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US Didn’t Know About Swine Flu Until a Week After Canada Did… Why? (Update And Bump)

From the Washington Post: [1]

U.S. public health officials did not know about a growing outbreak of swine flu in Mexico until nearly a week after that country started invoking protective measures, and didn’t learn that the deaths were caused by a rare strain of the influenza until after Canadian officials did.

The delayed communication occurred as epidemiologists in Southern California were investigating milder cases of the illness that turned out to be caused by the same strain of swine flu as the one in Mexico.

In the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks, the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and the more recent emergence of H5N1 bird flu in Asia, national and local health authorities have done extensive planning for disease outbreaks that could lead to global epidemics, or pandemics. Open and frequent communication between countries and agencies has been a hallmark of that work.

Whether delayed communication among the countries has had a practical consequence is unknown. However, it seems that U.S. public health officials are still largely in the dark about what’s happening in Mexico two weeks after the outbreak was recognized.

Personally, I have a great deal of difficulty imagining that were this kind of a lack to occur under the previous president, that the press wouldn’t be doing their wall to wall mode over the political implications of the foul-up.

It should be noted, that the apparent origin of the swine flu epidemic is Mexico. On that basis, it’s also fairly easy to see why a strong borders policy would prevent or at least slow the effects of that at the damage here in the United States.  As it is, with people marching over the border on a daily basis without even a rudimentary health check, well, you can imagine where that’s going to lead, particularly for those in Texas and New Mexico.

Again, I can’t help but wonder why the presses and screaming on that particular point. again, were this to have occurred on the previous President’s watch, the press would be in full cry on the “irresponsible borders policy implemented by the Bush administration’. As it is, Silenceo.

As Rick Moran points out [2] its hard these days to cook the books on a Healthcare crisis. That said, it does seem fairly easy to slip one by the current administration.

Addendum I:  (Update and Bump) (David L)

As to Eric’c question of why team Obama did not know what are friends to the North knew, is that nobody was home, Carrie Budoff Brown, Politico [3]:

The Obama administration declared a “public health emergency” Sunday to confront the swine flu – but is heading into its first medical outbreak without a secretary of Health and Human Services or appointees in any of the department’s 19 key posts.

President Barack Obama has not yet chosen a surgeon general or the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His choice to run the Food and Drug Administration awaits confirmation.

The one is simply too busy golfing [4],   campaigning [5] and throwing parties [6] to even bother naming  a surgeon general.  Apathy thy name is Obama. 

Mr. President, put down your golf clubs, quit the perpetual campaign, put down your steak knife and get with the Peoples’ business.   Do it now.

Addenudum II:  (David L)

Never fear, Janet is here.   TOTUS, the President too lazy to appoint a Surgeon Gnneral, tries to do what he does best, mouth soothing words. Jennifer Loven, Aasociated Press [7]:

The White House defended the administration’s ability to respond to a crisis that is coming so early in its tenure and while it still lacks a health and human services secretary, a surgeon general and a CDC director. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs took pains to note that a long-standing presidential directive gives the homeland security secretary – not the health chief – the authority to coordinate federal action in such situations.

“Our response is in no way hindered or hampered,” Gibbs said

The Secretary of Homeland Security is the noted moron Jamet Napalitano, who does not know the difference beteen the Canadian and Mexican borders and the difference between a veteran and an  Islamist militant.   The same President who so boldly declared that his so-called stimulus package would save or create over three million jobs, is now touting his public expertise.  Obama economic advisors are incompetent and he  not even named  his health advisors yet.  Sleep tight tonight.