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Friday, November 18, 2011

Anniversary of the Great Obama Flu Scare of 2009

Influenza Flu Virus Structure
As flu season rolls around again are we hearing any reminders of the foolishness or the cost of the Obama administrations panic of 2009?  Actually I think you're only hearing about it here at Naam Bplah.

Back in 2009, during the Halycon days of Obama's first "action under fire" he was aided and abetted by none other than the New York Times with inaccurate and plainly concocted stories about the number of dead and ill and alarming predictions of dire consequences to come.  None of these predictions came to pass.

The subsequent GAO Report tried to put the best face on the profligate waste of taxpayers money with these highly speculative numbers: 

"The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that there were as many as 89 million U.S. cases of H1N1influenza from April 2009 to April 2010.  CDC estimated that these cases led to as many as 403,000 hospitalizations and 18,300 deaths during that
period, with a disproportionate number of children affected as compared to typical influenza seasons."    

These numbers constitute a pandemic?

But just to play devils' advocate let's assume for a moment that 200 Million taxpayers actually got flu shots for a total cost of  6  billion dollars.  ($6,000,000,000 divided by 200,000,000 is approximately $30.00 for every man, woman and child in the United States.)  Some might argue that $30.00 isn't a bad trade off to avoid the predicted apocalyptic result that would occur from doing nothing.   Personally,  I wouldn't.  I think the cost is still too high.  Besides I don't remember my flu shot being free.  I  paid for mine.  How about you?

The GAO report also tells us,  "the WHO declared that the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic ended on August 10, 2010."  It's not clear how it ended, with a bang or a whimper or they just got tired of reporting on it after the 6 billion was spent.

 The GAO report goes on to tell us; "HHS had $6.15 billion available from the 2009 supplemental appropriation to spend on pandemic influenza activities. Specifically, the Congress appropriated $1.85 billion immediately to HHS in June 2009, shortly after WHO declared the start of the pandemic. The Congress also appropriated up to $5.80 billion in additional contingent funding. These contingent funds would only be available in the amounts designated by the President, in written notices to the Congress, as emergency funds required to address
critical needs related to emerging influenza viruses. In July and September of 2009, the President notified the Congress of the need for additional funding, and accordingly, $4.54 billion of the contingent funds became available to HHS. From this $4.54 billion, HHS transferred about $241 million to other departments, which left about $4.30 billion available for HHS.28 As of December 2010, the remaining $1.259 billion from the contingent fund was not designated by the President as required to  address critical needs related to emerging influenza viruses; however, these funds were rescinded under the fiscal year 2011 continuing appropriations act."

What is mentioned with a grain of salt in the GAO report is that of over 240 million dollars that HHS transferred to other departments and organizations to fight this "Pandemic" no one bothered to follow up or find out how the money was spent, if it was effective or on what it was ultimately spent.

All of this waste was BS  (Before Solyndra) and seems like chump change by comparison I suppose and hardly worth reporting  To me it still seems like a crime.

"HHS reported that it transferred about $241.20 million to the Department of Defense,Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of State, and Department of Agriculture. Since
HHS spent the majority of the 2009 supplemental appropriation, we did not determine howthe $241 million transferred to these other departments was spent by them. We did not independently verify the amount of money that was transferred. The 2009 supplementalappropriation requires that all funds transferred to these other departments go toward purposes related to preparing for or responding to an influenza pandemic."

Remember the $30.00 a head calculation I provided earlier in this article?  Well I was being generous.  Later in the GAO report we find the following: 

"The states, in turn, placed orders for their allocated doses and determined which providers should receive the vaccine. CDC estimated that from October 2009 through May 2010, 27 percent of the U.S. population over the age of 6 months (about 81 million people) was vaccinated against H1N1 influenza..."

If we accept HHS numbers, CDC numbers and figures from the States, all of which have a vested interest in cooking the books, we come up with  a cost of approximately $76.00 per head. ($6,150,000,000 divided by 81,000,000 =  $76.00 for every man, woman and child actually inoculated in 2009.


Flu said...

This H1N1 posting, completely useful..

Anonymous said...