Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Flu: Another International Test For Obama

Swine Flu: Another International Test For Obama
by Ron Powell
Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napalitano, has issued a warning against travelling to Mexico due to the outbreak of swine flu.

Kidnappings, beheadings, random shootings and the like were apparently not enough to stem the tide of Americans travelling to Mexico.

What is it about Americans that political, social and economic conditions in a given place will not deter the morbid voyeurism. The pass time that is so attractive that, against the odds and logic, Americans will run to take a condescending look at what they believe to be the spectacle of those less fortunate. A good deal of American travel and tourism amounts to little more than a kind of international rubber-necking.

Mexicans stream into the United States illegally by the thousands every year. Americans travel to Mexico by the thousands every year to see why.

We can anticipate a strengthening of the guard at the known entry points for illegals. We should be limiting travel to Mexico to humanitarian necessity. Warnings of the possibility of contracting a potentially fatal disease will not be enough to shut it down completely.

Even as UN and World Health Organization officials have determined that "containment is not an option". President Obama in his usual calm tone and demeanor said, "while there is cause for concern, there is no cause for alarm." Due in large measure to Republican political posturing, we have no Secretary of Health, no Surgeon General, and no Director of the Centers for Disease Control. President Obama is either on his own, or he must rely on Bush Administration hold-overs.

There might well be an order to quarantine the entire Mexican population. The Mexican government has closed all the schools and subways.

Would orders to shoot to kill anyone trying to cross into this country from our southern neighbor be far behind if people like Lou Dobbs, Rush Limbaugh, Hannity and O'Reilly were in charge? Would these folks rush to lock-down and quarantine if the threat were coming from Canada?

Why is the media always able to trace outbreaks of this kind, and always find that they originate in places were the population is predominated by people of color? How does a virus which combines genes from swine, bird, and human flu come into existence on a pig farm in Mexico, as reported?

What do you suppose would be the fate of those who would be trapped at the border, unable to return to the US because of a quarantine. Perhaps we would do well to stay away from Mexico for a while. Buy or rent some films like "Outbreak" or "The Andromeda Strain", melt some butter for the popcorn, and get the cheap chills and thrills the old fashioned way.

But first, wash your hands.

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