Monday, March 13, 2006

Flu craziness

I'm going to give Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Levitt the benefit of the doubt here, because it sounds like his comments may be out of context, but ABC News is reporting that over the weekend he recommended that Americans start storing up tuna and dried milk under their beds as the avian flu approaches. If mis-reported, shame on ABC. If he actually said it in the alarmist context that ABC presents it, then this guy has an even worse case of diarrhea of the mouth (no pun intended) than Tommy Thompson.

Don't get me wrong, I think everyone should have a supply of non-perishable food for emergencies. The hoarding of supplies under beds is alarmist, though. I've also said over and over again that the government should be preparing us for the possibility of a avian flu outbreak in calm, factual terms. This alarmist talk only serves to get the public edgy, and an edgy public is much more prone to panic, and panic is the last thing we need in the case of an avian flu outbreak.

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