Sunday, March 22, 2020

More Questions Arise: Why Were No Alarms Sounded In 2009 With H1N1?

What did Dr. Fauci have to say in 2009 about the deadly H1N1 pandemic?

It seems some viral infection pandemics are more equal than others. At least when it comes to burning a vibrant Trump economy to the ground. 

In September 2009, after millions had become infected with the H1N1 influenza and thousands had died, some of whom were young people and children, a relaxed and unalarmed Dr. Anthony Fauci told an interviewer that people just need "to use good judgment."

"Parents should not send their kids to school if they're sick, if you're sick don't go to work ... avoid places where there are people who are sick and coughing, now that's a difficult thing to do,” he said. "...You can't isolate yourself from the rest of the world for the whole flu season." That’s quite a change from the esteemed expert’s views on the current virus from China sweeping the world.

It’s peculiar that nowhere in the 2009 video does Dr. Fauci suggest that in order to alleviate the stress on hospital supplies we "force, uh, delay,  if not cancel anything that's elective, I mean any medical or surgical procedures that need to be done on an elective basis should not be done."  Dr. Fauci's statement to NBC's Savannah Guthrie on March 20, 2020 and his obvious slip of the tongue using the word “force” reveals just how much influence Dr. Fauci has over our daily lives. To date, hospitals, imaging centers, and outpatient departments across the country have cancelled non-emergent testing and surgical procedures.

Additionally, nowhere in the 2009 interview does Dr. Fauci specifically mention restaurants and bars as hot spots for the transmission of the H1N1 virus as he does in his recent interview with Yahoo News: “When I see crowded bars and crowded restaurants, it is a little bit unnerving,” Fauci said. "It’s clear that those are the situations that put people very much at risk." Talk about wielding power. Take a look around the country. Local and state officials have heeded Fauci’s “unnerving” concern and ordered restaurants to close their dining areas, or adhere to a 10-person limit.  In cities and small towns everywhere, the restaurant industry, which includes owners,  suppliers, chefs, line cooks, waitstaff, and bartenders, has been decimated.

Restaurants and bar owners, along with their employees, are the hardest hit economically by the virus. In my city of Richmond, Virginia, 75% to 80% of restaurant staff have been laid off. One hundred restaurants have closed and those not following Governor Ralph ‘Blackface' Northam's 10-person limit have been advised they could lose their business licenses and possibly risk police action if they do not comply. Meanwhile,  Dr. Fauci lamented to Yahoo! News that he is unable to get his usual seven-mile daily run in due to his 19-hour days helping the American people, but he's hopeful "sometime soon we’ll get back to some normality where I can exercise the way I like to exercise."  
Lastly, nowhere in the 2009 interview does Fauci use inflammatory, fear-inducing rhetoric, despite the number of H1N1-infected individuals, increased hospitalizations and deaths occurring at that time. Eleven years later, on March 11, 2020, Fauci is gung ho about COVID-19, warning lawmakers at a hearing on Capitol Hill: "Bottom line, it's going to get worse."  Since then, the renowned AIDS epidemiologist has been seen daily at White House press conferences and on cable news shows reiterating this message to the public.

For all of Dr. Fauci’s daily appearances and scientific evaluations of the data, questions still abound. For example: Why did Dr. Fauci not sound the alarm in 2009 as urgently as he has done in 2020?  
Why did he not insist we 'force' hospitals to cancel elective tests and surgeries to save room for future infected patients during the H1N1 outbreak? Why did he pointedly target restaurants and bars in his concern for the spread of the coronavirus but not H1N1?  As a specialist in infectious diseases, and as a self-described "man of science," why support the closing of schools, businesses, and home quarantine for one virus and not the other?  

H1N1's duration from April 2009 to April 2010 with 60 million infected and almost 13,000 deaths in the U.S. alone was no less serious than the 2020 coronavirus so why was Dr. Fauci taking a more measured approach in 2009?

