidly. As of 06:00 GMT, 1 May 2009, 11 countries have officially reported 331 cases of influenza A(H1N1) infection."
The United States Government has reported 109 laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death. Mexico has reported 156 confirmed human cases of infection, including nine deaths.

How do you get 176 deaths in Mexico from 156 confirmed cases? (Must be the damn tequilia worms!)

Oh wait, I know, you used the same "math" in deciding the AF1 DID have obama on board and wiging his way into NYC for some super-duper-tippity-top secret decoder-ring type meeting. (accept AF1 never landed)







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