Posted: 02 Nov 2009 04:10 AM PST

Some people find posts like this tiresome. There are so many things that need doing and so little time and resources to do them. Adding to the list makes our eyes glaze over. I understand. But that doesn't make this any less of a Big Deal.

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Cuba, swine flu and the embargo

Posted: 01 Nov 2009 02:09 PM PST

When swine flu began there was a hue and cry in some quarters to shut the border to prevent the virus from taking root in the US. It seems fairly clear, now, that by the time we detected the virus, in late April, it had already situated itself in the US -- assuming that it didn't start here in the first place. We don't really know where the jump from pigs to humans occurred, although the best guess is Mexico. Closing the borders would have done no good and would have stranded thousands of students and other tourists in Mexico. Since the US has more world travelers than Mexico, it was in fact the US that was the driving force in spreading the virus to Europe and Asia. If one wanted to try to stop this virus by travel restrictions, the logical target would have been the US, although it wouldn't have done much good. You can't contain influenza. It's too slippery.

Still, the idea lingers. The latest entry in "strangers bearing germs" narrative is Cuba's ex-President, Fidel Castro, but it comes with an ironic twist that has some force to it:

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Status report at DailyKos

Posted: 01 Nov 2009 10:55 AM PST

We are otherwise occupied, but fortunately DemFromCT has a great status report on swine flu up at DailyKos. I suggest you also follow the first link to his piece at The Arena, although reading after his astute observations is not for the faint-of-heart. The politicization of this issue by Republicans is to be expected and typically unfair (not to mention uninformed). As Dem points out, the Bush Administration did a lot of the heavy lifting that made dealing with this much easier and deserves credit for that. We took them to task here for not shoring up a badly deteriorated public health and social service infrastructure and the Obama administration, so far, isn't any better. Had the Bush administration done so and had the Obama administration taken immediate steps to repair the problem we'd be in a lot better shape. But neither did.

Dem's piece at The Arena (Politico) is measured and fair. Much of what follows it is utter crapola. But first read his status report. Excellent job. As usual.

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