April 30, 2009

Sheriff Joe Sez...PANIC!!!1!!!11!1!!
— DrewM

Not content to freak people out with low flying jets, the Obama administration has now decided to go to eleventy on "swine" flu. Fortunately no one pays attention to Biden.

Vice president Joe Biden said today he would tell his family members not to use subways in the U.S. and implied schools should be shuttered as the swine flu outbreak spread to 11 states and forced school closures amid confirmation of the first U.S. death.

"I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now," Biden said when asked whether he would advise family members to use public transportation.

Biden made his comments during a brief interview on NBC's "Today" show during an interview with Matt Lauer.

"I would tell members of my family, and I have, I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now. It's not that it's going to Mexico, it's you're in a confined aircraft when one person sneezes it goes all the way through the aircraft. That's me. I would not be, at this point, if they had another way of transportation suggesting they ride the subway. "

Meanwhile back in the real world...it turns out this strain of flu may not be all that bad.

As the World Health Organization raised its infectious disease alert level Wednesday and health officials confirmed the first death linked to swine flu inside U.S. borders, scientists studying the virus are coming to the consensus that this hybrid strain of influenza -- at least in its current form -- isn't shaping up to be as fatal as the strains that caused some previous pandemics.

In fact, the current outbreak of the H1N1 virus, which emerged in San Diego and southern Mexico late last month, may not even do as much damage as the run-of-the-mill flu outbreaks that occur each winter without much fanfare.

Obviously this is a cause for concern but there really doesn't seem to cause for flipping out. It's a fine line for public officials to walk in these cases and not surprisingly Joe Biden seems to have failed to walk it.

Posted by: DrewM at 05:47 AM | Comments (77)
Post contains 348 words, total size 2 kb.

1

Oh shit, they just confirmed 10 cases of Swine Flu here in SC. Some douchebag at a high school in Newberry decided it would be good to go to Cancun for a senior class trip. (even when the State Dept was recommending no trips to Mexico.

 

CDC spokes-asshole

 

The WHO has raised the alert level to 5 (pandemic)

 

“this is a good thing”.

 

Now that is some damn spin.

Posted by: Vic at April 30, 2009 05:47 AM (f6os6)

2

Thank goodness we dodged that moron from Alaska!

:-)

Posted by: speedster1 at April 30, 2009 05:50 AM (v40Bj)

3 What's going on with the comments?

Posted by: Vic at April 30, 2009 05:50 AM (f6os6)

4 OK, back now

Posted by: Vic at April 30, 2009 05:50 AM (f6os6)

5 Gah, wrong Sheriff Joe...  I was thinking that Arpaio had done something amusing like making the criminals in tent city wear pink masks to go with their pink underwear.

-J

Posted by: Joshin at April 30, 2009 05:52 AM (r8N4G)

6 11 of my 22 evening division students spent Thursday - Monday in Mexico, and at least two of them are ill.

The kicker is that they're all retail store managers.


Posted by: CrankyProf at April 30, 2009 05:54 AM (Ce1ca)

7 That Obama is one good judge of character.

Posted by: Enchanted at April 30, 2009 05:54 AM (+sBB4)

8 34,502 people died in traffic accidents in 2007. About 20,000 died from the flu last year. There were over ONE MILLION abortions in 2007.... I would say that is the REAL tragedy..... Obama is the merchant of death.... Swine flu is the great distraction they had hoped for.

Posted by: izoneguy at April 30, 2009 05:54 AM (3k9TU)

9

Gird your loins!

Biden is acting like a leader.

Just like George Costanza when he pushed the kids, seniors and the clown out to escape the raging inferno......

Posted by: Girdyourloins! at April 30, 2009 05:56 AM (3PqHz)

10

The reason this flu strain isn't as bad as they thought it would be is for one reason and one reason only......Obama and his soaring oratory.

