City of Brass

City of Brass


swine flu conspiracy theories and politics as usual

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In my last post I made the mistake of asserting that swine flu was not yet contagious between humans – that’s not true and it’s why the disease is being taken seriously by the health community. I think it is important to recognize that the reason we can snark about the public paranoia about swine flu is precisely because of the government response. I am strongly asserting that there’s no reason for panic or concern among ordinary folk; I am not asserting that the government is “over-reacting” or otherwise engaged in hype or whatnot.

As with all things, of course, swine flu is already politicized – see here, here and here if you can stomach it. I don’t have much to comment on that, aside from simply noting that the acting chief of HHS (a Bush appointee) is qualified to do the job, so the delayed confirmation of Sebelius for HHS is not a factor in the public health response. The procedures for preparation for pandemics date from 9-11 and were substantially revised after the SARS outbreak a few years ago, so things really are under control.

The swine flu craziness is not limited to the usual political arena, though. Governments are getting in on the act, too – for example, Israel is mandating it be called “Mexico Flu” instead of “swine flu” because the latter is not kosher. Seriously. Meanwhile, Indonesia is playing the “Western oppression” card:

Falling short of elaboration, Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari said on Tuesday that the deadly swine flu virus could have been genetically engineered. She had earlier accused Western governments of making and spreading viruses in developing countries to boost pharmaceutical companies’ profits.

Since 2006, Indonesia has refused to share all of its bird flu virus samples with WHO researchers, citing fears that the system is being abused by rich countries to produce profitable vaccines, which impoverished nations have to buy.

The fact that the new virus causing an avian-human-swine flu first occurred in Mexico — where pigs and birds are rarely raised together — has also raised suspicion that the rare combination of more than two different flu viruses could have been genetically-engineered as a form of bio-weaponry.

They do have a point beneath the crazy, though – rich Western nations should indeed partially subsidize the cost of vaccines to poorer ones. There was a plan back in 2006 by the G-8 countries to try and address the problem but that fell through; hopefully this is something that can be revisited. As far as the flu being a bio-weapon, though, well, shhh….

Worth reiterating – related and highly recommended: interview this morning of Dr. Dennis Maki, senior epidemiologist at the University of Wisconsin, by Joy Cardin on WPR. Also here’s the official page at the CDC for latest info on swine flu outbreaks. Finally, see Rabbi Brad’s comment on the kosherification of the flu in Israel. 



  • L C

    I believe this swine flu is serious, but I also believe it was a purposeful infection. Political, maybe, Financial, maybe. I don’t believe this is a natural occurence. –US resident.

  • Geffin

    Swine flu is cause by Israeli bioengineering. They test in Mexico with 1/2 life mutancy strain which targets native American genes. After trials successfully complete they will have means to target any race with full mutancy strain.

  • JerseyGirl

    What is wrong with my country that they have not shut schools down yet? Why have they not grounded airplanes??? And how stupid-they have doctors pulling anyone with symptoms off planes and putting them i n quarantine, but a fourth grader learns that there is an INCUBATION period in which no symptoms are present but the disease can still be transmitted….
    They are so worried about finances that they tell us not to panic, not to “change our daily routines”. They are being soooo irresponsible!!!
    Well, my child is home. I don’t care what anyone says, and all of you shouldn’t wait for the govt to tell you to keep your kids home, because they will almost certainly wait until it’s too late!

  • Venice mentor

    Come on…we all know that the “swine” virus came from unprotected sex with Kermit the Frog and Ms. Piggy the last time they were in Mexico! Besides, everyone know what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…and does not apply to Mexico

  • http://www.blogondrugs.com Tassos

    OK, I agree that most of the conspiracy theories can sound silly. But on the other hand, huge corporations with unlimited resources and allies in powerful positions (US Secretary of Defense) can do terrible things, especially when they see their profits shrinking. Have a look at this post http://www.blogondrugs.com/swine-flu/the-swine-flu-conspiracy/
    It justifies how ROCHE would benefit from this outbreak.

  • JoeBidenIsNuts

    I blame Bush! lol
    You people are nuts.

  • Guilherme Lemmi

    There’s nothing wrong in the conspiracy theories. They are not just ‘theory’ to start with. Take a look at who owns the Tamiflu, it is Gilead Sciences, where Donald Rumsfeld used to be CEO until 2001, nos he is ‘just’ the major stockholder of this company.
    Also, notice that more people died because of Tamiflu than because of the swine flu. How you’re going to arguee with that?

  • jimcare

    This website http://www.swine-flu-tracker.com/ shows you in real time how quickly swine flu is spreading

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