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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » No flu shot for you? That's Bush's fault, too.

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Author Topic: No flu shot for you? That's Bush's fault, too.
Zyne
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quote:
Documents provided by the FDA to a congressional committee show that inspectors uncovered contamination and unsanitary conditions at a Chiron Corp. flu vaccine manufacturing plant in England in 2003. Yet the agency did not re-inspect the facility until similar problems caused the loss of roughly 50 million flu shots destined for the United States.
...
Even after Chiron indicated Aug. 25 that several million doses of vaccine had been contaminated, Waxman said, the agency remained passive, relying on weekly conference calls with the company rather than a new inspection.

Source (view an ad to get the article).
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Paul C
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You know!

If your boy, Gore, had been in office it would have been HIS fault. Bottom line, The President is responsible and accountable for everything that happens in the country during his term in office. Harry Truman (a democrat) said, "The buck stops here"! There you have it.

It cannot be easy having the weight of the world on your shoulders. However, it is VERY easy to sit back as one of 300,000,000 arm chair quarterbacks and poke holes in everything and pick and choose the minutia to make a case against our President.

Picture yourself in the Whitehouse and try to look at every issue from that point of view. Maybe you wouldn't be so quick to post these ridiculous threads.

Grow up, Zyne!

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Koner
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Yes it is absolutley 100% President Bush's fault that a manufacturer of flu vaccine in ENGLAND became contaminated. I'm sure that on one of his many vacations to England Mr. Bush decided "you know I bet it would funny if I went over to that flu vaccine plant and stuck my finger in oh say, 50,000,000 vials so that they could not be used.

Last week I got a flat tire when I hit a pot hole in the road that hadn't been fixed by the County Road Commission. Since the Road Commision is a government agency my flat tire was the Presidents fault. I'm going to sue him for a new tire.

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Wayward Son
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As was thoroughly discussed in a previous thread on Bush's initial response to World Trade Center attack (reading a children's book for 7 minutes), the strength of this President is in the people he appoints. He does not need to be directly involved in crises because he has good people who will make the right decisions for him. Or, at least, that was how it was explained to me.

So now one of his appointee apparently missed what could be a serious problem. A flu epidemic could potentially kill more people than the Iraqi war (so far). Admittedly, I believe this is unlikely, but considering the deadly flu epidemic around 1918, it is a serious possibility.

But now we can't hold the President responsible because he has so many other things on his plate? A man who we can't criticize because of the quality of the people he appoints? Sounds to me like you'd rather no one criticize the President for anything. That, regardless of the buck, it always stops with someone else.

On the other hand, considering Bush's track record, that might not be a bad idea. [Wink] [Razz]

[ November 18, 2004, 12:39 PM: Message edited by: Wayward Son ]

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Slander Monkey
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Holy Crap, Paul C,

I didn't see that coming... I am a big fan of your bizarre posts that seem to come out of nowhere and make no sense (Seriously!!!). But this one is not only on point, but GOOD -- totally unexpected and nifty. I do hope that you will entertain me again in the future with nonsense, but for now -- Well Done!

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Paul C
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Hey S M!

Are you slandering me?? [Frown]

Most of my posts make perfect sense!! Unlike other posters, I realize that I am not going to change world from this forum. (I will first have to take over the world to make my mandates happen). [Big Grin]

[Big Grin] Paul C

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Slander Monkey
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Hey Paul,

No, I'm serious about being a fan, I'm serious that the reason that I'm a fan is because so many of your posts have seemed so out of place to me (for example, I vaguely remember you recently resurrecting a thread with a single comment on the mispelling of one of the words -- that was awesome!!!). I'm also serious that I hope you keep a few nonsensical/odd posts coming. And finally, I'm serious that I think that your post on this thread was good -- it actually changed my mind -- but maybe that's just because I'm a fan [Smile] .

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Paul C
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The slander thing was a joke...I hit the wrong face! [Smile]

However, I will continue do my best for you!

Paul C

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Daruma28
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The title of this thread should be "No flu shot for you? That's Zyne's colleagues fault." You know, that old nemesis of free market manufacturers...Lawyers.

From Lessons From the Flu Vaccine Shortage by the Heartland Institute:

quote:
The number of vaccine manufacturers in the U.S. has dropped from 20 to only three during the past 15 years largely as a result of lawsuits filed on behalf of supposed victims of vaccine side effects. Vaccine makers have been under nearly constant legal assault by lawyers.

