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Saved from the Avian Plague

President Bush today announced a $7.1 billion federal program to confront the apocalyptic specter of avian flu. I for one found Dubya's plan to be a measured response. $7.2 billion would have been unreasonable given the nation's other commitments, but $7.1 spend by the federal government ought to be just about right.

Not everyone was satisfied. Dennis Kucinich, lunatic from Ohio, said Bush must go further, and "make" a French firm drop its patent for an avian flu vaccine.

"Roche's monopoly is an immediate and grave threat to the health and well-being of every American," Kucinich said in a statement. "While sitting on the patent to the first and best line of defense against an outbreak, Roche is holding the world hostage. This administration cannot sit on the sidelines and allow this to happen.” (Cue death ray sounds and screaming masses.)

Just for fun, read the story but every time you see the words "avian flu" replace them with "zombie virus" and every time you see the word "pandemic" replace it with "invasion of the undead."

Dateline WASHINGTON β€” President Bush said Tuesday that U.S. health officials have found no indication that a ZOMBIE VIRUS outbreak is near, but his administration is in the midst of developing a long-awaited plan to combat a worldwide outbreak.

β€œAt this point we do not have evidence an INVASION OF THE UNDEAD is imminent,” Bush told an audience of health and government officials at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

"In the event of an INVASION OF THE UNDEAD, we must have enough vaccine for every American," Bush said. "We can't waste time in preparing."

"There is no ZOMBIE VIRUS in our country or in the world at this time," Bush said. "But if we wait for an INVASION OF THE UNDEAD to appear, it will be too late to prepare. And one day many lives could be needlessly lost because we failed to act today."

ZOMBIE VIRUS has killed more than 60 humans (gasp!) in Southeast Asia, mostly in Vietnam. It has not yet spread from human to human, but in the worst-case scenario outlined by international scientists, it could cause millions of deaths worldwide. (60 humans died in Dafur since my last double mocha an hour ago.)

ZOMBIE VIRUS outbreaks can happen simultaneously in up to thousands of locations at the same time and unlike a flood, an INVASION OF THE UNDEAD "can continue spreading destruction in repeated ways that could last for a year or more," Bush said.

Critics have raised questions about why Bush administration officials, who recently have said the nation is not ready for an INVASION OF THE UNDEAD, did not have a plan ready earlier.

In recent months, federal officials and lawmakers frequently have expressed concern that the ZOMBIE VIRUS could come to the United States and cause an INVASION OF THE UNDEAD

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