Originally Posted by LongIsland
Part of the pandemic flu hype is designed to scare people into vaccinating for seasonal influenza.
And part of why they want people to vaccinate for seasonal influenza is to sufficiently stimulate sales for the few companies that still make the stuff so as to discourage them from abandoning the practice altogether, hence depriving us (them?) of (what they see as) our best hope of responding to a pandemic. I guess. But wait... that only makes sense if they really are
worried about a pandemic to begin with. Maybe I got lost somewhere. Let me start over.
Much of what spews from the popular news media easily deserves to be called "hype". It is designed to entertain
. If it does that well, it doesn't have to be balanced, or even particularly accurate, and those who present it don't care what the public does with the "information". (With me so far?) Epidemiologists, virologists, and public health officials, on the other hand, have a very different set of priorities. As your statement implies, they do
care what the public does with the information they present. The question is: why
In his recent documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth", Al Gore says something I think we can easily agree on:"Scientists have an independent obligation to respect and present the truth as they see it."
With what is essentially one voice, the epidemiological community has warned us that the H5N1 virus poses a grave threat to humanity. This is no more in dispute among epidemiologists than is the issue of global warming in dispute among climatologists. I believe that they are genuinely
concerned about the threat, and that they see flu vaccines (which they consider to be at least reasonably effective most of the time) as the best bet for countering the threat. You (apparently) think that this is not true, and that they are feigning (or perhaps merely exaggerating) their concerns (as well as their confidence in flu vaccines) -- i.e., that they have failed in their obligation to present the truth as they see it
. But if they aren't genuinely
worried about the threat (and genuinely convinced of the effectiveness of flu vaccines), I can only think of one reason why they might want to do that. It smacks of "conspiracy theory", however, and I have been harshly criticized for implying that anyone around here would suggest such a thing.
Help me out.