During his virtual grassroots fundraiser on Tuesday, Barack Obama falsely claimed that the 2009 swine flu (H1N1) wasn’t a pandemic at all, and tried to take credit for it not becoming one. Meanwhile, Joe Biden, who looked like he was just trying to stay awake, just sat there and nodded as if it were true.
Below you can watch the clip of Barack Obama lying when he stated, “…and dealing with issues like H1N1 that we feared could be a pandemic if it wasn’t handled properly…”
Barack Obama lies about H1N1, says it wasn’t a pandemic. pic.twitter.com/DQBn9vLpra
— Matt Margolis 🇺🇸 (@mattmargolis) June 24, 2020
For starters, H1N1 was classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization on June 11, 2009. Two weeks later, the CDC estimated there were at least 1 million cases in the United States. So, where Obama got the notion that it wasn’t a pandemic is beyond comprehension.
The CDC estimates that in the United States alone there were nearly 61 million cases of H1N1, 274,304 hospitalizations, and 12,469 deaths between April 12, 2009, and April 10, 2010.
Ron Klain, who was Biden’s chief of staff at the time and is currently advising his campaign, says it was mere luck that H1N1 wasn’t more deadly.
“It is purely a fortuity that this isn’t one of the great mass casualty events in American history,” Klain said of H1N1 in 2019. “It had nothing to do with us doing anything right. It just had to do with luck. If anyone thinks that this can’t happen again, they don’t have to go back to 1918, they just have to go back to 2009, 2010, and imagine a virus with a different lethality, and you can just do the math on that.”
But Obama wants you to forget that. What Barack Obama was trying to do was take a page right out of George Orwell’s 1984 and rewrite history, because the Obama administration’s handling of the H1N1 pandemic was, completely botched. Based on these numbers, H1N1 had a mortality rate of .02 percent. According to the CDC’s latest estimate, the coronavirus has an overall mortality rate of .4 percent for symptomatic cases (or .26 percent if you include asymptomatic cases) meaning that the coronavirus is 13-20 times more deadly than H1N1.
The coronavirus is not only magnitudes more deadly than H1N1, but also more infectious. According to a study from Emerging Infectious Diseases, COVID-19 has a median R0 value (a mathematical term for how contagious a disease is) of 5.7, while H1N1 had an R0 value between 1.4 and 1.6. So, COVID-19 is nearly 4 times more infectious and 13-20 times more deadly than H1N1. So, yes, Obama and Biden were, as Ron Klain put it, lucky.
If H1N1 was as infectious as the coronavirus and had the same mortality rate as the coronavirus, there would have been 231 million infections (that’s 70 percent of the country) and 600,704 deaths.
But remember, Obama said they feared H1N1 could be a pandemic “if it wasn’t handled properly.”
It wasn’t handled properly. Not by a longshot. He just hopes you’ll forget the facts just because H1N1 was significantly less infectious and less fatal than COVID-19.
Obama also doesn’t want you to remember the fact that his administration had predicted in the summer of 2009 that they would have 160 million H1N1 vaccine doses by late October but ended up with fewer than 30 million. According to a study by Purdue University scholars, this failure cost lives because the H1N1 vaccine would arrive “too late to help most Americans who will be infected during this flu season.” The study determined that the CDC’s planned vaccination campaign would “likely not have a large effect on the total number of people ultimately infected by the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus.”
So, as much as Obama and Biden were lucky, their incompetence resulted in vaccine shortages that lead to more infections, and ultimately, more deaths. Obama is telling lies because the data proves that Trump’s response to the coronavirus was far superior to his response to the H1N1 pandemic.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis