Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bachmann Speaks. Again.

(MPR Photo/Chris Kelleher)

Ah, looks like she’s at it again. The last big Michele Bachmann foot-in-mouth episode occurred in 2008 during a televised call to the media to investigate members of congress (including then presidential candidate Barack Obama) for ‘perceived anti-American’ bias.

Now, she’s linking the swine flu outbreak in the United States to Democrats. Apparently in her comments to conservative media outfit Pajamas TV, this Republican Representative ‘finds it an interesting coincidence that the last swine flu outbreak in the US occurred under a Democratic president.’

Looks like this Republi’con’ has got some more book learnin’ to do. Gerald Ford, a Republican, was our president at the onset of the last swine flu outbreak back in 1976. On the bright side, at least she’s not ‘blaming this on President Obama.’ Progress at last!!!

Infectious disease outbreaks are serious business. The real danger with this latest flu outbreak is that the current virus will continue to evolve as it passes from person to person--potentially becoming more virulent over time. The last thing we need is some crazy, off-the-wall politician attempting to distract us by inserting politics into the serious work of public health surveillance and disease containment.

Perhaps this really isn’t a serious problem worthy of Bachmann’s attention. Given her Christian fundamentalist views which question the existence of evolution (she supports teaching intelligent design in public schools), why would she concern herself with evolving or mutating viruses? If she’s right, then we really have nothing to worry about.

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