Baxter: Product contained live bird flu virus

When I saw this story on a website some days ago, but was unable to find any one else writing about it, I thought it might just be another of the whirlwind of unproven stories that find a home on the internet.  Now, the Toronto Sun has picked up on the story.

The company that released contaminated flu virus material from a plant in Austria confirmed Friday that the experimental product contained live H5N1 avian flu viruses.

And an official of the World Health Organization’s European operation said the body is closely monitoring the investigation into the events that took place at Baxter International’s research facility in Orth-Donau, Austria.

“At this juncture we are confident in saying that public health and occupational risk is minimal at present,” medical officer Roberta Andraghetti said from Copenhagen, Denmark.

“But what remains unanswered are the circumstances surrounding the incident in the Baxter facility in Orth-Donau.”

The contaminated product, a mix of H3N2 seasonal flu viruses and unlabelled H5N1 viruses, was supplied to an Austrian research company. The Austrian firm, Avir Green Hills Biotechnology, then sent portions of it to sub-contractors in the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Germany.

With all of the talk about the pandemic possiblity of H5N1 mutating into something out of a Stephen King novel, I’m just shaking my head in wonder at the utter stupidity of Baxter International.

BAX financial info.
Baxter International in the news

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Trackposted to The Virtuous Republic, The Pink Flamingo, third world county, Allie is Wired, Conservative Cat, Right Voices, and The World According to Carl, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Obama’s brain

President Obama’s extensive use of the teleprompter is so pervasive that even the NYT notices (even as they try to explain it away).

Presidents have been using teleprompters for more than half a century, but none relied on them as extensively as Mr. Obama has so far. While presidents typically have used them for their most important speeches to the nation — an inauguration, a State of the Union or an Oval Office address — Mr. Obama uses them for everyday routine announcements, and even for the opening statement at his news conference.

He used them during a visit to a Caterpillar plant in Peoria, Ill. He used them to make brief remarks at the opening of his “fiscal responsibility summit.” He used them during a visit to the Interior Department to discuss endangered species, even as he recalled a visit to some national parks as an 11-year-old. “That was an experience I will never forget,” he said, reading from the teleprompter.

Early on in the Bush administration, Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote the highly critical tome “Bush’s Brain” which castigated Bush as having no original thoughts, and identified Karl Rove as the evil power behind the throne.  Now that the Times has noticed the vacuity and lack of sponteneity of the messiah, can we expect a new book from Ms Dowd?

Fugate named to run FEMA

craig-fugateFrom all appearances, it looks like the Obama administration has finally made a very good appointment to a key domestic position. Floridian Craig Fugate, “one of the nation’s most experienced hurricane hands” has been named to head up FEMA.

I don’t know much about Mr. Fugate, and perhaps some of our Florida readers would like to weigh in on this appointment. But, in light of the administration’s recent history of foisting nominees on the public who have a poor record of paying their fair share of taxes, Mr. Fugate’s appointment looks like one that they got right. There really is no substitute for BTDT experience, of which Fugate has a boatload.

More at the Washington Times


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