This week President Obama devotes his entire video address to the Swine Flu, now referred to as the H1N1 virus (I suppose giving into pressure from the influential pig lobby). While the administration is to be commended for taking this health issue seriously (the anti-Katrina approach), there is still some contention as to whether this flu is a tempest in a teapot. It is not known yet how many of those dead in Mexico actually died of the flu or some underlying condition. The one US fatality so far, a baby, may also have had an underlying condition. I’m all for caution but our reaction to the swine flu has walked a fine line between responsibility and melodrama.
As it is, your garden variety flu kills about 36,000 people a year. Hopefully, this one will turn out to be a new but typical strain.
And now, the President of the United States of America: