A special thank you to Brian H. from Chicago for pushing me for a response on the White House's forecast for 90,000 deaths from the pig flu. I was choosing to ignore it, but it's now crawling its way back on the front page--albeit, below the fold due to Senator Kennedy's death.
But, this ridiculous--and irresponsible--claim can be broken down into two parts.
1) It seems rather fishy that a group of Presidential "advisers" would come out with something like this right in the middle of the healthcare reform firestorm. Can we expect to hear something like 'well, this is why everyone needs healthcare' comments coming out of DC to exploit the fear factor and get Americans behind reform?!? It could happen, especially after ABC News released this gem today about winning healthcare reform for Teddy.
2) Now, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) is urging American's not to panic! What?!? Not to panic?? I'm surprised we don't have cop cars turned over and dumpsters on fire right now! I'm thinking of getting a beekeepers hat, because I'm sure the killer bees aren't far behind this story! Check out the article from today's Washington Post.
Bottom line: Did the White House expect a different reaction from Americans? Did they expect us to curb our behavior? I seriously doubt the guy who doesn't wash his hands after going to the bathroom is now going to make a run for the sink. Humans have to proactively change behaviors, and reacting due to fear messages only causes panic. The same is relevant to investing, but we'll save those comments for another time.
Todd M. Schoenberger, Managing Director
LandColt Trading, Inc.