Today’s quote – “We has seen the enemy and he ain’t who we thought he was” category

From the ever-dependable Eugene Robinson…

This means that our foreign policy debate these days centers on unstable Pakistan, which has nukes, and belligerent Iran, which is trying its best to get them. Obviously, that region has to be our most urgent priority. But we also should think about other threats that could potentially cause much greater loss of life than any conceivable terrorist attack — and that loom much closer to home.

The 1918 flu pandemic killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide. There is no evidence that the new strain of swine flu is anywhere near as deadly as the 1918 flu, and, in fact, the cases identified in the United States thus far have caused only one hospitalization and no deaths. But officials are declaring emergencies and monitoring the spread of the disease so closely because they know, in tragic detail, what havoc a 1918-style flu would bring.

Several years ago, when avian flu broke out in Asia, I called a few experts in risk analysis for comment, expecting them to say that everyone should just calm down. Instead, they told me that if someone were looking for a legitimate potential disaster to worry about, a deadly flu pandemic would be an excellent choice.


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