Did the WHO Exaggerate the Swine Flu Threat to Rake in Big Bucks for Big Pharma?
Obviously the answer is yes but we already knew that, didn't we, kids?
I refused an H1N1 shot and likely suffered through a few weeks of what I called "zombie flu" - quite hard to differentiate from regular old flu, which I never really get. Living in SF and riding public transportation when H1N1 was in its rampage phase, I'm exposed to all kinds of cooties on a daily basis and would likely survive a biological terrorist attack were it to happen here. I refused to get my son an H1N1 shot and he didn't even get a cold. We're both still here.
Shock and awe, you mean the WHO exaggerated the H1N1 threat?! Say it ain't so! WaPo says so:
European criticism of the World Health Organization's handling of the H1N1 pandemic intensified Friday with the release of two reports that accused the agency of exaggerating the threat posed by the virus and failing to disclose possible influence by the pharmaceutical industry on its recommendations for how countries should respond.
The WHO's response caused widespread, unnecessary fear and prompted countries around the world to waste millions of dollars, according to one report. At the same time, the Geneva-based arm of the United Nations relied on advice from experts with ties to drug makers in developing the guidelines it used to encourage countries to stockpile millions of doses of antiviral medications, according to the second report.
Said the WHO in response:
"The idea that we declared a pandemic when there wasn't a pandemic is both historically inaccurate and downright irresponsible," said WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl in a telephone interview. "There is no doubt that this was a pandemic. To insinuate that this was not a pandemic is very disrespectful to the people who died from it."
That's funny. Let's put this into perspective, shall we?
By November of 2009, the CDC had reported 4000 Swine Flu deaths in the U.S. Though official numbers are not available, estimates are that 16,500 people die each year from NSAID pain-relievers like aspirin. Is aspirin use also a pandemic, then?
It's very disrespectful to the 4 people who died using NSAID pain-relievers for every 1 who died from Swine Flu to call this a pandemic, if you ask me but I'm not expert.