The Bush administration unveiled its bird flu plan for the US this weekend. And you can’t make this stuff up,
ABC News: Ready or Not, Bird Flu Is Coming to America: In a remarkable speech over the weekend, Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt recommended that Americans start storing canned tuna and powdered milk under their beds as the prospect of a dealy bird flu outbreak approaches the United States.
See, if everything breaks down and the government isn’t ready, there aren’t enough ventilators, it was your own fault for not listening to their warnings.
Yesterday New Orleans, tomorrow the nation.
The last DHS secretary advised people to stock up on duck tape and plastic sheeting, and now he’s on the board of Home Depot. Is Secretary Leavitt angling for a job at Star-Kist?
Are these the cans of tuna they just reported a few weeks ago that have high concentrations of mercury and other real good stuff for us !!?? Warned expecting mothers to stay away form caned tuna . Ummmmmm mercury poising or bird flu heck of a choice!!!!
Favorite blog post headline of the year — can’t stop laughing.
Eat enough mercury laden tuna and we won’t have to worry about bird flu.
The Air Force used to store lemon drops and crackers for emergencies.
And don’t forget lots of wine to keep our teeth healthy. If we’re hiding out, we might as well have fun.
I don’t see what your problem is; Food stockpiling is in fact hugely beneficial in any sort of natural disaster or pandemic, if done in advance, and is relatively cheap, too. Modern cities are terrifyingly dependent on an uninterrupted flow of foodstuffs, and natural disasters of any sort are notorious for disrupting chains of distribution.
A bit of food and bottled water under the bed, and if a pandemic DOES strike, you can be relaxing with a good book while your neighbors are rioting at the empty shelves of a grocery store, and exposing themselves to carriers.
Mind you, as a friend just remarked to me, his choice of foodstuffs could be better; Try to live on tuna fish and dried milk for a month, and you’ll be so constipated that you’ll need a chisel to move your bowels. Throw in a bale of instant ramen packets and a bottle of multi-vitamins, though, and you’d be in good shape.
Seriously, why is it that when somebody actually makes a productive suggestion for something people could do on their own to help deal with something like bird flu, they inevitably get ridiculed? Is being helplessly dependent on government in emergencies some kind of virtue in your eyes?
I agree that food stockpiling makes sense as part of a response in depth. I would note, though, that the informed opinion I’ve read elsewhere suggests other foodstuffs.
More to the point, other than a few headline-getting projects (like the one in the article), this advice appears to be almost the sum total of the federal emergency preparedness effort at the moment. The ventilators issue that I linked to is an example of what I mean. I don’t think it is inappropriate to expect the feds to plan ahead on this, do you?
Yeah, being an ordinary cynical type I put together Brett Bellmore’s and Michael’s posts. Yes, we depend on an incredibly complex set of interactions for our everyday lives. But no, the feds assume no responsibility for, or interest in, setting those interactions right if something knocks them off kilter.
Again, it’s what Katrina taught us all: if anything serious happens, the administration’s plan is to cordon off the affected area and let everybody inside rot. Or shift for themselves, if that makes you feel better.
The only sane way to read what Leavitt said, based on that experience, is that the bush plan for domestic emergencies is Lord of the Flies.
How much did the tuna people pay the RNC for the product placement?