November 11th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

How confident are you the government can prevent a swine flu epidemic?


A three-year-old girl receives an H1N1 vaccination in San Pablo, California. (PHOTO CREDIT: JUSTIN SULLIVAN/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With the swine flu now widespread in 48 states, Americans are starting to lose confidence in the government's ability to prevent an epidemic.

A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows only 51-percent of those surveyed are confident the government can stop a nationwide epidemic of the h1n1 virus. That number is down from 59-percent in August.

49-percent say they're not sure the government can prevent an epidemic; and that's up from 40-percent this summer.

The poll also shows only a little more than half of those surveyed think the government and private industry can provide enough swine flu vaccine for everyone who wants it. That number is virtually unchanged in the last few months.

Meanwhile mothers with children younger than 18 are especially skeptical about the government's abilities here. Perhaps not surprising when you consider that children are some of the hardest hit by this virus; and a lot of people still can't get their hands on the vaccine.

Health officials say there are more than 41 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine available.

Here’s my question to you: How confident are you the government can prevent a swine flu epidemic?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Susan writes:
It's funny how people don't want the government messing with health care, but they expect the government to prevent a swine flu epidemic. The government just can't win. What do you want people? You can't have it both ways.

Jim from Providence, Rhode Island writes:
There is only one reason that there is no H1N1 vaccine in the U.S.: money. If everyone got the vaccine, the big drug companies would not make billions on over-the-counter flu medication.

Tina writes:
Why is this even a question? Yes, the U.S. government has not been able to get enough doses of the vaccine out but it's the private sector's fault. The government cannot stop an epidemic, but I'm not without confidence in the U.S. government. It is up to the U.S. people to stop it by taking precautions and using our basic hygiene skills.

Annie writes:
About as confident as I am in the government doing anything for us out here on Main Street. Wall Street got their shots and then some, and we got nothing. That tells me all I need to know.

Rich writes:
If Rush Limbaugh got scared and fled the country, would anybody wonder where the swine flew?

John from Colorado writes:
As it has been for centuries, this is flu season. H1N1 appears to be somewhat of a greater risk, but the solution is really more up to families and individuals than the government. Following President Obama's orders, I have been washing my hands like Lady McBeth 24×7. I'm 66 and have never had a flu shot in my life. With that said, although today I feel like a rooster, tomorrow I might be a feather duster.

Filed under: Government • Health
soundoff (184 Responses)
  1. Conor in Chicago

    People, including myself, like to complain about our government all of the time. The fact is though that the CDC and other agencies are extremely good at handling these sorts of situations.

    We also should never forget that epidemics are bad for business and the American government is all about business. We'll be fine.

    November 11, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  2. Jackie in Dallas

    The "government" cannot prevent anything, Jack, they can only make resources available for individual citizens to make their own choices. Only in situations of dire crisis, which this has not yet reached, can the government step in and initiate techniques to prevent the spread.

    As one considered "vulnerable", as I'm over 55 and have asthma, I'd love to have access to the vaccine, but it is - rightfully - being given to young children and healthcare workers first. But I intend to make my decision as soon as it IS available.

    November 11, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  3. Rick Medina,OH


    I'm not convinced that any government can 'prevent' an epidemic. It can only react to the outbreak. That is why biological weapons are probably our greatest terrorist threat. You cannot fight what you cannot see or otherwise detect. If it takes this long to react to something that apparently occurred 'naturally,' imagine our problems if some group introduced a 'bug' deliberately.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    November 11, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  4. Jack Carlson

    The Gov't has handled H1N1 just as they would handle any Healthcare takeover and that would be a disastor ! We need to help those who are legitimately in need of help however and that is about 10 million people.
    Jack C

    November 11, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  5. Rick McDaniel / Lewisville, TX

    Never did have any such confidence, and still don't.

    November 11, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  6. Silas - Bostton

    Sure. Let's get Sarah Palin to be the swine flu Czar. That would scare any disease away.

    November 11, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  7. george

    None what-so-ever !! The government didn't start the swine flu, and it is very unlikely that they now can prevent an epidemic. There in no magic bullet, so the best thing for everyone to do is to try prevent getting it the best they can, and if they get it, they should not spread it.

    November 11, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  8. Randy from Salt Lake City

    I am confident that the goverment has spewed numerous swine flu pandemic lies to get the Murikan sheeple to take a toxic swine flu shot in order to cull the "useless eaters" or at least create more patients for the for-profit medical industry to treat.

    November 11, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  9. The Broker.

    They can't! It's like the asian flue bug when I was a kid. It all depends on your own bacterial/resistance. Where you work? How close you work with each other.. Ventilation??

    November 11, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  10. C.K. of Colorado

    There is simply not enough vaccinations for everyone in the US, so the government can only do so much in terms of prevention. Ultimately, the virus will win out as it always has.

    November 11, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  11. Jerry Johns Creek, GA

    I think the US Government has done a phenomenal job in preventing an H1N1 virus outbreak for 2011. But there may be a problem with that.

    November 11, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  12. Paul, Austin, Texas

    Not very Jack. Canada had vacine sooner than we did and started giving it out before we did. After all the drug companies want us to get sick to sell us more stuff to get better. Could that be the hinden agenda on leagal marijuana so they can sell that too.

    November 11, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  13. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    We already have an epidemic. In theory God could stop it, but He's the one who created the germs and viruses in the first place so I wouldn't hold my breath.

    November 11, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  14. chaney, La.

    Jack it is not realistic to think that the government can prevent a swine flu epidemic.

    November 11, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  15. Emden (Deep in the Heart of Hurst Texas)


    4,000 deaths and counting.
    After only 2 months of school.
    Winter approaching..

    Not confident at all.....

    November 11, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  16. JENNA

    How confident are you the government can prevent a swine flu epidemic?

    Ask me that after I get a H1N1 flu shot.

    They are STILL NOT AVAILABLE here.

    Roseville CA

    November 11, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  17. Fred, Oklahoma City

    They've already signed contracts with all the vaccine manufacturers. Now those private companies need to honor those contracts and make vaccine. Our biggest problem so far is those companies haven't kept the promises they made.

    November 11, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  18. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    I am not confident that the government can produce the vaccine fast enough to prevent an epidemic. Too bad they don't put our politicians on the bottom of the list.

    November 11, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  19. Peg from NY

    I have little to no confidence the Government can prevent a Swine Flu Epidemic.

    November 11, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  20. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,about the only thing the government can prevent is success!!!

    November 11, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  21. Russ in PA

    You're joking, right? It's the FLU!!! Lay off it already!!!

    November 11, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  22. Bob - Rawson Argentina

    Jack, get back to me on January 1, 2010, and tell me how many people in this country have died from TRUE swine flu and TRUE common flu and THEN we can decide if this is evan an epidemic or media hype.

    The media throws all kinds of numbers around that tell ONE side of a situation but seldom ever gives BOTH sides of a situation. That type of reporting conveniently allows the media to have "dodge room" and for others to "assume." Sort of the way you phrase some of your questions here. ;>)

    November 11, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  23. Carl D.

    I'am not confident our government can do anything right. They no longer listen to the will of the people, they do what benifits them, and to hell with what the Legal American citizen wants.

    November 11, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  24. Melissa

    Not at all. But only because certain members consider profiting over whether people live or die more important than the lives of the people. The health care is not in the hands of the government, its in the hands of greedy selfish insurance companies who get to determine whether we live or die. If we actually had socialized health care like we need, then I imagine I'd feel differently, but so long as the insurance companies control out health, we're all screwed because "if you can't pay for it, then suffer and die" is the insurance companies mantra.

    November 11, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  25. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    I don't believe government can prevent a flu epidemic but they will take credit for it not spreading. The best way to prevent a swine flu epidemic is to keep all of Congress confined.

    November 11, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  26. J. Lichtenberg

    CDC declared this one uncontrollable. It's too late now. But it's a dress rehearsal for an enemy attack and we failed.

    November 11, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  27. Maria

    Our government can't prevent anything. They may offer some preventative care ideas, or maybe put a vaccine together that hasn't been fast-tracked by the FDA with the pharmaceuticals having no responsibility in case they get it wrong...but control? Hah!

    People generally have choices in this country, but we're living in the dark ages if we think we can eradicate hunger,literacy,global environments, the weather, or much of anything else. We can keep trying, that's the noble, natural reaction. We must never be so arrogant to think we have total control over anything.


    November 11, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  28. Mode (PDX, OR)

    I don't see how our government can prevent a swine flue epidemic. Its rather impossible to prevent such an epidemic outside an authoritarian political arrangement. Moreover, I don't think the American people have the quality of character, on the whole, required for the sort of clandestine cooperation that would have to happen, to prevent the spread of swine flu. Americans have become pathologically individualistic, Jack, and this makes us more susceptible to calamity.

    November 11, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  29. Doug - Dallas, TX

    Come on Jack, you of all people should know the government is in a reactive mode when it comes to the H1N1 virus. It is up to individuals to protect themselves by using common sense preventative measures to keep from getting sick and if they get sick, stay home. Short answer is no confidence.

    November 11, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  30. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I have the same confidence in the gov't preventing a swine flu epidemic as I do my ex wife inviting me to thanksgiving dinner.

    November 11, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  31. Michael Roepke - Dallas, TX

    Around the year 1350 CE during a period of very limited government that our Republican friends would love, the Black Death is estimated to have killed 30% to 60% of Europe's population without government involvement. I think that the involvement of our Government and the CDC should increase confidence. As usual, there is a group that shouts that the government can't run a big program like this but their only alternative is to find fault or do nothing.

    November 11, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  32. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack i don't think that there is one single member of Congress who is capable of finding their own ass in the dark with both hands and a flashlight. Now if Congress and those it appoints constitutes the government then there is not a snowballs chance in hell that they can stop the swine flu epidemic. This may be the one thing none of them did create and are responsible for.

    November 11, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  33. John from Alabama

    Jack: The epidemic is already among us. The government can only give guidelines to prevent exposure to swine flu and provide a vacine to prevent it. There is a flu outbreak each year, but swine flu is more dangerous because it attacks the young and those with medical problems already. Swine flu vaccine should be more available by the end of November. Governments can only fund public health care for large epidemics.

    November 11, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  34. Rus in St. Paul, MN

    As confidant as Health Care reform by the August recess, Cash for Clunkers working through November 1st and unemployment not rising above 8% with the stimulus. Who am I kidding....we're screwed.

    November 11, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  35. Sandra in Temecula, CA

    Considering they can't even get enough vaccine out, not confident at all. Do we really want the the government taking over our entire health care system when they can't even run a vaccine program?

    November 11, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  36. John .......... Marlton, NJ

    Bush certainly immortalized the phrase "good job brownie", and everyone snickered, unfortuneately, the remarks today may be misinterputed ... so I'll refrain from using them...

    November 11, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  37. Mark

    It should be able to. There is just something about government and pigs that go well together.

    Oklahoma City

    November 11, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  38. Richard Sternagel

    How about a vote of No confidence!

    November 11, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  39. HLNII69 Barton MS 38611

    Jack you asked How confident are you the government can prevent a swine flu epidemic?

    They can't this can only come from an ACT of God. He have the power to stop it if its His will.

    A Christian

    November 11, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  40. Jason, Koloa Kauai

    I am confident that they are trying. If it is possible to stop a swine-flu outbreak, then I'm sure the CDC is doing everything possible it can and that the Obama administration is going to direct enough funds towards achieving the goal unlike the previous administration that ignored public health and infra-structure in favor of profiting defense contractors with fat homeland security contracts. Unfortunately, it may be impossible to stop a determined enough virus becasue viruses have a quite an evolutionary head start over mammals.

    November 11, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  41. BOB WHITE, Kansas

    A good example of what is wrong with the public's perception. No, the government can't prevent an epidemic, but science and medicine can. This is not to say that the government does not have an important role but by our terminology we set the government up for failure and ridicule when we 'expect' the government to solve all the problems, especially crisis.

    November 11, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  42. Lisa, San Jose CA

    Jack, don't be silly. You can't "stop" a natural phenomenon, be it hurricane or pandemic. All you can do is alter its level of damage.

    We as the public need to have the proper expectations about this. The total manufacturing capacity for flu shots–the factory size–is built only to address the usual seasonal demand. So of course when suddenly everyone wants a shot, there's a 'shortage'.

    People are going to be sick. There's going to be absenteeism. There are going to be deaths. The way to measure if the government is succeeding is in things like the hospitals finding enough staffed beds to accommodate all those who need them, and businesses remaining functional enough despite absences so stores stay stocked and staffed.

    Because there's no way the government can actually *stop* a pandemic. It can only be managed. We need to understand that.

    November 11, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  43. Lucy

    I mean, the government really doesn't have a helluva lot of control over a virus and peoples' daily interactions with each other, thus leading to the spread of the virus. The government has more control over the economy than it does the spread of disease, and they sure as hell didn't prevent this recession, and has yet to raise the unemployment rate. If the government can't do anything right for something it DOES have control over, how can I expect it to do anything right for something it DOESN'T? Zero confidence.
    SF, CA

    November 11, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  44. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    This is turning into Obama's Katrina.

