11-15-09: H1N1? Another useful crisis?

According to (CDC) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximately 36,000 people die from seasonal flu related causes in the U.S. annually. Since the H1N1 (Swine Flu) virus kicked in several months ago approximately 4,000 deaths have been attributed to it. I believe the first reported case was in Mexico City on March 18th of 2009 and in the U.S. the first cases were reported in Southern California and San Antonio, Texas in March and early April. Although H1N1 is voraciously contagious; it is not, so far, particularly virulent. April through November is eight months during which as a rough average using CDC’s data we might expect nearly 24,000 seasonal flu related deaths. According to Associated Press (AP) reports H1N1 has been attributed to 4,000 deaths in the U.S. Granted every death is significant; I don’t mean to politically incorrectly trivialize the pandemic potential of H1N1, but reality is H1N1 attributable deaths are something like 83% lower than expected for everyday seasonal flu. AP reports approximately 22 million infected with 4,000 attributable deaths; a fatality rate of 0.018%. I wonder why the Federal panic so early on?

Granted I’m a Libertarian minded fellow who has little confidence in our bloated Federal government’s ability to get much of anything other than tax collection right, but “why the panic?” seems a legitimate question. I realize it’s an unpredictable virus and no one’s sure of when or how it may mutate or how serious it may become. but the Obama Administration has been crowing loudly and scaring the pants off us since April. Yet, as of November we have a shortage of available vaccine. Why? Is it just another example of Federal government incompetence? Or is H1N1 Rahm Emanuel’s newest favorite crisis tool for extracting and discarding individual freedom? Or is it Ezekiel Emanuel’s newest lever for helping push centrally planned government ration-care down our throats? Or is it just yet another cog in the greedy Globalization effort to convince Americans that Global is better and hurrah for the NAU?

I don’t know. Do you?

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