Posted by: bigun at April 30, 2009 05:56 AM (R6yie)

11 Biden is such an idiot.

Posted by: Dr. Manhattan at April 30, 2009 05:56 AM (OkrJ4)

12

Okay, in first sentence ..."would tell his family members not to use the subway" ... and then in last sentence "suggesting they ride the subway". And excuse a hick mid-westerner for bringing this up, but if it's the latter, is't a subway somewhat confining?

Posted by: teej at April 30, 2009 05:57 AM (QdUKm)

13 Slo-Joe meeting with Matt Lauer:  does it get any dumber than that?

Posted by: David Letterman at April 30, 2009 05:58 AM (dYNX5)

14 Ok. You must read this article from the Boston Herald. This is scary shit.

http://tinyurl.com/cf2ama

The new Senate version would allow the public health commissioner — in a public health emergency — to close or evacuate buildings, enter private property for investigations, and quarantine individuals.

Is this what rham meant when he said never let a crisis go to waste?

Posted by: Ginger at April 30, 2009 05:59 AM (GjW14)

15 Run, Forrest, Run! If only we could shutter government during each panic.

Posted by: t-bird at April 30, 2009 05:59 AM (FcR7P)

16 Other than including David Letterman, of course.

Posted by: Captain Hate at April 30, 2009 05:59 AM (dYNX5)

17 is't a subway somewhat confining?

And filthy.

Posted by: Sue at April 30, 2009 06:00 AM (Jol77)

18 Errr, Drew,

You're quoting the LA Times as a reliable source for deciding if a flu virus is dangerous enough?  Patterico, goofy as he is sometimes, has made a career out of debunking those retards because it *is* such a target rich environment.

On a related note, as for the WHO, level 5 is not a pandemic but level 6 is.  However, the latest news indicates the WHO is getting ready to, if they haven't already done so, move to just that status.

Posted by: Additional Blond Agent at April 30, 2009 06:03 AM (PMGbu)

19

Yikes!  I guess only one person at a time can fly Air Force One now.

The next overseas summit O goes to is gonna have one hell of a carbon footprint getting his entourage there.

Posted by: CAD Daddy at April 30, 2009 06:04 AM (uE8op)

20 The one confirmed death in the US is the baby that died in a houston hospital - yesterdays report said he first showed signs of illness in Brownsville and was taken to Houston for treatment. It's spreading rapidly, as human transmissible flus do, but it doesn't seem more lethal than other influenza outbreaks (not to be dismissive at all, high risk groups are still the very young and old, people with respiratory conditions).

Posted by: Dave in Texas at April 30, 2009 06:11 AM (mgUZV)

21 Good things we gots ourselves a smarts vice president.

Posted by: TheQuietMan at April 30, 2009 06:14 AM (1Jaio)

22 You know what would help stop the spread of swine flu?

Open, public, ballots on union organization.  Vote Yes on the Employee Free Choice Act.

Never let a crisis go to waste.  Thank you Rahm.

Posted by: The SEIU at April 30, 2009 06:17 AM (GtYrq)

23 Good old Joey.  Always good for a gaff.  Must be something to have a whole department dedicated to nothing but correcting his public statements.  Wonder how many of those 'new jobs' created by Obama refer to those working to make Biden sound intelligent.

Posted by: GarandFan at April 30, 2009 06:19 AM (C3okI)

24

WHO level 5 definition:

 

Phase 5 is characterized by human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region. While most countries will not be affected at this stage, the declaration of Phase 5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short.

 

This was evident on day 1. Why did they wait so long to upgrade to 5?

Posted by: Vic at April 30, 2009 06:19 AM (f6os6)

25 Sheriff Joe is the oratorical equivalent of a pinata - whack him from just about any angle and something good comes out.

