A Tale Of Two Pandemics: Media Downplayed Swine Flu Outbreak Under Obama

By I & I Editorial Board March 13, 2020 – for Issues and Insights

Does this 2009 cartoon remind you of anything? Covid-19 hype in 2020/2021 perhaps?
Remember this cartoon is from 2009.

My cmnt: As of today allegedly 639,103 Americans have died from Covid-19. That figure is most likely overstated by a factor of 10. In a typical flu season between 25,000 and 50,000 Americans die from the flu. Most of those are very young children and elderly adults. The remarkable thing about the Wuhan Flu is that children are hardly affected by it at all. According to Dr. Scott Atlas, senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and former chief of neurology at Stanford University Medical Center, “the risk to children from this disease for fatality is nearly zero.”

My cmnt: The truly important thing to note is that during the H1N1 pandemic the nation did not shutdown, it did not shelter in place, it did not close businesses, it did not wear masks, it did not close schools. We virtually did not alter any normal activities at all. Therefore herd immunity spread as normal and far fewer people died. Shutting down the country and isolating people actually caused Covid-19 to be far more deadly and severe than it had to be, especially among the inner-city poor. It was the biggest pandemic response mistake in history.

My cmnt: As it turned out Covid-19 was primarily a threat to the obese and the very elderly, specifically people in nursing homes. The people in nursing homes could have easily been isolated and protected. Instead Blue State governors, the worse being Cuomo, actually sent infected elderly back into nursing homes to super spread it everywhere and cause tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths. Covid-19 was virtually no threat to children under 18, almost no threat to people 25 and under (so why did the wicked democrats close schools?), and only a very small threat to people under 55 (so why did we stop these working age people from going to work?). Disrupting the nation, spreading panic, and trying to hurt President Trump’s fantastically great economy were the reasons.

My cmnt: I’ve included the graph below to illustrate how Covid-19 is a disease of the elderly – not because I believe the numbers. The democrats were hell bent on showing ghastly numbers therefore anyone who died of respiratory issues was automatically included in Covid deaths whether or not they even had the virus. Hospitals were being given billions in taxpayer cash to report Covid illnesses and deaths. I wonder if that would affect how they reported?

Number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) deaths in the U.S. as of August 4, 2021, by age

My cmnt: However if the numbers are in the ballpark then the democrats and Fauci have blood on their hands. The most heinous thing Fauci and the democrats did was to demagogue the very effective remedials that would nip Covid-19 in the bud such as the incredibly effective HCQ cocktail (hydroxychloroquine + antibiotic + zinc) and ivermectin. But no taxpayer money could be used to prevent Covid deaths before hospitalization so these drugs were forbidden by the democrat-run CDC. Hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths resulted.

My cmnt: I’ve edited this article for space and clarity. It was written early on in the Covid-19 pandemic and was correct then and even more correct now.

Passengers in Mexico during the 2009 swine flu pandemic. Epidemia de Pánico.

The potential impact of the coronavirus might still be unknown, but the media hype is already plain as day. Particularly when you compare how they are covering this pandemic with the last one, which happened to occur when Barack Obama was in the White House.

To get a sense of the differences in how the press treated these two outbreaks of brand new viruses, let’s look at how the New York Times and CNN – the bellwethers of mainstream journalism in print and on TV – covered each at similar points in the outbreak.

The day after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic, and President Donald Trump gave a national address, CNN’s front page was almost entirely devoted to coronavirus.

On the newsstands, two-thirds of the New York Times’ front page was devoted entirely to coronavirus stories.

Obviously, a new deadly disease that is spreading across the country is a big story, as is the WHO’s declaration that it’s now a pandemic. Add in a White House address in which Trump declares a travel ban, widespread school closures, cancelations of events, including the NBA season, and a stock market crash, and it’s huge news.

But the media coverage of the outbreak in the weeks leading up to Wednesday was just as breathless. Indeed, some of the panic in the stock market and the government can be blamed on the end-of-the-world hysteria that the press has been whipping up for some time now.

The day before the WHO’s declaration of a pandemic, for example, CNN posted a story calling the coronavirus outbreak “unprecedented in modern times.”

Unprecedented? Really? Do CNN’s reporters and editors not know about the flu pandemic of 1918? Or even the swine flu pandemic of 2009?

Although everyone seems to have forgotten the swine flu was even a thing, it infected nearly 61 million people in the U.S. from spring 2009 through early 2010. And it claimed as many as 18,000 lives, according to a Centers for Disease Control study published in 2011. In total, the disease is now believed to have caused more than 200,000 deaths worldwide.

(As of this writing, confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. are a little over 1,700, with 40 deaths attributed to the virus. Worldwide, confirmed cases number fewer than 130,000 and just over 4,700 people have died.)