    November 11, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  45. Rob of Brooklyn

    there is no epidemic. the regular flu has more victims

    November 11, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  46. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Are you talking about the U.S. Government? If you are, they can't find their butt with both hands so how on earth could we expect them to prevent an epidemic?

    November 11, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  47. Jack in Florida

    Not confident at all. What government anywhere can prevent any epidemic? Government can provide help through preventive measures and information but the public is on its' own when these things occur. Such epidemics as the bubonic plagues of the middle ages are still not understood. The flu epidemic of 1918 killed millions and the cause is still being debated.

    November 11, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  48. Thom Richer

    I believe it has already been declared an epidemic. So, the chances are out the window and I must now wash my hands of this issue.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    November 11, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  49. Alex in Seattle

    I am confident that the government is doing their best with the available resources. I just wish that the Republicans had not removed $420 million for pandemic flu preparedness from the stimulus bill. That move was as shortsighted as Bobby Jindal questioning volcano monitoring funds in the same bill. Those funds were needed only a month later when Mount Redoubt erupted. When will the Republicans realize that tax cuts won't fund government health services, volcano monitoring or the US Weather Service's Hurricane Center. If the Republicans had their way there wouldn't even BE a government health service.

    November 11, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  50. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, I know you pay attention to the news. The epidemic is here, NOW. Thousands every day are checking into the hospitals with H1N1, and the vaccines are still not out in sufficient quantity to do any good, much less slow down or defeat the epidemic. Get used to it, because this is how it will be, forever, once we let the government take over our health care. Rationing? Take a GOOD look folks, the vaccine is being rationed right now, that is what they call "priority" some get it, some (the old, and sick) DON'T, and THAT IS RATIONING STUPID!!!

    November 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  51. ed in ri

    The only confidence I have in this government concerning the swine flu is that they have done an above average job "promoting" it. The constant PR campaign over the last few weeks must be costing the taxpayers "lots" of money! I guess I'm confident about the government spending my money.

    November 11, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  52. Lori - PA

    I am not confident at all.

    November 11, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  53. David-Natchez,MS

    I don't think they want to. If a bunch of us die then the unemployment number will go down. The economy will re-bound and our wonderful politicians can pat themselves on the back. America, Gotta Love It!

    November 11, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  54. Susan Frost

    If it's up to this Congress, we're all dead.

    Tuscaloosa AL

    November 11, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  55. Ron Temecula

    Hi Jack:

    Well lets see. Last time I got a flu shot, it worked. About two weeks after I got the flu shot, I got the flu virus!! The shot did nothing to prevent it. So my confidence level in the either the shot or the government is rather low.

    Ron K. Temecula, Ca

    November 11, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  56. pat in lexington, Ky.

    I'm surprised that anyone would think an epidemic could be prevented – by the government or anyone else. There are too many people exposed to it, and too many people coming into our country that may have it and not know it, etc.
    DO people really believe that the government can do that?

    November 11, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  57. stephen blesofsky

    Don't we already have swine flu epidemic? Cool it with provoking raised expectations. Expectations (feelings of entitlement) are resentments under construction.

    stevie b

    November 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  58. Nancy, Grand Ledge,MI

    I am confident that Wall Street will have all the protection they need or want! Same as with our tax dollars. The rich matter, the rest are dispensable.

    November 11, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  59. Michael H. in Albuquerque,NM

    Spreading the virus in the form of a vaccine does not help the cause.
    Provide vitamine D3 and we might get something for our health.

    November 11, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  60. John Ca

    The United States needs to put more press on The (WHO) for the Vaccine to fight this flu

    John Ca.

    November 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  61. Darrell from Indiana

    I am about as confident about the Government stopping the Swine Flu epidemic as I am that we will never hear another word from Sarah Palin.

    November 11, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  62. john j. grimes Watertown, Ma.

    Absolutely. Their plan must be working because I have little fear of H1-N1. I'm sure that if, in fact, there is an outbreak of pandemic proportions that government will respond. I guess that makes me an optimist.

    November 11, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  63. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    Not a lot, Jack. Most of the time, the government can't find its rear end with two hands and a flashlight, so I'm not really terribly confident that they can prevent an epidemic if it comes to that.

    November 11, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  64. mike in NJ

    about as confident that they can successfully withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, rebuild New Orleans, rebuild the economy at less than $500,000 per job and pay less than $5,000 for a hammer.

    Oh ya, not at all.

    November 11, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  65. Paul

    I am confident the government will get out as many doses as it can. They aren't the ones producing it, the pharmaceutical companies are. But its not a matter of the government stopping it, we have to put the responsibility on ourselves to act with good hygiene and some common sense. Funny how people are so cynical of government, yet lean on them for all the answers and solutions.

    November 11, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  66. Eric R

    No, they will not prevent it because the money comes from Medication treatment, not the cure.

    Eric R.
    Towson ,MD

    November 11, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  67. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    About as much as I believe we will get an outstanding health care reform bill, term limits for members of congress and the sun will come up in the west.

    November 11, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  68. Linda in Arizona

    Huh? Isn't it already an epidemic? What kind of epidemic are you talking about? One like 1918? I don't get the question really. Sorry. But I guess I can answer it this way: confident in the government? Shirley Ujeste

    November 11, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  69. Katiec Pekin, IL

    It is the governments responsibility to try and get the vaccine to the people as quickly as they can, but the output of the manufacturers is out of their hands.
    The people are just as responsible if not more so, by following all the guidelines that have been presented to them. One example of carelessness is ignoring the wipes provided in grocery stores in
    which the majority seem to ignore. You complain about too much government control, Jack, now you are expecting them to control what they cannot.

    November 11, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  70. Charles -NJ

    I'm not confident the government can prevent anything.

    November 11, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  71. Jackie in Dallas

    The "government" cannot prevent anything, Jack, they can only make the resources available for individual citizens to make their own choices. Only in situations of dire crisis, which this epidemic has not yet reached, can the government step in and initiate actions. Even were there vaccine enough for everyone, it is still individual choice, which means that the bug can spread rapidly.

    We already know that the bug is out everywhere already so isolation (the usual remedy to prevent the spread of a disease) would not work. But there is good news. While there are a tremendous number of cases (and it is still probably under-reported), the death toll is not that high. If I'm not mistaken, our regular yearly flus have about same levels of deaths or even higher.

    As one considered "vulnerable", as I'm over 55 and have asthma, I'd love to have access to the vaccine, but it is – rightfully – being given to young children and healthcare workers first. But I intend to make my own decision as soon as it IS available.

    November 11, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  72. Jim in Springfield, IL

    After the Bush Administration cut public health and medical research funding, it's amazing we can get any flu vaccine out.

    November 11, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  73. Ray Kinserlow

    Prevent? What the heck do you call what we have right now?