Posted by: The Unknown Professor at April 30, 2009 06:19 AM (UOcNk)

26 Obama just ordered that one of those masksgags be put on Sheriff Joe.

Posted by: Roy at April 30, 2009 06:24 AM (cB77O)

27 Run! Run for the hills! The Science is Settled!

Posted by: lmg at April 30, 2009 06:28 AM (A/vgC)

28 Well, I for one am glad that the relentless fear-mongering of the previous administration is behind us.

Posted by: Beppo at April 30, 2009 06:29 AM (Ka5Jh)

29

This may come out later, but here is the fact now.

Swine flu was created in a lab in Portland ME for the purpose of decreasing the illegal alien population in the US. It targets only people who speak Spanish and Spanglish. The Bush administration developed the strain after failing to pass the bill for alien naturalization in 2004. The virus was subsequently released in Mexico City, by the Obama administration, to avoid any backlash. The blame will be looked into and any involved parties will be immediately prosecuted.

As it is well known the Aids virus was developed by the Reagan administration for the elimination of a large black and gay population in the 1980's.

If you are not of Spanish descent, you will be immune to this 'swine flu'.

End of text.

Posted by: Eric at April 30, 2009 06:30 AM (MFvqO)

30 Well, obviously this all means we need single-payer, nationalized health care.

Posted by: Lurking Meme at April 30, 2009 06:32 AM (swuwV)

31 it turns out this strain of flu may not be all that bad.

It got Sebelius confirmed.  I'd say that was bad enough.

Posted by: toby928 at April 30, 2009 06:33 AM (PD1tk)

32 That's because Sherrif Joe "I was born in Scranton, PA" takes the train.  His shameless pandering for Amtrak was mistaken for an anti-subway of death screed.  What a schmuck!

Posted by: WAstaterepub at April 30, 2009 06:33 AM (aC/SY)

33 Not to sound panicky, but C-Span had an "expert" on today, and he pointed out that even if this were a mild strain of flu, we could see an infection rate of approximately 30% of the population.

 That's a lot of sick people and the death rate could be higher than the annual average of 36K, simply because more people have it.

Posted by: Dan F at April 30, 2009 06:33 AM (X69s8)

34 I'm with Meme on this one.

Posted by: President Government at April 30, 2009 06:33 AM (swuwV)

35 oops forgot the /sarc

Posted by: Eric at April 30, 2009 06:35 AM (MFvqO)

36 OT, the City of Chicago gets $20Mil Porkulus grant to pay Chicago PD overtime.  No new hires in the pipeline.

Posted by: Dan F at April 30, 2009 06:35 AM (X69s8)

37 More rediculous hype from our exuialted leaders MORE LIES MORE POPPYCOCK MORE BUNK

Posted by: Spurwing Plover at April 30, 2009 06:36 AM (Xc+oo)

38

In fact, the current outbreak of the H1N1 virus, which emerged in San Diego and southern Mexico late last month, may not even do as much damage as the run-of-the-mill flu outbreaks that occur each winter without much fanfare.

OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG!

Posted by: Entropy at April 30, 2009 06:36 AM (m6c4H)

39 The swine Mexican flu outbreak is a real problem that needs to be tracked. But currently, it's a small outbreak that should not be the cause of public panic.
Evidence so far suggests that the virus is not that deadly, and is weakening as it spreads.

Posted by: sickinmass at April 30, 2009 06:38 AM (/i4dU)

40

Hey, I'm not bitching.

My pharmaceutical stocks are skyrocketing.

It's unfortunate I won't be able to spend it because I heard that Swine Flu has mutated and now has a 99.9% mortality rate and spreads telepathically just by thinking about it. (pass that on).

Posted by: Entropy at April 30, 2009 06:39 AM (m6c4H)

41 Quick! Get Joe some ice cream........then he could go all Barney Fwank on it....

Posted by: Todd at April 30, 2009 06:39 AM (RNwpX)

42

But currently, it's a small outbreak that should not be the cause of public panic.

Boulderdash! We panic over everything else, why not this?

Posted by: Entropy at April 30, 2009 06:40 AM (m6c4H)

43 If national health care is so great how come Mexicans are pouring into our hospitals for treatment of teh flu?

Posted by: sickinmass at April 30, 2009 06:43 AM (/i4dU)

44 Sheriff Joe says panic?

OMG, what does Joe Arpaio have to say? OMG, OMG.

Oh, Joe BIDEN, never mind.

Posted by: emily litella at April 30, 2009 06:52 AM (PGXeZ)

45 If national health care is so great how come Mexicans are pouring into our hospitals for treatment of teh flu?

Yeah. Why didn't they go to Cuba? Their health care system is da bomb. michael moore told me so.

Posted by: Ginger at April 30, 2009 07:01 AM (GjW14)

46

Ok folks.  Since yesterday, I've heard from an ER doc in Comal County Texas.  And from our public health folks in South Texas.  If the WHO hasn't raised this to level 6 yet, (and as of this morning, they hadn't) they will soon.  ERs in the valley are being overwhelmed by people presenting with "flu-like" symptoms.  Apparently the virus is contagious in people exposed 2 days prior to exhibiting symptoms, and is contagious for another 9 days.  This is a bit longer than normal.  What's making things worse is that we have no and I quote "herd immunity" yet to this thing, so the infection rates are going to be higher.  Tamiflu and Relefen do seem to be working.  If at all possible, avoid crowds and public places.  AND wash your hands!!

Posted by: katybeth at April 30, 2009 07:01 AM (EjA6p)

47

Where have you gone, WTF Joe Biden?
A nation turns its lonely enchanted eyes to you
(Ooo ooo ooo).
What’s that you say, Mr President?
once again sherriff Joe has gone astray

 

Posted by: Paul Simon at April 30, 2009 07:02 AM (QE45j)

48 More than 100 U.S. schools closed because of swine flu.
 Fort Worth School District closes until further notice, affecting 80,000 students.
At least 74 more schools shut because of possible or confirmed cases.
 30 more schools across the country have closed as precaution.
Education secretary urges "common sense" measures..wtf?

Posted by: sickinmass at April 30, 2009 07:22 AM (/i4dU)

49 I'm not currently worried.

I am worried for what will happen in the fall. The 1918 flu started off as a weak, late-spring flu, killed a few and then took the summer off -- only to come back with a vengeance in the fall, and kill a metric fuckton of people.

Posted by: CrankyProf at April 30, 2009 07:22 AM (Ce1ca)

50 they would rather have the disease escalate than prove that we could actually shut the border. 

Posted by: ed at April 30, 2009 07:25 AM (Urhve)

51

With what we're starting to see here in south Texas, this strain is already pretty bad.  fall will be horrific.  But on a positive note, the truly wonderful people we never hear about in the CDC and NIH are already working toward a vaccine.  CDC sent 2 epidemiologists to La Gloria already.  And Lakewood Church, Joel Olsteen's mega church here in Houston has cancelled the weekly activities.  Gov. Perry has also postponed all state public high school intramural sports meets until May 11. 

Posted by: katybeth at April 30, 2009 07:29 AM (EjA6p)

52 katybeth..nice to see you back.

Obama is so near sighted, he can't see 5 minutes ahead of himself.
Obama argued that sealing the border would be “akin to closing the barn door after the horse is out.”
He obviously doesn't know too much about livestock. He doesn't acknowledge the size of the heard either.
We know there is more than one horse in that barn and if one gets out, you slam the gate shut so the others don't bolt. If you are successful, you only have one horse to chase down and put back in. That's the wise and prudent thing to do.

Posted by: sickinmass at April 30, 2009 07:34 AM (/i4dU)

53 ooooooohhhhh a metric fuckton, that sounds dreamy, any pages involved?

