The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, July 13, 2020


Apparently, it's inappropriate to ask Team Apocalypse to evaluate the manner in which the United States handled the last serious pandemic—the H1N1 ("swine flu") pandemic of 2009, and compare it to our handling of the 2020 SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. After all, that was 11 years ago and far more important, it occurred during the administration of a Democrat president, Barack Obama, who was idolized by many, many constituencies that are now members of Team Apocalypse.

For those who are unfamiliar with H1N1, here's a quick summary from the Center for Evidence Based Medicine:
The  US Centre for Disease and Control Prevention  (CDC)  estimated that 150,000 to 575,000 people died from (H1N1) pandemic virus infection in the first year of the outbreak. [From April 12, 2009 to April 10, 2010, CDC estimated there were 60.8 million cases (range: 43.3-89.3 million), 274,304 hospitalizations (range: 195,086-402,719), and 12,469 deaths (range: 8868-18,306) in the United States due to the (H1N1) pdm09 virus.]

80% of the virus-related deaths were estimated to occur in those < 65 years of age.

In seasonal influenza epidemics, about 70% to 90% of deaths occur in people ≥65.
Points later confirmed by the WHO:

However, typical seasonal influenza causes most of its deaths among the elderly while other severe cases occur most commonly in people with a variety of medical conditions.

By contrast, this H1N1 pandemic caused most of its severe or fatal disease in younger people, both those with chronic conditions as well as healthy persons, and caused many more cases of viral pneumonia than is normally seen with seasonal influenza.
Gosh, because H1N1 was a virus that killed younger people ... you'd think that the administration in power would have done more to stop it—like shutting down the country, closing schools, forcing people to wear masks, conducting a massive testing program, etc. etc. They didn't, and maybe that was the wise course of action.

I'm wondering if Joe Biden remembers H1N1 or what his administration did—or didn't do—when it landed on our shores in 2009. Given his cognitive disabilities, one can't be sure. But one thing is certain, onset dementia hasn't dulled Joe's (or his handlers') hypocrisy when he now has the chutzpa to criticize the Trump administration for their proactive handling of COVID-19. Now that "cases" are all the rage for Team Apocalypse, it's worth taking a look at the Obama administration's handling of testing. Greg Re reports:
Joe Biden is stepping up his attacks on the Trump administration's coronavirus testing management, saying Wednesday that "the crisis in Arizona is the direct result of Donald Trump's failure to lead and his desire to 'slow the testing down,' and Americans are suffering the consequences."

Biden specifically called for the White House to "immediately resume operating federally-managed community-based testing around the country and establish multiple sites in Arizona." And, in recent weeks, Biden has demanded that Trump "speed up the testing" nationwide, saying Trump has been "putting politics ahead of the safety and economic well-being of the American people."

However, during the 2009 swine flu pandemic, the Obama administration suddenly told states to shut down their testing, without providing much in the way of explanation. And, Biden's top advisor at the time has acknowledged that the Obama administration didn't do "anything right" to combat that pandemic, before walking back those comments.  [emphasis mine]

The record seemingly complicates Biden's claims, in advertising and speeches, that he would have handled state-level coronavirus testing more effectively than the current White House.

"In late July, the CDC abruptly advised states to stop testing for H1N1 flu, and stopped counting individual cases," CBS News reported in 2009. "The rationale given for the CDC guidance to forego testing and tracking individual cases was: why waste resources testing for H1N1 flu when the government has already confirmed there's an epidemic?"

Reporter Sharyl Attkisson continued: "Some public health officials privately disagreed with the decision to stop testing and counting, telling CBS News that continued tracking of this new and possibly changing virus was important because H1N1 has a different epidemiology, affects younger people more than seasonal flu and has been shown to have a higher case fatality rate than other flu virus strains."
TA's strategy is brilliant—demand more tests thereby uncovering hundreds of thousands of "cases," never tell the public that half of the "cases" are asymptomatic and the majority of remainder aren't at all serious, frighten the public with the drumbeat of "cases," never tell the public that the death rate has dropped below pandemic levels, leave out context when you discuss hospitalizations,** be sure that schools stay closed to further create a sense of disaster, fight any attempts to re-open the country, and otherwise sow unease and fear on a daily basis.

But how come no one was demanding any of this in 2009? How come testing was stopped but there was no massive outcry by the media? How come no one displayed H1N1 death or "case" scoreboards?

Yeah ... how come?

*  For those catastrophists who have gone into a swoon because the United States is currently experiencing 50,000 to 60,000 "cases" (i.e., positive tests) per day, recognize that in 2009-2010, the country averaged 166,500 cases of H1N1 each day. Odd that the media was largely silent on the subject, there was no national shutdown, masks we not mandated, social distancing wasn't a thing, and life went on.

**  The majority of people in the hospital for COVID-19 actually went to the hospital for something else (e.g., a heart procedure or kidney stones), tested positive for COVID-19, are asymptomatic, but were recategorized as a COVID-19 admission anyway. That's probably also the reason that "COVID-19 hospitalizations" are much shorter than they were in say the blue cities that were legitimate hot zones—many of the patients who tested positive upon admission (for something else) never exhibited any meaningful virus symptoms.

In order to amp up the waining fear of COVID-19 that began about a month ago (as deaths dropped precipitously), Team Apocalypse decided that "cases" were the new COVID-19 scoreboard entry that mattered.  

"We need ever more testing!" Team members demanded, knowing full-well that testing would uncover hundreds of thousands of asymptomatic cases, preferably in red states, and that would allow them to use words like "skyrocketing, spiking, and soaring" that encourage still more fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) among the general public. To further amplify FUD, the media members of the team pulled out all the stops. Here's Matt Margolis reporting on an Axios story:
“By any standard, no matter how you look at it, the U.S. is losing its war against the coronavirus,” claims Axios in a story published on Saturday.

It’s a bold claim, and according to Axios health care editor Sam Baker, the recent rise in cases is proof positive that America is losing the battle. “Seven times over the last two weeks, the U.S. has set a new record for the most cases in a single day,” he notes. “Cases are increasing in 33 states, and several of those states are seeing such staggering increases that they may soon overwhelm their hospitals.”
The U.S. has to be "losing" because that reinforces the Team's primary objective—to increase FUD to hysteria levels so that Trump loses in November.

As I mentioned in the main body of this post, doing this does create a problem for Joe Biden. Sure, Joe (well, I'm not sure a cognitively challenged Biden is incapable of any original thought, so it's probably his handlers)  is right there criticizing Trump for his handling of COVID-19 (but gosh, Joe was VP when he and his buddy Barack handled another pandemic, the H1N1 virus—well, actually, they just ignored it. (And ironically, that may have been the right approach.)

Axios became breathless when they "reported" that if all COVID-19 patients (that included the 45 percent of those patients who exhibit exactly zero symptoms) lived in one city, the city would be the Third (!!!) largest in the U.S. 

Margolis shrugs and writes the following:
Wow, are you impressed? Well, you shouldn’t be. If Axios is basing its assessment on the war with the coronavirus on confirmed cases, then I wonder how Axios would respond to this chart:
Heh. It would be interesting for the Dems and Joe Biden to comment, but I'm fairly certain the Dem nominee would be unable to properly interpret Margolis' histogram.