Monday, February 27, 2006

Flu Wiki

To read about pandemic flu preparedness, you might check the websites of the CDC, WHO, even the Department of Health & Human Services. But a wiki?

Flu Wiki, to be exact -- the self-described "most complete" internet source on pandemic flu.

Its anonymous contributors, according to the site's creator, include some of the U.S.'s foremost experts on pandemic flu. But why the anonymity? Because they fear reprisals from the Bush Administration for contradicting avowed policy.

With "massive" bird flu looming in China, it's likely a matter of time before A5N1 hits domestic shores. So it's particularly troubling that government-funded scientists are being pressured, explicitly or not, into keeping their mouths shut on flu policy.

If and when the pandemic hits, only an informed public that trusts its government will be equipped to handle the consequences. And for that, we'll need inoculation of a different kind -- a dose of transparency from the Bush Administration.

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