It's always interesting hearing why someone might want to help the movie industry scare the pants off people. In this Salon article, World Health Organisation employee, Dr Ian Lipkin tells why he vetted scripts, character acting, and why he ran around the set of "Contagion" for days on ending, making sure everything was "just right".
Of course his focus is promoting acceptance of vaccination to the point where he coaches an actress (Jennifer Ehle) in self vaccination techniques. Presumably he hopes all the participants of contagion are now vaccination acolytes.
But in the course of his enthusiasm, he says this:
We don't have crystal balls that allow us to tell you whether a virus is going to be pandemic, with high pathogenicity, or not. We do know the following: We know that we dodged a bullet on SARS, because SARS actually came through the United States, but it didn't get established here. We know that thousands of people died in China -- and I was in China; I saw the havoc it wreaked there. It was profound. And we know that if we were to have some sort of an outbreak -- or pandemic, worse yet -- in the United States, we don't at present have the tools that are required to rapidly ramp up some sort of a strategy for making vaccines and distributing them. Those are just the cold, hard facts.
He builds credibility in this way. "I was there, I saw it, I'm an expert, I'm from WHO, so I should know the cold hard facts". There's just a tiny wee problem here.
CDC's website says:
During November 2002 through July 2003, a total of 8,098 people worldwide became sick with severe acute respiratory syndrome that was accompanied by either pneumonia or respiratory distress syndrome (probable cases), according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Of these, 774 died.
Perhaps Dr Ian Lipkin got carried away? Quite a few of these deaths were NOT in China.
Here's a blog on SARS written by a chinese person.... and here's another site which says that there were 350 deaths in China. Wikipedia lists 349.
I'm not saying that SARS is a walk in the park.
I'm saying that World Health Organisation employees should stick to cold hard facts, not get out the "long on emotion"; "inflate the figures" and "our solution is the only one" gambit. It's predictable though, that the film industry should fall for it, because their business is messing with people's head, and scaring their pants off.
Medical history tells us that "misinformation" is the modus operandi of the medical system, which considers defending vaccines the ultimate in heroism; thinks nothing of inflating the risks of the disease, denying the risks of the vaccine, and hopes upon hope, that no-one toddles off to check out their facts to see if they told porkies in the process.
One day they might wake up and realise that every porkie they tell, cumulatively shoots more toes out of their feet, their feet off their legs, and may eventually amputate any remaining credibility in the minds of the "aware".
But a question comes to mind: