H1N1 Swine Flu “Pandemic” Was Commercially-Constructed Fear Mongering October 8, 2010 | 12:05 pm

Back when the fear of the Swine Flu was at its highest, I was calling shenanigans. It seemed just too coincidental that the flu vaccine was generated just in time for a flu to surface which was going to kill us all—unless we get the vaccine and thereby lined the pockets of pharmaceutical companies, of course. I also remembered the Avian Flu, and how that came to nothing. So despite the government’s warnings and the media’s hysterics, I dismissed the Swine Flu completely. Craziness!

Except that it turns out that I was right. The regular flu season and the H1N1 swine flu season weren’t particularly different:

In adults and children over age 6 months, the H1N1 swine flu was no more severe — and posed no greater risk of serious disease — than recent seasonal flu bugs. (cite)

As the hype trailed off (roughly trailing vaccine sales), a few reports started to surface, including the head of Homeland Security (who isn’t exactly known for being a source of reassurance):

“What the epidemiologists are seeing now with this particular strain of U.N. is that the severity of the disease, the severity of the flu — how sick you get — is not stronger than regular seasonal flu,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Monday (cite)

So where did the fear of the pandemic come from? The CDC and the WHO both were freaking the Hell out. And why?

The H1N1 virus has spawned widespread panic and fear throughout the world. However, upon closer examination, many of the claims made by the World Health Organization (WHO) seem to be based on weak and incomplete data. The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created and used data to grossly exaggerate the need for an expensive and unnecessary vaccine aimed at creating profits for the pharmaceutical industry—not protecting Americans. (cite)

Shocking.

Moral of the story: when faced with mass panic, the winning bet is that it’s caused by your media and your government shilling for the profit of large corporations.

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  • http://whatdoesthesciencesay.wordpress.com/ Joshua DeWald

    I’m not sure what point is being made here. It turned out that nearly nobody died from the “normal” flu strains, but thousands died from the H1N1 this year. So most of the risk actually did transfer to this “novel” form of flu. So technically its correct that it wasn’t more virulent than standard flu, but it certainly was a real threat. And because there was all this anti-vaccine propaganda, those who might normally have gotten vaccinated, didn’t.

    From the CDC estimates:
    * CDC estimates that between 43 million and 89 million cases of 2009 H1N1 occurred between April 2009 and April 10, 2010. The mid-level in this range is about 61 million people infected with 2009 H1N1.
    * CDC estimates that between about 195,000 and 403,000 H1N1-related hospitalizations occurred between April 2009 and April 10, 2010. The mid-level in this range is about 274,000 2009 H1N1-related hospitalizations.
    * CDC estimates that between about 8,870 and 18,300 2009 H1N1-related deaths occurred between April 2009 and April 10, 2010. The mid-level in this range is about 12,470 2009 H1N1-related deaths.

    Did millions need to die for it to be considered “real”?

  • orbitz

    Uhhh actually, no. The CDC was going for a rather safe-than-sorry approach. Consider this, the pandemic turns out to be pretty bad and we have not prepared at all. The moral of the story is not that that there is a giant conspiracy out there, it’s that you can’t tell the future. Don’t post this nonsense, it’s the kind of junk that will hurt us when something devastating actually comes.

  • orbitz

    I did a little research into Michel Chossudovsky too (the author of the article you quote). He has no qualifications in epidemiology he is also into conspiracy theories:


    Chossudovsky claims that the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) is actually an operational weapon of mass destruction, with the power to alter the weather, disrupt regional electrical power systems, and modify the Earth’s magnetic field, as well as potentially trigger earthquakes and affect people’s brains. [7][8][9] He has also espoused several 9/11 conspiracy theories, including the “stand-down” of the United States Air Force, the supposed lack or disappearance of airplane debris at the Pentagon, and the “pulling” of 7 World Trade Center. He has also claimed that the invasion of Afghanistan had long been planned by the United States and NATO, with the 9/11 attacks an excuse to justify the war.[10][11]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Chossudovsky

  • orbitz

    The author of the article you link to, Michel Chossudovsky, also has no epidemiological expertise at all. He is an economist. His wikipedia page also states he is a believer in a few conspiracy theories:


    Chossudovsky claims that the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) is actually an operational weapon of mass destruction, with the power to alter the weather, disrupt regional electrical power systems, and modify the Earth’s magnetic field, as well as potentially trigger earthquakes and affect people’s brains. [7][8][9] He has also espoused several 9/11 conspiracy theories, including the “stand-down” of the United States Air Force, the supposed lack or disappearance of airplane debris at the Pentagon, and the “pulling” of 7 World Trade Center. He has also claimed that the invasion of Afghanistan had long been planned by the United States and NATO, with the 9/11 attacks an excuse to justify the war.[10][11]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Chossudovsky

  • Marc

    Actually Orbitz, all flu vaccines are bs except in cases where you have people who are “at risk”. In general, the government does not know what flu will come to our shores. So what they do is they take a guess and prepare a vaccine that is then marketed as the flu vaccine for the year. Even in cases where they’re pretty sure we’re going to get hit by a specific virus, these viruses mutate constantly and what worked in China may not work here.

    Finally, I have yet to see any statistics that show the effectiveness of these vaccines. There’s really nothing out there that shows they do anything at all but make money for the companies that produce the vaccines. If you can show anything to the contrary, Orbitz, I’d love to see it. Everything I’ve read to date seems to indicate that they are pretty much worthless.

  • orbitz

    http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination/effectivenessqa.htm


    Overall, in years when the vaccine and circulating viruses are well-matched, influenza vaccines can be expected to reduce laboratory-confirmed influenza by approximately 70% to 90% in healthy adults <65 years of age. Several studies have also found reductions in febrile illness, influenza-related work absenteeism, antibiotic use, and doctor visits.
    "

    There is more specific information on that page. The efficacy varies from year to year clearly. In order for your statement to be accurate ("…seems to indicate they are pretty much worthless"), two things would have to be true:
    1) The basic idea of how vaccines work would have to be untrue.
    2) The yearly predictions for the flu vaccine would have to be completely wrong every single year.

    The first is clearly untrue and the second varies. Some years are better than others. Based on the research though it is not a binary result, getting it a bit wrong in one year doesn't mean the vaccine is completely ineffective.

    Your assertions are not based in reality.

  • http://www.robertcfischer.com Robert Fischer

    Nearly nobody died from the regular flu? CNN disagrees.

    The point isn’t about whether the swine flu was bad or not: it’s bad, about on par with the normal flu. The point is that the media coverage was ridiculous compared to its normal flu status. In a 14 day sample, papers averaged 10 of the 14 days with front page stories on Swine Flu. That’s pretty ridiculous for a virus that had only 2.2k infections up to that point: five days a week, you’re getting front-page stories about how horrid swine flu is and how you need to get vaccinated, and the real kernel of news is that 0.00072% of the population is infected with the flu.

  • http://www.robertcfischer.com Robert Fischer

    What hurts us is that the onus is now on individuals to tell the difference between a genuine concern and groundless media-driven panic. Individuals don’t have the time or means to sort out all these different claims: that’s why we have the institution of journalism. But if we don’t hold media accountable for bad journalism, we lose the value of the whole institution.