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Were Swine Flu Death Projections Hyped?

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Adam Murdock, MD
Campaign For Liberty
Friday, Nov 27th, 2009

The 2009 H1N1 swine flu “pandemic” may turn out to be one of the most overblown and expensive medical crises in modern history. Indeed, this particular swine flu may be one of the weakest in history. The most recent figures show that the number of flu cases are already dropping in the U.S., England, and elsewhere.

It is a mild illness in most but occasionally can lead to severe complications due to bacterial superinfections. In the UK, under 200 people have died from the virus and in the US a debatable 4 thousand people have died. The number of deaths in the US greatly expanded from 1,200 to 4,000 after the CDC recently decided to lump in bacterial infections and “flu-like illnesses” with confirmed swine-flu related deaths.

Even with these inflated numbers, in comparison to previous pandemics or even compared to seasonal flu epidemics, this has been a relatively mild illness. The Spanish H1N1 flu of 1918 was estimated to have killed up to 50 million people. In 1957-58, the Asian HN2 flu caused the death of 1.5 million to 2 million people. Only a decade later, this was followed by the Hong Kong H3N2 in 1968-69 which is thought to be responsible for one million deaths. So far the 2009 H1N1 flu has only been implicated as the cause of death for a few thousand people.

What is striking is that just six months ago, officials in the US and UK were predicting tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of deaths from this swine flu. Since that time officials have had to revise their numbers downward on many occasions.

According to the UK Independent, “Britain’s Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, published a worst-case scenario suggesting the country should plan for up to 65,000 deaths. That planning assumption has since been revised downwards twice. In September the ‘worst case’ was cut to 19,000 deaths, and in October it was cut again to 1,000 deaths. This compares with an average annual toll of 4,000 to 8,000 deaths from seasonal winter flu.”

A similar revisionist trend has occurred in the United States.

As a result of the original nightmare “pandemic” scenarios, governments around the world have spent billions of dollars to stockpile antivirals (ie. Tamiflu) and to propagandize, produce, and distribute H1N1 vaccinations. The most notable change in how government has tackled this flu emergency has been how they have used the media to spread panic amongst the citizens of the world. Just take the example of Kathleen Sebelius who is the US Health and Human Services (HHS) director. She has publicly gloated over the US Federal Government’s campaign to spread H1N1 flu information on children’s television programming. This has included putting flu messages and even creating whole television shows devoted to government flu propaganda on programs such as Elmo’s World on Sesame Street, Sid the Science Kid, and ESPN. They have also spread their reach into internet social networks like Facebook. In her testimony before Congress, she remarked that she is particularly proud of hearing stories of children that are now correcting their misinformed parents after they had watched the government programming. This propaganda campaign is in addition to direct advertising and almost continuous hysteria from supposed health experts on prime time television. The advice from these individuals is sometimes so obviously biased that it can be nauseating.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

How could the estimates have been so wildly exaggerated? Unfortunately, it all comes down to power, money, and prestige. In order to get to the bottom of why swine flu hysteria was so overblown one has to simply ask: Who is profiting from the whole swine flu hysteria?

In answer to that question one has to look no further than the drug companies and the medical research establishment. As I have reported previously, drug companies are in line to make billions of dollars over this pandemic and are preparing to expand vaccinations for years to come. As drug companies have already produced vaccinations for most of the other infectious diseases that cause significant mortality in the western world, they are now looking for a new crop of diseases that could become potential vaccine candidates. In fact, facing the prospect of curtailed drug spending, pharmaceutical companies foresee vaccination expansion as one of their greatest areas of focus and future profit. According to the Associated Press (AP), “vaccines are seen as a critical path to growth for drugmakers, as slowing prescription medicine sales and intensifying generic competition put pressure on company bottom lines.”

In addition to drug companies, as reported in Reuters, medical researchers have had to respond to “accusations” that the “pandemic has been ‘hyped’ by medical researchers to further their own cause, boost research grants and line the pockets of drug companies.” In response to this, researchers have maintained that “we need to know a lot more to conquer the virus, and funding for new research and drugs is vital to be equipped for future pandemics.”

Where this comes full circle is with the government. The great majority of medical research spending is sponsored by government. It is well known that funding from the US National Institute of Health (NIH) and other international governmental bodies favors “pertinent” or as I like to call it “trendy” research. This funding favoritism is especially true of research that can be used to support government policy positions. Most recently, this has been seen in the great expansion of government sponsored global warming research. Now, vaccine experts and their infectious disease cohorts are likely to profit greatly in terms of research grants for preparing for “future pandemics.” One only has to hope that those future pandemics will actually deserve all the attention and expense that this one has.

Finally, central governments profit greatly from supposed pandemics such as this one. It permits them to try to justify their existence as our “great guarantors” of health and safety. It also allows them to continue to expand their tentacles of influence and power to an even greater extent in individual lives as they try to remove our medical freedom by making health care decisions for us. Remember that the government, as President Obama’s top economic advisor Rahm Emanuel puts it, “never” likes to “waste a good crisis” by not effecting a change that they would ordinarily not be able to accomplish. In this case, governments are trying to expand their mandate as the sole provider of health care because they were the only ones able to protect us from a supposedly horrific swine flu pandemic. Even if the truth has been that their efforts have been largely fruitless, the vast majority of people will remain oblivious to this fact. In the future the government will never cease to congratulate itself for coming to our rescue.

The way government has reacted to this flu reminds me greatly of Orwell’s “doublethink” as employed by the totalitarian government in his book Nineteen eighty-four. In terms of the swine flu, the H1N1 “doublethink” means that government says one thing but the reality is the exact opposite. This “doublethink” says that freedom from death from the swine flu means surrendering your medical freedom to a government health bureaucracy. The reality is that government intervention will have proven to do little more then spend our tax dollars and come at the expense of our health care freedom. This is evidenced by the fact the governments have used this mild flu and hysteria surrounding it to create medical emergency acts that would grant powers to forcibly vaccinate citizens despite their objections.

One has to ask the question — would government, researchers, and drug companies been able to justify billions of dollars of expenditures and encroachments on our freedoms if realistic swine flu death projections were used from the beginning? In addition, would the public have been so eager to tune into government and media flu propaganda, or support totalitarian pandemic emergency power bills, or shown up for mass vaccinations if they knew the truth and not the worst? Would they have done any of these things if they had known from the beginning that this pandemic would amount to a few hundred deaths? Surely, the answer would be no.

Many health professionals agree that the original estimates were unreasonably high. According to the UK Independent, “Dr Steven Field, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said: ‘I thought the original predictions for the number of deaths were incredibly high.’”

As with the avian flu scare before it, these groups have great incentive to inflate worst case scenarios because they have the most to profit from the hysteria. There is really no reason why this inflationary pattern will not continue so long as government can use the hysteria to justify increased expansion, drug companies can produce the needed pandemic vaccines, and researchers need a reason to justify massive pandemic research grants.

In the end, I urge you to resist the temptation to sacrifice any of your freedoms for any ounce of government “well-meaning” slavery, especially over a contrived “pandemic’ such as with the 2009 H1N1 swine flu.

This article was posted: Friday, November 27, 2009 at 5:06 am

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