Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Just a few questions

1. Why all this uproar about bird flu?

2. Why is this Tamiflu product being touted as a panacaea? (especially when it doesn't fight bird/avian flu)

3. Why is it that Donald Rumsfeld owns millions of dollars worth of stock in Gilead Sciences (the makers of Tamiflu)?

4. Why is George Bush ready to declare marshall law to fight a flu that has yet to be proven to infect humans?

5. Where is the media/press when they should be revealing these things and not scaring the public about a fake pandemic?

1 comment:

  1. Jason Doyle10:35 PM

    1. I believe the reason why the bird flu has become the disease du jour is because the media is now playing to a global market. China has roughly one sixth of the world's population, making any threat there something in which the rest of the world "should" be interested. Something similar happened with Mad Cow when the European Union started gaining power, and don't forget Ebola fears when cases started popping up in the war torn Congo when Africa was the media's darling. While avian flu is potentially hazardous, I don't believe it will be the new black plague.

    2. Tamiflu is being touted because the French manufacturers of regular flu shots cannot keep up with global demand, and the American companies are too over regulated to make it profitable. Tamiflu is more expensive, but most American doctors have ready access to it. Tests also have indicated Tamiflu does have some effect on the symptoms of the Avian flu, but this is early in the game.

    3. Donald Rumsfeld was rich before he became both the oldest(GW Bush Administration) and youngest(Ford Administration) Defense Secretary. He also served as an economic advisor. This is still a Capitalist country. As long as Rumsfeld doesn't try to manipulate government contracts to make Gilead Sciences stock move, then it is perfectly legal for him to own such stock. Government service doesn't mean you take an oath of poverty.

    4. President Bush is making plans now for a possible pandemic...not specific plans for the Avain Flu. This is simply fall out from Hurricane Katrina, and the misconceptions about how the federal government is supposed to react to those type of emergency situations. (That's a whole other rant for me.) By declaring marshall law, it would allow the federal government to react quickly without waiting for a state government to decide whether it wants help or not. By the way, Avian Flu has passed to humans, but only if they are exposed to the birds with the disease. In the virus' current form, it does NOT pass from human to human. The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control are worried the virus will mutate and find a way to be passed from human to human.

    5. The media/press unfortunately suffer from a Jack of All Trades...Master of None disease. Most of the media do not specialize in medical matters, so they just take what little they can gleen from studies, reports and so called experts before their deadlines. If they did specialize in a medical field, then they probably would never be a reporter because it does NOT pay so well. The other problem is the consumers of news. They get bored by the typical humdrum positive things that go on in life. What the audience wants is conflict, to worry about the next boogyman or find out why their neighbor was arrested...not what's really happening in a community. That demand has twisted the media/press into what I like to call fast food reporters. Drop the details, make it dramatic and you'll catch the audience. This is coming from a journalist. I've seen it with my own eyes. The potential of a pandemic will scare the audience to your outlet, because they want to know how to protect themselves. The best way for someone to protect themselves, is to educate themselves. I really wish people would start reading again, instead of being spoon fed news by the TV. I have yet to meet a die hard TV viewer who has read more than one book a year. Usually that one book is a bedtime story for their kids.