7.22.2009

'A Whole Industry Is Waiting For A Pandemic'

·The world has been gripped with fears of swine flu in recent weeks. In an interview with SPIEGEL, epidemiologist Tom Jefferson speaks about dangerous fear-mongering, misguided, money-driven research and why we should all be washing our hands a lot more often.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,637119,00.html
Top Epidemiologist Slams Swine Flu Fearmongering 210709top2
SPIEGEL: Do you consider the swine flu to be particularly worrisome?
Jefferson: It's true that influenza viruses are unpredictable, so it does call for a certain degree of caution. But one of the extraordinary features of this influenza -- and the whole influenza saga -- is that there are some people who make predictions year after year, and they get worse and worse. None of them so far have come about, and these people are still there making these predictions. For example, what happened with the bird flu, which was supposed to kill us all? Nothing. But that doesn't stop these people from always making their predictions. Sometimes you get the feeling that there is a whole industry almost waiting for a pandemic to occur.
SPIEGEL: Who do you mean? The World Health Organization (WHO)?
Jefferson: The WHO and public health officials, virologists and the pharmaceutical companies. They've built this machine around the impending pandemic. And there's a lot of money involved, and influence, and careers, and entire institutions! And all it took was one of these influenza viruses to mutate to start the machine grinding.
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