Washington, DC. Mar. 11th, 2005 ---- Vietnam has sent the world health experts to panic station as they have waited five weeks to update their Avian Flu database. The US in particular is sweating that this is not a pre curser to a wall of silence to the mutation of the H5N1 virus. America stands to have many millions dead, especially as Americans have low resistance to virus attacks, and none to H5N1.
Conspiracy theorists see this as a means for Vietnam to get revenge for the bombing, Agent Orange and millions of mines. A single infected person traveling across the US could kill half the population of major cities within weeks, even days.
For political gain the Bush Administration are not taking Avian Flu seriously, for to admit a looming pandemic would mean showing the totally corrupt and useless FDA and pharmaceutical industry, when it comes to meeting the demands of the US public, especially with no huge profit involved. Anti Viral and Anti Biotic drugs aren't the huge money makers that Erectile Dysfunction and Arthritis drugs are. Pandemics and Epidemics mean the hospitals are crammed with poor workers and even poorer immigrants, without the ability to make the rich even richer.
America is so vulnerable it makes the odds at beating the House in Vegas seem good compared with finding a vaccine in New York, should the pandemic start spreading. Of course it could be stopped in Vietnam and neighboring countries, if the will was there, and if the world sent the doctors and laboratory facilities to aid these poor nations, burdened by communism. Anyone watching the spread of SARS, a weak and ineffective virus compared with H5N1, will remember that the veil of secrecy dropped by the Chinese Communist leaders caused much of the early confusion and panic. Once isolated and understood the panic ended.
But George Bush has no vision, or "vishion" that does not include terrorism and evil. Viruses are sent from God, and can't be bombed by Rumsfeld. They take the focus off manageable threats that Karl Rove can turn to political advantage. They don't exist!
As nations around the world stock up for the potential horror should H5N1 hit, George Bush is worried about his cronies not having enough investment money to play with, and Social Security not being solvent half a century away. Hey George, if these little puppies get loose from "Veetnarm" (That's the place you avoided thirty years ago) then we won't have to worry about the Social Security fund for most of us about to retire, and the very young.
Instead of worrying about Syria, send Rice over to Vietnam to ensure they report daily, and offer them all the assistance we can give. I know Dick won't make any money off it, but what the heck it sure beats gurgling to death on the floor saying "I wish...I wish..."