Monday, April 27, 2009

A Letter To Senator Collins of Maine on Pandemic Flu Preparation

The Nation with Know-Nothings Fought Pandemic Preparedness reminded me that Senator Susan Collins of Maine (R) trumpeted that she took the lead role in stripping the Economic Stimulus bill of pandemic flu preparation. Comically and tragically, nature has "conspired" to make Republican complaints about preparing for extreme events, e.g. Bobby Jindal against volcano monitoring and now Susan Collins against pandemic flu preparation, look even more backward than before these events happened.

So I wrote Senator Collins this letter and I encourage you to do the same:

Mrs Collins,

Since you were the primary proponent in the Senate of stripping the Economic Stimulus bill of money for pandemic flu preparation, now that governments all over the world are actually confronting a possible pandemic flu, I want to know if you feel good about your irresponsible actions in order to play politics? My wife and I considered today whether I should commute to my job in NYC as a precaution against any possible outbreak, it doesn't take long to consider the massive financial impact a full blown outbreak would have on the economy if everyone stayed home because of potentially contracting a fatal disease like this swine flu.

I expect you to denounce your former actions and get ahead of this issue by introducing the pandemic flu portion of the Economic Stimulus bill as it's own legislation now that you can see first hand what could happen if a flu pandemic hits near panic proportions. Just look at the footage from Mexico of soccer games, the countries most popular sport, played in an empty stadium, and office buildings empty, and apply that to the US. Thankfully, it looks like DHS and the CDC are ahead of the swine flu in the US, but the next time we might not be as prepared or able to respond in an appropriate manor because those agencies don't have the funds to meat the threat.