Bird Flu

Bush asked Congress to earmark approximately $7 billion to help save us from a bird flu pandemic. I think this is good, but with the regular “plain jane” flu season around the corner, I think we’re going to have a huge problem. First of all. Congress takes forever to take action on Bush’s initiatives, if they take action at all. Remember all that money Bush promised the Katrina-ravaged gulf states? The vast majority of it still hasn’t been approved/sent out to the states that need them so badly. And this is something that has already happened, therefore allowing people to demand action. We usually have a problem getting a large number of people mad about something that may happen in the future, but people can protest really quickly over something that has already happened and is currently affecting them.

I think, and many others will agree with me, that this is clearly a case of too little too late. How long have we been hearing about this bird flu? I can definitely remember hearing about it for the past two years, if not longer. So we have had TWO YEARS to stockpile all the drugs we need and be prepared for this potential pandemic. But I know what’s going to happen – we’re not going to take it seriously until the country starts going to pieces because everyone is dying. Then suddenly the president will begin doing all he can to save whatever is left of the country.

I think it’s very distressing that in our age of technology where we have mastered the fabrication of machines so complicated, the designers much have PhDs and our computers are capable of making billions of calculations per second that we may fall to a pandemic and where we have cured polio and the measles. Usually, when I think of pandemics I think of the Black Plague in THE MIDDLE AGES!

During World War II the government mobilized factories for the production of tanks, planes, guns, and other supplies necessary for the war. They basically went to Ford, for example, and told them the factory was to be used for production of tanks and they would have to wait to sell cars to Americans until after the war. I don’t understand why the Bush Administration can’t simply go to Pfizer and tell them they are to make flu vaccinations and profits be damned! If we all die from the bird flu, there will be no one to buy all their profitable drugs like prozac and tyienol. (And no, I don’t care if another manufacturer makes those drugs – they are for illustration

purposes) Are you telling me that the most powerful nation in the world cannot get enough flu vaccinations? We are not some developing country, this is the United States of America!

During the cyclical pandemics of the 1800s and centuries prior, devastating amounts of life were lost. During one of the Black Plague epidemics, nearly 1/3 of Europe’s population was decimated. This type of loss has profound effects on progress. When so much of a population is lost, no one is left to make new discoveries in science and technology. Additionally, if, in a worst-case scenario for the US, other countries were much more prepared for the pandemic than we were, it could be the impetus for a shift in the balance of power. Say, for example, that the European Union was able to save just one order of manitude more people than the US – we lose 100 million and they loye 10 million – they would be in a better recovery position. Now, while the US plays catchup – birthing more children and waiting for them to grow up and be taught, the Europeans march ahead and we lose our spot on top. And that’s an OPTIMISTIC scenario.

Because the person on top never gracefully steps to the side. Rather, they stage-dive into a pile of spikes, spurting blood everywhere. In other words, the US loses many more people than Europe and instead of watching ourselves slip, we decide to use force to stay on top. That would be even more deadly for the US. Just as in the second Pelponesian where all the other countries turned against arrogant Athens, I fear the whole world, tired of our domination, would turn against us. We can defeat the Iraqis in 1 month, but we cannot fight the entire world – not when our country has lost that many lives.

Bird Flu Vector?

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