Remember the Swine Flu Panic of 2009? No, You Don’t

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RUSH: I’m always interested in people’s reaction to this program. I think I have a lot of empathy, and I think one of the reasons why the relationship you and I have is good is ’cause I know how you hear this show. That, I think, is a key ingredient. It’s called empathy. I know how you hear it.

So when I check emails and get questions from people, usually I’m not surprised, and I’m not surprised that I got beaucoup number of questions: “Rush, you don’t sound panicked over any of this. The last two days, you don’t sound panicked, and yet everybody’s panicked. I’m panicked,” people say in their email. “I’m scared to death. I mean, I’ve looked, the stock market was pulling up to 30,000. Now it’s down to 21,000. The Democrat Party, every move they’re making is designed to grow government, make government bigger, and you don’t seem alarmed.”

Folks, panic is… I don’t know. I’m not panicked. I am ticked off like you cannot believe, and I am really having a conversation with myself about how far to go in explaining why I’m mad, ’cause I’m mad about the politics of this. For example, let me give you some statistics. How many of you even remember the swine flu 2009, 2010? I don’t remember it. I mean, I remember we had it. But I don’t remember any panic about it. I don’t remember a thing about the swine flu.

I went back and looked at the stats and I was stunned. Are you ready for this? The swine flu outbreak in this country in 2009 and 2010, 60 million Americans were infected. Do you remember that? Sixty million were infected. Dr. Siegel, one of the Fox doctors was on TV explaining this last night. He was not my primary source for it, but he ended up confirming it. Sixty million people were infected.

Do you know how many people were hospitalized in 2009-2010 with the swine flu? Three hundred thousand were hospitalized. So 60 million people infected, 300,000 hospitalized. And nobody even remembers it. And why? Well, because we had a different president. We had a Democrat president by the name of Barack Obama, and the news then was how wonderfully well Obama was handling it, how expertly well Obama was dealing with it.

There wasn’t any media panic. The Republican Party did not politicize it at all. They made not one single effort that anybody can find or remember to try to make political hay out of it. It was treated as a health issue from top to bottom. Sixty million Americans infected, 300,000 hospitalized. I don’t know what the death toll was. The numbers with the coronavirus are not even close. They are barely a fraction of a percentage compared to the swine flu.

And then we also had Ebola. And I do remember a little bit more about Ebola, and once again, the Drive-By Media was praising the skills and the composure and the brilliance of Barack Obama in dealing with it. And I remember being kind of ticked off about that because there wasn’t anything anybody can do about Ebola. Ebola is like any of these other viruses. There’s nothing we can do to contain them.

See, the reason I’m not panicked is I don’t have enough emotion left for panic ’cause I’m too mad. I’m too ticked off at this. We’re watching the U.S. economy be wrecked here. There’s some people enjoying it. And it makes me mad. There’s some people’s lives here that are being seriously damaged over this. And you know what’s gonna happen? It’s gonna end. We are going to overcome it. It’s going to fizzle out like all of these do.

How did we ever survive 60 million infected with the swine flu? But we did to the point that hardly anybody remembers it. And that’s just 10 years ago, 300,000 hospitalized. So we overcame it. We overcame Ebola. This is gonna end, it’s gonna pass. And I’ll tell you what else is gonna happen. Because of the actions President Trump has taken, like this travel ban from Europe, that has really put the Democrats in a dicey position.

There’s some real positives if you want to find ’em here, and I, of course, have, and I’ll share them with you in a minute. The point is we’re gonna rebound from this, and when we do, you had better get ready and hold on tight, because this market’s gonna rebound. The people who are selling right now and getting out of it are panicking, and they don’t want to be selling. Everybody’s doing this from a very defensive posture and point of view.

And it’s adding… Like we get news that Tom Hanks and his wife have coronavirus. “Oh, no, it’s all going (mewling)! It’s over. Oh, my…” And then his kid — his kid, Chet — goes on TV, tries to calm everybody. “They’re fine. They’re in Australia. They’re fine. They’re not suffering at all. Everything’s fine!” It doesn’t matter. They’ve got it.