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    November 11, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  74. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    From what I hear the government is also buying vaccines from Canada from the GSK company in Quebec to protect more of people.

    November 11, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  75. Jackie in Dallas

    I can already hear the screams of the far right saying that the government (which they hate and want to make smaller) should be doing more.

    The only way to stop the spread of a disease is to restrict the movement of the vector (in this case, people), or to forcibly innoculate the population against it. In this day and age, the former is impractical, and the latter would have every American up in fury about taking away their personal choice.

    You can't have it both ways. Take responsibility for your own health and well being, and get vaccinated as the vaccine becomes available. Or not, and be willing to accept the consequences.

    November 11, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  76. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    From what I heard on the news, the U.S. government is also buying vaccines from Canada from the GSK company in Quebec in order to protect more people.

    November 11, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  77. Charles J

    Confidence in my government? Wow, thats a loaded question. I would have to say I have NO confidence in any of our elected officials to do what is right for this country to include controlling/preventing a flu epidemic. According to the numbers I hear reported on TV as to the numbers of the infected; we are already there. We just do not have the death rate that shows we are there. Maybe all those years of vacines that we never really understood are paying off? Where as in Mexico and other countries they are not fairing so well.

    November 11, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  78. Dodie

    How confident are you the government can prevent a swine flu epidemic?

    This is a paradoxical question since the H1N1 is already epidemic as defined by the WHO! The vaccine does not prevent the occurrence of the flu, it is supposed to prevent the occurrence of deaths resulting from the flu. So what is your question? Will the government H1N1 vaccination prevent more deaths? I guess, we will have to wait and see.

    November 11, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  79. Jeff Crocket in New Britain, CT

    The epidemic will be over by the time the solutions arrive!

    November 11, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  80. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    It is cruel to show children being given shots! Why does the media keep taking pictures of ANYONE being given a shot?

    I don't have a problem with shots as I have allergies and get lots of shots, but it is CRAP to keep showing people given shots, even if one person finds it hard to watch and doesn't get a necessary shot because of it.

    November 11, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  81. TJ Tampa

    Ask a pig, they will at least give you a straight or better answer than the government. The only thing related to swine flu to the government cares about is pork barrel spending.

    November 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  82. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    Not at all. They can't even provide enough vacine for the priority groups let alone prevent an epidemic. How are 2/3 of congress millionaires when they can even contain a flu strain? This is a sad situation for being in America in the 21st century!

    November 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  83. Dan, Chantilly VA

    How do you prevent something that's already happened? It's more prevalent than regular flu and widespread across the whole country. At this point, we should focus less on preventing the overall spread and more on helping those most at risk. In other words, treat it like the flu. Vaccines for those who need it most, everyone else just suck it up and live with the idea of being sick for a few days if you catch it.

    November 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  84. keith in ky.

    About as confident as I am that they can do anything about climate change, in other words none!!

    November 11, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  85. Rory Murray

    My answer during the previous hour bears repeating...

    SNOWBALL+HELL=Government Prevents Epidemic

    I wish I were less skeptical, but when Guantanamo detainees and Wall St. executives, who SHOULD be detainees, are first in line for the vaccine and entire truckloads can be stolen, it's obvious this is NOT a government priority.
    Rory Murray
    San Bernardino,CA

    November 11, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  86. pat

    HAHAHAHA! do you think the govt can stop the flu? Attention citizens of America . Wash your hands every time you are out in public.Don't sneeze in someones face.if you are sick stay home.Oh yeah and take some resposibility for your life for God's sake.

    November 11, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  87. Allen Austin.Mn

    If they do it as well as they do everthing else we are up a creek.

    November 11, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  88. Susan Miller

    Not at all confident. Nature has managed a serious influenza epidemic during/after every war, resulting in civilian deaths that are similar in number to the number of armed services casualties in the war.

    Our government has not handled an epidemic since fighting polio and vaccinating millions with Sabine vaccine on sugar cubes. Today, polio is on the rise again. Anything the government does can only be a temporary fix.

    November 11, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  89. Guy from Hawaii

    Government...Confidence...same sentence? Jack I know your question was about swine flu but...obesity, cigarettes and alcohol will kill so many people this year it will make the swine flu EPIDEMIC look like the common cold. I'm not belittling the fact that people have died from this flu and more will. I just love these little pet Epidemics to keep "spreading the fear and diverting attention." Hell, I still haven't figured out why Cows are so mad!

    November 11, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  90. Cindi

    No trust in this government to ward off a Swine Flu epidemic.
    Grandson allergic to eggs. Nothing is available for him or
    anyone who is allergic to eggs.

    November 11, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  91. Harry Havens

    As the pharmaceuticals appear to run the government, what would be in their best interests? When you figure that one out, you'll be able to figure out what the government can and cannot do, regarding the swine flu.

    Millersburg, Ky

    November 11, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  92. SandH - Pekin, Il.

    Do you mean, can the manufacture's prevent it.? The Government orders it and the rest is up to the company's that make it. Our President is not the reason there isn't enough of it. He seems to get blamed for everything.
    Try a poll taken that is less predjudiced, please.

    November 11, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  93. Chloe

    100% Jack!

    Right after they get the healthcare bill passed.....

    And we get out of Iraq.....

    And pigs fly........

    November 11, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  94. sparko

    There is no epidemic you gullible fools!

    November 11, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  95. Carole

    H1N1 in 48 states and am I confident the U.S. government can prevent an epidemic?. The regular flu is found in all 50 states every year and over 100,000 die from it every year. H1N1 will come and go and less than 100,000 will die. Which one is an epidemic?

    November 11, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  96. Carole St. Augustine FL

    Am I confident? I'm only confident that the pharmacutical companies are making a fortune on a new flu shot and yes my 15 year old son did receive a shot because his doctor said he had to have one due to recent lung surgery. I did make sure it was the single dose needle shot. However, 100,000 die every year in this country from regular flu – that's an epidemic the Swine or H1N1 flu will not reach those numbers. This is not an epidemic.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:07 pm |
  97. Annie, Atlanta

    About as confident as I am in the government doing anything for us out here on Main Street. Wall Street got their shots and then some, and we got nothing. That tells me all I need to know.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  98. Nancy, Tennessee

    Swine flu is rampant in Tennessee. My friend's child tested positive this week for type A swine flu. Because the test is so expensive for H1N1, that was not sent in, but the doctor said 90% of type A swine flu is H1N1. It's all around us. I tried to get a vaccine last week at the health department (one of the few places to receive the vaccine). I was told that I was not in the age group who could get 1 of the precious few doses available. How did the government manage to produce so few doses for a population of 300 million people? Amazing. Confident – No.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:09 pm |
  99. Ken in NC

    Kind of late for that question jACK. It is already an epidemic.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  100. Bill - Bristow, VA

    Percentagewise – 0% – our government is not capable of anything except idiocy.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  101. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Let me ask you this Jack. When the hell was the last time the government did anything for you? If your waiting on the government to help you then your backing up. The government only helps itself.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  102. Susan

    It's funny how people don't want the government messing with health care, but they expect the government to prevent a swine flu epidemic. The government just can't win. What do you want people? You can't have it both ways.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  103. Jim

    There is only one reason that there is no H1N1 vaccine in the US.

