College campus cases are the lowest in a month.
A quick look at the calendar indicates youre not supposed to be looking at calendars. Youre supposed to be dead. Well, a lot of us anyway.
Just eight weeks ago headlines screamed: “Swine Flu May Cause 90,000 U.S. Deaths.” They came from a so-called “plausible scenario” in a report from the Presidents Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, which was actually a range of 30,000 to 90,000. And they expected it to peak . . . right now.
Instead, total deaths since Aug. 30 from "Influenza and Pneumonia-Associated" illness are 2,029 reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Web site FluView. But only 292 of those have been laboratory-confirmed as flu of any type. (And yes, people die of pneumonia from many causes other than flu.) By comparison, the CDC estimates about 260 Americans die each day from "regular" flu during each season.
The Presidents Council is led by Obamas controversial “science czar” John Holdren, — who co-authored one book advocating U.S. “de-development” and another suggesting compulsory measures to reduce the population. The Council must have known its scenario was bogus (One member, Peter Palese made clear to me it wasnt approved by unanimous consent). Data from all over the world showed that swine flu is far milder than the seasonal variety. In New York City, its been at most a tenth as lethal as seasonal flu.
In southern hemisphere countries such as Australia and New Zealand, where the official flu seasons have ended, there have been fewer flu deaths than normal. And the Swine Flu Count Website shows about as many swine flu deaths worldwide in the last six months as the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates die every six days from seasonal flu. The FluTracker Web site provides a running tally of new worldwide cases and deaths, telling us they are no more frequent than a month ago.
The massive outbreak on college campuses youve been hearing about? The American College Health Associations latest weekly survey at this writing shows a steady decline in cases over the last four weeks. The “explosion” has been imploding.
What were seeing is "pandemic panic." FluView reports that only 29 percent of samples from surveillance laboratories are testing positive for swine flu. That means that fewer than a third of the samples that even doctors (much less scared patients) suspect may show swine flu actually show influenza of any type.
The WHO essentially declared a Ford to be a Ferrari, so the media and professionals like the Presidents Council have simply assumed Fords can go 200 MPH.
Another indicator of hysteria is that the percentage of visits to emergency rooms and outpatient clinics by people worried they have the flu — and worried enough to seek medical attention — is incredibly high: almost 7 percent of all US emergency visits now.
Thats the most its been since 2004 and its skyrocketing. Scared people are indeed swamping emergency rooms, and schools are closing. But its not flu-driven; its fear-driven. The media write articles about panicky people, thereby creating more panicky people. Whoever said theres no such thing as a perpetual motion machine?
This is a pandemic in name only. When the WHO declared it one in June it was 11 weeks into the outbreak and swine flu had killed only 144 people worldwide. Yet the mildest pandemics of the 20th century killed at least a million people worldwide. How could the agency do it? Simple. It redefined “pandemic” in April, just days before announcing the swine flu outbreak, so that severity is no longer even a consideration.
The Presidents Council therefore simply assumed swine flu would behave as a pandemic. Likewise for the media. And if the WHO proclaimed a Ford a Ferrari, would government commissions and the media simply assume Fords could travel 200 miles per hour?
If it served a purpose, presumably yes.
Swine flu does sicken most people who contract it, and yes it can kill. So consider getting a swine flu shot as well as the seasonal flu one even if youre in overall good health. And do get one if you have chronic health problems. But just because somebody issues a proclamation, dont believe that Piglet has become a raging razorback.