Anyway, this is gonna end, and this market is gonna rebound like you can’t believe because the people who have been selling off want to get back in it. And we are taking economic procedures right now that are going to serve to further reignite the economy when all this passes. And when we get back into the growth trajectory, some of the proposals the president’s making regarding payroll taxes, Small Business Administration loans, even a tax holiday?

You just wait until people have no more emotion left to be panicked and get tired of this and want to go a different direction. And that day is gonna happen. The day’s gonna come where people are gonna wake and say, “I’m tired of living this way. I’m fed up with being panicked every day. I’m fed up,” and then — because of the actions the president’s taken — we’re not gonna have that many brand-new infections.

By shutting off this travel from Europe… As I said, this has really put the Democrats in a bad position ’cause they love the European Union. They love it, and the very fact that travel from their beloved European Union has been shut down… But let… If they come out and oppose this, then they’re essentially coming out for open borders. This is actually… If you want to look at it politically, it’s a good move from that standpoint.

But I’m not panicking ’cause I’m too mad about this.

This is… I don’t know. (sigh) It’s… I know some of you are saying, “Rush, easy for you to say.” It isn’t easy for me to say, folks. Nobody’s immune from what’s happening here. I mean, you go back and you look at these swine flu numbers and you ask, “What was different? (chuckles) What was different was we had a Democrat in the White House and so the media didn’t want to be critical of the government.

The media wanted to be promoting him. They wanted to be positive. They wanted to promote the brilliance of Barack Obama, the brilliant management skills, the temperament, the crease in his slacks, the intelligence and all that. Now we’ve got just exact opposite.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Meanwhile, don’t forget, ’cause I’m sure everybody has, swine flu outbreak 2009, 2010, right here, United States of America, 60 million Americans infected. Do you remember any talk about running out of hospital beds? Were we gonna run out of IV saline solution? Were we gonna run out of masks? Sixty million Americans infected with the swine flu. Think pigs running everywhere if you have to, however you have to visualize this, 300,000 hospitalized.

We’re nowhere near 300,000 hospitalized with coronavirus. I mean, we’re not even close to it. In fact, worldwide we don’t even have 300,000 cases, worldwide, of the coronavirus. Three hundred thousand hospitalized in the United States alone. You don’t even remember it. You know why? Because Barack Obama was president, and he was God, and we couldn’t be critical. We had to build him up and promote him like nothing else we’ve ever seen before.

The media wasn’t critical at all. The media was praising the efforts of the government to deal with swine flu. The one difference is the freaking media. And you don’t even remember something 10 times as worse as what is happening now. There weren’t any travel bans.

Hell, you know what? You could still get barbecue wherever you wanted it. Kansas City, Missouri, didn’t shut down because of the swine flu. It’s a big barbecue town. All because the media and the Democrats were interested in making Obama look good and of course the Republicans back then didn’t politicize it. It was a health issue.

So if you’ve got kids, if you’ve got people panicked and worried, “Oh, my God. What do I do?” just give ’em the numbers. Swine flu 2009, 2010: 60 million Americans infected, 300,000 hospitalized. And you don’t even remember it. And I guarantee you nine out of 10 people you tell this to, “I don’t remember that.” Exactly. Ask ’em why they don’t remember it. “Well, I don’t know.” Yeah, you don’t remember it for one reason. Nobody made any big news about it. “Well, why not?” Well, answer that yourself. Say, “Who was president then?”

“Uh, I don’t know, Millard Fillmore?” No, Barack Obama.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Try this. February 12th, 2010, archives, Reuters news: “Swine Flu Has Killed Up to 17,000 in U.S.” February 12th, 2010: “H1N1 Swine Flu Has Killed as Much as 17,000 Americans Including 1,800 Children – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Friday the swine flu pandemic put as many people in the hospital as during the normal influenza season, but most were younger adults and children instead of the elderly.”

And it was during the months when usually very little or no flu is circulating, the CDC said. “The CDC estimates that between 41 million and 84 million cases of the 2009 swine flu occurred between April 2009 and January 16th, 2010.” So it’s maybe more than 60 million, 84 million cases of swine flu. CDC said in a statement, “But between 880 and 1,800 children died. Up to 13,000 adults under the age of 65, and only 1,000 to 2,000 elderly died.”