    MONEY! If everyone got the vaccine, the big drug companies would not make billions on over the counter flu medication.

    How is it that many European countries had a shot for EVERY citizen, when the US a country of over 330,000,000 people only had 11,000,000 doses?

    You have to be pretty STUPID to believe that this is about anything other than money.

    Providence, Rhode Island

    November 11, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  104. Robert

    Not confident at all. They can't manage to get even the most vulnerable of our population vaccinated but the Democrats think the government is going to be able to provide us all with healthcare? Yeah, right.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  105. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    There was some reporting that the U.S. were buying American only...; at least they moved on buying outside the U.S.. Is there a priority list of the ones who should get the vaccine first. Here, we have such a priority list and any healthy adult will have to wait for all the most vulnerables to have had the vaccination first!

    November 11, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  106. Darrell

    It's hard enough to get people to take the regular flu shot, It seems to me, some people will complain about anything if you give them a platform

    November 11, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  107. Scott R. , South Florida

    About as confident that we'll actually get National Health Care......

    November 11, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  108. justin pour

    I'm 100% confident that the government can prevent swine flu epidemic. I think President Obama has done a great job so far.
    Justin Pour

    Worcester, Massachusetts.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  109. Tina W

    Why is this even a question? Yes, the U.S. government has not been able to get enough doses of the vaccine out but it's the private sector's fault. The government cannot stop an epidemic but I'm not without confidence in the U.S. government. It is up to the U.S. people to stop it by taking precautions and using our basic hygiene skills.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  110. Susan

    Why is it that people expect and demand the federal government to "come to the rescue" in bad times, like swine flu or Katrina, for examples; yet, many of them are the same folks who are now screaming "keep government out of my life", etc. Go figure!

    November 11, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  111. Joseph Feng

    What a stupid question! The CDC has already declared it to be a pandemic, which is more prevasive than an epidemic. It is already too late. You should be focussing your energies on getting those little viruses to reproduce more quickly so they can produce more vaccine. That would be more usefula and helpful than crying about the government's fault for the shortage.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  112. justin pour

    I'm 100% confident that the government can prevent swine flu epidemic. I think President Obama has done a great job so far. I love Obama
    Justin Pour

    Worcester, Massachusetts

    November 11, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  113. Ed Baker

    the only people around here who have or have gotten the swine flu or the regular flu
    those especially the kids who got the shot!

    I prefer an huge dose of Jewish Chicken Soup... and a Lysol wash-down...

    this "health care" stuff is killing us!

    November 11, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  114. Roman Deutsch, Butler, PA

    Well Jack, considering this is the H1N1 flu, a hybrid of the bird flu and it came out of no where and spread like wildfire across the global, I'm kinda thinking that no government could stop this. Sounds like God is sending a message, pass a health care plan that takes truly takes care of a country's people. Disease will run rapid when you have 40 million without health care and that's the United States alone.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  115. cynthia rafler

    I am a parent of child with juvenile diabeties in San Diego County. He is in 2 high-risk groups. If the the vaccine was even available in my area, I would not know where to get it or how much it costs. My doctors don't even know this information. No the goverment can not prevent the pandemic that is all ready here, but the news media, can help by letting each state know where vaccine availability is and how to get it.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  116. John in the UP, MI

    Jack, It's a little to late, somebody should be paying more attention to what's going on!!!!
    They also should be making the stuff in America, not overseas!!

    November 11, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  117. sarah

    What's wrong with this picture: Americans don't want the governent interferring or running their health care, but they expect that same govenrment to save us from the swine flu. Get real.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  118. Stephan Izzi, MD

    How confident am I that the government can prevent a flu epidemic?
    Well Jack, about as confident as I am that it can run health care.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  119. John Onda

    It seems like the government isn't the bad guy in all this.. they ordered enough doses of the vacine but the suppliers couldn't deliver. Chastise the suppliers not the government.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  120. TomC

    No, how can they stop an outbreak if the manufacturers won't make enough of the vacine? and YES, that Sounds alot like " govt can't fix the mortgage crisis without banks making loans. until business gets more troops, nothing is goning to go right,,,,

    November 11, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  121. dennis

    just curious, the presidents kids...oh i am sorry i meant the kings children got the h1n1 shots but my kid did not,,, she has to wait because my family are serfs in the kingdom.. i'm sorry our elected officials in the government. our government officials and their families are above we the people so they go to the front of all lines for everything.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  122. Dan, Kansas City

    It's damn funny to me that in the 70's when we were in college, we had no trouble getting the shot ( at no charge). We can't even get a regular flu shot now without standing in line for hours. I guess it really doesn't matter as my wife and I have both had H1N1 recently and are still here to talk about it. Someone else can have our shots.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  123. Kyle

    Swine Flu has killed 3 out of every million in Canada, 4 in a million in New Zealand and Australia. The regular flu tends to kill about 200 in a million. Maybe you should spend more time educating your viewers about all this idiotic hype and less time contributing to the nonsensical fearmongering surrounding the non-issue of Swine Flu.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  124. Maude from NYC & Western MA

    Global media call that all who have had flu in the last 15 mos go to local Healthcare post, VNA etc, and get a TITRE drawn. Easy to do as it is part of disaster mgmt setup in US. Really easy to do overseas as they have proper healthcare in almost all developed countries. Thereby allocating the paucity of available vaccine to those who really need it. NOT those who have already had H1N1 as determined by titre.

    Here in MA the 'state' will not provide titre nor is there a drop of vaccine to be had for either H1N1 OR 'Seasonal'. Why are we not asking for some of our 10.2 % unemployed to replace the legions of incompetents annoying the dickens out of us presently.

    No, not confident at all Jack. What if there was a bio attack?? This circus really does not bode well for the performance of our 'public servants'. Self servants is more like it. I have more confidence in the poorest developing country to cope with this than the US.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  125. mel in NC.

