Flashback: Senator Obama rips Bush for being unprepared for avian flu epidemic

posted at 2:41 pm on October 2, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

A nice catch from our friends at Grabien, who got it from Ace [update] and who had to go all the way back to 2005 to find this nugget and the contemporaneous coverage at the NYT. At the time, the US prepared for a predicted epidemic of the avian flu, also known as H5N1, of global proportions. The virus had been identified for 18 years by that time, but by the end of 2004 had only resulted in 36 deaths and 50 known cases over the prior two years, according to WHO data. In 2005, the number of cases would jump to 98 and deaths to 43, and the prevention of a pandemic became a high priority. At that time, then-Senator Barack Obama scolded the Bush administration on the Senate floor, and quarterbacked a protest letter from his fellow Democrats over the slow response and lack of preparedness by the White House:

This lack of planning is compounded by the fact that we still don’t have a FDA approved vaccine against avian flu, and the one drug that many countries are relying on—Tamiflu—may be less effective than experts had thought. The manufacturer is also struggling to meet the demand, and it could take up to 2 years for it to make enough for the U.S. stockpile, presuming this Administration finally puts in an order for the drug. …

The failure to prepare for emergencies can have devastating consequences. We learned that lesson the hard way after Hurricane Katrina. This nation must not be caught off-guard when faced with the prospect of an avian flu pandemic. The consequences are too high.

The flyways for migratory birds are well-established. We know that avian flu will likely hit the United States in a matter of time. With the regular flu season coming up shortly, conditions will be favorable for reassortment of the avian flu virus with the annual flu virus. Such reassortment could lead to a mutated virus that could be transmitted efficiently between humans, which is the last condition needed for pandemic flu.

The question is will we be ready when that happens? Let’s make sure that answer is yes. I urge my colleagues in the Senate and the House to push this Administration to take the action needed to prevent a catastrophe that we have not seen during our lifetimes.”

The New York Times reported on the scolding almost exactly nine years ago:

Robert Gibbs, a spokesman for Senator Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois, said the vote and President Bush’s comment reflected “some agreement that the United States is behind in getting prepared for avian flu and that the time to try to make that gap up is now.”

More than 30 Democratic senators, including Mr. Obama, sent Mr. Bush a letter today asking him to release the administration’s final plan for dealing with a pandemic influenza. The group expressed its “grave concern that the nation is dangerously unprepared.”

While in New York last month to address the United Nations General Assembly, President Bush proposed an “international partnership” to combat the disease.

He said today that he had spoken “privately to as many leaders as I could find” at the United Nations about raising public awareness and ensuring maximum efforts to quickly report any instances of the disease to the World Health Organization.

The W.H.O. and the European Union have been urging countries for months to prepare for a possible pandemic.

Something right must have been done, however. According to the WHO data, there have been no confirmed cases of H5N1 in the US. After peaking in 2006 at 79 deaths, both infections and fatalities have declined ever since; in the 10-year period between 2003-12, 359 total deaths and 608 cases have been confirmed by WHO worldwide.

In the same period of time for Ebola, WHO tallied 463 confirmed deaths and 741 cases. By July, the outbreaks of 2014 had already surpassed the numbers for that decade:

As of July 12, the cumulative number of Ebola virus cases in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone was at 964, including 603 deaths. The death toll has almost doubled in a month’s time; reported deaths in the three countries in mid-June was 350.

“There’s been too much talk,” then-Senator Obama intoned, “and not enough action.” If that’s the standard Obama demanded of the White House in 2005, then now-President Obama has failed much more substantially in addressing the developing Ebola epidemic that has — unlike the avian flu — reached our shores.

Update: Added link to and mention of our good friend Ace, from whom Grabien got the data to pull the clip. Ace also reminds us when Obama eliminated tougher quarantine rules created by the Bush administration that might, y’know, come in handy now.


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Comments

haha. I will do three starting with the one that matters most to me.

1. Prior to Obama being president, i was making a little more than $75K annually doing something i hate. I am now in the lower 6 figures administering Linux servers. Something i truly enjoy. Obama helped enable the environment for this to happen. I took PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY by taking advantage of the opportunity instead of whining.

2. Unemployment went as far as 10% when Obama first took office, it is now 6%.

3. We did not have universal healthcare before Obama took office. Now we do.

I expect you being a partisan hack to dispute all three facts. Then again, who cares what you think?

farleftprogressive on October 2, 2014 at 3:53 PM

First off, I do not care about you or your personal situation. That was NOT my question.

2. Unemployment was 7.8% when your boy took office. While it is now reported at 6.1%, more people are unemployed than ever, and fully 12% of Americans are either unemployed or employed part time. Work participation rate is horrendous as well.

