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John Cornyn's Swine Flu Update, vs. the CDC H1N1 Information

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I sent a complaint letter to John Cornyn over something really outstandingly Cornynish awhile back, and now I regularly get his "updates" in my email.
For a multitude of reasons, I'm one of the voices speaking out to try and stop the panic about "pandemic" influenza. I'm also one of the people who's bemused by the rush to stop calling this "swine flu". (Can't help thinking John Soules Foods, Smithfield, Tyson et. al. are in on the rush to alter the nomenclature; cynical, I am.) So below I'm reproducing, as best I can (you'll need to imagine the "United States Senate" seal fading out through the print midpage) his latest missive. Then I'll add the link for what the CDC says about the flu outbreak. I'm also adding a little information about influenza surveillance in case you're interested. Decide for yourself if Sen. Cornyn is credible, eh?

Update from U.S. Senator John Cornyn Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Update on the H1N1 (Swine Flu) Virus


We are all concerned by recent developments regarding the H1N1 virus, commonly known as the swine flu, and particularly the sad news that the first casualty in the United States was a 23-month-old toddler from Mexico who had travelled to Texas with family. Because there is a lot of fear and misinformation out there, I wanted to take a moment to share with you some facts about the H1N1 flu outbreak and how Texans can best protect themselves.

Cases of the H1N1 flu, while predominantly affecting Mexico, have been confirmed in several states, including Texas. H1N1 viruses do not normally infect humans; however, sporadic human infections with swine flu occasionally do occur. The symptoms of this flu are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu seen each year.

The H1N1 flu is spread through human contact, so washing your hands often and covering your mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough can help you stay healthy. Stay home if you are feeling sick, and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Heed the advice of your local public health officials.

I have talked with Texas Health Commissioner David Lakey, as well as Governor Rick Perry, who informed me that several local school districts along the border and near San Antonio have made the decision to proactively close several schools as a precautionary measure. As of right now, there are just three known severe cases of the H1N1 virus in the state of Texas.

I have also been briefed by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on the situation and I remain in close contact with Homeland Security and federal health officials, along with state and local leaders in Texas. I stand ready to assist the Governor, Commissioner Lakey, and local leaders in any way that I can.

For more information on these and other topics, go directly to my Web site. To view floor speeches, interviews and other video messages from me, please visit my YouTube Channel. To receive additional updates, please select the issues that interest you listed on the right. It’s an honor to serve you in the United States Senate.

Sincerely,

U.S. Senator John Cornyn

and the CDC says that Cornyn's information in the video above is ... well, to be kind about it, neither complete nor accurate.

Swine Flu Podcast Script (warning: PDF at link).

People who are around pigs, despite what the news media and 'authorities' like Cornyn will tell you (in an effort to appease their sponsors?), are in fact more likely to be infected with the influenza virus in question than people not around pigs -- until the virus makes the jump from person to person, and then it's katy-bar-the-door, all-bets-are-off.

Except, not so much. We do not know, for instance, that this virus isn't part of the 2008-09 "normal incidence" of influenza that's winding down around the US even as I write this.

Say what?

We do not know for sure that the cases identified since mid-April are the only cases, either in Mexico or elsewhere. Flu reporting isn't usually based on a "CSI" level of viral identification (which is what we're hearing about now, btw). Dr. Lakey's pretty smart, and a good boss. I hope Cornyn LISTENED to him. (I doubt it, though. Senator Cornyn is a Republican.)

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