Vice President Joe Biden may have said that people should stay off airplanes and subways because of swine flu. Or he may have been simply offering hypothetical advice to a family member planing a trip to Mexico depending on which version of what he said is what he really meant. Source: The Oval.
"This is discouraging," an anonymous Houston emailer says, "The first recorded death from swine flu recorded in the US is a Mexican from Mexico City who ends up traveling to Houston to die." See Reuters for details.
However, some are questioning the hype. See Swine Flu Walking the Line between Hyping and Helping in which we are advised to take a deep breath, presumably not while in an airplane or on a subway.
Who gains from the chicken little hype? It's the fans of big government. If a crisis is averted, thank the federal government as Rick Perry gets accused of hypocrisy for requesting a portion of Texas' allotment of antiviral medication from the CDCs Strategic National Stockpile.
The hysteria is no doubt causing people to take precautions to protect themselves, and there are probably a lot of people limbering up to pat themselves on the back for averting a pandemic or epidemic. President Obama will get accolades from the media along with inevitable references to the Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans. But for all the things Obama complains of inheriting, there will be little or no credit given to the decision makers who began planing for health related catastrophes years ago. However, there will be a heavy emphasis on the need for a national health care program, which coincidentally, is currently being formulated.