by Michel Chossudovsky
May 1, 2009
What is the flu? Influenza
(the flu) is a serious contagious respiratory illness
caused by influenza viruses.
Millions of people in the
United States get the flu each year.
Most people are sick for
about a week. Some people (especially young children,
pregnant women, older people, and people with chronic
health problems) can get very sick and may die from the
for Disease Control and Prevention)
The World Health Organization (WHO) raised its
pandemic alert level to Phase 5 on a 6 point scale.
The WHO's Phase 5 alert means,
"there is sustained human-to-human
spread in at least two countries and that global outbreak of the
disease is imminent... It also signals an increased effort to
produce a vaccine... Human cases have been confirmed in Mexico,
the United States, Canada, Britain, Israel, New Zealand and
According to reports, the WHO took this
"a 23-month-old [child] died [from
the swine flu] in Texas after travelling there from Mexico for
The swine flu was, according to reports,
confirmed in 11 states in the US. Health officials at the WHO in
Geneva and Washington are quoted as saying that the "spread of the
virus is unlikely to stop".
The media has gone into full gear with little analysis and review of
the evidence, focusing their attention on the more than 2400 cases
of non-specific influenza in Mexico.
"the global outbreak is imminent...
all countries should activate preparedness plans",
The worst health crisis facing the world in 90 years..."
On the day following the WHO's Phase
5 Pandemic Alert, a scientist attached to the European
Union's Centre for Disease Control and Prevention hinted,
without evidence, that the epidemic could potentially affect 40% to
50% of the E.U. population "in a mild way". (See
europeanvoice.com, April 30, 2009).
Professor Neil Ferguson, a member of the World Health
Organization task force on swine flu, stated that,
"40 per cent of people in the UK
could be infected within the next six months if the country was
hit by a pandemic."
“We don’t really know what size
epidemic we will get over the next couple of months... It is
almost certain that, even if it does fade away in the next few
weeks – which it might – we will get a seasonal epidemic in the
“We might expect up to 30 to 40 per cent of the population to
become ill in the next six months if this truly turns into a
'We could get substantial
numbers infected in the next few weeks but, if I was to be a
betting man, I would say it would be slightly longer because
we are moving into summer.'
Prof. Ferguson said the 152 deaths
in Mexico probably made up a relatively small proportion of the
total number infected, which might run into tens or hundreds of
(Daily Express, May 1, 2009)
The media reports are twisted.
Realities are turned up side down. Policy statements are not backed
by medical and scientific evidence.
Professor Ferguson's statements are
unfounded. He has not bothered to check the data on "laboratory
confirmed" swine flu cases in Mexico, corroborated by laboratory
30 to 40 % of the British population? Up to 50 % of the population
of the European Union? On what basis are these statements being
On April 27, there was, according to reports, only one case of swine
flu in the entire European Union:
"Europe's first confirmed case of
swine flu has been diagnosed in Spain. The country's health
ministry confirmed the news on Monday morning, after tests on a
man who had recently returned from a trip to Mexico."
April 27, 2009)
Weakening the Social
Statements of this nature on the "inevitable spread" of the disease,
create, quite deliberately, an atmosphere of fear, insecurity and
They also serve to distract people's
a devastating global economic
crisis which is leading the World into mass poverty and
not to mention the war in the
and the broader issue of US-NATO
The Real Global Crisis is marked
by poverty, economic collapse, war, the derogation of civil rights
and the demise of State social programs. The E.U. announcement of
the swine flu pandemic inevitably serves to weaken the social
protest movement which has spread across Europe.
The emergency measures which have "closed down" entire urban areas,
are widely perceived as a pretext of the Felipe Calderon
government to curb mounting social dissent against one of the most
corrupt administrations in Mexican history.
In Mexico, the May 1st Parade, which was
directed against the Calderon government, was cancelled
The WHO advisory points to 148 laboratory confirmed cases Worldwide
of the swine influenza, including 8 deaths, barely a pandemia:
"29 April 2009 -- The situation
continues to evolve rapidly. As of 18:00 GMT, 29 April 2009,
nine countries have officially reported 148 cases of swine
influenza A/H1N1 infection. The United States Government has
reported 91 laboratory confirmed human cases, with one death.
Mexico has reported 26 confirmed human cases of infection
including seven deaths.
The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases
with no deaths - Austria (1), Canada (13), Germany (3), Israel
(2), New Zealand (3), Spain (4) and the United Kingdom (5).
Further information on the situation will be available on the
WHO website on a regular basis."
In a 29 April statement, the WHO
Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan confirmed that,
"Based on assessment of all
available information, and following several expert
consultations, I have decided to raise the current level of
influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to phase 5.
Influenza pandemics must be taken seriously precisely because of
their capacity to spread rapidly to every country in the world.
... WHO will be tracking the pandemic at the epidemiological,
clinical, and virological levels.
... I have reached out to donor countries, to UNITAID, to the
GAVI Alliance, the World Bank and others to mobilize resources."
Bonanza for the
Big Pharma has been identified by the WHO as the solution to
"I [the WHO Director-General] have
reached out to companies manufacturing antiviral drugs to assess
capacity and all options for ramping up production. I have also
reached out to influenza vaccine manufacturers that can
contribute to the production of a pandemic vaccine."
