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Who will compensate Mexico for false swine flu reports?

In Uncategorized on June 22, 2009 at 10:06 am

Who will compensate Mexico for false swine flu reports?

Opinion by Andrés Oppenheimer
McClatchy Newspapers / Miami Herald
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 06.21.2009
The swine flu outbreak that has wrecked Mexico’s economy may become a case study in reckless journalism. It now turns out that it’s not clear whether the H1N1 pandemic originated in Mexico, as first reported, or in the United States.
Like most of you, I had taken it for granted that the disease started in Mexico. That’s what most press reports said in late April, when we saw the first headlines about this illness. Some radio and cable television presenters called it the “Mexican flu.”
So earlier this week, I found myself scratching my head when I read in a Pan American Health Organization press release that “the new virus, which emerged in Mexico and the United States in April,” has spread to 74 countries.
What do they mean by Mexico AND the United States, I asked myself. Are they saying that the new virus emerged in both countries simultaneously? Minutes later, I called the Pan American Health Organization to ask whether that “AND” was an editing mistake, or intentional.
Daniel Epstein, a Pan American Health Organization spokesman, said that, “at this time, it’s not clear that this pandemic started in Mexico.” He added that reports that the disease originated in Mexico “are premature.”
At the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spokesman Joe Quimby confirmed that “no geographical location has been determined to be the point of origin of the current pandemic.” He added, “We may never know in which country it started.”

But none of this stopped the usual crowd of hyperventilating anti-immigration — or rather, anti-Hispanic immigration — radio and cable television hotheads from pointing at Mexico as the unequivocal origin of the disease.

But none of this stopped the usual crowd of hyperventilating anti-immigration — or rather, anti-Hispanic immigration — radio and cable television hotheads from pointing at Mexico as the unequivocal origin of the disease.
According to the Media Matters watchdog group, conservative-nationalist radio talk show host Michael Savage said on April 24, “Make no mistake about it: Illegal aliens are the carriers of the new strain of human-swine avian flu from Mexico.”
In another example of irresponsible journalism cited by the watchdog group, Fox’s contributor Michelle Malkin wrote in her blog on April 25, “Hey, maybe we’ll finally get serious about borders now.” She added, “I’ve blogged for years about the spread of contagious diseases from around the world into the U.S. as a result of uncontrolled immigration.”

Read on

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