Friday, September 16, 2005

Reality bites?

I'm not particularly an expert on communicable disease control, but while I'm holding down the fort here I feel I ought to give folks a thread for the latest bird flu news. It appears that events have finally convinced some Bush administration officials that they need to be reality based. According to Paul Eckert with Reuters, "President Bush unveiled a plan at the United Nations on Wednesday under which countries and international agencies would pool resources and expertise to fight bird flu. His International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza reflects growing concern that avian flu could becomes a human pandemic, a threat Bush said the world must not allow."

Unfortunately, I have not been able to find out anything about what the plan actually consists of. The Reuters article suggests that AID is taking the lead on this -- Andrew Natsios is quoted prominently -- but AID's web site on avian flu doesn't have any info about this new International Partnership.

If anyone has more info, please let us know. Meanwhile, it appears that even as it starts to acknowledge reality, the administration is having a hard time keeping more than one real ball in the air. Michael Chertoff was not paying attention to Hurricane Katrina because he was in Atlanta getting briefed on bird flu. I guess that's good news and bad news.