Sunday, October 25, 2009

Obama Declares H1N1 Emergency

From CNN:
Washington (CNN) -- President Obama has declared a national emergency to deal with the "rapid increase in illness" from the H1N1 influenza virus.
"The 2009 H1N1 pandemic continues to evolve. The rates of illness continue to rise rapidly within many communities across the nation, and the potential exists for the pandemic to overburden health care resources in some localities," Obama said in a statement.
"Thus, in recognition of the continuing progression of the pandemic, and in further preparation as a nation, we are taking additional steps to facilitate our response."
The president signed the declaration late Friday and announced it Saturday.
Calling the emergency declaration "an important tool in our kit going forward," one administration official called Obama's action a "proactive measure that's not in response to any new development."
Another administration official said the move is "not tied to the current case count" and "gives the federal government more power to help states" by lifting bureaucratic requirements -- both in treating patients and moving equipment to where it's most needed.
The officials didn't want their names used because they were not authorized to speak on the record.
Obama's action allows Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius "to temporarily waive or modify certain requirements" to help health care facilities enact emergency plans to deal with the pandemic.
Those requirements are contained in Medicare, Medicaid and state Children's Health Insurance programs, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act privacy rule.
Since the H1N1 flu pandemic began in April, millions of people in the United States have been infected, at least 20,000 have been hospitalized and more than 1,000 have died, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

I know I may catch hell for saying this, but I just cannot get all worked up about H1N1. When I look at the numbers, especially in light of the fact that there are 300 million of us, I just don’t see what all the panic is about.

I probably won’t get a H1N1 shot. I never get a regular flu vaccine and if I do get the flu, I normally shake it in less than 48 hours. Plus add to the fact that I mostly work from home, I don’t really see a threat for myself. But that is just me.

Quite frankly, I have found the handling of H1N1 to be overkill from day one. It isn’t like people are dropping like flies all over the place. Yes, H1N1 does have a few unusual aspects but it isn’t killing people at a rate infinity superior to the regular flu.

I am curious though, what are your thoughts and plans for action concerning H1N1?

Via: CNN


Unknown said...

I live in the South, and a doctor friend of mine (pediatrician) says H1N1 is on the decline around here. So, no we aren't getting any H1N1 shots around here.

Clifton B said...


Thanks for that perspective. Up here in NJ hardly anyone mentions H1N1. The only place I have seen anyone bring up the notion is the drugstores who seem to be trying to unload extra hand sanitizers.

Writer X said...

There are worse strains of flu than the H1N1. I know of one person who got it and like any other flu bug was back to work in a few days. This H1N1 has been blown way out of proportion. People aren't dropping like flies in Arizona either. I have no intention of getting the vaccine; I never get a flu shot either.

A Conservative Unclogged Blog said...

You won't catch hell, but I am sure some out there will view putting the numbers in perspective is just heartless. Well, according to what I am familiar with, the regular flu morbidity rate on average is around 35,000 people annually just in the US.

Not sure about specific numbers, but so far it is not enough to convince me our family needs to risk getting the shots.

We home educate our kids anyway, so that is my one precaution, my second one is not taking them shopping with me as they have NO idea about germs and tend to just grab and touch everything and then rub their eyes, nose, mouth etc. It is enough to drive an already germ conscious mom like me over the edge regularly.

This major emergency declaration is just "smoke and mirrors" in my estimation. Can the man behind the curtain yell "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain" any louder? Why is this not more obvious to so many? --rhetorical question...I know the answer

Cliff, you are not the only one thinking along these lines....

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

This is starting to make me think that they are preparing us for when the day comes to drink the "special" kool-aid, ala Jim Jones and Jonestown. This seems to be a huge over-reaction. Are they testing their ability to scare us or their ability to get us to line up for injections?

No thanks.

Anonymous said...

Extreme overkill!!! If the government doesn't watch out, this will cause a "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" scenario!

Jill said...

People are getting a little worried where I work and I just shake my head. Granted, I don't say much about it because of Murphy's Law (haha). The schools were giving shots to kids a week ago and ran out after the first day. I have had the regular flu shot for about 4 years now... I did that the first year because I was very new to the area and the only person raising my son... I couldn't afford to get sick. Now I think I've done it just out of habit but this year it may just NOT happen. I do not intend to get the H1N1 because I'm old enough and I won't fall into this panic place people seem to be living in.

If I'm going to get the flu... who's to say which strand I will get. When you get the regular flu shot, it only protects you from the top 3 strands so there is no guarantee you won't get a different strand and still end up in bed. I have vitamin C... I will endure. :o)

Heather Chandler said...

The President has seriously jumped the gun here.

It took him DAYS to declare Georgia a state of emergency when we were UNDERWATER!! But he is quick to declare a Nation-wide emergency on a sickness that has killed 1,000 since July. It shows how he has no idea of what he's doing!!

Just wash your hands (like you should anyways), take vitamin C, don't pick your nose and you'll be fine.

What's next - a nationwide emergency of "Global Warming" in the winter after even Florida has dropped below 50 degrees?

Angie Lee said...

As I've told my husband, this vaccine was developed and mass produced in far quicker fashion than normal, and that in itself gives me cause for concern.

What is the rate of morbidity/mortality associated with the vaccine itself as compared to the virus - as compared to the flu strains we encounter every year? (Think back to the swine flu of the 70s, ONE person confirmed to have died from the flu while thousands died from or were injured by the VACCINE.) How adequately was it tested?

I find it telling when some physicians admit they would not give it to their own children and refuse to force it onto their patients.

Good conspiracy theorist I am, I also have that "cry wolf" scenario in the back of my mind. We go through this every year, and every year it is utter nonsense. Are they working us up to "yeah, whatever" so when we no longer get worked up about it, they can release (inadvertently or otherwise) a superbug to eliminate the "overpopulation" problem? THE STAND comes to mind every time I hear "swine flu pandemic," if ya know what I mean...

If they're so worried about it, why didn't they do something last April to prevent its spread, when they had the chance? Instead, they waited until worldwide spread was confirmed before declaring pandemic status.

HalifaxCB said...

Never let a good crisis go to waste! (maybe they'll sneak in government health-care as a "response" to the "crisis". They'll definitely use H1N1 to push it - after all, if nothing happens, then they can now say that gov't intervention stopped it, and if it does turn into a pandemic, they can say it's needed to fix it....)

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