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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

There's only one way to be certain

And that's to do it yourself:

In Sept. 2005, Dr. David Nabarro was appointed the first U.N. system influenza coordinator, a position which also places him as a senior policy adviser to the U.N. director-general.... In a Sept. 29, 2005, press conference at the U.N., Nabarro made clear that his job was to prepare for the H5N1 virus, known as the avian flu. Nabarro fueled the global fear that an epidemic was virtually inevitable.

In response to a question about the 1918-1919 flu pandemic that killed approximately 40 million people worldwide, Nabarro commented, "I am certain there will be another pandemic sometime." Nabarro stressed at the press conference that he saw as inevitable a worldwide pandemic influenza coming soon that would kill millions.

He quantified the deaths he expected as follows: "I'm not, at the moment at liberty to give you a prediction on numbers, but I just want to stress, that, let's say, the range of deaths could be anything from 5 to 150 million."

It's interesting to note that the recent "outbreak" of foot-and-mouth disease in Britain was caused by the laboratory that was "studying" it. I'm sure that makes everyone located near the laboratory that decided to keep the last remaining samples of the 1919 flu virus around for the purposes of "studying" it feel a lot safer.

Of course, once a properly prepared H5N1 virus escapes from the laboratory to wreak havoc on the world, it would be absolutely outrageous to blame the devastation upon the brave scientists who were innocently "studying" the virus in order to save Mankind from it before it cunningly broke out from the lab.

UPDATE - Look out, they're practicing again:

What may be the largest pandemic planning exercise ever conducted in the U.S. is set to begin next month. The dry run will force financial services firms to operate with shrinking numbers of employees -- on paper, at least. More than 1,800 organizations have signed up to participate in the three-week simulation, which is being sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

You know, I can't help but recall that the last nationwide federal training exercise to take place in September didn't really go all that well.

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