Most recently, personal injury lawyers have filed lawsuits against the maker of Thimerosal, a vaccine preservative that contains mercury, claiming the compound is responsible for the recent rise in cases of autism. However, researchers have studied repeatedly the possibility of a link and have found no evidence.

According to legal expert Peter Huber, 50 to 80 percent of the cost of most vaccines is liability insurance. The risk of losing such cases, and especially the risk of losing a class-action suit that could cost the industry hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars, has persuaded many companies to leave the vaccine marketplace.

The plain fact is that no matter how much lab testing and trials for ANY vaccine a company conducts, their will ALWAYS be a small percentage of people that experience an adverse reaction to a vaccination shot...and the trial lawyers are right their, metaphorically chasing the inevitable ambulance.

Since many lawyers made fortunes suing vaccine manufacturers, I could see why lawyers would rather erect a straw man argument like "It's Bush's Fault!"

[ November 18, 2004, 02:58 PM: Message edited by: Daruma28 ]

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Zyne
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Dude, I defend taxpayers against the IRS. I am above reproach. [Big Grin]
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Daruma28
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Which is why I said your COLLEAGUES, not you. [Wink]

Oh, and for what you do, I think that's a good thing, as the IRS' very existence is a violation of the constitution. I have a big problem with any government agency that assumes you are guilty and forces you to prove your innocence.

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Zyne
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I hate that rule, too. Sadly, this administration isn't going after the kind of client I'm best suited for. So I'm thinking about getting on that Vioxx thing, I hear there's a ton of money to be made suing and defending Merck. [Razz]
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Redskullvw
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It is the repeated sue happy process that eventually made it impossible for the 8 < maybe it was 7> vaccine producers in the United States to eventually dwindle down to wait for it..... ONE domestic producer of vaccines.

Lets see, now we could do the same against our domestic drug producers. I wonder if Merck gets sued into oblivion how long would it be before the American drug manufacturing pool is down to only 1 producer? Then when we run low on a vital drug we could scream it's a president's fault that Bayer AG in Germany had it's aspirin factory shut down by the German Health Ministry.

Zyne, while there is some witty play on words, and you do get a chuckle at poking fun at Bush and his administration, even NPR gave the President, the CDC, and DEPT HHS administrators a total pass on the problem, and squarely placed the blame on two sources.... 1 The government <United Kingdom> inspection process of its domestic <United Kingdom> vaccine producers and European Union regulation. and 2 United States private practice class action lawsuits brought by American lawyers which made it fiscally impossible and stupid to continue being an American based vaccine producer, or even be in the business of making vaccines at all.

So like so many of our problems in modern American culture, the better title for your thread should have been....

"No flu shot for you? That's the fault of Trial Lawyers, too."

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towellman
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On the subject of Vaccines and lawyers. The most common cause of viral diarrhea in children is Rotavirus. A vaccine was developed that had a net effect of saving hundreds of lives and millions of diapers (and parents time spent changing them). However, it was discontinued because there were some cases of adverse reactions.

The biggest problem with malpractice/class action lawyers is that they make the case that EVERYHTING MUST BE PERFECT or they'll sue your pants off. They are holding back medical progress and innovation.

Edited to add: there is a place for malpractice lawyers, they've just overstepped it.

[ November 20, 2004, 11:00 PM: Message edited by: towellman ]

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Zyne
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Reds: "Even NPR"... cite?

My point was and continues to be that the US administration--Bush's administration--relied on this company to protect US health, knew there was a problem with contamination about a year out, and utterly failed to ensure that the vaccine supply would not be contaminated (which it has turned out to have been) so that US health would be protected.

The news I read didn't blame the lawyers at all--notwithstanding that is the fashionable thing to do. Rather, most mainstream news has correctly pointed out that American flu vaccine manufacturers have gotten out of the business in large part because the margains are too low and the profit too uncertain. For example, Yahoo news quoting the NYT:

quote:
In recent decades, many drug companies in the United States abandoned the manufacture of vaccines, saying that they were expensive to make, underpriced and not profitable enough. Flu vaccine can be a particular gamble, because the demand for it varies from year to year and companies throw away what they do not sell because a new vaccine must be made each year to deal with changing strains of the virus. Some companies dropped out because of lawsuits, and others because they determined that it would not pay to retool aging vaccine plants to meet regulatory standards.
http://biz.yahoo.com/fool/041029/1099058580_1.html

Hardly the "private practice class action lawsuits brought by American lawyers" you claim to exist. And BTW, what class action has there ever been over vaccines? Please post a source, as it would be news to me that any such case had gotten into discovery, much less to a jury.

