US Government: A Strategy of FearMonday, September 28, 2009
Peter Doshi, a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, authored a study that challenged the prevailing notion of the CDC on flu pandemics. This article appeared in MIT News in April of 2008.
Peter Doshi, a graduate student in the History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology and Society Program at MIT, based his study on an analysis of more than a century of influenza mortality data. He found that the peak monthly death rates in the 1957-1958 and 1968-1969 pandemic seasons were no higher than–and were sometimes exceeded by–those for severe nonpandemic seasons.
…Noting the gap between evidence and fear, Doshi identifies possible reasons that pandemic flu might be so misunderstood, including the possibility that commercial interests may be playing a role in inflating the perceived impact of pandemics. With public policies such as universal vaccination being discussed and more than $5 billion of federal money spent on preparing for the next pandemic, the study raises many important questions of public policy.
In 2005, Science Daily, in an article titled “Are US Flu Death Figures More PR Than Science?”, reported that the ”CDC claims 36,000 Americans annually die from flu. What is going on, asks Doshi?” The article goes on to quote from Doshi’s research in the British Medical Journal:
The CDC uses indirect modelling methods to estimate the number of deaths associated with influenza. Thus the much publicised figure of 36,000 is not an estimate of yearly flu deaths, as widely reported in both the lay and scientific press, but an estimate – generated by a model – of flu-associated death, he says.
In this article, recently on Boston.com, Doshi stated, “Longstanding pandemic plans were activated before the severity of swine flu was fully known.” Additionally, in support of Doshi’s statement, American Lung Association statistics show far different figures than the government reports. This is summarized from page 12.
Year // US Influenza Fatalities
1979 — 604
1981 — 3006
1983 — 1431
1985 — 2054
1987 — 632
1989 — 1593
1991 — 1137
1993 — 1044
1995 — 606
1996 — 745
1997 — 720
1998 — 1724
1999 — 1665
2000 — 1765
2001 — 257