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Wednesday, November 2, 2005


There's a potentially devastating avian flu pandemic coming our way sometime soon, and our government is far from being prepared. But the former frat president, now our President, is suddenly right on the case with one of his patented plans of action.

That's right: We have to pass a law that says if a drug company puts out a vaccine that kills or cripples you or your loved ones, you can't sue them. It's the only way to save mankind!

He's doing a heck of a job. Too bad there are only 1,175 days left 'til he's gone.

Comments (18)

Wow, somebody up as late as me. Night owls are a secret bunch. Not because they want to, but just because no one else is up at this time to verify their sleeping habits.

Sometimes I can't sleep once awakened, no matter how late. Tonight its because of my 8 month old who just woke me up and is fighting sleepytime.

On to Bush: why is it that every time he proposes to change some tax law to benefit his cronies, he blames too many lawsuits as the disease that needs to be eradicated. In my time studying law, it seems obvious that lawsuits are what make the world of law go around. If it weren't for lawsuits against the drug companies, then we would have inadequate accountability laws for the unfortunate people who are harmed by the drugs that are approved as "safe." It seems to me that the agency that is in charge of regulating these new drugs is way too close to the companies that it regulates. Their motto is "what do long-term effects have to do with it, have to do with it" (ala Tina Turner's "What's love...) Oh... and isn't the revolving door between gov't regulator jobs and regulated companies just lovely!? This is a major loophole in good governance. Why isn't there a law that bars the free transfer of jobs between the public org who oversees the companies and the companies themselves? Heck, why don't I grant some sweet govt contract to Boeing for defense, then go work for Boeing for a phat payday?!

Bush gives a free pass to the drug companies and now he is going to send them about 7 BILLION $. I'd like to see what kind of ties that the Bush Administration has to the drug companies. We already know what kind of ties the Bushies have to the oil companies.

More importantly, what he proposes is enough vaccine to cover about 2 percent of U.S. population. Guess which 2 percent will get it.

Read John Barry's book on the 1918 Pandemic and you'll come to understand how lethal any illness that attacks the respiratory system is, the nature of viruses, the nature of the human immune system, the 'global community', and you'll be up late at night getting your affairs in order. You could have the CDC running the whole country and we'd probably still be screwed. The 1918 flu was also an avian to human virus and we were also involved in a war back then . What's that quote about history and how we are doomed to repeat it?

Gun manufacturers whose products, used as designed, kill people? Make 'em immune to civil action.

Drug makers whose defective products kill people? Make 'em immune to civil action.

Software writers whose products are occasionally used to violate copyright? Make 'em criminally liable.

These three proposals either passed or are on the table in this Congress. Can someone please tell me how this makes any moral sense?

I wonder about the 1918 vs. today comparisons--on the one hand, global travel makes rapid spread far more likely, random, and fast. On the other hand, our health infrastructure is much improved, and we can diagnose and address diseases much faster than we did in 1918.

The annoying thing to me is that scientists have been warning about exactly this virus, the H5N1, for the past four years, if not longer. Why are we only getting concerned now?

heh, Bush is funny, he has these "christian" views that are so easily clouded by money. But can we really say that the next prez is going to be any better?
Face it, we live in a capitalist society where the roots of these massive companies have already dug deep into the root of the other 3 estates, middle, poor, and the media. So, those of us who want a true democracy are so completely screwed. In the words of A.J. Liebling, "The freedom of the press is limited to the man who owns one." And the problem is that these massive companies are the ones who own the big media.
Yay, "Free press", well, there's my two cents for the day.

