Does Dobbs think Dr. Gupta and others at CNN are "out of their cotton pickin' minds"?

››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

Noting that some people have criticized the use of the terms "swine flu" and "Mexican flu," Lou Dobbs said that the "idiots referring to it now as 'H1N1 virus' " are "out of their cotton pickin' minds." But Dr. Sanjay Gupta, among others at CNN, has used the term "H1N1," which Gupta said is "probably going to become the more appropriate nomenclature" for the virus.

Referring to the "outbreak of swine flu, or H1N1 virus, or the Mexican flu, or whatever" during the April 29 broadcast of his radio show, CNN host Lou Dobbs said that some people are "offended" by the terms "swine flu" and "Mexican flu," and that "we've got idiots referring to it now as 'H1N1 virus,' or, the 'novel flu.' " He added, "These people are out of their -- they're out of their cotton pickin' minds." However, several of Dobbs' colleagues at CNN -- including chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta -- have used the term "H1N1" to describe the virus, with Gupta at one point saying "H1N1" is "probably going to become the more appropriate nomenclature for this particular flu virus."

Department of Agriculture officials have said that "swine flu" is not an appropriate term for H1N1 because it creates a false association between eating pork and contracting the disease. Indeed, during an April 28 joint press conference with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said: "[W]e have asked and there has been a response to change the name of this. This really isn't swine flu. It's H1N1 virus. That's very, very important. ... And the livelihoods of a lot of people are at stake here. And we want to reinforce the fact that we're doing everything we possibly can to make sure that our hog industry is sound and safe, and to make sure that consumers in this country and around the world know that American products are safe." Similarly, during an interview on the April 29 edition of CNN Newsroom, anchor Kyra Phillips asked Vilsack: "So, Mr. Secretary, if it has nothing to do with pork, if pork is 100 percent safe to eat, why is it being called swine flu?" Vilsack replied: "Well, it shouldn't be called 'swine flu.' That's the point. It should be called 'H1N1,' which is what, basically, technically, what it is. It's different strands of viruses and flus. There's a human strand, for example, in this combination. This is a new combination. Bottom line is this is not a food-borne illness that people are getting. It has nothing to do with the consumption of pork products."

Below are examples of Gupta and other CNN reporters referring to the virus as "H1N1" or explaining why it should not be called "swine flu":

  • On the April 29 edition of CNN's American Morning, Gupta said to anchor John Roberts: "One thing I want to just point out as well, John, 'H1N1' is the name of this particular flu virus. It's been called 'swine flu' all along, although it's made up of several different components. The president used 'H1N1' as the nomenclature, and I think that's probably going to become the more appropriate nomenclature for this particular flu virus." Roberts then asked, "But do you think they're also doing that, Sanjay, because they're worried about the impact on the pork industry if we keep calling it 'swine flu'?" Gupta replied: "That's right."
  • On the April 29 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, Gupta said to host Wolf Blitzer: "The vaccine, Wolf, that you mentioned earlier has not gone into production yet, as far as I know. That is something that may start as well. That's a big decision, by the way, Wolf, of starting vaccines on this H1N1 flu, because, when you start this sort of vaccine production, you do have to take away some of the manufacturing capabilities for your seasonal flu vaccine production." Later in the show, Gupta said that "we're talking about evidence that this -- this virus that we've been talking about for some time now, H1N1, can spread human to human. We've known that it could do that it in Mexico. There's now proof that it can do it in the United States, as well. If two countries can do it within one region -- one World Health Organization region -- that makes it Level 5. That's what it means specifically."
  • During a report on the April 29 Situation Room, senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen said: "One of the more aggressive tactics to stem the spread of H1N1 -- a vaccine. ... The newly confirmed secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, promised that developing a vaccine, which usually takes months, will be speedier than before. Still, so many unknowns: How far will the virus spread? How soon will we have an effective and safe vaccine? And how many people will be touched by H1N1? What is sure, say officials, is more hospitalizations and most likely more deaths."
  • During another report on the same edition of Situation Room, homeland security correspondent Jeanne Meserve said: "In the U.S., the virus, now known as '2009 H1N1,' continues to spread. Just since Sunday, the number of cases confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control has ballooned from 20 to 40 to 64 to 91, with the first death confirmed today."
  • On the April 29 edition of CNN Newsroom, Gupta said: "One of the goals for doctors and scientists is to try and figure out where this virus, H1N1, originated. We were getting some tips that it probably came from an area close to pig farms. Given that people have called this the swine flu, there may have been a jump, if you will, from pigs to humans at some point." He had earlier reported: "[T]here are no pig farms in Mexico City. We're about two hours outside of Mexico City, in the state of Vera Cruz. You know, there are a lot of lessons to be learned here, and part of those lessons come from sort of defining the origins of this particular virus, H1N1, and then from there, sort of learning how does it get around? How does it transmit from one place to the other?" Gupta also called the virus "H1N1" when discussing the disease's origins. He said: "So a lot of people are going to be down here trying to figure out where Edgar, this cute little boy, contracted H1N1 from."
  • On the April 30 edition of CNN's Larry King Live, Gupta said: "[O]ne caveat is that, that there's still some of this swine flu or H1N1 around in the fall and winter, it could sort of re-energize unless we're vigilant and do all the things that we've been talking about." Host Larry King responded: "H1N1 is the official, really, name of this flu."

