“President Obama, in a pivot from some of his harshest campaign rhetoric, told Democratic senators [on June 2] that he is willing to consider taxing employer-sponsored health benefits to help pay for a broad expansion of coverage,” the Washington Post reported on the following day.
Every person with an ounce of common sense, and an equal amount of compassion for his fellow human beings, takes public health threats seriously. It is an unfortunate fact of our existence that we are vulnerable to communicable diseases, which, when detected, must be contained.
Though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said on May 4 that the virus it now officially designates as "novel H1N1 flu" has been confirmed in six more states since the previous day, there were signs that the severity of the illness is less than initially feared.
While it is still too early to claim that the swine flu outbreak is being overblown, events are beginning to suggest that may prove to be the case. As of Wednesday, the numbers of people seeking flu treatment in Mexico had dwindled markedly, and the death rate has nearly vanished; only one new death was announced on Wednesday by Mexican authorities.
Information posted on the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control on April 28 confirmed a total of 64 human cases of swine flu across the country. The count was up from 40 confirmed cases the previous day. New York leads the nation with 45 cases (attributed to students at a Queens, New York, high school who had spent spring break in Cancun, Mexico), California had10 cases, Texas 6 cases, Kansas 2 cases, and Ohio 1 case.