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Swine Flu? DC Thoughts on Swine Flu Pandemic Planning
By Darrel Crain, DC

It's a flu-for-all out there. War has been declared on the swine flu by governments around the world. The H1N1 swine flu virus is most notable for its tendency to be drearily lackluster, tame and below average as influenza goes, but on June 11, 2009 the World Health Organization (WHO) pushed the hyper-panic button for the swine flu anyway, triggering a global chain reaction of emergency medical preparations.

A Phase 6 global pandemic alert, until that moment, stood as the highest possible red flag warning, reserved for massively monstrous and hideously harmful epidemics. WHO moved the goalpost? At some point earlier this year, the term 'global pandemic' was apparently redefined by the WHO on its Web site, resulting in a dramatic upgrade for the virus from puny pathogen to perilous pandemic.

The WHO's definition originally stated that influenza pandemics cause "enormous numbers of deaths and illness," but for reasons best known to WHO leadership, the part about death and illness was deleted. Taken together, the actions of the WHO this year seem intended to ratchet up fear about the new flu to just south of pure panic.
Panic did break out in a few countries, such as India, but with so many other fundamental problems to deal with, such as how to get food on the table, much of world's population appears unconcerned about the whole thing.

All of which may explain why the WHO fires off alarming press releases every few days. A recent update warns that the H1N1 flu is spreading at an "unbelievable" speed. Not only that, a couple of turkeys in Chile just came down with the flu. Just in case anyone missed the urgency here, the WHO once again reminds us that all governments "must prepare for the worst."

"Pronouncements about pandemic planning in recent years – and the plan itself – for all practical purposes redefined a pandemic as a horror-laden event in which mortuaries would be overflowing, with people dropping dead in the street and normal civic functions grinding to a halt," remarked Hugh Pennington, professor emeritus of the University of Aberdeen.

Public health leaders around the world are cast as the lead actors in the unfolding pandemic drama, perhaps best entitled, 'Much A-flu About Nothing' (apologies to Bill Shakespeare). The usual playlist of tactics for manufacturing flu shot demand is in full swing, such as creating a sense of urgency and scarcity. Who gets the shots first? Will it be soon enough? Will there be enough vaccine to go around?

In Greece, the Health Minister has declared, "We decided that the entire population, all citizens and residents, without any exception, will be vaccinated against the flu."
In South Korea, it is reported that elementary and secondary school teachers will take the body temperature of all their pupils at school gates every morning and sterilize each classroom daily.

The Associated Press reports that hundreds of public schools in the U.S. are "heeding the government's call to set up flu clinics in the fall, preparing for what could be the most widespread school vaccinations since the days of polio."

Leaders in the Obama administration are playing their role with gusto, announcing recently that 90,000 Americans may die this fall because of swine flu infections, while millions will be terribly sick and 300,000 will wind up in intensive care.

But here's the part we should all be worried about: the declaration of a global pandemic for the H1N1 flu is only the latest sign that an insidious and far more dangerous disease has taken hold, an ominous epidemic that is plaguing the planet, the dreaded "Scientific Thinking Deficiency Disorder" (STDD).

The STDD epidemic is particularly devastating because it strikes first and hardest at medical leaders, causing extreme alarm and a massive collapse of rational thinking. Unlike normal disease outbreaks, the STDD infection is transmitted verbally. Each and every time a medical authority opens his or her mouth in public the situation gets worse. The telltale signs of STDD are rash and fever—a rash of hysterical and dire predictions accompanied by feverish plans to vaccinate every man, woman and child. Twice.

But there is an obvious gap in logic here, approximately the width of the Grand Canyon, being used to justify vaccinating as many as possible as soon as possible. Health leaders agree that the virus remains relatively harmless, so all the excitement is based on fear, the possibility that the H1N1 virus might mutate and become something else. Of course, this is a definite possibility, but the vaccines in production are being made from the pre-mutation, wimpy virus. If H1N1 mutates into something entirely different and deadly, the fast-tracked vaccines will be useless.

Not so, say vaccine defenders, who are of the opinion that inoculating with an H1N1 strain "close" to the mutated version will offer "some protection." Scientific studies that have tried to confirm this very popular hypothesis have proven inconclusive, but the consensus of opinion is accepted as scientifically established. Translated, consensus means "Really important and powerful people believe this to be true, so you'd better believe it to be true too."

It is also a matter of consensus among public health experts that flu shots save lives. Has any one of them have bothered to check official flu-related death statistics? The percentage of the population receiving the seasonal flu shot has risen dramatically over the past thirty years. A corresponding dramatic decrease in the death rate, plotted on a graph, would appear as a steeply sloping, downhill line. The actual graph shows a line just about as flat as a proverbial pancake, with a slight rise in the death rate for the elderly.
When the consensus says that the shot saves lives, but the data says the shot does not, who wins? As Vladimir Lenin once observed, "A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth."

The U.S. government climbed on board the pandemic bandwagon early on, writing big checks to a handful of vaccine makers faster than you can say "adverse reaction." Critics claim we are seeing swine flu deja vu, a repeat of the 1976 swine flu vaccine debacle. Forty million people were injected with a fast-tracked vaccine that flu season, leading to 25 deaths and 500 cases of paralysis from Guillain-Barre syndrome. Thousands of legal claims were filed seeking compensation for vaccine-induced injuries, and taxpayers coughed up more than $1.3 billion in awards for death and damages.

