"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt
President George W. Bush asked Congress on Tuesday to consider giving him powers to use the military to enforce quarantines in case of an avian influenza epidemic. He said the military, and perhaps the National Guard, might be needed to take such a role if the feared H5N1 bird flu virus changes enough to cause widespread human infection. "If we had an outbreak somewhere in the United States, do we not then quarantine that part of the country? And how do you, then, enforce a quarantine?" Bush asked at a news conference.
For the first time, scientists have made from scratch the Spanish flu virus that killed millions of people in 1918. [...] Researchers believe their work offers proof the 1918 flu originated in birds, and provides insights into how it attacked and multiplied in humans. On top of that, this marks the first time an infectious agent behind a historic pandemic has ever been reconstructed. [...] The Spanish flu of 1918 was a worldwide contagion that in a few months killed an estimated 20 million to 50 million worldwide, including roughly 550,000 in the United States. In severe cases, victims' lungs filled with fluid and they essentially drowned in a disease process that took less than a week.