    It seems that Government is failing us on this. Our Drs. here still don't have the vaccine. My 4 months old nephew just died from H1N1.
    We are scared.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  126. Vivien from NY

    My pregnant daughter who lives in Brooklyn NY spent every day for the last few weeks trying to get the H1N1 vaccine, today she finally got it. If it is that hard for a pregnant women to get it what about the rest of us? Something seems to be wrong with how the shots being distributed.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  127. NC Jeff

    It's a bit too late for that Jack. Next question.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  128. Peanuts

    The only thing I'm confident this government can do it raise my taxes, take away my insurance, create a socialist nanny state, and allow Iran to get a nuke. I'll deal with H1N1 on my own.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  129. Jim, central Florida

    I'm confident the government we have now cannot prevent anything.
    Real or not.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  130. Johnny April

    I don't think there is a government on earth that can stop the spread of a global viral pandemic. The economic, human and medical resources available are not enough. The government can help and try mobilize medications and vaccines as much as possible, but that's about it. It's up to the individual to utilize common sense in basic personal hygiene to stop the spread of germs. Let's stop depending too heavily in our governments.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  131. Rachell moore

    I am a registered nurse in Los Angeles ca and I foundyself having to get into my car and drive to l las Vegas Nevada in order to get my vaccine for h1n1 from the health dept there I also had to lie and say I was pregnant too , I had my 4 year old son w me and I had him vaccinated as well , Shame on California they have let the nurses down !

    November 11, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  132. Richard Webb

    Jack, I'm not sure that the issue is the government, rather the focus should be on the manufacturers of the current vaccines and the loss of US based pharmaceutical companies interested in producing vaccines for any purpose. Presumably the reason for the loss of US manufacturers is based purely on the finances. No profit, no risk, no profit, no vaccine.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  133. Doug Ft. Worth, TX

    Hey Jack,

    Lets throw in a twist. Who says the Government is responsable to protect us from swine flu? Does the government take responsability to come up with a cure for cancer? With the prices these drug & medical companies charge us, they should be the ones taking these problems head on. Everyone says don't let the Government take control of this and that........well?

    November 11, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  134. Joe Lang of Charlotte NC

    The government's job is the distribution of the vaccine. The problem is with the production of the vaccine which is being done by private companies which are limited by a slow growing virus.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  135. jack

    I meant in that last sentence that you CAN'T argue that this isn't happening and that that's not what the democratinc party is doing!

    November 11, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  136. Steve

    I am confident that the government is doing everything in its power to do what it can to get us the vaccine. But, here we go again, another situation where the citizens of this great country are held hostage by the free market system.

    Should we blame the government for foreseeing the problem and ordering 250,000,000 doses of the vaccine, or should we blame the Wall Street run companies for not being able to produce what they said they could.

    I know who I believe.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  137. Teresa

    It's funny how we hate the government in our lives until we need them to be.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  138. Ron M

    The Government doesn't manufacture any kind of medication.
    The manufacturers of medication might not be big fans of health care reform and may not be happy with the price negotiated for the drug. This might be the drug companies way of making the life harder for the government. What do they care? I bet they got their shots.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  139. Patricia

    Jack, H1n1 spread could have been reduced early on by sealing our southern border. Secondly, no, at risk citizens such as the young, the pregnant, the already vulnerable from underlying conditions and those with weakened immune systems will continue feeling the brunt while Gitmo detainees and prison inmates get the vax. Active duty military are NOT a priority while the others mentioned are, go figure. In my opinion this is a bad decision and one I, for one, do not understand.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  140. Janet, Seattle

    Moderate. Partly because who is to say how many would have gotten sick by the time the season ends. I am very concerned about how the vaccine is being distributed. Many advertisements encouraging people to get the vaccine say it is 'free' from the health department. This is deceptive. I just had two teenagers vaccinated and it was $15.00 per dose....but here's the clincher.... apparently it may have been 'free' if I had gotten it from our doctor, problem is my doctor did not receive the vaccine the local Safeway received 120 doses and they are who charged us. I have a daughter with a congenital heart defect and so at risk by way of a number of criteria and I just happened to see the sign....at the grocery store....that they were providing the vaccinations. Our doctor still hasn't gotten any and so I am still waiting for mine. What also worried me is that I saw a small child who was at risk enough to have to wear a mask to cover her face who was way at the back of the line. I wasn't at all certain she would make it to the front to be vaccinated. It is unforgiveable that the vaccine is being provided to corporations to dispense for profit and not provided to doctors who could better determine who really needed to be first. Like that small child. As we stood in line for hours I wondered how much additional money Safeway would make from the increased foot traffic through the store that morning. Enough to have a gal bringing around a cookie tray.....

    November 11, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  141. Bob Kring

    You mention that the H1N1 attacks the younger age groups more, yet the largest death rate from the H1N1 flu are above 50yrs old. That plus the fact that there is no H1N1 vaccine available for older folks will result in far greater death tolls amongst the elderly (above 50 yrs). I guess maybe that is by design, it would cull the Medicare/Medicaid enrollment to some degree, saving U$D millions on the Federal Budget deficits.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  142. Diane McKenna

    I haven't lost faith in the government but I have lost faith in the main stream media that has become a corporate puppet.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  143. Larry, Jonesport

    Wait a minute.... The government is supposed to prevent this??? All the right wing folks (including some on CNN) are griping about getting/keeping government out of health care. It looks to me like they're working on the issue. They have CONTRACTED to PRIVATE companies (as they should) for the vaccine, the vaccine process is difficult and as we all know problems can crop up. So things look like they are moving along as well as can be expected. Who else beside the Federal Gov't is going to take on the job of expeditiously organizing vaccine for a national campaign?? The media has hyped this swine flu issue; depending on who you listen to it is either real serious (for some population groups at least), or nothing more serious than the 'regular' flu.

    Get a grip!! (pardon the almost pun) They're working on it, and since when are the Feds 100% responsible for this?? Wash your hands, stay home if you're already sick, etc., etc., and take some responsibility yourself.


    November 11, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  144. Bill, New York State

    Why is it that everyone is so fast to blame the government when things go wrong? It's my understanding that the government is doing everything they can to get the vaccine out, but it's not happening as fast as expected because of production problems. How about this, Jack. Send 99 congressmen – 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans, one Connecticut Independent, and you Jack, to round it to an even 100, to the production facilities, dress you all in clean-room clothes, and get everyone to work on the production line. Will that build people's confidence in the government? NOT!!!

    November 11, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  145. John, Fort Collins, CO

    As it has been for centuries, this is flu season. H1N1 appears to be somewhat of a greater risk, but the solution is really more up to families and individuals than the government. Following President Obama's orders, I have been washing my hands like Lady McBeth 24×7. I'm 66 and have never had a flu shot in my life. With that said, although today I feel like a rooster, tomorrow I might be a feather duster.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  146. Kath

    Prevent the epidemic? They"already failed. The question now is how many of us They can save.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  147. John

    The government cannot prevent any epidemic. But they are in a better position than anyone else to deal with it. Vaccines for those that need (and want) them, research and even simpler things like public education about hand-washing.

