Friday, January 15, 2010

The H1N1 pandemic

As I write this, the world is being rocked by an influenza pandemic the likes of which hasn't been seen since.....what? What do you mean there's no pandemic? All the "experts" told us there would be a pandemic! They all urged (read: ordered) us to get our flu shots or we'd die!

Did I not tell you? DID I NOT TELL YOU?!?!?!?

Needless to say, the Quango (Quasi-Governmental Organization - hat tip to Daniel Hannan for the name) responsible for fanning the flames of flu fear is feeling the heat.

The World Health Organization is to examine its handling of the H1N1 pandemic, the group said on Tuesday, after accusations by some politicians that it exaggerated the dangers of the virus under pressure from drug companies.
The WHO's "handling" of the "pandemic" has certainly been a windfall for the pharmaceutical companies. But in places as diverse as New York state and the UK, stocks of H1N1 vaccine are sitting around unused as the public begins to wise up to the "threat" that this flu poses to its health.

Daniel Hannan, MP of the EU, expresses his exasperation.
How irksome, at a time when our national debt is rising by £5,000 a second, to learn that the Government has squandered a billion pounds on swine ‘flu vaccines. Having stockpiled 132 million doses, it is now giving the stuff away. Good news for Big Pharma, bad news for everyone else.

It’s all very well being wise after the event, you might say. Actually, though, quite a few of us were wise before the event (see here). You didn’t need any special expertise in epidemiology to spot an obvious boondoggle.

All the interested parties collaborated to talk up the danger. I mean, they would, wouldn’t they?

No government agency is likely to say: “Actually minister, the threat is minor, so we recommend that you disband our task force and axe our budget”.
No, indeed, Mr. Hannan. Never in the history of government has one of its organs EVER asked for anything but to be expanded and given more power.

One last note of perspective. WHO reports that over 13,000 people have died of H1N1. Compare this with US Government death statistics, which estimate 20,000 deaths from the common flu each year!

Please remember this the next time a perfect storm of Quangos, government, and media go on yet another scare spree.