Swine Flu Propaganda From the Disco Era

Somehow We Survived

By Published on .

I can't speak for the rest of the country, but New York (or its local media, at any rate) is jonesing to enter Round Two of Swine Flu hysteria now that we've had one actual death. Let's not waste time wondering how many deaths have occurred in New York this year due to plain old flu. Instead, sit back and enjoy these two ads -- including one with a decidedly swinger vibe -- from 1976.

How did that national campaign to immunize the country turn out? Not so well. Either folks just weren't scared enough or they didn't trust the government or both. The CDC tends toward the latter. In that somewhat defensive paper, it does state:

Shortly after the national campaign began, 3 elderly persons died after receiving the vaccine in the same clinic. Although investigations found no evidence that the vaccine and deaths were causally related, press frenzy was so intense it drew a televised rebuke from Walter Cronkite for sensationalizing coincidental happenings.
Note that that's three more people than died from actual swine flu in 1976. But the CDC, so far, is undoubtedly enjoying its treatment by the media this time around. As the paper states, "When lives are at stake, it is better to err on the side of overreaction than underreaction." Hopefully, the CDC will be handing out commendations to The New York Post and Drudge Report.

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