The answers may come too late. The economy that was setting records has been broken, at least, and hopefully, temporarily. The working and middle classes, who only a month ago were celebrating the purchase of a new car, a house, a raise, moving out of their parents' home or the promise of a better job are wondering if they can hold on, and some are waking up to the realization their lives have been turned upside down over a virus that is no more deadly than the flu they got last year. 


Caver said...

Exactly!!! All kinds of things are wrong here. Something is very, very wrong and it isn't the virus. Why has a whole 3 months of this virus given us the number of last WEEK'S flu deaths and not a word on the flu but shutting down the world over this bug??? After all the hype the real numbers now coming out showing this to be a lesser illness in almost every category......and we're willing to wreck the economy for it??!!?? Why is the DOJ requesting all kinds of new unconstitutional powers for a virus? Why is a silver bullet, Hydroxychloroquine, not already in wide spread use...its got 50 years of history and China published its effectiveness over a month ago in an intentional medical journal?? This doesn't even scratch the surface of things wrong.

Anonymous said...

To me the telling comment was when President Trump cited a very promising 40 person study in France using Chloroquine with the testing body stating it should be used immediately for Covid-19. Fauci stated he wants more "clinical testing". This told me immediately he has an agenda but only God really knows.

Anonymous said...

As a doctor in the Philippines, the SARS, H1N1, Mers and others were all overblown - I suspect the figures for those are way exaggerated. Unfortunately, this new one is different. During the outbreaks of those other viruses, we didn't have overflowing ICU patients and we didn't have our doctors dying from the disease.

Currently, we lost 3 doctors already, 1 a friend of mine - an anesthesiologist. I also have 2 of my medical school professors intubated. A cardiology professor and a pediatrician - infectious disease specialist (who was also my children's pediatrician). There are a 6 other doctors intubated right now. And the Philippines is just slowly seeing its figures go up.

This virus is different. I agree that new world order is making the most of the media mileage it can get from this contagion. But please do not believe the opposite lie that it is nothing -- it is much worse than the H1N1, SARS, mers, etc. The only thing that can give a match for this in our country is dengue fever but that one, we can stop the mosquitoes.

Please pray for us. We pray for everyone. Keep safe.

Scott said...

Just curious - why don't such cases appear in any of the aggregate reports?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand your question Scott. Do you mean the Philippines data
singling out the doctors as casualties? Our nation's health secretary mentioned the 3 dead physicians. It is in our private doctors discussion groups that we share news who among us got infected and are on critical condition. You can probably see news reports of those 3 deaths. I hope you are doing good there, I know you are a doctor too. By the way, the regular flu is not a problem in the Philippines at all. It also does not cause ICU bed shortage or ventilator shortage or significant number of deaths, much more physician deaths. The regular flu story may be different in your country or are the numbers exaggerated?

Anonymous said...

A news link

Scott said...

I'm saying - I hear and read about these individual case reports, but whenever I read a summary of a review of xxx number of cases and descriptions of the deaths or serious cases, it seems that 99% are in elderly with pre-existing disease - but I keep reading about these individual cases in isolation (young people who are heathy and ending up on ventilator etc) - So I'm trying to figure out why these individual cases I see in the news or whatever never seem t o be present when I review a more formal analysis..

I believe that there are two strains, and I believe the health-care-providers have so much exposure that sooner or later they get the more virulent strain (which seems to be diminishing as well) - thats my theory of why HCP staff are getting sick and "serious".

Anonymous said...

I read reports of the L and S strains occurring. They think that getting the milder s strain will protect you. We don't have the data for that here. How about in your place?

Scott said...

I haven't seen any data on one strain giving immunity to the other strain - There are some good trials underway however (in general; not sure about this, specifically)...I'm trying to stick with any aggregate data analysis moreso than case reports. At one point there was speculation on 28 day incubation and now it looks as if the mean is 3-5 days; same with immunity - there were allegedly case reports on re0infection but so far studies aren't showing that either. I think HCPs get so much exposure that they will more likely get the more virulent strain just from repeated exposure in a concentrated period of time, I'm not even sure they can build immunity from the milder before being exposed to the virulent (of course this is a lot of speculation) form