Since I was issued a press pass for the conference, on a tip, I went to Governor Schwarzenegger’s press conference on the swine flu outbreak. I was the only one taking pictures with an iPhone. For the most part, it was as expected, they are testing new flu cases, monitoring the borders in San Diego and Imperial counties (though he made it clear there are no travel restrictions, at least not yet – the Mexican border is a Federal issue in any case), and they gave hygiene tips (wash your hands!). There are currently seven cases in California, an eighth is suspected, and they are looking at a dozen additional cases, and one of the CDC doctors present noted that the CDC has created a seed virus and is ready to move forward to create a vaccine if needed (there are currently 5 million does on anti-viral medication out there – a combination of Tami flu and Relenza (sp?) – and 25% will come to California, and they will be concentrated in the counties where there are outbreaks.
But the news, I thought, was when he was asked to react to advice being given in Europe not to travel to America. Instead of saying that wasn’t necessary, that it was alarmist, he said that each country has to do what it thinks is best. He did not say the advice was bad, and he made a statement about how we cannot worry about the economic effects right now. That made me think he believes the problem is far bigger than what is reported above (otherwise, the probability of infection is minuscule, and the European advice isn’t really needed). I’d guess he wishes he’d given a different answer.