In early August the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology met in Washington DC to discuss the science that will constitute President Obama’s science agenda over the next few months. At the time, chairman John Holdren made no comment about the H1N1 flu virus, although the virus was on the agenda. Council member Harold Varmus said that,
Varmus said that while there is concern that the H1N1 virus is following a pattern similar to the devastating 1918 Spanish flu virus — mild in the spring and deadly upon its return in the fall — so far there is no indication that the H1N1 virus will become more dangerous.
A memo from budget director Peter Orszag and John Holdren setting priorities for the 2011 budget made no mention of the H1N1 virus.
Yesterday, however, it was a different story:
Swine flu, also known as H1N1, may infect as much as half of the population and kill 30,000 to 90,000 people, double the deaths caused by the typical seasonal flu, according to the planning scenario issued yesterday by the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology. Intensive care units in hospitals, some of which use 80 percent of their space in normal operation, may need every bed for flu cases, the report said. …
President Barack Obama was urged by his scientific advisory council to speed vaccine production as the best way to ease the burden on the health care system. Initial doses should be accelerated to mid-September to provide shots for as many as 40 million people, the panel said in a report released yesterday.
So suddenly vaccine production is the best solution as outlined in detail in links from the White House press release.
Pressure is being applied from somewhere.
If you want to get really paranoid, remember that John Holdren, head of the White House science advisory council, has a special interest in population control issues. The H1N1 virus is most dangerous to healthy people in their 20s and 30s, the people of prime childbearing years. This is unheard of in the virus world, but if you were engineering a virus for population control how much more effective could you get?