RUSH: Joe Biden is killing commercial aviation and public transportation. On the Today Show today, he was on with Matt Lauer. Matt Lauer said, ‘Mr. Vice President, if a member of your family came to you and said, ‘Look, I want to go on a commercial airliner to Mexico and back within the next week,’ would you think it’s a good idea?’
BIDEN: I would tell members of my family, and I have, I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places now. It’s not that it’s going to Mexico, it’s you’re in a confined aircraft when one person sneezes it goes all the way through the aircraft. That’s me. I would not be at this point, if I — if they had another way of transportation, suggesting they ride the subway. If you’re out in the middle of a field and someone sneezes, that’s one thing. If you’re in a closed aircraft or closed container or closed car or closed classroom, it’s a different thing.
RUSH: So Biden telling people not to get on subways, not to get on airplanes and not to get in cars. Now, the World Health Organization says that seven people have died from this pig flu worldwide, seven people. That was at the beginning of the program. And yet you look at the degree and the level to which the media is elevating this to a panic, and you have to say, why? Well, because this is the kind of thing, create crisis and panic, and this has more people clamoring for the government to do something, for the government to fix it. But this is not what Obama had in mind. They trotted Janet Napolitano out there on MSNBC later in the morning, she got this question. ‘Can I put you on the spot about some comments made by Biden this morning? He says he’s advising his own family to avoid confined spaces, stay off commercial airlines and subways because of the new pig flu. Is that common sense?’
NAPOLITANO: Yeah, I think the vice president, if he had — if he could say that over again, he would say if they’re feeling sick they should stay off of public transit or confined spaces, because that indeed is the advice that we have been giving.
RUSH: If he could say it again, if he could say it again. And, of course, if you’re a liberal Democrat with the media, you do get a second shot at it; you do get to say it again. In this case, Napolitano said it for him: ‘Well, he meant if you’re feeling bad.’ But that’s not what he said. Loose lips, that’s just old Joe. Tom Harkin was not pleased about this. He was asked on the radio today, conference call, actually, ‘Are you giving some advice to your family members, close friends, about how they should conduct themselves in the middle of the pig flu?’
HARKIN: That’s a very unfortunate statement by the vice president. Again, we just don’t need that kind of misinformation going out. I wish the vice president had checked with the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Preparedness before he made such a statement. As far as not riding on subways or planes, we’re not going to shut down our system, and that doesn’t get to the nub of the problem anyway. So I think that’s very unfortunate that this kind of misinformation got out.
RUSH: Well, it’s time to circle the wagons now. You got Democrat Senator Tom Harkin, who is not happy, by the way — get to this in a moment — with Senator Specter joining the Democrats, there’s some malcontents. The Senate Democrats are not happy with the deal Dingy Harry made to get Specter, that in just a second. But Chuck Todd of the Drive-Bys, MSNBC Live, the anchoress Contessa Brewer, said to Chuck Todd, ‘It sounds now not only the vice president’s office, but the White House has got to amend Biden’s statements a little bit.’
TODD: This was Biden being Biden. He was answering very bluntly. What would he tell a member of his own family.
BREWER: It may be that the vice president in his more unguarded remarks is echoing what a lot of Americans are thinking right now.
RUSH: Oh, okay, okay. Good. So the vice president goes out there, starts a potential panic, and he’s just echoing what a lot of Americans think anyway. So Harkin shouldn’t have said anything, Napolitano will slap you down because the people at NBC are going to rescue the vice president: just Biden being Biden. How come it’s never it’s just Limbaugh being Limbaugh? Oh, that’s just Hannity being Hannity. Ah, just Biden being Biden. The Los Angeles Times has a story: ”Scientists See This Flu Strain as Relatively Mild’ — As the World Health Organization raised its infectious disease alert level Wednesday and health officials confirmed the first death linked to swine flu inside US borders, scientists studying the virus are coming to the consensus that this hybrid strain of influenza — at least in its current form — isn’t shaping up to be as fatal as the strains that caused some previous pandemics. In fact, the current outbreak of the H1N1 virus, which emerged in San Diego and southern Mexico late last month–‘ Emerged in San Diego? Emerged in America? That’s kind of Mexico, I guess. Emerged in America? Cool, cool, okay. ‘Emerged in San Diego and southern Mexico late last month, may not even do as much damage as the run-of-the-mill flu outbreaks that occur each winter without much fanfare.’ It kills about 30,000 people every year.
If this is true, if this is a mild strain, you might want to go out and actually try to catch it. ‘Why would you advise that, Mr. Limbaugh? That’s irresponsible.’ No. If it’s a mild strain, it’s no different than getting the flu shot. You go out and get the flu and do you realize you’re going to be inoculated against any mutations of this flu? You’re going to have all those antibodies running around. One of the things about getting the flu, once you get it, your body builds up immunities to the next round.