Despite the hyperventilating claims on Fox News and shows like Rush Limbaugh that Obama's stewardship of our nation's flu response has resulted in a "new Katrina" of child deaths, the reality is that more children have been saved by Obama during this flu onset and a smaller percentage of those children that were hospitalized with flu have died.
Despite a much more serious flu strain that targets children more than in the past and a shortage of vaccine due to pharmaceutical companies misleading the government on their production capabilities (revenge for healthcare reform?), Obama's administration has done an extremely effective job at educating the public and working with doctors and hospitals to save a larger share of sick children than past administrations have.
Here are the graphs where I got my information.
Because of the seriousness of the H1N1 strain, you can see that hospitalizations and deaths of children simply weren't occurring in a comparable way at this point in time in 2008, so I chose to compare week 7 of 2008 to week 44 of 2009 in order to see how the most serious and intense weeks of flu sickness stack up.
In week 7 of 2008, Bush's administration saw 12 child deaths and about 100 hospitalizations in children. This means about 12% of children hospitalized with flu died from it.
In week 44 of 2009, Obama's administration saw 44 child deaths and about 525 hospitalizations in children. This means about 8.3% of children hospitalized with flu died from it.
Obama's administration has also expanded the number of states it gathers hospitalization information from as these additional states are now reporting child deaths from the more serious strain of flu.
The reality is that on every front Obama is dealing with challenges that his predecessor laid the foundation for but never confronted himself, and Obama is doing it much more effectively than Republicans did. The same of course is true of Obama's response to H1N1 and the support his administration is giving to hospitals and doctors and individuals in making sure that children who are sick are getting the care they need.
The bottom line is that if you take your child to the hospital with the flu in Obama's America, even though it's a strain of flu that's much more dangerous to children in particular, you have about a 4% better chance of going home with your child than you did under Bush, who was only combatting seasonal flu.
As usual, Obama is facing tougher battles and coming out ahead of his predecessor. But will he get the credit from our corporate media for helping our health services save more children from a more dangerous strain of flu?
I doubt it. As usual, IOKIYAR, and as a person of color in America, Obama has to prove he's head and shoulders above everyone that came before him in order for the media to even admit he's their equal.