I guess my reaction to this is mixed. Does anyone really take this drooling twit seriously or do they look at the vice-president and say, "wow, the VP said it, so we should really be worried (in which case one has to question peoples' intelligence)."
I'm referring to our glorious Vice-President's remarks last night regarding the swine-flu epidemic. This is part of what he said.
" 'I would tell members of my family -- and I have -- I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now. It's not that it's going to Mexico in a confined aircraft where one person sneezes, that goes all the way through the aircraft,' Biden said on NBC's 'Today' show."
Ok, let's look at the absurdity of this sentence. He won't go anywhere in confined places. Now, for example, a bathroom is a pretty confined area. Does this mean that Biden will start using diapers because he won't go into a restroom? Yeah, that would be a real interesting image... I also guess that Amtrak option is a no-go now...
" 'I would not be, at this point, if they had another way of transportation, suggesting they ride the subway,' he said. 'From my perspective, this relates to mitigation. If you're out in the middle of the field and someone sneezes, that's one thing. If you're in a closed aircraft, a closed container, a closed car, a closed classroom, that's another thing' "
Who the hell would be in a closed container? Ok, so if Americans were to actually follow this mental giant's advice, we would not be driving to work, kids wouldn't be going to school (although it seems like schools are starting to overreact as well), or traveling. Now, let's really think about that for a moment. Kids would not be going to school, which impedes their education (and given the way public schools are now, kids need all the education they can get). But more serious is how not driving (or taking the bus or subway) to work or traveling would impact the economy. If you're not going to work, then you're not getting paid. If you're not getting paid, then how can one stimulate the economy? Same thing with traveling. If people aren't traveling and going to see places, then they aren't spending their money, which also impacts the economy. So essentially, if Americans were to take Hoof in Mouth's advice, the American economy would come to a screeching halt in a matter of weeks. Super brilliant there, Joe.
Of course, in the following paragraphs, the travel industry essentially made the same argument as I, probably because they understand more about economics than our esteemed VP.
"When asked by ABC New, press secretary Robert Gibbs replied: 'I think ... what the vice president meant to say was the same thing that again, many members have said in the last few days, that is, if you feel sick, if you are exhibiting flulike symptoms -- coughing, sneezing, runny nose -- that you should take precautions, that you should limit your travel.'
Gibbs apologized if anyone was 'unduly' alarmed but did not elaborate.
'Jake, I'm telling you what he meant to say,' he said to laughter."
No Gibbs, I'm pretty sure that Biden opened his mouth without thinking, which is generally par for the course. Gibbs last line was kind of bizarre. He replied to laughter? It conjured up a mental image from one of the Glen Larson shows I used to watch back in the 80's (Buck Rogers, the original Battlestar Galactica) when at the end of each show, someone would tell a joke, and the end would freeze up in the middle of them laughing and then the credits would come out. I kinda imagined Gibbs making that comment, and then all of the press started to laugh, the screen freezes and then the credits would start rolling out. It pretty much shows how chummy our 4th estate has gotten with the Obama Administration.
Probably the most surrealistic moment came when Nancy "Bimbette" Pelosi remarked on Slow Joe's advice.
"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., also had a different message. She said she would not tell her family to stay off planes and public transportation, but would recommend to them the 'common-sense' approach, washing hands and covering sneezes or coughs.
'They are living their lives and, again, practicing common sense, good practices. And so it's not a question of not encouraging, not to travel. It's also a question of encouraging them not to leave home ... just because their states ... are the most, shall we say, suspicious in this case,' Pelosi told reporters."
You know, when Pelosi sounds like a comparative fountain of wisdom, the world has truly turned upside down.
You want to know the kicker? This swine flu epidemic has been blown completely out of proportion. It's actually milder than most forms of the flu. The reason why people are dying of this (cough, Mexico) is because of abyssmal hygiene levels. If you take basic precautions like washing your hands (which should be an automatic anyway, especially in this country), you should be fine. However, the administration and the media, has good reasons to keep this story going. The media loves to put people into a panic over the dumbest things (remember SARS?). The administration loves the political cover that this flu gives, because they can quietly push more crap legislation through Congress and no one would notice. And since the media is essentially acting like Pravda to this administration, it's a double bonus for them. They get a good story that they can trumpet to the heavens while giving political cover to their Messiah. As Rahm Emanuel said, never let a crisis go to waste.