The swine flu was a serious enough outbreak for President Barack Obama to declare a public health emergency in late April 2009. The WHO declared it a pandemic in early July – at which time 18,000 Americans had contracted the novel flu virus and 44 had died. And unlike coronavirus, the swine flu was more deadly to younger people. Obama declared a national emergency when the virus reemerged with a vengeance in the fall.

Yet the press barely covered any of these events.

When the WHO declared the swine flu “unstoppable” on June 11, 2009, CNN didn’t even lead with that story on its homepage. It was in a pile of links on the side of the page. (See the screenshot of that day’s home page below, taken from the Internet Archive.)

A week later, there was no mention of the swine flu anywhere on CNN’s home page.

The WHO’s announcement rated only a photo on the New York Times’s front page, with a story that was buried on page A11.

When Obama declared a national emergency, CNN didn’t get around to mentioning the death toll of the disease until the 10th paragraph. By that point, millions had been infected and 1,000 people in the U.S. had died.

The day after Obama’s declaration, CNN carried only a single link to the swine flu story in its “Newspulse” section. It ranked below the headline: “Wayward flight’s co-pilot denies arguing.”

The Times’ story about Obama’s declaration didn’t mention the death toll in the U.S. until the fourth paragraph. Two days later, the swine flu was off the Times’ front page again.

We’re not saying that the coronavirus isn’t serious. It’s a new disease with an as-yet-unknown trajectory and a seemingly high fatality rate. So caution is warranted.

But it should be obvious to anyone that the scale and intensity of the coronavirus coverage is far beyond the actual risk posed by the disease. Even if coronavirus is twice as deadly as the swine flu pandemic, more people will die from falling down this year than from COVID-19.

More likely, the Trump-hating leftist media are hoping – consciously or not – that a health panic will do what the Russia investigation and the impeachment failed to. Namely, drive Trump out of office.

How else do you explain the vast difference in the way they’ve treated these two deadly pandemics?

A look back at swine flu: 8 facts about the world’s last pandemic in 2009 

Mackenzie Bean – Thursday, March 12th, 2020 Print  | Email Listen

The World Health Organization on March 11 declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, the first such declaration in 11 years.

Here’s a look back on the 2009 swine flu pandemic with eight key facts from the CDC:

1. The flu strain responsible for the outbreak — influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 — was first detected in America in April 2009.

2. The strain represented a unique combination of influenza viruses never before seen in humans or animals.

3. The virus quickly spread globally, primarily affecting children and adults under 65 who lacked immunity to H1N1.

4. The WHO declared the swine flu outbreak a pandemic on June 11, 2009.

5. Between April 12, 2009, and April 10, 2010, the CDC estimates swine flu caused 60.8 million illnesses, 273,304 hospitalizations and 12,469 deaths in the U.S.

6. On Oct. 5, 2009, the U.S. began administering a newly approved H1N1 vaccine to select Americans, with vaccination coverage expanding nationwide by that December.

7. WHO declared an end to the pandemic on Aug. 10, 2010.

8. Globally, an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people died from swine flu in the first year of the pandemic.

For reference, the COVID-19 pandemic has sickened 1,323 Americans and killed 38, as of March 12. More than 127,00 cases and 4,700 deaths have been reported globally.

Influenza pandemic (H1N1) of 2009

From Britannica.com

Influenza pandemic (H1N1) of 2009, also called H1N1 flu, byname swine flu, the first major influenza outbreak in the 21st century, noted for its rapid global spread, which was facilitated by an unusually high degree of viral contagiousness. Global dissemination of the virus was further expedited by the unprecedented rates of passenger travel that characterize the modern era.

The pandemic virus caused a respiratory disease typical of that resulting from infection with seasonal influenza. However, despite local, national, and international efforts to contain the virus, its more contagious nature led to the infection of millions of people. The calculation of accurate global figures by entities such as the World Health Organization (WHO) was precluded by case underreporting and difficulty in obtaining samples from affected individuals, particularly in developing countries. As a result, the 622,482 cases and 18,500 deaths confirmed by laboratory analysis by WHO were considered gross underestimates. Indeed, later analyses based on statistical models that took into account countries with limited influenza-surveillance data indicated that the actual total number of deaths from the outbreak may have been as high as 284,500 to 575,400.

Symptoms and transmission

Persons infected with H1N1 experienced fever and mild respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, runny nose, and congestion. In some cases symptoms were severe and included diarrhea, chills, and vomiting, and in rare cases respiratory failure occurred. The H1N1 virus caused relatively few deaths in humans. In the United States, for example, it caused fewer deaths (between 8,870 and 18,300) than seasonal influenza, which, based on data for the years 1993–2003, causes an average of about 36,170 deaths each year. The H1N1 virus was most lethal in individuals affected by chronic disease or other underlying health conditions.

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