Swine influenza, politics, and economics

By David Walsh and Sean South in the USA:

Politics and economics dominate response to swine flu epidemic

30 April 2009

The outbreak of a swine flu epidemic that threatens to assume global proportions is exposing the disastrous consequences of the subordination of all aspects of social life to the capitalist market and the competing interests of nationally-based corporate elites. The potential toll in illness, death and economic disruption is compounded by the scourges of poverty, social inequality and the lack of basic health care infrastructure in much of the world.

A rational and coordinated application of modern medical science and technological resources to deal with a world threat is frustrated at every turn by national boundaries and nationally based responses.

In the industrialized countries, above all the United States, the potential human cost from the flu epidemic is magnified by the decades-long neglect of public health by governments, beholden to financial interests, that have starved the health care infrastructure of resources.

In response to the spread of the swine flu, the World Health Organization on Wednesday raised its alert to Phase 5, a level characterized by widespread human infection and the danger of a pandemic.

Mexico: Epidemic deepens the social crisis: here.

The item Swine flu? A panic stoked in order to posture and spend, by Simon Jenkins, considers that the epidemic risks are exaggerated.

From German daily Bild:

SWINE FLU Virus traced back to Mexico farm

The swine flu outbreak has been traced back to a pig farm in Mexico. The first known case of the virus emerged a fortnight earlier than previously thought in a village called La Gloria, where residents have long complained about the smell and flies from a nearby pig farm. Locals in the community of 3,000 believe their town is ground zero for the swine flu epidemic, even if health officials aren’t saying so. More than 450 residents say they’re suffering from respiratory problems from contamination spread by pig waste at nearby breeding farms.

Modern factory farms have created a ‘perfect storm’ environment for powerful viruses: here.

The sick face of food production under capitalism: here.

The handling of the swine flu outbreak underscores the difficulty, in the present political environment, of separating medical science from corporate interests and the political agendas of governments that are beholden to them: here.

Profiteers helped to cause swine flu threat: here.

Hogwash Alert: How to Survive the Pandemic of Swine Flu Scams and Swindle: here.

Swine flu in Egypt, cartoon

By Perla Astudillo:

12 May 2009

The current swine flu virus may not mutate into a more dangerous form and the danger will then subside. Scientists, however, remain concerned that the virus is poorly understood and may be susceptible to mutation.

Poultry slaughterhouse ‘stomach-churning’: here.

8 thoughts on “Swine influenza, politics, and economics

  1. Pig farmers try to save livestock

    EGYPT: Pig farmers in Cairo tried to prevent authorities from taking their livestock away for slaughter at the weekend, throwing stones and bottles at police, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.

    Egypt is implementing a pig cull in response to the swine flu outbreak, but there have been no cases of the disease in the country and United Nations health experts have described the drastic measure as unnecessary.


    See also here.


  2. Swine flu and a sick social system: Why the poor die and the rich

    April 27, 2009 — A World to Win News Service — It is impossible to
    predict the spread, severity and consequences of the swine flu epidemic
    that broke out in Mexico. But influenza epidemics have occurred
    regularly — with three pandemics (global epidemics) in the 20th century
    — and scientists and public health authorities have known for a long
    time that new pandemics are inevitable. Some possible parameters and
    paths of development can be scientifically understood, in both the
    biological and social spheres.
    There are two separate and mainly independent factors at work. One is
    the nature and evolution of the disease itself, which is not caused by
    human activity. Although social factors — for instance industrial pig
    farming — may have played a contributing role in the appearance of this
    particular disease, human beings didn’t invent viruses or human and
    animal vulnerability to them.

    * Read more http://links.org.au/node/1020


  3. Mexico’s Revolutionary Workers Party (PRT) statement on swine flu

    Statement by the Revolutionary Workers Party (PRT)
    April 30, 2009 — The health emergency brought about by the swine flu
    epidemic has important political and social repercussions, in addition
    to consequences for public health, that need to be explained in the
    midst of the confusion and distrust that contradictory governmental
    versions generate. It is also necessary to open the way to scientific
    information, truth and political criticism.

    * Read more http://links.org.au/node/1038


  4. `The only fight we lose is the one we abandon’: Mexico’s first
    openly lesbian MP on LGBT rights and people’s power

    By Rachel Evans
    May 21, 2009 — Coyacan, Mexico — I interviewed Patria Jiménez in
    Coyacan’s normally bustling markets. The onset of the swine flu crisis
    had emptied the streets and enforced a stiffness into Mexico’s normally
    effusive greetings tradition. No kissing hello or shaking hands was
    encouraged. Jiménez ignored swine-flu protocol and greeted me warmly.
    In 1997, Jiménez made history by being elected the first openly lesbian
    member of Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies. Representing the Workers
    Revolutionary Party (PRT), which was in an alliance with the Democratic
    Revolution Party (PRD), Jiménez was also the first openly lesbian
    candidate to be elected in Latin America. She is standing again within a
    coalition, Salvemos a México (We Will Save Mexico), for the July 2009
    federal elections. She remains a member of the PRT.

    * Read more http://links.org.au/node/1068


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