3. We do not have ‘universal’ health care, pal. Not even close.

You care what I think or you would not have responded, (however pathetically) to me and you wouldn’t even be infesting this site in the first place.

Like all liberal trolls, you fail miserably, Sonny.

bimmcorp on October 2, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Like all liberal leftist trolls, you fail miserably, Sonny.

bimmcorp on October 2, 2014 at 4:04 PM

There is nothing truly liberal about any of them. Clarity.

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2014 at 4:06 PM

(And why haven’t you used Óbola’ yet to mock?
That’s my gift to you.
Wait…unless…that’s what you have? Very contagious on con-blogs.)

verbaluce on October 2, 2014 at 3:46 PM

You consider this humor or wit?

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2014 at 3:54 PM

Which bit?
I’d say there’s some of both.
But you’re not amused, huh?

verbaluce on October 2, 2014 at 4:10 PM

verbie, punk, not pimp.

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2014 at 4:10 PM

(And why haven’t you used Óbola’ yet to mock?
That’s my gift to you.
Wait…unless…that’s what you have? Very contagious on con-blogs.)

verbaluce on October 2, 2014 at 3:46 PM

You consider this humor or wit?

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2014 at 3:54 PM

Which bit?
I’d say there’s some of both.
But you’re not amused, huh?

(fixed formatting)

verbaluce on October 2, 2014 at 4:12 PM

There is nothing truly liberal about any of them. Clarity.

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Not many Presidents can claim the endorsement of the CPUSA

Roy Rogers on October 2, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Universal Health Care? YGBSM
Delusions coupled with hallucinations.

Missilengr on October 2, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Idiots. Utter and complete idiots. We deserve what we get.

libfreeordie on October 2, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2014 at 4:15 PM

I don’t envy folks on this blog. Constant whining for 6 years with 2 more to go.

farleftprogressive on October 2, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Must suck to know that your Cult Leader’s job approval fell into the high 30s well before Chimpy Bush’s did. And that was with a Democrat Media on their kneepads servicing him 24/7/365 since 2005…

Del Dolemonte on October 2, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Far left prog – the labor participation rate is at historical low percentages – most jobs that have been created are part time. Using a similar labor participation rate moves that rate up over 11% I believe. So it is actually worse. Most of the health care adds are in Medicaid – which is known to have worse outcomes than doing nothing and once the subsidy lies are found out in the exchanges – another several hundred thousand will be dropped – if they haven’t already quit paying for their insurance already as the companies have been reporting for some time now.

If any lefty thinks Obama has been good for the economy you are just stupid. The only people who have done better is the upper crust and those with lots of market exposure. My 401(k) has more than doubled thanks to his priming of the bond markets artificially keeping rates low and facilitating great opportunities in equities – including corporations issuing debt to buy back stocks which makes me even wealthier. The income disparity has mushroomed under Obama as the rich have recovered from the DC created meltdown but everyone else has not. The lower and middle classes are still below their pre-recession levels – 5 years after the recession ended.

Low information voters my eye – idiots is a better description.

Zomcon JEM on October 2, 2014 at 4:17 PM

farleftprogressive on October 2, 2014 at 3:04 PM

LOL! Your utter fear of calling yourself a “liberal” duly noted! Why are you afraid of the L-Word?

(Starts 10 acre field of sundials)

Del Dolemonte on October 2, 2014 at 4:18 PM

bimmcorp on October 2, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Never expected you to care.

However unlike you who votes solely on ideology regardless of whether it benefits you or not, I VOTE MY POCKET BOOK.

farleftprogressive on October 2, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Zomcon JEM on October 2, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Another conservative with excuses and more excuses. I wonder if you would be parsing data the way you are if a republican was president.

Hey, the reason this republican’s policies seemed to have drastically reduced the UE rate is because more people are working PT than FT. In reality UE is still high. Wonder if you would be saying that if Teddy C was in the WH.

farleftprogressive on October 2, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Are you suggesting our President is partisan!

Privatize It on October 2, 2014 at 3:30 PM

What fool would ever commit such an intellectual crime? Choomie is the most humble, honest, and fair person in US history!

Anti-ControI on October 2, 2014 at 4:26 PM

But had to go to 2005? That’s some deep digging.

I’d offer the might be even more recent partisan framing of national issues to be found.

verbaloon on October 2, 2014 at 3:04 PM

LOL!!!!!

Since when do a politician’s activities have an expiration date? Your fellow Democrats tried to tar and feather Chimpy Bush for what he did 30 years before you tried to tar and feather him, and you did the same thing to McCain and Romney.

