Thursday, April 30, 2009


I find it amusing that so much right-wing mockery is being directed at Joe Biden for his recommendation -- yes, ill-advised -- that everyone stay off trains and planes to avoid swine flu. Er, what about the right's #1 recommendation -- closing the border with Mexico? The experts have thoroughly rejected that, too:

Health officials argue that because the H1N1 swine flu virus is already present in so many countries, and readily capable of spreading from person to person, it's far too late to try to isolate one or two countries. Although uninfected countries may be able to delay the introduction of swine flu by imposing draconian limits on international travel, they would not likely be able to stave off the virus for good -- and the economic losses resulting from the travel ban may far outweigh any benefits....

"Once the virus has spread beyond its initial focus, travel restrictions just aren't effective," says Ira Longini, a biostatistician at the University of Washington.

... As far as the U.S.-Mexico border is concerned, attempting to actually close it would be futile, since countless illegal migrants cross over to the U.S. daily. Trying to stop movement may just push travelers, and the spread of the swine flu, underground....

I love this from Hot Air's Ed Morrissey:

Moe Lane at Redstate sent this [Biden video] to me, asking to count the flubs Joe Biden makes in this interview, but it's difficult to keep up. Biden starts off by saying that closing the border is somehow much more difficult than closing schools all over the country.

Guess what, Ed? It is easier. It's a hell of a lot easier. Any idiot could explain why. You want to close a school, you just use preexisting means of communication -- the same ones that are used, say, when there's a blizzard -- and tell everyone to stay home. You lock the doors and let in only cleaning crews to disinfect the joint. What -- are the kids and teachers going to break in?

By contrast, we have a 2,000-mile border that would require a multi-billion-dollar wall and militarization to seal off completely. No child or teacher would be motivated to break into a presumably disease-riddled school building, but a lot of people would be very, very motivated to cross the Mexican border into this country even in the midst of a flu outbreak. It's only in the rich fantasy life of the right that the border can be sealed easily.

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