As one might expect, the hot topic of conversation at this weekend’s meeting of the AAHM was the current swine flu epidemic. As I watched CNN and read newspaper reports, my mind went back not to the 1918-19 epidemic, but the Ford administration. At that time, President Ford was ridiculed for mobilizing a nationwide effort to immunize everyone in the United States against the disease. In a humor article entitled “Swine Flu Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (May 31, 1976), the New Yorker reported in it’s coverage of the Academy Awards, the Swine Flu virus, ” a relatively unknown virus since 1918,” swept the awards ceremony. Will this epidemic also prove to be a case of Ford Administration deja vu?
I was thinking that it’s the 1970s all over again, too. I wish I had saved a W.I.N. button–“Whip Inflation Now!” (Except that I guess our problem is more deflation than inflation…)
Good news — HNN accepted my offer to write a longer article on this. Now, if I can just find some time!
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