“I would tell members of my family – and I have – I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places now,” Biden said on NBC’s “Today” show.. “It’s not that it’s going to Mexico. It’s [that] you’re in a confined aircraft. When one person sneezes, it goes all the way through the aircraft. That’s me. …Thank you, Mr. Science.
“So, from my perspective, what it relates to is mitigation. If you’re out in the middle of a field when someone sneezes, that’s one thing. If you’re in a closed aircraft or closed container or closed car or closed classroom, it’s a different thing.”
Now, here's the correction from the White House about an hour later.
“On the Today Show this morning the Vice President was asked what he would tell a family member who was considering air travel to Mexico this week. The advice he is giving family members is the same advice the Administration is giving to all Americans: that they should avoid unnecessary air travel to and from Mexico. If they are sick, they should avoid airplanes and other confined public spaces, such as subways. This is the advice the Vice President has given family members who are traveling by commercial airline this week. As the President said just last night, every American should take the same steps you would take to prevent any other flu: keep your hands washed; cover your mouth when you cough; stay home from work if you're sick; and keep your children home from school if they're sick.”It's moments like this when I really despise politicians. What's more important? The health of the American people or the health of the airline industry?
Is it really safe for us to board a "confined aircraft" or have the lobbyists convinced the new administration that jobs are more important than lives?
Give it to us straight! We can take it!
At this point, I don't fully believe the swine flu is the potential pandemic that some scientists predict. But, then again, unlike the VP, I don't have access to the CDC data. I fear millions of people will die because the White House told folks not to cancel their vacations.
Yes, his kind of talk can create panic but should we be panicking? Is the Vice-President suffering from foot-in-mouth disease or, for the first time, does he actually know what he's talking about?
I'm boarding a plane on May 14. At least I know I won't be sitting next to any members of the Biden family.