Monday, May 04, 2009

# Posted 3:07 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

BIDEN FORGETS TO RESTORE SCIENCE TO ITS RIGHTFUL PLACE: On Sunday morning, the White House sent out its swine flu truth squad to hit all the major Sunday talk shows, including Meet the Press, This Week and Fox News Sunday.

The truth squad was clearly desperate to avoid any questions about Joe Biden and his apocalyptic warning this week that no one should travel in trains or planes, lest they catch the swinte flu. On Meet the Press, David Gregory asked one question about Biden, but let Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano off easy, after Napolitano offered a non-apology apology, to the effect that Biden "immediately clarified what he meant to say." Or at least his office issued a clarification.

Chris Wallace was much more determined to force Napolitano & Co. onto the defensive. After getting Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to admit that Biden's warning was nonsense, Wallace finished up with this question:
WALLACE: So why would the vice president tell his family [not to travel]? Are we to believe that the vice president of the United States is a crackpot?

SEBELIUS: I think that each member of our country makes decisions about themselves and their family and about safety and security. What we're telling you is what the science says.
I guess that's a victory for science, although getting the truth squad to speak science to power was as hard as pulling teeth.

Now you might ask, why string up Biden for nothing more than the latest in his series of intemperate outbursts? Was Wallace just scoring points? Well, the Washington Post devoted a whole editorial to repudiating Biden's "misguided public health advice".

The fact is, Biden scared people for no good reason. Over the weekend, a very intelligent friend of mine anxiously asked a mutual friend of ours, a physician, if she should take Biden's advice and avoid travelling by air. The good doctor said no. Hopefully, anyone considering an abrupt cancellation of their travel plans will consult an export instead of Joe Biden.

Cross-posted at Conventional Folly
(3) opinions -- Add your opinion

One wonders what sort of truths the Truth Squad could have spoken if they weren't compromised by the incompatible demand that they not embarrass the Vice-President.
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