A Tale Of Two Pandemics: Media Downplayed Swine Flu Outbreak Under Obama

A Tale Of Two Pandemics: Media Downplayed Swine Flu Outbreak Under Obama, by Issues and Insights.

The day after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic, and President Donald Trump gave a national address, CNN’s front page was almost entirely devoted to coronavirus.

But the media coverage of the outbreak in the weeks leading up to Wednesday was just as breathless. Indeed, some of the panic in the stock market and the government can be blamed on the end-of-the-world hysteria that the press has been whipping up for some time now.

The day before the WHO’s declaration of a pandemic, for example, CNN posted a story calling the coronavirus outbreak “unprecedented in modern times.”

Unprecedented? Really? Do CNN’s reporters and editors not know about the flu pandemic of 1918? Or even the swine flu pandemic of 2009?

Although everyone seems to have forgotten the swine flu was even a thing, it infected nearly 61 million people in the U.S. from spring 2009 through early 2010. And it claimed more than 12,000 and as many as 18,000 lives, according to a Centers for Disease Control study published in 2011. In total, the disease is now believed to have caused more than 200,000 deaths worldwide. …

The swine flu was a serious enough outbreak for President Barack Obama to declare a public health emergency in late April 2009. The WHO declared it a pandemic in early July – at which time 18,000 Americans had contracted novel flu virus and 44 had died. And unlike coronavirus, the swine flu was more deadly to younger people. Obama declared a national emergency when the virus reemerged with a vengeance in the fall.

Yet the press barely covered any of these events.

When the WHO declared the swine flu “unstoppable” on June 11, 2009, CNN didn’t even lead with that story on its homepage. It was in a pile of links on the side of the page.

Alternatively, the fact that the markets didn’t react for weeks to the coronavirus might be put down to the elite and its media telling us it was little more than the flu and that closing borders was racist and evil. The period when the West could have avoided catching the virus passed in complacency and ignorance.