Dumbest Quote of the Day


We might have some dumb criminals here in West Michigan, but they sure have some dumb politicians in Minnesota:

I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president Jimmy Carter, and I’m not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it’s an interesting coincidence.
–Michele Bachmann

If this isn’t bad enough, the previous swine flu outbreak occurred when Gerald Ford was president.

It is also interesting that of the last two major terrorist threats, one occurred under a Democratic president and the Millennium attacks were stopped. The other occurred under a Republican president in which the warnings were ignored and the attack succeeded. Texas has some politicians as dumb as the one from Minnesota.

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  1. 1
    Christopher Skyi says:

    Just be thankful she’s not in charge of the C.D.C. or something.

  2. 2
    Fritz says:

    On the other hand, the level of public brou-ha-ha over this flu is getting rather annoying.

  3. 3
    Eclectic Radical says:

    Swine flu is all over Yahoo news and HuffPo, I may be forced against my every instinct to agree with Fritz.

    I remember the bird flu and the outbreaks of normal flu before and after, too.

    At certain times of the year, people get the flu. Is this really news anymore?

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Yes, this is huge news. The potential of a pandemic is far more significant than a normal outbreak of the flu.

    Of course I’m getting my information on this directly from the CDC, HHS, and WHO and am pretty much bypassing the media so I can’t whether all the news coverage is appropriate. What I have seen has been decent as they have pointed out the potential problems while also noting how limited the outbreak is so far and that there isn’t cause for panic.

    I’ll comment more on the importance of the story in an actual post in a little while when I have some more time.

  5. 5
    Fritz says:

    Ron, you should try the media then just to see the excitement.  Egypt is slaughtering all of the pigs in the country just in case.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Slaughtering all pigs is not warranted. Inappropriate reactions could also be taken as reason for the media dwelling on the story–assuming they are getting out correct information.

  7. 7
    Fritz says:

    Media and government both thrive on crises.  They would not want to let a good crisis go to waste.

    Has anyone blamed this on global warming yet?

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:

    This did not come out of media or government initially. ID people have been warning of the risk of a pandemic for years. The response from government so far has been quite reasonable and appropriate.

    Now are the global warming deniers also going to start denying the seriousness of an influenza pandemic.

  9. 9
    Christopher Skyi says:

    I remember the blue flu scare — I WAS scared! So I called my doctor to get the new Tamoxiful drug (sp?). My plan was to start popping pills BEFORE I got anything!  But he laughed and said the media was doing a great job of scaring people, and so he wasn’t going to give it out to anyone who was healthy or didn’t have pre-existing health conditions.  He wanted to take a wait and see (if it got worse) approach.   If I remember right, the reason was  if millions of people take Tamoxiful for prevention, that can help make the flu virus mutate so that Tamoxiful becomes ineffective.

  10. 10
    Christopher Skyi says:

    “Now are the global warming deniers also going to start denying the seriousness of an influenza pandemic.”

    I’m not what Moody’s stance is on GW, but they’ve made a stab at estimating the cost in terms of lives and money:

    Moody’s Pandemic Cost Estimate

    Moody’s estimated in a research note on Tuesday that the global macroeconomic impact of a mild flu pandemic could cost 1.4m lives and reduce global gross domestic product by 0.8 per cent or $330bn.”

    If you are a health news junkie, you can visit HealthMap, Skippy recommends Biosurveillance for “unfiltered” information. They also have a blog. And the BBC has an interactive flu map.

    Finally, Ron — I would think a pandemic IS serious, but could be 1918 again?  I think, overall, people are healthier than almost 100 years ago, the medical profession is certainly way more advanced, and the social resources to deal with a pandemic are 10, 100-folder greater to deal with any pandemic.   In short, a pandemic is bad, but it shouldn’t be as bad as 1918,  assuming it doesn’t mutate into something worse than whatever the 1918 flu was. Do you agree?

