Trump’s H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic Spin
In tweets and other appearances, President Donald Trump has repeatedly compared his response to the new coronavirus with President Barack Obama’s handling of the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. But Trump’s information is frequently incorrect or misleading — and the two viruses are very different.
In a March 4 telephone interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, for example, Trump falsely claimed that the Obama administration “didn’t do anything” about the 2009 pandemic.
Trump is correct on the number of H1N1 cases and deaths, but it’s misleading to compare those figures to the current outbreak of COVID-19, which has just begun. It’s also not true that the Obama administration did nothing or waited a long time to act on the H1N1 influenza pandemic.
On April 15, 2009, the first infection was identified in California, according to the CDC, and less than two weeks later, on April 26, 2009, the Obama administration declared a public health emergency. The day before, on April 25, the World Health Organization had declared a public health emergency.
Everything that’s known about the new coronavirus so far suggests that it’s an entirely different beast than its most recent pandemic predecessor. Peter Jay Hotez, a professor and dean of the tropical medicine school at Baylor College of Medicine, told us that the new virus, which is known as SARS-CoV-2, is considerably more transmissible and more lethal than H1N1.https://www.factcheck.org/2020/03/trumps-h1n1-swine-flu-pandemic-spin/