Throwback: Bush, Obama pandemic warning, Gadaffis vaccine caution

By jacobsonoil • 2 weeks ago • 4900 views • 1635 comments
Throwback: Bush, Obama pandemic warning, Gadaffis vaccine caution

The outbreak of the new coronavirus ,COVID-19, at its current pace of movement and impact exposes the fact that the world was not ready for a pandemic. Almost the same measures are being applied across the world – be it in the developed, developing or underdeveloped nations.

A typical example is the widely propagated measure of lockdowns and forcing people to stay at home as medics treat patients and as scientists race to find a vaccine and or medication.

But the pandemic has also coughed up instances where warnings were sounded by two American presidents tasking their health systems to prepare for a pandemic the like of the Spanish flu of January 1918 to December 1920. Then there is a resurgent video of ex-Libyan leader Gaddafi speaking about vaccines.

George Bush’s 2005 call

Fifteen years ago, the American president George Bush read a book on the Spanish influenza which caused him to summon top officials demanding that the country prepares for a pandemic.

The national plan drawn up at the time included among others: diagrams for a global early warning system, funding to develop new, rapid vaccine technology, and a robust national stockpile of critical supplies, such as face masks and ventilators, a former White House official said in an ABC News report.

That plan remained unused and in the face of other national challenges placed on the back burner till COVID-19 arrived. A video clip of Bush speaking at the National Institutes of Health in November 2005 has now resurfaced. A transcript of his comments are below:

Leaders at every level of the government have the responsibility to confront dangers before they appear and engage the American people on the best course of action. It is vital that our national address and discuss the threat of pandemic flu now.

There is no pandemic flu in our country or in the world at this time but if we wait for a pandemic to appear it will be too late to prepare and one day many lives could be needlessly lost because we failed to act today.

By preparing today we can give our citizens some peace of mind knowing that our nation is ready to act at the first sign of danger. And that we have the plans in place to prevent and if necessary withstand and influence the pandemic.

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