Posted by: Barney Frank at April 30, 2009 07:42 AM (RNwpX)

54 In this current worldwide “swine flu” outbreak, two sources are shouldering most of the blame: pigs and Mexico.
Interestingly, there seems to be a louder, broader public defense of pigs than of Mexico.
During a Senate hearing last Tuesday on the disease that first spread in Mexico and has claimed dozens of lives, including at least one in the United States, federal officials insisted “swine flu” is an incorrect, simplified label of a complex virus that should properly be called “H1N1,” even though it contains swine genes.
The imprecise nickname leads some to think pork is unsafe and should be taken off the international trade shelves. The same day, other officials warned foreign governments not to “engage in behavior” that could hurt the global economy.
Pigs are a major sector of the U.S. agricultural economy.

Mexico, however, is a different story, especially in conservative circles, where this latest crisis is being used to whip up opposition to immigration from South of the border. Immigration restrictionists view Mexico as a drain on the U.S. economy, national security, culture and now, welfare. That would be me.

Posted by: sickinmass at April 30, 2009 07:44 AM (/i4dU)

55

News Alert:

Gibbs: Some members of El Duce's adm who went on Mexico trip have "flu-like symptoms".

Posted by: Vic at April 30, 2009 08:02 AM (f6os6)

56

I find it interesting, in this age of almost instantaneous communication that we aren't seeing true numbers. I read an article this morning that listed states with confirmed cases, yet Washington wasn't on that list and we have 3 confirmed cases as of yesterday. I mulitply that out, imagining that similar is happening elsewhere, and I wonder why we don't have more real time numbers.

And, if everyone will recall, Biden has a tendency to run off at the mouth, but the things he runs off at the mouth about are often true. (like the clean coal bit, or the VP choice, etc. or the "gird your loins" comment which we know will come to pass.)

Given that, I don't dismiss what he said this morning out of hand. He may be dumb, but his stupidity is the kind that makes a politician tell the truth at inappropriate times.

Posted by: ParanoidGirlInSeattle at April 30, 2009 08:02 AM (AJ4xq)

57 Can we at least call him Sheriff Joe B.? 
Sheriff Joe pretty much relates to Arpaio... which caused a bit of confusion, as I didn't know why he would be addressing this swine flu and asking his relatives to stay off the subways.  Especially since Arizona doesn't have any subways.

Then, I realized it was Biden and promptly ignored the story because, really, we should pay attention to slow Joe why?

Posted by: soulpile at April 30, 2009 08:03 AM (Difyf)

58 Or even Sheriff SloJo.

Posted by: soulpile at April 30, 2009 08:11 AM (Difyf)

59 It's not funny making fun of the special needs vice president.

Posted by: demoncrat at April 30, 2009 08:22 AM (1kwr2)

60

Fox:

 

Gibbs dodged the question on when the adm knew about the swine flu.

 

Makes we wonder even more if they knew about this long ago and elected not to publicize it until “too late to close the border”. If so, then that is criminal and they aught to be prosecuted.

Posted by: Vic at April 30, 2009 08:22 AM (f6os6)

61

Vic, I agree, of course they had to know about this earlier than they said. Several key administration people were in Mexico over the last month. Don't tell me that part of the planning for such trips doesn't include something about health. Also, a company in Kirkland had been sending the CDC updates since the beginning of April, finally going so far as to pick up the phone to the CDC and tell them something was up.

And, really, the CIA, DEA, the US Embassy in Mexico, the Secret Service, the NSA, nobody among those groups knew that something was up? Nobody? How come Canada was already putting out reports about it days before the US?

I effing hate to be lied to, and I hate that in this age of instant media no one is able to ferret out the truth.

Posted by: ParanoidGirlInSeattle at April 30, 2009 08:28 AM (AJ4xq)

62

Another bombshell dropped in this pressor. The infant that died in CA was brought in from MEXICO to be treated in the U.S.

We have truly gone insane.

