In Praise of the Tribune – Swine flu still had the “swine” in it.

May 4, 2009

It was pleased to observe that the Chicago Tribune used the term “swine flu” in a front page flu report on Friday, May 1 — “Did you just cough?  Get away from me” — a day after the U.S.  government and the World Health Organization asked that swine be taken out of  “Swine Flu” and “H1N1 Flu Outbreak” be substituted, out of concern that people will think they get “swine flu” from eating pork. 

No matter what the flu strain is called, the virus scaring the world is pretty much all pig.   Research has concluded that six of the eight genetic segments of the virus strain are purely swine flu.  Dr. Edwin D. Kilbourne, the father of the 1976 swine flu vaccine, called the idea of changing the name an “absurd position.”  Dr. Richard Webby, a top virologist, maintains that “Scientifically this is a swine virus.” 

To the federal government the real danger seems to be what the virus is called and not the possibility of a worldwide pandemic.  

Given the possibility that the media is under reporting Swine Flu facts and that the disease had its origins in Mexico (It takes three days to get confirmation on a given viral culture.  There are also reports coming from doctors of more than 10 cases for each “confirmed” Swine Flu case.), sensible action would be to close the Mexican border to keep more of the sick out.  

Unfortunately Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano equates border closing with shutting the barn door after the horse has been left out.

Whether or not “swine flu” does become a pandemic, isn’t the health of the American people more important than keeping a steady stream of cheap labor and Mexican trucks from entering our country from Mexico.

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