The 1918 virus came and went in something like 6 to 8 months killing millions of people. The nature of viruses, their ability to mutate rapidly from non-lethal to lethal, how a serious respiratory infection can kill you in a few hours from the onset of symptoms as well as the lethal nature of the bodys own immune system which in its attempt to destroy the microbe can kill you faster. In 1918 the disease was lethal almost exclusively to young people because of the way our bodies fight a disease. Older people didn't die in 1918 because their immune systems were actually weaker and did not react as seriously to the microbe as those of younger people. Last year when there was a vaccine shortage, who was getting the vaccine? Senior citizens had priority even though they are less at risk of catching and spreading the disease. What amazed me about reading the book on the 1918 virus was the role that global and local politics played in helping tospread the disease, it's not purely a matter of improved medical technology. Anyone who has been in a hospital with a serious illness realizes if they survived it was partially due to luck, if you don't realize that you should.

Has anyone given any thought to the fact that this is may be a process of natural selection? If MRSA and VRE don't kill us, it'll make us stronger. I'm a registered nurse and I am sure that I have MRSA at least in my nares. I'm not dead. What happens to the weak and infirm in the wild? They perish, either by disease or as prey. I'm not saying I like this, but it may be a fact of life.

Where are the tax breaks?

"What happens to the weak and infirm in the wild? They perish, either by disease or as prey. I'm not saying I like this, but it may be a fact of life." To quote another 'Jo'e (as in Stalin) "A single death is a tragedy a million deaths is a statistic." She is right it is a fact of life, but I am sure as a registered nurse she knows that fact doesn't make it any easier on those selected or worse to be one of those who have to sit by helplessly and watch a loved one be selected. We can't feel secure and complacent in the modern era any more then some early hominid on an African plain a million years ago who felt he had an edge because he could stand up and see further.

Correct me if I am wrong, but won't the many safeguards and precautions being planned for a Bird Flu Pandemic also be useful in responding to a Biological Attack?

In 1918 there were no antibiotics and it was almost as easy to die of septecemia (blood poisoning) from a paper cut as to die from the flu. Everyone was more vulnerable back then because there were no real protections from infection, and after being weakened from a primary infection, you coud easily die from a secondary infection.

Personally,I have never gotten a flu shot, nor do I ever plan to. I don't trust the drug companies and especially President Bush. Wonder if Halliburton is making vaccines these days? There has to be some sort of financial incentive for him to show so much "concern".

Runsfeld owns a big piece of Tamiflu, and he's quite unapologetic about it.

Not only does he own a sizeable share of stocks, he's apparently suggested the govt. buy Tamiflu to insure enough vaccine, which I hear sent the stock value soaring.

The people around Bush are all about the money -- always have been. He's too dumb to understand most of it, but he and his dad are well taken care of, so that's enough for him.

back in the 70's it was believed that the spanish flu was a varient of swine flu. two soldiers contracted swine flu, and one died, but the drug companies wouldn't include it in the flu vaccine because of public paranoia and liability. the feds wound up assuming all the liability risk, the vaccine was produced, and the government was sued by thousands of people for every ailment they came down with in the months following their vaccination. knowing what you're talking about is good, but you chose to take cheap shots instead.

Goe, cause history repeats.

Come on! 37 companies used to make vaccines in the USA, and now there is only one! Does this seem like a problem? Might it be something we all want to be concerned about? Should we try to do something about it? Oh, that's right, the EU/UN will take care of us. Oops!,0,1271640.story?coll=hc-headlines-health
Seems the EU has other ideas - sorry USA, sorry Canada, no more Tamiflu for you - others who have not sinned by electing GW will get theirs first. But wait, the CDC may be close to a vaccine. CDC: "Currently no vaccine is available to protect humans against the H5N1 virus that is being seen in Asia. However, vaccine development efforts are under way. Research studies to test a vaccine to protect humans against H5N1 virus began in April 2005. (Researchers are also working on a vaccine against H9N2, another bird flu virus subtype.)" Now all that needs to happen, once it is proven to work, is to beg the EU manufacturers to ship the first 150 million doses to the USA. Sure we can. Oh well, we can comfort ourselves that we properly blamed GW and the Republicans. Yep. It's their fault. 37 to 1 and it's not a problem? We'd rather play politics and do the blame game? Whew, glad we protected ourselves on this one.


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