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Leave it to the Pigs

By Dian Vujovich

Well, looks like the pigs are out to get us one way or another.

If it’s not the pigs on Wall Street, those at the banks, greedy corporate heads or regular folk who just can’t ever seem to have enough of anything, the oinking heard round the world today is of a deadly kind.

As the number of people dying from swine flu rises—it was reportedly over 100 in Mexico earlier today while CNN numbers came up with 1700 unconfirmed deaths– people are staying in their homes while squealing heard on the streets center around the fear that this flu could turn into a worldwide epidemic. There’s no telling what the result could be in loss of lives. Or, what it could mean to the current recession and global economic recovery.

According to a CNNMoney.com story, if the outbreak turns into a “large-scale pandemic” everything from travel by air and sea as well as global trade could be impacted. Russia, for instance, has already banned imports of meat products from Mexico, California and Texas as a result of the outbreak.

Read the CNN full story at: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Analysts-Swine-flu-could-cnnm-15042150.html?sec=topStories&pos=1&asset=&ccode=

Money, however, is one thing. Saving people’s lives should an epidemic arise is quite another.

Shelia Davies keeps me abreast of all things British and emailed me a piece from the UK’s Guardian newspaper early this morning. Here’s a bit of it:

“According to John Nichols of The Nation, back during the January-February
stimulus fight, Republicans in Congress stripped about $900 million from the
package that was intended to…drumroll…fight pandemics. Yep.

One could plausibly argue, I suppose, that pandemic-prevention spending did not
exactly count as stimulus in the same way that rail construction did. But
Democratic members of Congress like David Obey of Wisconsin countered that
argument this way, writes Nichols:

Obey and other advocates for the spending argued, correctly, that a pandemic
hitting in the midst of an economic downturn could turn a recession into
something far worse — with workers ordered to remain in their homes, workplaces
shuttered to avoid the spread of disease, transportation systems grinding to a
halt and demand for emergency services and public health interventions
skyrocketing. Indeed, they suggested, pandemic preparation was essential to any
responsible plan for renewing the U.S. economy….”

Shelia, know where we can get some Tamiflu?

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