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Redskullvw
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Zyne

two weeks ago monday, morning edition national edition if memory serves me correctly. After listening to the interviews, especially with the CDC , you would know that your assertation that the federal government had any reason to be concerned about the english company to have been false. They had no reason to pressume contamination. They also did act to assure that the vaccine supply was not contaminated by not using any pressure whatso ever to prevent english and EU authorities from shutting down the facility in question.

As to the flu producers either shutting their doors or leaving our shores your own source provides the key "Some companies dropped out because of lawsuits, and others because they determined that it would not pay to retool aging vaccine plants to meet regulatory standards." Like you, I too held the belief that the abandonment of flu vaccine production by American companies had been because of slim margins, not lawsuits. After hearing the NPR broadcast I became informed that of the 7 or 8 remaining manufacturers in the USA 1980's, some had decided to abandon manufacture due directly to individual lawsuits. Some also were subjected to class action lawsuits. Of those that did not get directly sued, they choose to withdraw from the market because a single lawsuit, coupled with increasing regulatory demands, could completely wipe out any profits from a year. The margins were low primarilly because legal processes erroded profit potential beyond expected liabilities that were routinely involved in both defending litigation costs, settelment payouts, or penalty liability payments.

While it may be fashionable to blame lawyers for ozone holes, fact is that in this specific case the CDC placed the blame squarely at the feet of trial lawyers. It may have been an unintended result, but it exits and is the one common thread that can be found in the reasons why American vaccine production is now down to one company. The company that still makes vaccine serum in the USA apparently makes it for government contract thus placing it one farther step away from possible lawsuit.

Zyne lately you have been posting rather inflamatory threads. The difference between your current and past posting style, is that instead of being tounge in cheek threads and posts, you now are being serious. You seriously think that the Bush administration intentionally dropped the ball on this. Normally I wouldn't even bother with remarking on a topic that is so wrongly based as this thread. It is only because I sat in a car one morning waiting to pick up my sweetie from work that I happened to hear a report which totally debunks what you have claimed. While I never thought the Bush administration intentionally sought to derail the vaccine supply, I had assumed that they had indeed inadvertently bungled the whole situation and were in fact responsible for the snafu.

Imagine my surprise as I listened to NPR and heard direct interviews and background information which not only refuted my assumption, but also placed the blame squarely on the British Government and EU inspection protocols, coupled with the sad fact that the American production capacity had been sued out of existence. So since it reached the level of media saturation to have it appear on a NPR broadcast, I can and will assume that you can research it for yourself. Their web archive is rather complete. It appears that NPR was correct in its assertions, but don't believe me investigate for yourself and be as surprised as I was over who is to blame for the problem.

It certainly is not Bush. But I bet you belong to the classification of people who do share the blame.

Zyne after you do your own research do yourself a favor and delete this thread.

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Redskullvw
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Zyne

Daruma already provided a source for explaining why American companies got out of the vaccine business. You may have forgotten about it so I provide what Daruma provided above as a refresher....


"The number of vaccine manufacturers in the U.S. has dropped from 20 to only three during the past 15 years largely as a result of lawsuits filed on behalf of supposed victims of vaccine side effects. Vaccine makers have been under nearly constant legal assault by lawyers.

Most recently, personal injury lawyers have filed lawsuits against the maker of Thimerosal, a vaccine preservative that contains mercury, claiming the compound is responsible for the recent rise in cases of autism. However, researchers have studied repeatedly the possibility of a link and have found no evidence.

According to legal expert Peter Huber, 50 to 80 percent of the cost of most vaccines is liability insurance. The risk of losing such cases, and especially the risk of losing a class-action suit that could cost the industry hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars, has persuaded many companies to leave the vaccine marketplace."


Zyne that passage alone should give you pause to seriously question who has culpabillity regarding the shortage. But as I said, don't take my word for it research it for yourself.

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Zyne
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Did this administration have reason to believe that there was a massive problem with the vaccines and the manufacturer?

Yes.

Did Bush's administration take any steps other than cross-Atlantic phone calls to ensure such problems were abated?

No.

Ignoring as irrelevant the joy of blaming the lawyers, this is truth.

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Redskullvw
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Zyne

Did the administration conduct monthly conference calls during the processing of the vaccine?

Yes.

Did the CDC consult with its British counterpart concerning any possible complications?

