Sunday, April 26, 2009

Policy By Panic

OK, we've got swine flu on the rampage again...sort of. Folks are getting sick in Mexico and 80 have died. That's about the murder toll for a good week-end in LA, but so what? Here in the US we've had 20 cases of the swine flu in five major states. Total! California, Texas, Ohio, New York and Kansas have been struck. If we consider the population of those five major states, would it be exaggerating to say 100 million people? What's the percentage of 20 in 100 million? How many zeros after the decimal is that? Oh, and none of those 20 died.

Somehow I don't feel threatened until I read this:

Chicken Little Reports Firmament Collapse Imminent

Applying the basic principle of the administration which is "never let a good crisis go to waste" we have the beleagured Secretary of Homeland Security declaring a national emergency!

Well, it is reasonable to be prudent. This thing might blossom into something serious. But, regardless of whether it does or not, she's got it covered. She reassures you that if it doesn't happen right now, she's certain it will be back even worse in a couple of months. How about, if it doesn't happen to be a disaster now, it will disappear forever? Remember bird flu? How about SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) coming at us from China in 2003? ALAR on your apples anyone? Last year's tomato and jalapeno phobia?

Captain Trips?

But, the real question I've got about this announcement on a national health emergency is, why isn't the Surgeon General issuing the statements and policy guidelines? Isn't that the branch of the executive that deals with medical issues for the nation? Or is it simply that they don't need redemption the way Janet does?

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