Or are you trying to ignore the breathless 2012 coverage of how Mitt Romney “bullied” a classmate in prep school in 1965? Your Democrat Media ran multiple, carefully-coordinated attack stories about that 47 year old allegation, all running on the very same day (May 10, 2012).

Those coordinated attack stories appeared on Page A1 of the Washington ComPost, and also on Page A1 of the NY Times.

Washington ComPost link:

Mitt Romney returned from a three-week spring break in 1965 to resume his studies as a high school senior at the prestigious Cranbrook School. Back on the handsome campus, studded with Tudor brick buildings and manicured fields, he spotted something he thought did not belong at a school where the boys wore ties and carried briefcases. John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn’t having it.

“He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann’s recollection. Mitt, the teenage son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, kept complaining about Lauber’s look, Friedemann recalled.

A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair…

Sorry, Kid, but you need to have Soros write you some better material.

F-

Del Dolemonte on October 2, 2014 at 4:29 PM

SENATOR Obama said a lot of things PRESIDENT Obama wishes he had never said and has violated most of what he promised / said back then.

easyt65 on October 2, 2014 at 3:50 PM

I don’t agree – he says whatever he believes will benefit himself most at the moment, and doesn’t really care if it contradicts something else he’s said.

Anti-ControI on October 2, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Zomcon JEM on October 2, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Another conservative with excuses and more excuses. I wonder if you would be parsing data the way you are if a republican was president.

Hey, the reason this republican’s policies seemed to have drastically reduced the UE rate is because more people are working PT than FT. In reality UE is still high. Wonder if you would be saying that if Teddy C was in the WH.

farleftprogressive on October 2, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Excuses? Your drivel was rebutted with actual facts, and you call those facts “excuses”? Good Lord, only in the warped mind of the leftist barking moonbat….

In June the BLS [Bureau of Labor Statistics] reports that the number of full-time jobs tumbled by 523K to 118.2 million while part-time jobs soared by 799K to over 28 million!

Something tells us that the fact that the BLS just reported June part-time jobs rose by just shy of 800,000 the biggest monthly jump since 1993, will hardly get much airplay today. Because remember: when it comes to jobs, it is only the quantity that matters, never the quality.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-03/june-full-time-jobs-plunge-over-half-million-part-time-jobs-surge-800k-most-1993

tanked59 on October 2, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Del Dolemonte on October 2, 2014 at 4:29 PM

You get an F for following a point and an A for proving one.

verbaluce on October 2, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Duhhhh

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2014 at 4:34 PM

SENATOR Obama said a lot of things PRESIDENT Obama wishes he had never said and has violated most of what he promised / said back then.

easyt65 on October 2, 2014 at 3:50 PM

I don’t agree – he says whatever he believes will benefit himself most at the moment, and doesn’t really care if it contradicts something else he’s said.

Anti-ControI on October 2, 2014 at 4:29 PM

I s/h/b more clear – I fully agree with you about what I highlighted…

Anti-ControI on October 2, 2014 at 4:34 PM

And why haven’t you used Óbola’ yet to mock?

verbaluce on October 2, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Why haven’t you used Obola.. why are you angry about the Secret Service incompetence…

It’s always amusing when the Collective is confused as to why right of center folks don’t engage in the same kind of misbehavior they do.

Star Bird on October 2, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Take personal responsibility and stop blaming others for your screw ups.

farleftliberal on October 2, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Do those words of wisdom also apply to your Cult Leader, who since 2008 has been blaming all of his screws ups on others?

No, I didn’t think so. If they did, he would have taken some responsibility, but as a classical Narcissist it’s impossible for him to do so.

PS, I changed your screen name. Hope you don’t mind!

Del Dolemonte on October 2, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Hey, the reason this republican’s policies seemed to have drastically reduced the UE rate is because more people are working PT than FT. In reality UE is still high. Wonder if you would be saying that if Teddy C was in the WH.

farleftprogressive on October 2, 2014 at 4:24 PM

You do realize that someone who has given up looking for work and whose UE has run out is no longer counted, right? Or are you completely ignorant of how UE numbers are reported?

fossten on October 2, 2014 at 4:35 PM

If I were a lefty I wouldn’t be thumping my chest over anything…you support baby killers and maybe are one.

crosshugger on October 2, 2014 at 4:36 PM

I don’t envy folks on this blog. Constant whining for 6 years with 2 more to go.

farleftprogressive on October 2, 2014 at 2:55 PM

I LAUGH AT YOU PROGRESSIVES THAT CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER AND HYPOCRITE TO BOOT WITH TWO MORE DISASTROUS YEARS TO GO

Pelosi Schmelosi on October 2, 2014 at 4:37 PM

I bet you didn’t think he would be elected not once but twice did you? Forgive me for not caring what you think.

farleftliberal on October 2, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Why did you vote for him the first time?