Yes.

Did the CDC question what actions were being taken by the British counterpart over a possible contamination of one batch of the vaccine?

Yes.

Did the British counter part to the CDC state that it was only one batch of vaccine that was possibly contaminated and that the others would not be effected?

Yes.

Did the British counterpart decline allowing the CDC to inspect the plant in favor of EU health inspectors?

Yes.

Did the CDC demand to be allowed to inspect all batches before their release ?

Yes.

Did the British counterpart assure the CDC in the last month of production that there were no problems?

Yes.

So exactly how could the Bush administration have acted differently, outside of causing a diplomatic crisis by forcing CDC inspectors into a manufacturing site located in the UK which had been given a clean bill of health by the British government?

Did the United States flu vaccine manufacturers abandon the United States market because of litigation happy lawyers?

Yes.

Did this happen primarilly during the Clinton Administration?

Yes.

Did the Clinton administration do anything to change the legal environment that was forcing the vaccine producers out of business?

No.

Did the Clinton administration enact any tort reforms that would have assured that United States manufacture of flu vaccine remained a viable industry?

No.

Did the Clinton administration enact further restrictive regulations which required ever increasing costs to the manufacturing process?

Yes.

Did the Clinton administration do anything to prevent the last American manufacturers from closing opperations due to predatory lawsuits?

No.

Ignoring as irrelevent the joy of blaming the Bush administration, this is the truth.

For someone who has access to L/N and has otherwise demonstrated abillity to independently research information, you shear blindness to fact in this particular case is nothing short of astounding.

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flydye45
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Let's add to Bush's various crimes Acid Rain, Male Pattern Baldness, and Female Thigh Cellulite.

What exactly was an American Agency going to do to a foreign Business again besides voice concerns?

You are close-minded on the subject of Bush. He could single handedly cure cancer, settle Mid East Peace, and in his spare time tinker up a Fusion Generator and all I would hear from his critics would be "Why didn't he do this in his first (unelected) four years?"

I would look forward to the 2008 election as a time for the Left to lose their "Bush" boogeyman, except they would create a new one rather then face the inadequacies, contradictions and unpopularity of their ideology.

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Politius
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And most of you bush-supporters would use the same arguments if Kerry or a leftist had been president! You would all say; "The flu-vaccine shortage is all the president's fault...blah-blah-blah." This is ridiculous, trying to take the blame off of the president. If you think it's so hard to be the president, why he PRESIDENT!?? Defending the head of the state in a situation where he and his administration have OBVIOUSLY screwed up is like trying to defend the leader, who beat up a poor little kid, of the club. He represents the club, but his actions surely don't. Why bother defend him?! HE'S WRONG! Why did you not pick a STRONGER CANDIDATE in '00?! Stuff happens, and since the President is the representative of our people, seeing that the rest of the world views us as pretty STUPID based on Bush's image, why is it wrong for the president to take responsibility? (maybe not the president but the whole administration).

[ November 22, 2004, 01:50 PM: Message edited by: Politius ]

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frogcat
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OK all you "Bush isn't responsible" people, get off your high horse. Let's take a look at what radical left-wing magazine FORTUNE mnagazine had to say:

The Big Gap at the FDA
The agency has no head. That may be bad for our health.

No government body touches us where we live more than the Food and Drug Administration does. Whenever we eat, drink, take medicine, apply deodorant, fire up the microwave, feed the cat, take a pregnancy test, or don a condom, the FDA acts as our guardian and gatekeeper. It regulates products accounting for 25 cents of every dollar we spend. It is central to a host of issues that punch our buttons: high drug prices, cloning research, the proliferation of genetically modified foods, bioterrorism.

Given all this, you'd think installing an FDA commissioner would be one of a President's first acts. But the post has been vacant since Jane Henney, commissioner under President Clinton, resigned a year and a half ago. In the absence of a food-and-drug czar, more and more issues have cried out for attention. How can we protect our food supply against terrorists? Should the FDA reveal more about its interactions with drug developers to help protect investors from ugly surprises like the ImClone debacle? <snip>

Then, 20 months later, they post this:

It took 20 months to find an FDA chief whom Bush, Big Pharma, and the Democrats could live with. But physician and economist McClellan, 39, had the perfect pedigree. Since taking the job in November, he has pledged to speed approval of new drugs and crack down on deceptive pharmaceutical advertising. Critics, however, cite his lack of regulatory experience and worry that the FDA will compromise safety in response to industry pressure to quicken approval of new drugs. Working in McClellan's favor: close ties to Bush. He was Dubya's top health-care advisor, his mother is Texas comptroller, and brother Scott is a White House flack.

