Better Early Than Late

Ken AshfordAvian/Swine FluLeave a Comment

I was watching a Tivo recording of Bill Maher’s HBO show from last Friday.  I forget now what the topic was, but one of the panelists noted that Bush has such low expectations now (even from his supporters) that when he does something even half-way  right, everybody tends to applaud and praise him.  You know, as if he is a child who says — for the first time — "excuse me" after he burps.

So I originally wanted to be magnanimous and applaud Bush for taking a pre-emptive stance on this bird flu thing well before it strikes.  After all, the federal should prepare for things like this, rather than scramble around in a Katrina-like sideshow after the disaster strikes.

But the thing is, by praising Bush for doing the minimum of what is expected from a leader, I play into the "lower expectations" game.

That said, I’m pleased that — at least on this issue  — Bush seems to be forward-thinking:

President Bush said Tuesday that his flu pandemic plan calls for investing in technology for greater vaccine production and breaking down barriers to bring it online quicker.

In a speech at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, Bush said the plan provides funding for early detection, containment and treatment of an outbreak.

The strategy also calls for improving the process of creating flu vaccines and stockpiling antiviral drugs.

Let’s hope it’s not political posturing, and we actually see some plans being implemented.

UPDATE:  Yeah, I figured this was the angle: Rumsfeld has made $1 million dollars off the flu vaccine.