From the April 29 edition of United Stations Radio Networks' The Lou Dobbs Show:

DOBBS: And by the way, we're going to update you on what is going on with the outbreak of swine flu, or H1N1 virus, or the Mexican flu, or whatever, because people are trying to figure out what to call it -- anything but "swine flu."

Did you ever think in your wildest imagination that someone would use the word "swine" and take objection to it and find a politically correct reason not to use "swine"? Who would have ever thought using the word "swine" would be offensive to someone? But, indeed, the government of Israel, taking exception -- on behalf, by the way, as well as Muslims -- to calling it the "swine flu."

They find that offensive. So they suggested we call it the "Mexican flu." Now guess who's offended by that? And we've got idiots referring to it now as "H1N1 virus," or, the "novel flu." Is it Russia calling it the "novel flu"? I believe it is. These people are out of their -- they're out of their cotton pickin' minds. I do not get it, but PC orthodoxy, here we are. Politically correct nonsense everywhere -- and why not in the swine flu outbreak? Makes perfect sense to me.

From the April 29 edition of CNN's American Morning:

GUPTA: One thing I just want to point out as well, John, H1N1 is the name of this particular flu virus. It's been called "swine flu" all along, although it's made up of several different components.

The president used "H1N1" as the nomenclature, and I think that's probably going to become the more appropriate nomenclature for this particular flu virus.

ROBERTS: But do you think they're also doing that, Sanjay, because they're worried about the impact on the pork industry if we keep calling it "swine flu"?

GUPTA: That's right.

From the April 29 edition of CNN's Larry King Live:

GUPTA: But one caveat is that, that there's still some of this swine flu or H1N1 around in the fall and winter, it could sort of re-energize unless we're vigilant and do all the things that we've been talking about.

KING: Thanks, Sanjay. We'll be checking with you all the time. What a job he's been doing. H1N1 is the official, really, name of this flu.

From the April 29 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:

GUPTA: The vaccine, Wolf, that you mentioned earlier has not gone into production yet, as far as I know. That is something that may start as well. That's a big decision, by the way, Wolf, of starting vaccines on this H1N1 flu, because, when you start this sort of vaccine production, you do have to take away some of the manufacturing capabilities for your seasonal flu vaccine production.

[...]

COHEN: One of the more aggressive tactics to stem the spread of H1N1 -- a vaccine.

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS (Health and Human Services secretary): Currently, the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are developing virus reference strains -- the information regarding a virus that's necessary to develop a vaccine. And today, there are a series of steps that HHS is taking in that vaccine development.

COHEN: The newly confirmed secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, promised that developing a vaccine, which usually takes months, will be speedier than before. Still, so many unknowns: How far will the virus spread? How soon will we have an effective and safe vaccine? And how many people will be touched by H1N1? What is sure, say officials, is more hospitalizations and most likely more deaths.

[...]

MESERVE: In the U.S., the virus, now known as "2009 H1N1," continues to spread. Just since Sunday, the number of cases confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control has ballooned from 20 to 40 to 64 to 91, with the first death confirmed today.

[...]

GUPTA: Well, to become a Level 5 on this particular pandemic scale, we're talking about evidence that this -- this virus that we've been talking about for some time now, H1N1, can spread human to human. We've known that it could do that it in Mexico. There's now proof that it can do it in the United States, as well. If two countries can do it within one region -- one World Health Organization region -- that makes it Level 5. That's what it means specifically.

From the April 29 edition of CNN Newsroom:

GUPTA: There are no pig farms in Mexico City. We're about two hours outside of Mexico City, in the state of Vera Cruz. You know, there are a lot of lessons to be learned here, and part of those lessons come from sort of defining the origins of this particular virus, H1N1, and then from there, sort of learning how does it get around? How does it transmit from one place to the other?

[...]

GUPTA: And he's fully recovered according to his doctors and his family as well.

Heidi, really quickly, you know, that particular hog farm, they did give us a statement. I want to read that to you quickly: "Smithfield Farms has no reason to believe that the virus is in any way connected to its operations in Mexico. Its joint ventures in Mexico routinely administer influenza virus vaccination to their swine herds and conduct monthly tests for the presence of swine influenza."

So a lot of people are going to be down here trying to figure out where Edgar, this cute little boy, contracted H1N1 from.

[...]

GUPTA: One of the goals for doctors and scientists is to try and figure out where this virus, H1N1, originated. We were getting some tips that it probably came from an area close to pig farms. Given that people have called this the swine flu, there may have been a jump, if you will, from pigs to humans at some point.

Posted In
Economy, Health Care
Person
Lou Dobbs
Show/Publication
The Lou Dobbs Show
Stories/Interests
Attacks on Barack Obama, Propaganda/Noise Machine
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