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Swine Flu Being Politicized   April 27th, 2009
Both sides are guilty       

 
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I find it disgusting when a natural disaster is used for political purposes. I found it disgusting back in the days of Hurricane Katrina when it was used (and is still used) to bash Bush. I find it disgusting today when those that oppose illegal immigration (and I am one) use the swine flu as some kind of political chip to try to advance their cause of dealing with illegal immigration. And I find it offensive when the left does the same.

I already wrote an article that takes to task those that I generally agree with. Now this article is about the political manipulation of the swine flu by the left.

Obama had the following to say, using the swine flu as an opportunity to make an implicit attack on the previous administration and suggest that more federal spending was the answer:

President Obama: "But one thing is clear -- our capacity to deal with a public health challenge of this sort rests heavily on the work of our scientific and medical community. And this is one more example of why we can't allow our nation to fall behind.

Unfortunately, that's exactly what's happened. "


President Obama exploited the swine flu to make his case for increased federal spending on science--no matter that no other country, with or without increased government spending on science, has a solution to containing an exploding virus either. Might increased science spending on viral research resulted in a cure for all viruses, or an effective way at containing an outbreak? Maybe. But most probably not.

But that apparently doesn't stop the president from using this to argue for (surprise) more government spending.

In observations from the "political risk correspondent" (whatever that is) at Reuters:

Flu could boost gov't intervention further

The spread of a possible flu pandemic could see an increase in already heightened levels of government intervention in economies and financial markets as a result of the global financial crisis.

In the short term, it might serve to give governments an easy justification to impose protectionist measures that could further stifle slumping trade flows...

"But if it were to turn out much worse you would see a rise in government spending and government intervention. This sort of crisis would be too big for anything other than governments."


Here we see a repeat of the same message that President Obama made back at his first press conference when he said "But at this particular moment, with the private sector so weakened by this recession, the federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back into life." .

It seems like, more and more, government is being sold to us as the only possible solution to our problems. The premise is highly questionable when it comes to the economic situation, and patently absurd in the case of the swine flu: The best possible solution to the swine virus is for each of us to be individually responsible. We should cover our coughs and sneezes, we should wash our hands frequently, and we should not go to work if we're sick. If everyone did that then the probable impact of any given flu--or even the common cold--would be significantly diminished.

The government has nothing to do with the solution. Only individuals do.

But while I'm not surprised to see the president utilize the flu scare to make political digs at previous administrations (for apparently not funding a cure for all viruses) and I'm also not surprised to see the president use the flu, in part, to justify increased spending, I'm concerned about a possibility we haven't see yet... but might.

I'm concerned that the president will inappropriately use the swine flu as some kind of justification for socialized medicine. Of course, the swine flu has nothing to do with socialized medicine--in fact, Mexico has socialized medicine and that's where the bug apparently began. But it will be quite sad if the president and/or Democrats politicize the swine flu and try to use it as an argument in favor of socialized health care.

Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster. And the swine flu, if it spreads further, might become a natural tragedy. But they are natural. Not political. Anyone that politicizes natural tragedies that cannot be stopped should be ashamed of themselves.

To the Left: Republicans didn't cause this. And definitely not due to Republicans stripping out funding for pandemic preparations two months ago, preparations of which Senator Schumer said: "All those little porky things that the House put in, the money for the [National] Mall or the sexually transmitted diseases or the flu pandemic, they're all out." So Democrats were apparently proud of stripping that out, and had the good humor to call it a "porky" thing (considering the flu is coming from pigs).

To the Right: President Obama didn't cause this by not having a secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services or by not having someone leading the CDC. Neither of these organizations could have stopped the virus. And, as I wrote earlier, this is definitely not about illegal immigration.

TO EVERYONE: Stop trying to make everything political! Not everything is! We could have a 100% secure border, more "pandemic funding" could have been included in the stimulus bill, and we could have people confirmed to lead HHS and CDC... and we'd still be dealing with the swine flu today.

It's usually impossible to stop nature and insinuating that it is possible, for political gain, is cheap and amounts to appealing to the least common denominator. Stop doing it already!


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