The swine flu pandemic constitutes a
corporate bonanza for a handful of BioTech conglomerates. The
European Union has already given the green light to work with Big
Pharma to develop a vaccine against the swine flu.
The data used to justify a Worldwide level 5 alert is extremely
scanty. The WHO states a "global outbreak of the disease is
As documented by William Engdahl,
the symptoms of swine flu are non specific, similar to those of flu
in general. (See
William Engdahl, Global Research,
April 29, 2009).
Scientific opinion contradicts the WHO official statement:
"Scientists studying the virus are
coming to the consensus that this hybrid strain of influenza --
at least in its current form -- isn't shaping up to be as fatal
as the strains that caused some previous pandemics.
In fact, the current outbreak of the H1N1 virus, which emerged
in San Diego and southern Mexico late last month, may not even
do as much damage as the run-of-the-mill flu outbreaks that
occur each winter without much fanfare.
Mounting preliminary evidence from genetics labs, epidemiology
models and simple mathematics suggests that the worst-case
scenarios are likely to be avoided in the current outbreak."
Angeles Times, April 30, 2009)
Influenza is a common disease. There are millions of cases
of influenza across America, on an annual basis.
"According to the Canadian Medical
Association Journal, the flu kills up to 2,500 Canadians and
about 36,000 Americans annually. Worldwide, the number of deaths
attributed to the flu each year is between 250,000 and 500,000"
Walkom, The Toronto Star, May 1, 2009)
Most of the reported influenza cases in
Mexico do not exhibit the A/H1N1 strain.
From the press reports, most of the Mexican cases of swine flu were
"suspected", they have not been confirmed by an advanced lab
The Mexican Minister of Health, José
Ángel Córdova confirmed that there were,
"2498 serious cases of atypical
pneumonia associated with a flu condition" ...[which] could be
related to the A/H1N1 virus".
Out of those 2498 cases of influenza,
159 died, of influenza or related ailments, but only seven of these
deaths were related to the swine flu, according to the
official statement of the Minister of Health.
The figures above are consistent with the overall pattern of
influenza observed in Mexico in previous years.
"In a normal year, between 6,500 and
7,500 Mexicans die from pneumonia-like diseases"
159 reported deaths "have been blamed on
the outbreak" but the lab reports suggest that the swine flu was the
cause of death only in seven out of 159 cases.
For instance, in the Veracruz town of La Gloria where there was an
outbreak of acute respiratory infections, out of 450 cases, 35 were
tested for the swine flu virus and only one came back positive.
No details were given as to the lab results pertaining to these
Most of the press reports will quote 152 deaths from the H1N1 virus,
when in fact only seven of these deaths are associated with the
particular A/H1N1 strain, according to the Minister of Health. The
other deaths may be associated with cases of ordinary flu and/or
In the US only one lab in the entire country has the ability to
confirm the identify of the virus, namely the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
located in Atlanta.
How many labs are there in Mexico which
have the ability to confirm the identify of the virus?
According to reports, samples are being sent to Mexico's National
Institute of Epidemiological Diagnosis and Reference, which then
forwards them to government labs in the US and Canada. What this
suggests is that there is no lab based analysis which
documents the relatively large number of suspected cases.
According to the Minister's statements,
the laboratory analysis pertaining to the 159 deaths is being
conducted in Mexican labs with the support of the Atlanta based CDCP
and that the results are forthcoming.
In the US there have been 109 reported cases of the virus (April 30,
2009), of which only five were hospitalized.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control
confirmed that a 23 month child in Texas had died from the swine flu
virus, following hospitalization and clinical examination.
U.S. Human Cases of Swine Flu Infection
(As of April 30, 2009, 10:30
# of laboratory
Cases of Swine Flu Infection
World Health Organization
News reports point to "hundreds of New York schoolchildren reported
to have fallen sick with "suspected swine flu".
There was, however, no evidence
corroborated by lab examinations of the incidence of the swine flu
H1N1 strain. In all likelihood, the children were suffering from the
flu, which is part of a common occurrence during the month of April.
"All the cases were mild, no child
was hospitalized, no child was seriously ill,” Dr. Frieden said.
"Health officials reached their preliminary conclusion after
conducting viral tests on nose or throat swabs from the eight
students, which allowed them to eliminate other strains of flu."
Tests were conducted on school children
in Queen's, but the tests were inconclusive:
among theses "hundreds of school
children", there were no reports of laboratory analysis leading
to a positive identification of the influenza virus. In fact the
reports are contradictory: according to the reports, the Atlanta
based CDCP is the "only lab in the country that can positively
confirm the new swine flu strain — which has been identified as
(NYT, April 25, 2009)
Influenza is a common disease.
Unless there is a thorough lab examination, the identity if the
virus cannot be established.
It is revealing that the Atlanta based CDCP is playing a key role in
identifying the virus on behalf of several Latin American countries,
including Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica.
On April 30th, the US government
established a CDCP lab in Mexico.
In other words, a US government
agency is monopolizing the conduct of laboratory testing, the data