It’s a shame that politics has to enter into a pandemic but it continually does.
TheStar.com – Canada:
Flu ‘politics’ angers minister [Excerpt]
OTTAWA–Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq scolded opposition critics, saying they are trying to score political points by accusing her of secrecy and attacking the way her government is handling the swine flu outbreak.
“I’m disappointed with the politics of it all,” Aglukkaq told a news conference yesterday.
I do not know what sort of job Minister Aglukkaq has done: good, bad, or middling, but she joins a long and international line of political leaders who have had those of the “other party” scoring political “points” off their efforts.
The thing about political nipping at the heels is that those pointing fingers never offer alternative solutions. And, one mustn’t forget that those whining and pointing fingers of accusations are also in positions of power and authority. It’s edifying, though ultimately futile, to ask: What have you done to help us prepare or prevent this “error”, “omission”, “fraud”, etc. that you are so arrogantly and self-righteously going on about.
It is only human nature to look around and want to blame someone when something goes wrong. With our nascent pandemic things have already gone wrong in just about every country. A pandemic that thus far has been very mild, yet still we’ve made a lot of mistakes. Lucky for us we’ve only faced a mild virus because anything even slightly more severe or transmissible and we’d have been “in a whole world of hurt” as the American saying goes.
Another snippet from The Star’s article:
“They are no substitute for a real dialogue with parliamentarians, no substitute of an exchange of ideas and an expression of concerns,” said New Democrat MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North).
If I had the opportunity I would tell MP Wasylycia-Leis that the time for talking and exchanging ideas is past. We have entered into the action phase. Not that our leaders should summarily do things, but rather institute all those plans we are supposed to have in place already.
Former US Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt has made this statement for years:
“Pandemics are hard to talk about. When we discuss them in advance, we sound alarmist. After a pandemic hits, no matter how much preparation has been made, it will feel inadequate.”
Is it actually just a simple fact that all those complaining now didn’t have the inclination to “come to the discussion table” when all of these steps and actions were formulated? Or, did they not take the threat, remote as it seemed, seriously? If Canadian politicians are anything like America’s that would be my guess – and now they are whining about it.
I say “whining” because they want to talk about efforts – “exchange ideas” – they are not wanting to actually contribute to the very real efforts and actions – they want to talk – be heard.
Chief public health officer Dr. David Butler-Jones told MPs that though the government has yet to finalize who will be first in line to get the vaccine, there is “an incredible amount of work” going on behind the scenes, to prepare for a resurgence of the virus in the fall.
He said it’s impossible to make everyone happy.
“The fact that there are still communities that are still waiting for someone to solve their problem for them or whatever, that’s a different issue. The advice is there. The guidance is there. The capacity is there. It’s really about applying it,” said Butler-Jones.
Leaders lead – everyone else follows – or just gets in the way, in this case with political snarking.