Compare How Obama Handled H1N1 Swine Flu vs. Trump’s Handling of Coronavirus
Take a trip back in time with me for a moment. Let’s go back to 2009 when Barack Obama was new as President and the H1N1 (Swine) flu pandemic was spreading throughout the world and especially in the United States.
It was in October of 2009 that Obama declared a national emergency due to the spread of the virus, but at that point millions of Americans had already been infected and over 1000 Americans had already died.
CNN reported at the time:
Since the H1N1 flu pandemic began in April, millions of people in the United States have been infected, at least 20,000 have been hospitalized and more than 1,000 have died, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [emphasis added]
Furthermore, the CDC’s Frieden fretted at the time that efforts to create a vaccine had stumbled:
“We are nowhere near where we thought we would be,” Frieden said, acknowledging that manufacturing delays have contributed to less vaccine being available than expected. “As public health professionals, vaccination is our strongest tool. Not having enough is frustrating to all of us.”
Frieden said that while the way vaccine is manufactured is “tried and true,” it’s not well-suited for ramping up production during a pandemic because it takes at least six months. The vaccine is produced by growing weakened virus in eggs.
But wait, there’s more.
According to Virology Journal, the 2009 H1N1 came into the U.S. from Mexico:
The swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus that appeared in 2009 and was first found in human beings in Mexico, is a reassortant with at least three parents. Six of the genes are closest in sequence to those of H1N2 ‘triple-reassortant’ influenza viruses isolated from pigs in North America around 1999-2000.
In the end, it was estimated that 60 million Americans contracted the virus and that over 12,000 died from it.