The response to my first swine flu blog was been tremendous. Thank you all for the comments and emails.
There is a second blog, which I wrote Tuesday but have not announced yet. This is an entirely new aspect of the story. You can read that here:
There were some critical comments, which I allowed of course. It seems my site had a visit from somebody at CDC (Center for Disease Control). I presume this lady was put on detail to surf the Net and look for authority sites to trash. She said the following about me:
“Unfortunately, Dr. Keith appears to know frightening little about the flu virus, epidemiology, or science. It is irresponsible to spread these ridiculous accusations and misinformation. I encourage readers to learn about the real science behind what is happening and not blindly follow this unfounded speculation.”
Unfortunately, she herself does not remark of what exactly she thinks I said wrong. So it’s basically just character assassination, not a real comment, as such.
The thing is I have separated the science from the speculation. I stated quite clearly my source for saying that this virus is not like anything we’ve ever seen before. That comment came from World Health Organization expert Thomas Abraham. She seems unaware of what science is really going on.
The kind of virus encountered is called a triple reassortant virus (meaning swine, avian and human flu, all in one). In 1998 the CDC reported these were well documented. Yet in 2004, CDC was mounting a study to see if such a thing could even happen!
Reassortant viruses with swine strain H1N1 would not be so dangerous—but if combined with H5N1 (the one released by Baxter) would have bio-weapon strength, so it’s not an idle concern.
The present strain, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health, has NOT been seen in swine before. It’s origin is NOT explained and pap from people like this lady at CDC do nothing to further the concerns of real scientists who want this key question answered: WHERE DID SUCH A ROGUE VIRUS COME FROM?
It didn’t come from the wild; get it? [World Organisation for Animal Health (April 29, 2009). A/H1N1 influenza like human illness in Mexico and the USA: OIE statement. Press release. http://www.oie.int/eng/press/en_090427.htm. Retrieved on April 29, 2009.
The CDC itself has confirmed that U.S. cases were found to be made up of a strain containing genes from four different flu viruses – North American swine influenza, North American avian influenza, human influenza, and swine influenza virus typically found in Asia and Europe – “an unusually mongrelised mix of genetic sequences”, [“Deadly new flu virus in U.S. and Mexico may go pandemic”. New Scientist. 28 April 2009], which so far is unexplained, except in terms of engineering and deliberate tinkering with DNA.
The other main criticism I faced seemed to be one of sources, or one of making up ridiculous stories about a higher up conspiracy. Well, some people are just too lazy to Google and want me to do it for them.
I said it was being debated outside the US (and to some extent within the US) that this could all be a deliberate plan to create a pandemic. It’s not my invention, it’s me quoting the world media (Czech and Canadian newspapers, for example). Google it yourself and see!
Of course people are told nothing of these bigger issues in the USA. My first blog was as much about the news blackout in the USA as the possible pandemic. All the media do is throw fuel on the flames of fear and ignorance. I said that too—and for those who criticized me, get this quote from a well-seasoned media figure: According to Mark Feldstein, a former correspondent for NBC, ABC and CNN, the reason for such extensive coverage is that “If you scare people, they’ll tune in more.” [Kurtz, Howard. Newsday (from The Washington Post): “Media’s coverage of swine flu is feverish”. April 27, 2009.]
Can there be any doubt that fear, not truth, is what is being deliberately dished out?
It seems President Obama may not have shaken hands with a man with swine flu (I didn’t actually say that anyway, I said a man who died with flu symptoms). The relatives are concerned to have this story squashed. Well, I was not doing the sensationalism part, so much as using it to surmise that, if there is a conspiracy (IF), then the President doesn’t seem to be in on it.
So, finally, let’s keep our eye on developments. We do NOT have a pandemic yet, but the infection has gone wordwide. If fatalities (God forbid) should pass 10,000- 20,000, I’ll wade in with everything I know about protecting yourself and your loved ones against possible harm (and it’s libraries full of stuff!!)
On a positive note, flu does tend to die out in the summer months and that’s the direction we’re headed!