Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Obama's Next Big Crisis - Pandemic Influenza

The animated television show SuperNews!, airing Friday nights on Current TV, recently satirized Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, showing him in the oval office stroking a white cat as he hatches outlandish plots to take over the world. While Emanuel is no Ernst Stavro Blofeld, it is obvious he has big plans. Following passage of the economic stimulus package in which Democrats buried earmarks for all of their pet projects, Rahm is living up to his admonition: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Hillary Clinton agrees. Will this administration exploit the threat of a pandemic to pass socialized health care legislation? You can bet they will try. And now that they have another Democrat Senator, they have a shot at succeeding (Socialized Healthcare Fast-tracked).

According to noted researcher Dr. Henry Niman (Niman interview), this latest novel influenza virus has the potential to evolve and reappear next fall or winter in a much deadlier form, as happened in 1918. The World Health Organization has elevated the pandemic alert level to Phase 4 this week in response to the rapidly evolving spread of H1N1 swine flu. Dr. Michael Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, (Osterholm interview), warns that although this new flu bug responds to Tamiflu, it could rapidly become resistant to anti-viral drugs, just as the seasonal flu did this year. Scientists do not know how this particular occurrence of H1N1 swine flu will play out, but they are confident that a pandemic will happen, if not now, in the future. There have been ten pandemics over the last three hundred years. Osterholm warns that, just as in the case of an offshore hurricane, we can see it coming. Just because it is sunny today does not mean the hurricane won't come ashore. We must prepare for tomorrow.

Thankfully, over the last six years, our government has developed detailed plans to cope with pandemic flu. We expect our government to protect us and be prepared for such a crisis. However, we must guard against the government using this crisis to escalate their push for socialized national health care. We cannot allow the government to use this crisis to further their agenda. Once again, it's time to call your congressman. By now you should have him on speed dial.

Ultimately, we cannot depend on the government to save us from every eventuality. Individuals must be prepared. Research your options and take responsibility for your family. Let’s use this potential crisis to prepare, not panic. In the meantime, keep a close eye on Washington, D.C.

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