So the swine flu got the young, 84 million cases, 1,800 children dead, 300,000 total infected, 13,000 adults. That’s a February 12th, 2010, archives at Reuters. Seventeen thousand Americans dead. We don’t have 17,000 people dead worldwide from the coronavirus, folks. And you know what the recovery rate for the coronavirus is, according to the Johns Hopkins University website?

Johns Hopkins University website shows that the recovery rate is — well, I haven’t run the numbers on a percentage. Sixty-five percent. I mean, it’d be easy to calculate if I had the numbers in front of me. If you’ve got 120,000 cases, and we did at one time, and 75,000 recoveries, then what are we talking about?

And what are we gonna do when Tom Hanks and his wife recover? Will that end the panic? Well, in our pop culture society, you never know. It might. It might. Maybe Kim Kardashians and Kanye West need to get the coronavirus and get cured a week later. I know. Maybe Meghan Markle and Prince Harry need to get it and then announce they were cured 10 days later and that would end it.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: This is John in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. Hey, great to have you on the program, sir. Hello.

CALLER: Hey, Rush. Great speaking to you. I’ve been a longtime listener from the beginning.

RUSH: Thank you, sir.

CALLER: I want to just make the point that I’m finding that there’s an uncanny parallel between the reaction — societal reaction — of what’s going on now with the coronavirus to the reaction of climate change. It’s just amazing the parallels I can see between how we’re supposed to believe that both are existential threats and how both are gonna completely…

If we let it play out the way some people want it to play out, it’s gonna disrupt so many major elements of our economy based on faith basically, and there’s a little dabble of science. You know, I’m not gonna deny that, you know, climate is very variable, and we’ve been through so many worse — as a planet, through so many worse — situations or conditions than we are today.

Just like with your example of the swine flu. We went through a much worse period with the swine flu than potentially we’re going through right now with the coronavirus, but we’re supposed to believe that it’s an existential threat and we’re just canceling everything. It’s crazy.

RUSH: Well, actually your analogy to the climate change thing may be valid in one profound way, and that is, both with climate and now with the coronavirus, what is there a damn, gigantic demand for? Bigger government to take over and do something to fix to save the planet, to save the species, to save this or that or the other thing. Of course, they’re waiting in the wings to take their cues for bigger government.

Nancy Pelosi, Chuck You Schumer, and the rest of the Drive-By Media. So that analogy does have some weight to it. I’m glad you called. Where are we going next? I want to squeeze one more in before the end of the hour. That would be Craig in Dexter, Missouri, which is not far from where I grew up in Cape Girardeau. Great to have you, Craig. Hello, sir.

CALLER: Yes, sir. Hi, Rush. Hey, Rush, I know you just mentioned about the 30,000 deaths. I think what everybody seems to be missing is there’s no flu tied to the end of the corona. It’s not the corona flu. It’s COVID-19. I remember when swine flu hit, you called it the pig flu, and when the bird flu hit, it was the bird flu. Nobody’s calling this the flu. They’re calling it like some kind of weird disease that once you get it, it’s over.

RUSH: So you’re saying that the terminology here is going a long way to creating the panic?

CALLER: Yes, sir. Nobody’s calling it “the flu.”

RUSH: We can make a movie out of this called the Andromeda Strain 2 —

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: — and say that the COVID virus came from a failed Chinese effort to orbit Mars —

CALLER: (laughing)

RUSH: — beating Elon Musk to Mars. Okay. So if this just had the word “flu” in it, then no big deal. “Why, it’s the corona flu.” It’s the Chinese flu. We could call it the bat flu, or we could call it the snake flu, because that’s where it came from. Well, it’s an interesting point, but it does go to the idea of terminology.

Because obviously our society is perfectly fine with 30,000 people dying from the flu every year. Well, when I say, “perfectly fine,” you know what I mean. We’ve accepted that that happens. The flu has to kill 30,000 people. The wheel kills 50,000. But (dramatically) “COVID-19, the coronavirus from China, by way of Europe…” Yeah. It’s got this mystique to it. Glad you called.

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