Monday, June 06, 2005

Moronic and globally incompetent

I guess some things are just too important to tell anyone about. Like how your state is going to respond to an influenza epidemic. Imagine what would happen if terrorists found out. If they were in Pennsylvania or Ohio, probably what they'd do is get out of town. Because with morons in charge of the state response plan, they don't need terrorists there.

Last week we posted the story that Pennsylvania's Health department was keeping the response plan a closely guarded secret (Warning: idiots loose in Pennsylvania). While we don't know what is in the plan, it is said to be very similar to the US national draft plan, which is openly posted on the US Deepartment of Health and Human Services website.

Apparently we are not the only ones who think this is pretty stupid.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health must publicize its plan on who gets first dibs on the limited supply of vaccine if there is an outbreak of avian influenza, said David Piposzar, former executive director of the Center for Public Health Preparedness at the University of Pittsburgh.

"If we don't understand the priority or basis for making these kinds of ethical decisions when we have a shortage of medication, then we all may do something that is not in the interest of the common good," he said. "Self-interest will reign. Chaos will reign. The social structure will break down." (Bill Zlatos, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review also notes that while neighboring New Jersey and Delaware disclose their plans, Ohio does not. Sure enough, a visit to the Ohio Department of Health flu website revealed . . . no plan. Why not?

"There are many different opinions on whether the plan should be public or kept secret," said Troy Thompson, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Health Department. "But we're not in a position to debate what's right for other states.

"It's not necessarily that we're keeping anything 'top secret.' It's more of an issue of making sure this issue doesn't get misused."

The department is concerned that terrorists could use information such as where the vaccine is stored and where the vaccinations will be given to disrupt the plan.

"We don't want to put that out there and jeopardize the security of our information," Thompson said. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
More likely, they are making sure the plan doesn't get used. If no one knows where the vaccine is and where to get vaccinated, how is anyone going to get vaccinated? And once you tell them where to get vaccinated, what was the point of not telling them earlier? Terrorists won't get there on time?

It is really almost impossible to over emphasize how really idiotic and globally incompetent this is. It defies the imagination.

Earth to Pennsylvania. Earth to Ohio. Are you there? Come in please?