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Tick. Tick. Tick.

Friday, June 16, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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Now the MSM will get very interested. From the WSJ.com “Avian Flu News Tracker”:

10:45 a.m.: Two journalists are suspected of having H5N1. A reporter for the Indonesian newspaper Tempo was thought to be infected with H5N1 after covering a mass cull of flu-infected poultry, Indonesian officials told the Jakarta Post. A second journalist, working for Indonesian daily publication RES, was thought to have H5N1 after attending a bird-flu victim’s funeral, the state Antara news agency reported.

And from my conversation with Arnold today:

HH: All right. Let me get to one key issue. I think California is fundamentally unprepared for the Bird Flu if it gets here. I do a lot of work on that down in Orange County on our Prop. 10 Commission. I know you’ve held a couple of forums with Mike Leavitt, and you’ve got Mark Horton up there. He’s doing a good job. But I mean Governor, if it gets here, we’re not ready.

AS: Well, what are you doing about it?

HH: We are stockpiling Tamaflu in Orange County. We’ve appropriated money, run some drills. But I mean, the state’s not ready. I mean, L.A., Sacramento, no one else is doing anything.

AS: Well, we are working on it. As a matter of fact, we have been working with the federal government very effectively, and we are working with local governments very effectively. I think there’s a very good communication. As a matter of fact, I also put in my budget $400 million dollars to make sure that we have enough of the vaccine, and that we also have enough beds available, enough ventilators available, enough nurses, and so on. So we have really taken this seriously. As a matter of fact, there’s no one that takes it more seriously than me. When I was back at the National Governor’s Conference, it was actually me that brought it up, and we had a debate over it to see and find ways where all the states could work together to make sure that we are protecting the people, because it’s our number one priority. And it is my top priority, also, and our responsibility to protect the people of California, and to do everything we can, if there is a problem like that with the Bird Flu, that we have enough of the medication and enough beds, and all of those things.

HH: So you think the Tamiflu and the ventilators would be here before any outbreak occurred?

AS: Oh, yeah. We have put in the money into the budget that we can buy all of those things, and be ready for it.

Unfortunately, “money into the budget” and preparation are very, very different things.

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