Then, back in February of 2004, Mark got nominated to head up Medicare.

So... who's reponsible for the FDA's actions? Ultimately, the FDA commissioner. Who's responsible for the FDA commissioner? George W. Bush.

Any questions!?!?!!?

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Redskullvw
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Ahh yes well that would be a valid point if the FDA was indeed responsible for the oversight of flu vaccines.

They aren't, the CDC is.

Try again.

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flydye45
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Not to mention, YET AGAIN, that this is the responsiblity of the BRITISH GOVENMENT!

DO YOU GET IT YET?

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Dan Allen
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quote:
Zyne: Did this administration have reason to believe that there was a massive problem with the vaccines and the manufacturer?

Yes.

Actually, according to the Surgeon General: NO
quote:
The U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona was in Columbia Saturday to disspell what he calls "myths" about the flu vaccine.

The Surgeon General says there is no shortage of flu vaccine at all, and if this year is like every year, unused flu vaccine will be thrown away at the end of the season.

Carmona says news of the "so-called" vaccine shortage has driven at-risk Americans to line up for shots much earlier than normal.

It was only a crisis in the minds of the news creators, not in fact.
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Wayward Son
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Well I hope someone is going to tell the friggin' DOCTORS!!

When I went to a Kaiser medical facility the other day, there was a sign saying not to ask for a flu shot unless you are considered "at-risk."

So who the hell was lying to the medical professionals about the shortages? And why wasn't this "myth" dispelled before now?

You know, something really doesn't smell right, Dan.

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Dan Allen
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IIRC, the Surgeon General was saying this within a week of the original reports, so it’s not really a case of delayed reaction.

What I've seen here in Arizona is that the state very quickly clamped down on the distribution of the vaccine, and basically stopped distribution while they decided who to declare “at risk”. The original reports did two things:
One, they encouraged the people who normally receive the shots to request them sooner than normal, and second, to a lesser extent, encouraged people who normally don’t get them to ask for them. Add to this the States’ actively controlling distribution, and you end up with a “shortage” that is due to a skewing of the normal demand. The reality seems to be that sufficient quantities are available, but are being restricted by State agencies that normally don’t play a role.
Here’s a more recent article detailing some of these problems: http://www.azcentral.com/health/news/articles/1122fluvaccine-ON1.html

My diagnosis of the cause of the odor is the news media based manipulation of events for “personal gain”.
[Frown]

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Redskullvw
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Indeed.
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LoverOfJoy
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Let's assume for the sake of argument that there are problems and it's Bush's fault. Doesn't anyone see how this will help our Social Security problem? [Razz]
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flydye45
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Before the gas shortage under Carter, the national average gas in the car was about a half
a tank.

When the embargo hit people went into a panic about having sufficient gas, thus the national average of gas per car was
pushed much higher, depleting reserves and driving up prices even higher by an artificially
inflated demand. (btw, the embargo drove per barrel prices up to $80 in todays money for a little historical perspective Mr. and Mrs. "Hoover's Economy")
.
.
.
Cut to the last 5 years. The Self Righteous Press has for the last bunch of years begged
people to go get their flu shots. Most people cannot be bothered, and thousands of doses
of vaccine were thrown away. Suddenly, there is less available then normal, the Press
decides to make yet another national emergency with yellow journalism. Old people,
young people, children, yuppies who haven't touched a flu shot in decades, they all need
flu shot RIGHT NOW!

We cannot know if there is enough flu vaccine because the "Evil Drug Companies" will
continue to make the stuff as long as there is a demand. If there is a temporary lack due to
sensationalism by the press, well, that is not a crisis and I still don't see that Bush needs to
put on an apron and start filling vials because YOU don't like him. Are the machines going to disappear? Can the remaining company not make more? I understand there is a time factor involved, but the wait of a month or 6 weeks is not likely to trigger an Pandemic.

Should there be more companies making flu vaccine? Maybe. But a question is, if there is
such phenomenal demand (excepting this year, I haven't heard of a large demand), why aren't there more
companies making the vaccine? Probably the same reason drug companies don't make
AIDS medicines. Activists, lawyers and loud mouths (Hello, the Left) make it a PR and
fiscal nightmare.

Welcome to a foretaste of HillaryCare. Socialized leeches for patients because no one will design new medical techniques.

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