    We're spending how many hours and dollars debating and lobbying a public option? An option! But everyone is seemingly okay with the big bad government vaccinating them against the flu - not just H1N1 but the seasonal flu too. Just because there is no money in it doesn't mean it won't help.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  148. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – As a PhD in Life Sciences, I have to tell you that it is beyond the power of any government to prevent any kind of human transmitted virus epidemic once the disease has begun to spread. Unlike bacterial diseases, and vector borne virus diseases, which can be mitigated with sanitation, public works, and animal control, contact human viruses willl spread from susceptible person to susceptible person as a matter of course. The only way to stop this is to quarantine every human being in the world for a month. In the case of flu, it takes nine months to prepare vaccine, which must be cultivated in live eggs at the virus's own rate of growth, before the public health officials actually know what strains will be coming around to be vaccinated against, because flu mutates faster than that. Once a strain emerges, the government orders vaccine, waits for the vacine production process that cannot be hurried, and vaccinates as many is possible, essentially after the epidemic has already started. That is just the way it is – it is certainly not the Government's fault that it lacks God-like power and God-like knowledge. Scientists are working on genetic engineering of vaccines so that production will take only weeks instead of months, but that work is years away from usability. Meantime, we do the best we can, and some people die because that is the best we can do.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  149. chong ha

    Jack, this is another example why government should never run any major projects affecting people's life except police and national defense. This major epidemic affects people's life and people are dying every day, but there is no explanations coming from the government starting from President Obama down the bureaucrats who are in charge of this prevention of a major epidemic. President Obama should spend more time dealing with current problems rather than health care issues which does not kill people every day.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  150. Sharon

    I am by no means confident in the gov't handling of the H1N1. All summer long they made promise and promise of there being plenty of vaccine for everyone, yet here we are a full month after the release of the vaccine and no where near the number needed for all. What makes me even more sick though is the local pharmacies that are charging people 28.00 for the vaccine....they should be ashamed of themselves, taking a supply of vaccine that could be given out at clinics and charging for them...most people cant affort food or warm clothing for the children and these businesses are forcing people pay. Why is the gov't allowing this?

    November 11, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  151. Don from Niagara Falls , Canada


    We have the same problem as you have, thanks to Steve WHO?? He has no idea nor does our government. Hockey players, baseball players, hospital board of directors get first priorities!! We are importing the flu vaccine from "Down Under"? How is that for good planning!!!


    November 11, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  152. Deb

    Swine flu was identified in April, 2009, and apparently is slower growing than other types of flu, which is the affecting the production of the vaccine. I wonder, what specifically is the government doing or not doing that warrants criticism? Blanket, general fault-finding is tiresome and damaging, but fashionable now, it seems.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  153. Forrest C. James

    Zero to none Jack. Any person that becomes a political figure is not to be trusted. A good example is the many in prison or otherwise placed in a precarious position, usually by their own stupidity or desire of selfish gain. You are right, my feelings are that political figures are about as low as whale doo-doo.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  154. Bob Kring

    Not confident at all that the Federal Government can prevent or lessen the degree of impact that the H1N1 flu will have on the USA. The Gov't has never accomplished anything w/o going over budget, omitting portions of the population, or just screwing things up totally. If the budget is any indication of what Congress is capable of; then its all down hill from here.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  155. CJ

    How could I be confident that the government can prevent an epidemic when the vaccine is not being dispersed as promised? When I learned that Goldman Sachs and others on Wall Street had the vaccine and my daughter , a nurse at a major hospital in Philadelphia in her last trimester of pregnancy could NOT get it, I was livid.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  156. joe m

    about as confident as my ever seeing term limits pass. the way i look at it, these are going to happen when pigs fly jack. i guess the flu is aptly named then.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  157. Richard Thill

    Why do you keep asking these innane questions? Who cares what uninformed people "think." What's important is what informed people know, and you (CNN) are not doing your job, which is giving people information on which to base their decisions.

    Stop asking stupid questions!

    There's a shortage of vaccine. Why? You should investigate and report. There may be a logical and justifiable answer.

    The underlying assumption in your question is that government should be perfect, especially when it comes to something like medicine and science. Well guess what? Nothing is perfect. Science, medicine, engineering; literally any human endeavor is fraught with uncertainty.

    So here is my suggestion to America. Suck it up and stop bitching. Good people are doing the best they can to help you. Some people will die in this outbreak, but keep in mind that the 1911 flu pandemic killed 30 million people worldwide and we won't even come close to that number this time around.

    By the way, I don't have a dog in this fight. I have no association with the government or the medical industry.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  158. Maude from NYC & Western MA

    My other comment seems to have been swallowed by the hole. Take 2-

    Global media call for titres for all those having had flu/flulike symptoms in the last 15 mos. thereby vectoring the vaccine to those who really need it. There is no vaccine of any sort to be had in NYS or MA. All agencies tell me to keep trying. I am of middle age and have been sick fo 2 weeks. I am mostly worried about my aging parents – you know – those heroes who won us WWII?? I don't give a damn about who says what about who should have it first. There's no excuse.

    I have confidence in our governments' self serving, lying, pandering BS abilities. Sadly my confidence in the inertia of the American people is growing.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  159. Sue From Idaho

    A lot of what happens is how we Americans take care of ourselves. The government can't give you common sense. Stay away from heath care facilities, unless you have to be there. Wash your hands often and teach your children to do the same.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  160. Carole, Ventura County, CA

    Hi Jack. I'm still getting over H1N1 and pneumonia – after almost 4 weeks. I'm an asthmatic & obviously in the high-risk group, but my doctor still hasn't gotten any vaccines and doesn't expect to. I have never been so sick in my life. I was lucky, though: After all the hype about the symptoms I called my doctor as soon as the fever came on. I only had to spend one night in the hospital. Do I think the government can prevent an epidemic? Are you kidding me? Any entity that submits a 2000 page document and expects it to be read in 72 hours cannot be trusted to do anything. So much for change...

    November 11, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  161. Christine- OR

    I am confident if people would stop spreading negativity regarding the vaccine and just get it when it's offered to them, the government will do just fine getting the H1N1 problem under control. The problem is that some mothers are refusing to get their children vaccinated because it's not "all natural" or "tested enough". Peoples fear of vaccines is the reason the whooping cough is making a comeback.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  162. Pat Brown

    You just quoted a scientifically conducted poll on the subject only follow it with your own poll, which is unscientific. What's the point Jack. Supplementing scientific results with unscientific results. You must have had a hard time coming up with a question to ask today.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  163. Rachell from Los Angeles

    not confident , there are not enough vaccines to go around . This will be survival of the fittest !

