You’ve heard it all over the news. The virus, swine flu (or the H1N1 virus) has become a worldwide pandemic. People in countries such as Britain are wearing protective masks in public areas as the media provides constant coverage on infected people and death tolls.
President Obama has issued a national concern for protecting the country against this virus but says not to be alarmed. Customs agents have been checking those entering the U.S. by land and air. Obama says he is getting regular updates from agencies and the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control are keeping Americans informed.
However, controversy has formed over remarks made by Vice President Joe Biden. During an interview today on NBC’s The Today Show, Biden commented, “I would tell members of my family—and I have—I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now,” and specifically mentioned American subway systems.
These suggestions are nearly impossible for many workers in the nation who rely on public transportation to take them to and from work each day. The travel industry, particularly, is displeased with Biden’s comments and advises travelers to listen to medical experts.
Are Biden’s comments over-the-top or is he being more honest than other government and health officials by telling us this is bigger than we think? How does this breakout and its media coverage make you feel about the safety of you and your family’s health? Do you think the media is sensationalizing the swine flu or do you think this type of coverage is necessary?
Renèe N. Gibson
Institutional Advancement Intern