The Pandemic That Wasn’t
Editors’Note: August 4, 2017
Legitimateobjections have been raised about the independence and integrity of thecommentaries that Henry Miller has written for Project Syndicate and other outlets, inparticular that Monsanto, rather than Miller, drafted some of them. Readersshould be aware of this potential conflict of interest, which, had it beenknown at the time Miller’s commentaries were accepted, would have constitutedgrounds for rejecting them.
PALO ALTO – Last June, the United Nations’ World Health Organization, responding to an outbreak of the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, boosted the pandemic alert to the highest level, Phase 6, meaning that a pandemic was under way – the first time in 41 years that the organization had taken that declared step. But the outbreak appears to have ended less like the rogue wild boar that WHO bureaucrats predicted and more like a roasted pork tenderloin with apples and sage.
In fact, the WHO repeatedly violated Sherlock Holmes’ warning, “It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence.” And the pandemic alert was doubly strange, given that ordinary seasonal flu sweeps the world annually, is invariably far more lethal than the currently circulating low-virulence H1N1, and certainly meets the WHO’s definition of a pandemic: infections over a wide geographic area and affecting a large proportion of the population.