Facts for Combating Fox News Watching Boomer’s “but Obama and Swine Flu” Arguments

A look back at 2009 swine flu:

Here’s a look back on the 2009 swine flu pandemic with eight key facts from the CDC:

1. The flu strain responsible for the outbreak — influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 — was first detected in America in April 2009.

2. The strain represented a unique combination of influenza viruses never before seen in humans or animals.

3. The virus quickly spread globally, primarily affecting children and adults under 65 who lacked immunity to H1N1.

4. The WHO declared the swine flu outbreak a pandemic on June 11, 2009.

5. Between April 12, 2009, and April 10, 2010, the CDC estimates swine flu caused 60.8 million illnesses, 273,304 hospitalizations and 12,469 deaths in the U.S.

6. On Oct. 5, 2009, the U.S. began administering a newly approved H1N1 vaccine to select Americans, with vaccination coverage expanding nationwide by that December.

7. WHO declared an end to the pandemic on Aug. 10, 2010.

8. Globally, an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people died from swine flu in the first year of the pandemic.

The Swine Flu Bullshit is Swirling:

Whataboutism is in full swing, because as we all know, if there’s one person upon whom we can blame Trump’s incredible ineptitude and abdication of duty…. it’s Barack Obama:

Unsurprisingly, this has become a huge Fox News talking point. If you can shift focus to the black guy, the white supremacist Trump base will jump on that train with gusto.

What are the facts here?

Surprise, Trump is full of shit. Trump has on numerous occasions, one above, accused the Obama administration of implementing a rule change that complicated testing. However, no such rule was ever put in place.

Another big Fox News talking point? U.S. President Barack Obama waited until millions were infected and thousands were dead before declaring a public health emergency concerning swine flu, the H1N1 virus.


This line of bullshit appears to have started on Feb. 28, 2020, when the website PJ Media published an article claiming that U.S. President Barack Obama had waited until millions were infected and thousands were dead from swine flu, the H1N1 virus, before declaring a public health emergency in 2009. The “fact check” article got even the most simple of facts completely wrong. Almost like their part of the alt-right disinformation machine…

PJ media writes that H1N1 became a pandemic in April 2009.

That’s not true, the disease emerged in April. It was declared a pandemic in June.

The author claims that Obama “declared a public health emergency on what was already a pandemic” in October 2009.

Also wrong, Obama declared a national emergency, not a public health emergency, in October 2009. The Obama administration declared a public health emergency in April, months before swine flu was declared a pandemic. At the time that the Obama administration declared a public health emergency there were only 20 confirmed cases (pretty far from “over a million”).

PJ Media also presented a video in the article framing it as Obama addressing the swine flu after it had “already become a pandemic.”

This is false. When Obama addressed the nation about swine flu, or H1N1, in April 2009, the disease was just starting to spread. It wouldn’t be until June 2009 that the swine flu would be declared a pandemic. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a detailed timeline of  the Swine Flu pandemic on its website. It shows that the CDC first activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on April 22, 2009. At the time, there were only two confirmed cases in the United States. On April 25, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a public health emergency of international concern, and the following day the Obama administration did the same. At that time, there were about 20 confirmed cases. On Oct. 24, 2009, Obama declared a national emergency.

Next time some Fox News watching boomer pulls a “but Obama” on you regarding the Swine Flu, you’ve got the facts. No whataboutism is going to forgive Trump’s complete incompetence in addressing COVID-19.


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