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Wagging the Chicken – Avian Flu Pandemic Threat

Bush is talking about the threat. Seems a bit disingenuous to me since I have been reading about the dire threat of avian flu for a loooong time. Suddenly Bush is all up in that thing? In fact, just a short while ago, Republicans were suggesting cuts to the Centers for Disease Control in their Operation Offset to cover the costs of Katrina. And in their revisions, they haven’t removed it. Here is the line item:

Reduce Funding for the Centers for Disease Control
Under the House-passed appropriation level, the CDC’s funding increased 25% over last year, a significant infusion given the current fiscal situation. Savings: $25 billion over ten years ($9.7 billion over five years)

Probably not a good idea if we are talking military quarantines – might not want the most important organization when it comes to infectious diseases begging for funds.
I’m seeing chickens. I’m seeing their heads cut off. I’m seeing them running around…
The military solution being the “big” proposal now is a bit frightening. Anyone who owns parrots and lived through the Newcastle’s epidemic in Southern California a couple of years ago, knows just how crazy government gets when they have free range (arrghh, more bird references). Folks ran around willy nilly grabbing birds, even expensive endangered parrots that were NOT sick, stuffing them in bags screaming for their lives, then pumped in the killer gas. I attended a lecture at UCLA Law School on the outrageous behavior and some of the stories would curdle the milk of any civil rights-loving American.
We certainly don’t want to short-cut preventive measures such as vaccines and Tamiflu by figuring if it gets really bad GI Joe can save the day. I know this administration thinks the military can solve all our problems, but the military has its limitations. Well, unless you live in a junta or North Korea or the former Soviet Union…
Don’t get me wrong, if it took a lot of well-publicized failures and corruption scandals to get the Bush administration to take avian flu seriously, atleast they aren’t putting their heads in the sand (hey, bird references work!) anymore. Don’t ignore this memo: H5 N1 determined to strike in the U.S.
World Health Organization on human-to-human transmission.
Original post date for this entry 10-5-2005

Okay, headline in poor taste? Or mere coincidence:

“Bird Flu Strikes Turkey”

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