Monday, January 22, 2007

US Under Bird Flu Pandemic : 2 Million Dead, Quarantines, Mass Chaos

Whe House Predicts Pandemic Would "Ravage" The United States

The White House has been coy in directly spelling out what will befall the average American citizen if, or when, a bird flu pandemic breaks out amongst the human population.

They've usually left the spreading of the bad news to any number of government agencies of NGOs.

But now the White House is issuing stark, direct warnings, and it appears that a whole host of new laws introduced to fight terrorism, and to deal with panic and chaos following a major terrorist attack, will now be used to contain the American population once a pandemic begins.

Quote of the article : " a war-like blow to the country's economy and social fabric."

That's a incredibly big claim.

But clearly, this is not only what the White House believes, but what they are now preparing for.

From Media Syndicate :

A government report says an outbreak could kill 2 million people and lead to quarantines, travel restrictions and an economic downturn.

The White House on Wednesday unveiled a foreboding report on the nation's lack of preparedness for a bird flu pandemic, warning that such an outbreak could kill as many as 2 million people and deal a war-like blow to the country's economic and social fabric. It urged state and local governments to make their own preparations beyond the federal efforts.

In the government's first detailed look at the potential effects on public health and U.S. society as a whole, the report said a full-blown pandemic could lead to travel restrictions, mandatory quarantines, massive absenteeism, an economic slowdown "and civil disturbances and breakdowns in public order."

It warned that the healthcare system - including doctors, nurses and suppliers of pharmaceuticals - was inadequate to meet the country's needs in a flu pandemic. "In the event of multiple simultaneous outbreaks, there may be insufficient medical resources or personnel to augment local capabilities," the report warned.

More broadly, state, local and tribal governments should "anticipate that all sources of external aid may be compromised during a pandemic," it said, meaning that "local communities will have to address the medical and non-medical effects of the pandemic with available resources."

While warning that as a last resort, mandatory travel restrictions may be necessary, such limits alone "are unlikely to reduce the total number of people who become ill or the impact the pandemic will have on any one community."

The document includes the White House Homeland Security Council's plan to implement a national strategy in the face of a flu pandemic, for which Congress appropriated $3.8 billion in December.

The strategy is built around three elements: preparation, surveillance and detection, and containment. And the report listed more than 300 steps that it said the administration would take, had already begun to take, or would recommend that state and local governments pursue.


Looking at specific demands that a pandemic would impose on the nation, the report said that workplace absenteeism could reach 40%.

To illustrate what the effect of such high levels of absenteeism could mean, Osterholm said that the oil industry had reported in one preparedness seminar that its refineries could not function if 30% of workers were absent - a figure suggesting that a pandemic could have a domino effect across the economy.

The First Signs Of A Worldwide Bird Flu Pandemic?

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