Posted by: Vic at April 30, 2009 08:34 AM (f6os6)

63

Dream on Vic; like they would be prosecuted for anything, or even held accountable.  The world would have to change first methinks.

I'm with Paranoid -- Biden is a walking gaffe machine and pompous windbag, but there's often an element of truth in his gaffes (which is why one should never listen to anything but his gaffes, besides the funny).  I don't believe he means to blurt out anything but lies, but isn't circumspect enough not to.

Posted by: unknown jane at April 30, 2009 08:36 AM (EpmMs)

64

Dream on Vic

 

What I said:

 

If so, then that is criminal and they aught to be prosecuted.

Posted by: Vic at April 30, 2009 08:44 AM (f6os6)

65 This must be the "test" Biden was talking about last year that Bambi was going to have to deal with .... a mass panic caused by your veep's giant yapper.

Posted by: azclinger at April 30, 2009 09:19 AM (k58xs)

66 Question.  What is it about this particular strain that makes is to much worse than the usual?  Is it more contagious?  Are the symptoms worse?  Is it more resistent to treatment?  What?

Posted by: katya at April 30, 2009 09:22 AM (oRJZj)

67

hate to be lied to, and I hate that in this age of instant media no one is able to ferret out the truth.

Anything that might cast a shadow on Mr. Cool is shushed.  See, I have my conspiracy theories too.

Posted by: katya at April 30, 2009 09:24 AM (oRJZj)

68

Another bombshell dropped in this pressor. The infant that died in CA was brought in from MEXICO to be treated in the U.S.

Actually, that came out yesterday.  It came out very quietly less it drown out FIRST U.S. VICTIM DIES!!!!!!!1111111!!!!!!ELEVENTY!!!

Actually, the infant died in Brownsville, TX after having been brought there from Mexico City.

Posted by: Steve L. at April 30, 2009 09:30 AM (Gkhxf)

69

If anyone speaks spanish, Telemundo has some pretty good coverage.  Right now, Mexico is going to essential activities only, everything else is shutting down if they haven't already.  New Braunfels, northeast of San Antonio is basically doing the same.

Posted by: katybeth at April 30, 2009 09:31 AM (EjA6p)

70 In the Waterloo IA paper today, they urged Mexicans to stay at home.

Posted by: katya at April 30, 2009 09:34 AM (oRJZj)

71 Sorry Katya, I was giving my poor husband instructions for his foray to the Sam's   Because this is basically an already "mutated" type of flu (with swine, avian, and human strands) we (humans) haven't been exposed to it and have no natural immunity.  Of course we'll build it up fast, the human body is pretty remarkable, but right now, it's clobbering us.  Usual demographics for most flu deaths are the more vulnerable parts of society, the very young, old and medically compromised.  This one is hitting the healthy ones just as hard.

Posted by: katybeth at April 30, 2009 09:37 AM (EjA6p)

72 The 22 month old baby boy died in a Houston hospital, having shown signs of illness in Brownsville and being taken to Houston for treatment, according to AP. Even if this one isn't particularly life threatening, I can put on my Capitalist Crystal Balls for a minute, a serious infection rate will have a serious economic toll. 20 to 60% of a company's workforce out for 10-14 days is a bad thing, as they say in the boardroom. Closing schools where outbreaks are confirmed or suspected is reasonable. Kids are icky.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at April 30, 2009 09:42 AM (1X5pN)

73 We have people on ventilators all across south Texas with this swine flu.  Several people here in Texas are from Mexico because the health care here is excellent and they came here to be treated.  No one has been stopped at the border despite Napolitano's " are you sick?"  BS.

Posted by: katybeth at April 30, 2009 10:06 AM (EjA6p)

74 I know what you said, and agree with it -- but why even waste your energy on an "aught" or a "should" that will never hope(!) to see the light of day?  Not worth the frustration, imho. (this from a hypocritical wench that still dreams that the world very well will change, and the "aughts" become "will be shortly")

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