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BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Bush must prevent avarian panic

President George W. Bush met with Congress earlier this month to discuss a comprehensive plan to prevent an avian flu epidemic in the U.S.

While making an active effort to protect the country, he has potentially spawned a large-scale scare.

Implementing measures to maintain the safety of American citizens is an imperative part of the president’s role. However, achieving this in a manner that is not detrimental to society is equally important.

Publicizing a plan that would grant him the power, in the event of an epidemic, to use the U.S. army to help quarantine citizens will likely only hinder such an effort if it were indeed necessary.

The country is already afraid. For a disease that has killed fewer people in the last two years than lightning averages in one, many are frantically following the government’s lead in stocking up on medicines like Tamiflu, which scientists believe might be effective against a pandemic virus.

But hoarding such resources only prevents access by those who are most at need, such as the elderly and others who are at greater risk of death and illness by conventional flu.

Ignoring the virus, which originated in Asia and has now spread to Europe, would not only elicit poor approval by the public — still sensitive from the lack of leadership displayed with the Katrina disaster — but could also lead to a repeat of history.

Less than a century ago, the bird flu of 1918 jumped to humans and sprinted across the world, killing 50 million people.

We have the technology today to prevent such a tragedy. But with it comes the easy transmission of fear, which President Bush must strive to suppress.

Bush should continue with his preventative plan. But he not publicize drastic measures until they are absolutely necessary.

Otherwise, panic may cause a pandemic of its own.

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