Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Pig Panic!

(cross posted at kickin it with cg)

For the last few days I have been glued to my TV, washing my hands compulsively and been trying to stand a safe distance away from people.  Not that its helped much since, in my city there are 4 confirmed cases of swine flu today.  

At the same time as the Toronto cases were confirmed, Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, was busy suggesting that President Obama was to blame for the swine flu crisis. Bachmann implied that swine flu epidemics are a Democratic phenomenon that date back to President Carter.

“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.”

Sadly Bachmann’s facts are not quite right. As Republican President Gerald Ford, not Carter, was in office during the last outbreak of the virus.

In the meantime, before you get back to stockpiling water, vaccinations and food, you may want to take a look at this.


  1. anna shane

    the young and healthy are most at risk from this one, they have too good immune systems.  It may not be time to panic, but it’s time to worry and take precautions.  Keep your kids inside, for example?  

  2. alyssa chaos

    my face mask just yet…

    Im not really worried, I just hate the inconvenience of being sick [especially during the weeks right before finals.]

    there’s alot of border commuting still going on and alot of Juarez students still coming to class so I guess I still have to germ-x it up.

    oh yeah Bachmann is an idiot. seriously I expect congress people to google before they speak.  

  3. 10’s of thousands of people die every year from the flu. Do you freak out every time there is a flu epidemic? There have been 4 confirmed cases in a city the size of Toronto. Last I knew, there were about 5 million people living in the Toronto area. Hopefully, this flu epidemic will prove to be an overblown media event, much like SARS was in Canada. The final death toll in Toronto from SARS was less than 50. That is one out of every 100,000 people. The normal chances of dying from complications of a flu infection are far higher than that in any given year. Yes, the death rate looks extremely high in Mexico right now, but that is because very few cases have actually been confirmed. There have probably been 100’s of thousands, if not millions of unreported cases. The death toll may well be in line with any normal flu infection or might even be lower than some. The only truly troubling thing about this one is the age of the people who have died.  

  4. creamer

    prior to Beck. Call it Newsnight from the edge of reality.

    I’ve said this before, how fucking stupid do you have to be to vote for a Michelle Bachman.

  5. Is it just me or is she simply spooky to watch?  I sweat to god (pun intended) that she has exactly the same botox-induced expressionless look that is in other contexts a sure sign of cult membership.  The Moonies are missing a prime spokesperson.

    I think the reporter responded best (“it would be interesting, if it weren’t wrong”), but at a deeper level how do you even respond to how uninteresting it would be even if it were true?

    “I find it interesting that pandas got pregnant in Chinese zoos while Cito Gastin was coach of the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1990s and again when he returned in 2009.”

    That’s not interesting, that’s a sign of mental instability.

  6. apocryphaleffigy

    is what pisses me off about the media – the incredible fearmongering. Let’s scare the crap out of people for the sake of ad revenue.

    Wasn’t it about two years ago when we last heard about Swine Flu? I remember it being pushed pretty hard then too. My understanding is that the current strain is not one we’ve seen before, but blithely tossing around the term pandemic isn’t helpful. Your average person will hear this, immediately think of the Black Plague and proceed to flip out.

    We need to be aware of this but they need to dial it back a little, too much to hope for I’m sure.

    As for Ms. Bachmann, she’s simply not worth commenting on.

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