Don't worry, say CDC officials, be happy. The new pandemic vaccines will be just as safe as seasonal flu vaccines. This may suggest to you that the safety of seasonal flu shots has been thoroughly studied and established for pregnant women and young children, the two groups at the head of the line for the H1N1 flu shot.

"There is no study of the vaccines on pregnant women—no randomized clinical trials," according to researcher Tom Jefferson of the independently funded, highly regarded Cochrane Institute. And according to the printed insert for one brand of 2009-20010 seasonal influenza vaccine, "Safety and effectiveness of Flulaval have not been established in pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children."

According to a study released at the 2009 American Thoracic Society International Conference, children with asthma who received FluMist (the up-your-nose flu shot) experienced a three-fold increased risk of hospitalization. I wonder what other surprises are in store for us once the safety studies finally are done?

One clinical trial is underway, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID). The folks there are currently recruiting pregnant women for a randomized trial—randomized, but not placebo controlled. Is this more evidence of deficient scientific thinking? The trial's design cannot possibly establish vaccine safety, because there is no control group for comparison of outcomes. The NIAID study will simply compare using one brand of flu shot over another. Any safety problems common to both vaccines will never show up in this kind of incomplete analysis.

This is called cigarette science, producing studies just right for industries dying to have some good news to talk about. This is akin to comparing one group of pregnant smokers with another group of pregnant smokers, while meticulously documenting zero difference in health between the two groups. The point of the whole exercise is in the headlines at the conclusion of the study, "Smoking cigarettes found perfectly safe for pregnant women and their babies."

Dr. Marie Paul Kieny, director of vaccine research at the WHO, explained what is known and not known about the safety of the pandemic flu shots this way: "It's not to say they would not be safe, they may be very safe but there is no data for the time being to demonstrate safety." Translation, "We know squat about the shot."

The following draft statement from the federal government's Vaccine Advisory Committee admits we are embarking on a risky medical experiment involving millions of human guinea pigs: "The need to actively monitor vaccine recipients for vaccine adverse events is critical given that the vaccine candidates will all contain a new antigen and may be combined with adjuvants that are not part of licensed vaccines in the U.S."

If you were not panicked before, now may be a good time. The ranks of our medical leaders have been overcome by another infection, the ominous "Cover Your Assets Syndrome" (CYAS). Government planners, vaccine manufacturers and all medical personnel involved at any level of the swine flu shot effort now share a blanket of absolute legal protection against any and all claims of vaccine-caused death or damage. This has been extended to cover any problems caused by antiviral drugs. Does anyone else wonder why these people need all this legal immunity if the shots and drugs are as safe as we have been told?

Around the world rumors are swirling about forced vaccination, forced quarantine and other draconian measures. In the U.S., for the time being we are assured by leaders in the CDC that state laws regarding vaccination will prevail. Even so, the lines of authority are blurred considerably in the middle of this pandemic exercise.

Anti-terror laws created under the Bush administration were enlarged to include bio-terror and pandemic responses. Language in these laws, as well as emergency powers law under consideration in various states, spells out alarming suspensions of certain constitutional rights. The Massachusetts senate just passed a bill declaring emergency authority to bypass protection from: illegal search and seizure; illegal arrest without warrant; government price controls; "involuntary transportation" (kidnapping anyone?); forced vaccination; forced quarantine; $1,000-a-day fines for non-cooperation; threat of jail for noncompliance, and other scary stuff. Sounds like a party I'd just as soon skip.

With all this talk around the world about forcing healthcare workers, without exception, to receive the pork shot or lose their jobs, and forcing the shot on citizens under the threat of losing of civil liberties, a groundswell of unrest and defiance is building. A few polls of nurses and doctors indicate many would refuse the shot. Online petitions are proliferating, declaring stark opposition to forced vaccination or quarantine.

One question is being asked by many people, why are highly intelligent public health leaders around the world so focused on flu shots to the exclusion of exciting new science that confirms vitamin D supplementation has the power to vastly reduce all influenza-like illness no matter what its cause?

The following suggestions offered by Tom Jefferson make a lot of sense: "We need a more comprehensive and perhaps more effective strategy in controlling acute respiratory infections, relying on several preventive interventions that take into account the multi-agent nature of infectious respiratory disease and its context [such as personal hygiene, adequate food, water and sanitation]."

Why do our public health leaders seem to ignore the fact that the flu doesn't kill, secondary infections do, and much can be done without drugs and vaccines to face this reality head on? For those of us living in the 21st century industrialized world, a plague of chronic diseases is killing us, not the potential threat of infectious disease.

What if we instead spent billions on putting together the pieces of the autism puzzle, which currently affects one child in 96 in some states? What if we made a high priority of figuring out why one of every six children has a learning disability? What if enormous sums of money were spent educating people, from a very young age, that cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke and many other chronic diseases are not primarily medical conditions, but largely the result of daily lifestyle choices?

The answer is, it just might be a whole lot better than the flu-for-all to which we have all been invited. What if they threw a pandemic and nobody showed up?

Original article published on 9/2009

Reprinted with permission from the author

 

 

In This Issue:
Swine Flu? DC Thoughts on Swine Flu Pandemic Planning
Dr. Nicole's Kid Corner: Santa Barbara Birthing Center
Give Yourself a Little TLC
Healthy Cream of Broccoli Soup

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