The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed more people than World War I (WWI), estimated victims being between 20 and 40 million people. It has been cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history. More people died of influenza in a single year than in four-years of the Black Death Bubonic Plague from 1347 to 1351. Known as “Spanish Flu” the influenza of 1918-1919 was a global disaster.
The effect of the influenza epidemic was so severe that the average life span in the US was depressed by 10 years.
Scientists in the US and abroad have been predicting the evolution of a new Flu pandemic for years as the virus mutates. The “Swine” Flu currently ravaging Mexico is feared to be the precursor of a an epidemic.
President Obama’s “Stimulus Package” included money to combat such a potential flu pandemic… Something Republicans considered entirely irresponsible –
After meeting with Mr. Obama, Sen. Collins expressed concern about a number of spending provisions, including $780 million for pandemic-flu preparedness. “I have no doubt that the president is willing to negotiate in good faith, that he wants to have a bipartisan bill,” Sen. Collins said.
The move to scale back the package came as Mr. Obama made a pitch for quick action. “No plan is perfect, and we should work to make it stronger,” said Mr. Obama, who separately met Wednesday with two other centrist senators. “But let’s not make the perfect the enemy of the essential.”
“Does it belong in this bill? Should we have $870 million in this bill? No, we should not.”
According to Nation Magazine Correspondent John Nichols in his article GOP Know-Nothings Fought Pandemic Preparedness
“Republicans, meanwhile, plan to push for broader and deeper tax cuts, to trim major spending provisions that support Democrats’ longer-term policy goals, and to try to knock out what they consider questionable spending items, such as $870 million to combat the flu and $400 million to slow the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.”
For Rethuglys – Mission Accomplished… America screwed yet again.
I think most folks remember the Louisiana Loser, Bobbity Jindal – and his famous line about spending on Volcano Eruption Detection…
“Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington.”
Followed two weeks later by a major volcanic eruption in Alaska.
She used to call a friend and cried
’til the man cut off the telephone
She’d sit and cry while I
went out and pawned the things we own
Now I must die by my own hand,
Cos I’m not man enough to live alone
Hey she’s better off without me,
And I’m better off dead…