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:


    There is a tremendous difference between concern in the medical community leading to increased surveillance and preparedness and in actually using medications. Resistance is a major concern, with the current swine flu virus only being susceptible to two out of four antiviral medications. There’s also the issues of cost and of reducing supply of the medication when actually needed if prescribed prematurely.

    ID people are very concerned about the risk of another pandemic. There are reasons to believe it wouldn’t be as bad in the developed world for reasons you cite, but it could be just as bad in other parts of the world. There are also concerns that we face problems not faced in 1918 including the risk of more rapid spread due to air travel and greater risk of secondary bacterial infections from bacteria resistant to our current antibiotics due to overuse of antibiotics.

  12. 12
    Christopher Skyi says:

    Yikees! Thanks Ron.  I’m about to get very good at diligently  washing my hands!

  13. 13
    Ron Chusid says:

    At this point washing your hands is the biggest precaution. Beyond that, keep an eye on the extent of this to see if it should become prudent to start avoiding public places.

  14. 14
    Ron Chusid says:

    Not that I doubted what Fritz said about over-reaction to swine flu in Egypt, but I thought I should verify that statement.  AP has a story on it here.

  15. 15
    Fritz says:

    I wish I had the money and time to book a quick vacation now in Mexico.  I bet you could get some sweet deals.

    And, Ron, it makes no sense to say that antibiotic resistance is a problem not faced in 1918.  Because in 1918 they did not have antibiotics at all — so secondary bacterial infections were rampant.  Even with our current levels of antibiotic resistance, we are far better off than with nothing.

  16. 16
    Ron Chusid says:


    The point is that having antibiotics doesn’t make us safer now if we wind up with infections which are resistant to them. It isn’t that this is a problem not faced in 1918 but that we are not necessarily safer than in 1918 due to having modern medicine if the antibiotics are not effective.

  17. 17
    Ron Chusid says:

    I’m sure you could find great deals in going to Mexico, but do you really want to go there now? Even if you don’t believe you are at risk of getting swine flu, a vacation wouldn’t be the same if lots of places are shut down.

    Airlines are allowing people with tickets to Mexico to exchange them for elsewhere and some of the local colleges have canceled study programs in Mexico. (I’m sure this is also true in other areas). There must be lots of unfilled seats on planes and lots of empty rooms in Mexico right now.

  18. 18
    Fritz says:

    Depends on where and why you are going to Mexico.  If you want to have a relaxing time on the beach?  Sure.  It would be less crowded, resorts would be cheaper, and staff would be more attentive.  If you wanted to go see a lot of museums and savor the nightlife of Cuidad de Mexico, maybe not.

    And you mentioned “greater risk than 1918” because of antibiotic resistance, which is what confused me.

  19. 19
    Ron Chusid says:

    I mixed a couple of different things together in that response–starting to talk about air travel (which does place us at a greater risk than 1918) and then added the antibiotic resistance which should have been separate (as a reason why we are not as safe as Christopher suggested despite our medical advances since 1918).

  20. 20
    Christopher Skyi says:

    “At this point washing your hands is the biggest precaution. Beyond that, keep an eye on the extent of this to see if it should become prudent to start avoiding public places.”

    You’re joking. Please tell me you’re joking.  🙁

  21. 21
    Ron Chusid says:

    Not joking, but only in the worst case scenario. Now that it looks like the virus is less severe than initial reports (based upon exaggerated number of deaths in Mexico) indicated, we hopefully will not get to that stage. Still, getting even a relatively mild case of the flu is not fun and it might make sense to limit going out in public for a short time if there are a lot of cases in an area.

  22. 22
    bruno says:

    The funny part about Bachmann was when she was confronted about her swine flu outbreak under another Democratic President (Carter).

    The interviewer pointed out that it was under President Ford, not Carter.  Her answer:  Carter was a ‘real’ president and Harrison Ford only played one in the movies.

    Can you imagine?

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