    November 11, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  164. Cheryl Gebhart

    I work in healthcare and have been working diligently to prepare for the H1N1 pandemic locally, yet we have received very limited vaccines. As a mother of a 5 year old and 7 year old I repeatedly called public health and local doctor offices for vaccine for my children and husband, but each time I was told they ran out of vaccine. Finally my children received flu mist at school, but evidently it wasn't soon enough, as they came down with the flu within two weeks. My husband then contracted it and now I have it.
    The government demonstrated their inability to respond effectively to a known virus. My children were not helped and my husband and I were not even eligible for Tamaflu as we were not in an at risk group. I have never seen my husband so sick and I have never been so sick as I have been with the H1N1 virus. Many people have suffered needlessly. Why? What can be done to fix it.
    Thank you!

    Cheryl Gebhart, McMinnville, Oregon

    November 11, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  165. Bill

    Jack I'am a Canadian and we don't have enough flu shots available either.
    All I hear on CNN is that the GOP and the Right wing don't want government intervention in their lives but they want Obama to save them from a virus that just appeared from now where
    Now they expect the government to just magically produce a flu shot that a large portion of the population wont take and the remainder of the population feel the government is obligated to supply
    Just give everyone a gun (another GOP idea) that hasn't already have one and let them run around shooting anybody that comes down with the flu

    November 11, 2009 at 7:31 pm |
  166. Keith Kuhn

    The policies of the government have driven most vaccine manufactures to other countries. The H1N1 vaccine once given takes many weeks to become effective (most people don't know this). A high percentage are confident that they will get a vaccine that should have been given two monthes ago. The entire government handling is an example of what we will get with the proposed health care bill before congress. So solution is to give us more good intensions, little information, less health care and no accountablity for the lack of H1N1 vaccine. I have seen no news media driven pressure for future improvement of the vaccine problem. Giving the government a bye on this issue is an epidemic itself.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:32 pm |
  167. Dani from AZ

    You call this an epidemic? I've had the swine flu back in april...it's just the yearly flu...people die from the swine almost as much from the 'regular' flu...this is just a stupid scare that everyone is overreacting too. Have you read fatalities on the swine flu? they are mostly very young childeren and the elderly who usually have respiratory problems, and that is the same with the regular flu. Take care of yourself and if you do get any type of flu, stay INSIDE.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  168. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    Even if Steve WHO has the wrong priority list for Canada has mentioned from a blogger, Jean from Quebec has the right priority list even if some people from fear have managed to get ahead of the most vulnerable ones; these are a minority.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  169. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    Even if Steve WHO has the wrong priority list for Canada as mentioned from a blogger, Jean from Quebec has the right priority list even if some people from fear have managed to get ahead of the most vulnerable ones; these are a minority.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  170. Darin

    There is simply not enough vaccinations for everyone in the U.S., so the government can only do so much in terms of prevention. Ultimately, the virus will win as history proves itself over and over.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:36 pm |
  171. Matt S

    Someone, please name me one other government in the history of the world has "prevented" an epidemic?

    I think this question is a joke along with some of the criticism of the government in general by the right wing that is not being intelligently censored by the media because it make people watch. Cafferty please use some common sense.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:37 pm |
  172. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    Jack, the question should be: Will the government do their best to prevent it?

    November 11, 2009 at 7:38 pm |
  173. Joseph

    Very confident, if they follow three easy steps:
    1 - Send more doses to Goldman Sachs
    2 - Pay out more multi-million dollar bonuses to those people who got us in this financial mess, and
    3 - Cut taxes for the wealthiest 5%.


    Joe in Delray Beach, Florida

    November 11, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  174. Katie

    Is it not an epidemic already? My university seems to be completely over run with flu right now. And added to which, our health service on campus won't test to see if it's actually H1N1 because of the costs of that test. All they do is tell students who have had their flu shot but are having flu symptoms to quarantine themselves . Our health service does have a very good plan to help students who must be quarantined, but how can we effectively counter an epidemic if we don't have an accurate count of those who are actually carrying the disease in the first place?

    November 11, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  175. Jester

    Not very confident. If the swine flu is already in 96% of the states, so I wouldn't be surprised if the government couldn't prevent a swine flu epidemic. If the government's way of dealing with the swiine flu epidemic is anyway similar to how it has responded to the economy, then I wouldn't hold my breath. Pigs have a better chance of flying before a containment of swine flu were to happen.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  176. Dennis_linville

    jack ,was that a typo ? did you mean prevent or cause ? The evidence is clear it was created as one put it it was the perfect pandemic.If the virus didnt kill the vaccine would.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:42 pm |
  177. marc

    I dont understand the fuss about this flu.
    Uptill now this flu kills no more than the regular flu.
    Yet with all the fuss surrounding this thing, one would think it is going to pale the spanish flu of 1918.
    somehow this has become about the ability to develop, produce and administer a vaccine within a certain timeframe.
    if anything, a good exercise.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:43 pm |
  178. KarenB, central Florida

    all we know is what the government tells us. and we know how much that can be counted on. you do the math.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:44 pm |
  179. Colt

    Just count your blessings that the US has a proper vaccine. Here in Canada approval of our vaccine was based on a study of 150 people in Holland. Our vaccine has been modified with additives to extend the amount of shots, for a country of 30 million. Meanwhile, the US produces proper vaccines for a couple hundred million. Our Canadian medicare has cheaped out.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:47 pm |
  180. Shekinah

    The whole idea of preventing an epidemic depends on science and the drug manufacturers developing a safe vaccine in a timely manner. That, unfortunately, has been the problem in the situation with H1N1.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:48 pm |
  181. Silas - Boston

    As confident as getting campaign finance reform. Seems to me the only winners in the swine flu epidemic are the drug companies and Goldman Sachs. At least we know that our so called investments will be manged by healkthy folks.

    November 11, 2009 at 7:49 pm |
  182. Roland-St George,UT

    Put it this way...if I were a cat, I'd be worried. =^.^=

    November 11, 2009 at 7:51 pm |
  183. Tom in Tx.

    I am not confident. of the government's ability to protect the American people in this area. I voted for our President .I like him,but maybe we really needed another wheeler-dealer -get -things- done LBJ-type in the White House(except for that Vietnam thing, of course).Let's just be glad H1N1 has not turned into a 1918 pandemic(yet).

    November 11, 2009 at 7:54 pm |
  184. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Congratulations Jack, to you and your daughter!!!

    Tomorrow is our 21st wedding anniversary on top of getting ready for my art exhibit being held this weekend for the third year!

    Have a great celebration!
    Take great care!
    God Bless you all!
    Diane Dagenais Turbide

    November 11, 2009 at 7:56 pm |