Del Dolemonte on October 2, 2014 at 4:37 PM

However unlike you who votes solely on ideology regardless of whether it benefits you or not, I VOTE MY POCKET BOOK.

farleftprogressive on October 2, 2014 at 4:18 PM

How do you presume to know how I vote, Goober? I vote principle and conscious. My pocketbook really is note relevant.

I choose a modest life style, as my days of chasing the almighty dollar and worrying about that $2000 a month mortgage and the upkeep on my Porsche was taking a far greater toll on me than I cared to allow.

Living modestly out in flyover country, retired with nary a worry in mind, is how I choose to live out my days.

You, on the other hand, are a slave to your money, and you are nothing short of a whore for being the way you are. One day you may come to see things more clearly, but it is doubtful, reading your claptrap.

Never-the-less, carry on and enjoy your pocketbook. I’ll enjoy the sunset, myself…

bimmcorp on October 2, 2014 at 4:37 PM

Flashback: Senator Obama rips Bush for being unprepared for avian flu epidemic

I seem to remember this as when we learned that Democrat regulations and taxes had driven every vaccine company from the United States and we were now dependent on a French company for the vaccine for that avian flu.

RJL on October 2, 2014 at 4:39 PM

However unlike you who votes solely on ideology regardless of whether it benefits you or not, I VOTE MY POCKET BOOK.

farleftprogressive on October 2, 2014 at 4:18 PM

THAT’S A FLAT-OUT LIE…AND YOU KNOW IT!

Pelosi Schmelosi on October 2, 2014 at 4:40 PM

Hey, the reason this republican’s policies seemed to have drastically reduced the UE rate is because more people are working PT than FT. In reality UE is still high. Wonder if you would be saying that if Teddy C was in the WH.

farleftliberal on October 2, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Care to spin for us why the black unemployment rate when Chimpy Bush left office was 7.4%, but now is at almost 13%?

And before amusing us with your answer, remember that Bush has not been President for almost 6 years now.

Take your time.

Del Dolemonte on October 2, 2014 at 4:40 PM

If I were a lefty I wouldn’t be thumping my chest over anything…you support baby killers and maybe are one.

crosshugger on October 2, 2014 at 4:36 PM

But this is why you aren’t a lefty. :)

Look at their fellow travelers – Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, Marx, Lenin, Stalin, etc. – whom they give a relative pass, while they direct their anger at people like Rush, Palin, Cruz, Reagan, GWB, Conservatives in general…they’re bad people, from whom we should expect the worst social behaviors.

Anti-ControI on October 2, 2014 at 4:44 PM

I VOTE MY POCKET BOOK.

farleftprogressive on October 2, 2014 at 4:18 PM

So you’re profiteering?

Star Bird on October 2, 2014 at 4:53 PM

dont taze me bro on October 2, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Thanks!

Tanya on October 2, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Most competent, evahhh

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2014 at 4:55 PM

However unlike you who votes solely on ideology regardless of whether it benefits you or not, I VOTE MY POCKET BOOK.

farleftprogressive on October 2, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Funny, so do I…..

So you’re doing quite well since Obama has been in office?

Then it’s understandable that you’ll support him no matter what.

I have been employed in the Civil Engineering/Survey Industries
since the late 80’s…I was never laid off until 2009. I was
unemployed for 8 months. I got hired by a firm who has been
involved with the Marcellus Shale operations here in PA since
early on…..they bought out a small engineering firm in my
part of the state, and were hiring people…..I applied and
was fortunate enough to get hired…our firm is doing well
for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the Shale
Natural Gas industry….no, that’s not the Division I’m in.

I now make more money than I ever have in my career…

no thanks to the policies of this President…

you vote YOUR pocketbook, I’ll vote MINE.

ToddPA on October 2, 2014 at 4:55 PM

I expect you being a partisan hack to dispute all three facts. Then again, who cares what you think?

farleftprogressive on October 2, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Then why are you here?

wifarmboy on October 2, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Because he’s a selfish @sshole, that’s why…

Anti-ControI on October 2, 2014 at 4:58 PM

verbaloon on October 2, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Sorry, I don’t speak Austrian. Please translate into English.

