Year #1 Obama Accomplishments: Swine Flu

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I'm thinking about starting a series on all the accomplishments by Barack Obama during his first year in office. The first installment is preventing a swine flu epidemic and possibly saving tens of thousands of American lives.
Although it is too early to write the obituary for swine flu, medical experts, already assessing how the first pandemic in 40 years has been handled, have found that while luck played a part, a series of rapid but conservative decisions by federal officials worked out better than many had dared hope.


Federal officials deserve “at least a B-plus,” said Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University’s medical school.

Even Dr. Peter Palese, a leading virologist at Mount Sinai Medical School, who can be a harsh critic of public policies he disagrees with, called the government’s overall response “excellent.”

About 10,000 people had died by mid-November, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated; the pandemic seems unlikely to reach even the lower end of a forecast of 30,000 to 90,000 deaths made in August by the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology.
Of course, right wingers will never give President Obama credit for anything, just as they never gave President Clinton credit for 8 years of peace and prosperity. But for the rest of us, I think the proper response to the Obama administration's "excellent" response to the swine flu outbreak is a heartfelt "thank you!"