Current Bird Flu Czar Another Michael Brown Clone?
by Last Night in Little Rock
The press is beginning to hit us with fears of a bird flu pandemic as noted virtually everywhere: NY Times, WashPo, Chicago Tribune, and CNN.com. Each source has more than one article everyday now as the fear grows.
Moveon.org has a post calling the nation's bird flu czar unqualified for anything in public health.
Replace Simonson, Prepare for a Flu Pandemic
The Bush administration official in charge of making sure America is ready for a flu pandemic is a crony with no experience related to his job. Stewart Simonson is Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—the Bush administration’s point man for a flu pandemic. But, Simonson has no public health management experience. He got his job because he is a close associate of former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson. Will you urge that Simonson be replaced with a more obviously qualified person by signing our petition to Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt?
Well, what is the source of this information? Who is this guy, and how did he get appointed? I Googled his name, and what comes up? He's a lawyer (J.D., anyway), which, I suppose shows why he has no business being in charge of preparedness for the potential bird flu pandemic. His credentials (actually, lack thereof) are listed in an article titled Executive Government Positions of Influence in Biodefense: The Bio-Plum Book (pdf), which is published in Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science, vol. 2, no. 4, at 338-341 (2004).
What about cronism? What is a purported lawyer doing in charge of bioterrorism? What, for that matter, was Michael Brown, a hack lawyer who contributed to the Republican Party, doing in charge of FEMA?
NOLA, Gulfport, Biloxi, and all points in between got an overdose of Bush cronyism with Brown and the Administration's own utter incompetence. Then, they send in Halliburton to clean up the dough. Will Halliburton also come in to clean up the hundreds of thousands of potential deaths from a bird flu pandemic?
Karl Rove is probably already planning for how to capitalize on any catastrophy. I wonder what he has planned for the catastrophy named United States v. Karl Rove?
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