Del Dolemonte on October 2, 2014 at 4:58 PM

However unlike you who votes solely on ideology regardless of whether it benefits you or not, I VOTE MY POCKET BOOK.

farleftprogressive on October 2, 2014 at 4:18 PM

So, despite the status of the WAR President, you are a wh0re. Got it.

fossten on October 2, 2014 at 5:32 PM

He’s an impressive speaker but seems to lack the experience to be a Senator.

And comes across as a bit arrogant and in narcissistic as well.

kcewa on October 2, 2014 at 6:22 PM

However unlike you who votes solely on ideology regardless of whether it benefits you or not, I VOTE MY POCKET BOOK.
 
farleftprogressive on October 2, 2014 at 4:18 PM

 
RTFM
 

When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.
 
– Benjamin Franklin

rogerb on October 2, 2014 at 6:30 PM

One thing you can say about King Barack the Magnificent. His HINDSIGHT has always been 20/20.

It just his foresight THAT SUCKS.

GarandFan on October 2, 2014 at 7:32 PM

Frank Abagnale can’t hold a candle to Obama. Biggest conman in world history.

crrr6 on October 2, 2014 at 8:30 PM

Talk about unprepared! They have no one to clean up the Ebola-soaked sheets or the apartment, and they have no quarantine place for the family, who now are imprisoned in a hot zone.

We’re doomed. And I’m not kidding.

PattyJ on October 2, 2014 at 8:40 PM

How did his hair turn that grey so fast playing golf?

JellyToast on October 2, 2014 at 9:09 PM

Universal health care….. Bwahahaha haaaahahaa bwahawahhhha

CW on October 2, 2014 at 9:14 PM

Unemployment down…. Hahaha

CW on October 2, 2014 at 9:16 PM

You gotta kinda wonder sometimes if EVERYthing Obama ever said is now coming back to haunt his sorry a##.

scalleywag on October 2, 2014 at 9:18 PM

Democrats have seized on the vaccine shortage to accuse the administration of being unable to protect Americans – from either illness or terrorism. “If you can’t get flu vaccines to Americans, how are you going to protect them against bioterrorism?” Senator John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate, asked in an interview with National Public Radio. “If you can’t get flu vaccines to Americans, what kind of health care program are you running?”
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/20/politics/campaign/20bushxx.html

munseym on October 3, 2014 at 12:26 AM

In a saner time, this imbecile would have gotten no politically farther than community agitator rabble rouser in some podunk part of the nation, with the trademark bowler hat and corncob pipe and string tie of a small-time con artist.

The fact that this moronic hypocrite was not only NOT laughed out of office but elected to POTUS twice is a damning indictment of how far the voting populace has fallen.

LawfulGood on October 3, 2014 at 12:39 AM

Something right must have been done, however. According to the WHO data, there have been no confirmed cases of H5N1 in the US.

It’s not that anything “right” was done, Avian Flu was just another scam meant to scare you and separate you from your money from the start. No different than SARS, Y2K, Global Freezing/Warming/Climate Change, etc.

Lefty causes need constant funding but those people don’t work so they need grants and tax dollars. Scaring people using compromised government hacks and intellectually incestuous academic frauds whose lies are repeated endlessly in the media is how grant and tax dollars are steered toward those causes.

As usual, it’s about money and power, not compassion or science.

Blacksheep on October 3, 2014 at 7:19 AM

I expect you being a partisan hack to dispute all three facts. Then again, who cares what you think?
farleftprogressive on October 2, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Then why are you here?

wifarmboy on October 2, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Because he’s a selfish @sshole, that’s why…

Anti-ControI on October 2, 2014 at 4:58 PM

While that’s certainly true, the real reason is that he’s mentally unbalanced and/or emotionally needy.

How else can one logically explain why a person would come to a place (this forum) where they know they’ll be unwelcome for the sole purpose of making themselves unwelcome?

It’s like going to a party to which you were not invited, insulting all the guests, spilling drinks on the carpet, and then taking offense because you were asked to leave.

It’s like pulling up in front of a biker bar on a Kawasaki and picking a fight with some random patron. IT MAKES NO SENSE.

I have to wonder what goes on the mind of a person like this. He knows we’re not going to be swayed, nor are we going to sway him. Yet, he repeatedly comes here just to stir sh-t. How immature do you have to be to enjoy that? To want to do that on a regular basis? What sort of mindset gets pleasure out of annoying anonymous strangers?

CurtZHP on October 3, 2014 at 7:30 AM

For those who claim Senator Obama did not accomplish anything during this time in the Senate, here is proof that those claims are totally false!

On the downside for Obama, this accomplishment simply adds to the proofs of what an arrogant, ignorant, partisan-hack of a hypocrite he has turned out to be.

s1im on October 3, 2014 at 9:37 PM