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Billions for Hysteria – a good deal for propagandists?

Billions wasted on swine flu pandemic that never came

How did the World Health Organisation get its prediction of a 7.5 million death toll so wrong?

By Paul Rodgers and Smitha Mundasad

The spectre of plague stalked the world last year with its constant companion, fear. Schools and stadiums were closed in Mexico, tourists from Egypt to Singapore were quarantined, and the surgical mask became a universal fashion accessory across Asia. Yet predictions that the global death toll from swine flu could reach 7.5 million were well off the mark. At most, the virus killed 14,000 people, and some of those had pre-existing conditions or had been infected by other dangerous bugs as well. Against a background death toll from seasonal flu of up to 500,000, the new H1N1 strain was invisible.

Professor Ulrich Keil, a World health Organisation (WHO) adviser on heart disease, said the decision to declare a pandemic had led to a “gigantic misallocation” of health budgets. “We know the great killers are hypertension, smoking, high cholesterol, high body mass index, physical inactivity and low fruit and vegetable intake,” he told the Council of Europe. Yet governments “instead wasted huge amounts of money by investing in pandemic scenarios whose evidence base is weak”.

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