The Real Reason For The Bird Flu Scare!
- [Here they go! Money, Money, Money, for the
Pharmaceutical industry. No surprise here though of
course. All these precious wild birds killed for this
sick hoax. What a species we are. Anyone notice how
mad cow disease is always played down, when its
probably a much bigger threat to us than this bird flu
hoax! Thats because they cant make any money off the
mad cow issue. Its not a vaccine issue $$$, so they
claim it barely exist. Rick]
Bush Outlines $7.1B Flu-Fighting Strategy
By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer 48 minutes ago
President Bush outlined a $7.1 billion strategy
Tuesday to prepare for a possible worldwide super-flu
outbreak, aiming to overhaul the vaccine industry so
eventually every American could be inoculated within
six months of a pandemic's beginning.
Such a huge change would take years to implement ï¿½
Bush's goal is 2010 ï¿½ and his plan drew immediate
fire from critics who said it wouldn't provide enough
protection in the meantime. States, too, got an
unpleasant surprise, ordered to purchase millions of
doses of an anti-flu drug with their own money.
The long-awaited strategy also stresses expanded
attempts to detect and contain the next super-flu
before it reaches the United States, with particular
attention to parts of Asia that are influenza
incubators ï¿½ a global focus that flu specialists
have insisted the government adopt.
"Early detection is our first line of defense," Bush
said in a speech at the
National Institutes of Health. He called on other
countries to admit when super-flu strains occur within
their borders. "No nation can afford to ignore this
threat," he said.
At the same time, Bush sought to reassure a public
jittery over the spread of bird flu, called H5N1,
which has killed at least 62 people in Asia since 2003
and caused the death or destruction of tens of
millions of birds.
There is no evidence that a human pandemic, of H5N1 or
any other super-strain, is about to start, Bush said
Still, there have been three flu pandemics in the last
century and the world is overdue for another. Concern
is growing that the bird flu could provide the spark
if it one day mutates so that it can spread easily
from person to person.
"Our country has been given fair warning of this
danger to our homeland, and time to prepare," Bush
Topping Bush's strategy:
_$1.2 billion to stockpile enough vaccine against the
current H5N1 flu strain to protect 20 million
Americans, the estimated number of health workers and
other first-responders involved in a pandemic.
_$1 billion for the drugs Tamiflu and Relenza, which
can treat and, in some cases, prevent flu infection.
Enough to treat 44 million people and prevent
infection in 6 million others is headed for the
federal stockpile. States were told to buy 31 million
treatment courses, but Bush is funding only a quarter
of the states' anticipated bill.
_$2.8 billion to speed production of pandemic vaccines
ï¿½ including better-matched strains ï¿½ by learning
to manufacture them in easier-to-handle cell cultures,
instead of today's slow method that relies on millions
of chicken eggs.
_$251 million for international preparations,
including improving early-warning systems to spot
human infections with novel flu strains.
_$100 million for state preparations, including
determining how to deliver stockpiled medicines
directly to patients.
_$56 million to test poultry and wild birds for H5N1
or other novel flu strains entering the U.S. bird
_A call for Congress to provide liability protection
for makers of a pandemic vaccine, which unlike shots
against the regular winter flu would be experimental,
Bush's announcement came after his administration was
battered by criticism over its lethargic response to
Public health specialists, briefed on the strategy but
awaiting details, called it a good start.
"Clearly this is the No. 1 public health issue on the
radar screen," said Michael Osterholm of the
University of Minnesota, who advises the government on
infectious disease threats.
But it's not strong enough, said Sen. Edward Kennedy
(news, bio, voting record), D-Mass., who helped lead
Senate passage of $8 billion in emergency funding for
pandemic preparations last month.
"Stockpiles alone aren't enough without the capacity
to make use of them," he said, calling for steps to
help states, cities and hospitals prepare for a flood
of panicked patients.
"There is a gaping hole" in the plan, added Sen.
Charles Schumer (news, bio, voting record), D-N.Y.,
who said the nation should stockpile enough Tamiflu
for half the population, not the quarter that would be
covered if the states added their share under Bush's
The states' contribution will be difficult, said
Republican Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, chairman of
the National Governors Association. "They expect us to
pay 75 cents on a dollar for flu medicine ï¿½ that's
going to be a tough pill to swallow," he said through
The states' collective tab would reach $510 million,
said Kim Elliott, deputy director of the nonpartisan
Trust for America's Health. She worried that some
wouldn't buy any, and that others wouldn't share their
Tamiflu stash if a pandemic struck in a part of the
country that ran out.
"It depends on where you live and the state of your
state's budget as to whether or not you might receive
a treatment drug," she said.
If a pandemic strikes, the
Department of Health and Human Services will direct
the medical response, and on Wednesday it will unveil
long-awaited details. Still to be finalized is a plan
Homeland Security Department, which will coordinate
how the government balances protecting the public with
keeping schools, businesses and transportation sectors
"People think, "Oh, if I get sick, I'll stay home,'"
said Homeland Security spokesman Brian Doyle. "But
what happens when schools are closed for four months?
Will truck drivers want to deliver food?"
On the Net:
Government's pandemic flu site:
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