The Bush administration’s emergency plan for a possible flu pandemic involves essentially police-state methods that have nothing to do with effectively combating the illness.
This was the finding of a report released by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) January 14 that criticized the government’s preparations for a pandemic. The study outlined how federal agencies have been adopting an increasingly heavy-handed approach toward what should be considered a public health problem.
The report was presented at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. followed by a panel discussion with three top experts: George Annas and Wendy K. Mariner of Boston University School of Public Health and Wendy E. Parmet of Northeastern Law School. Each condemned the government’s lack of preparedness on this critical health issue and explained how its insistence on treating everyone like a potential flu carrier was extremely counterproductive, to say the least.
The panel also discussed the fact that the current policies heavily emphasize the need for coerced vaccinations and military-enforced quarantines. “History shows that treating sick people like potential enemies only spurs them to avoid the authorities and exacerbates the spread of disease,” said Parmet.
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