"If you can't plan to have enough of that vaccine, what are they doing with respect to the other things that could potentially hurt America in terms of bio-terrorism, chemical terrorism, other kinds of things?" Sen. Kerry said, with a straight face. The comment not only implied that the President ought to be able to gaze into his crystal ball and predict that 50 percent of the U.S. flu vaccine supply would suddenly dry up, but also that since he couldn’t predict this event, he must be falling short in making preparations for terrorist activities.
This grand deception has a familiar ring. It’s the same as when Mr. Kerry suggested that the President ought to be able to know that Saddam Hussein didn’t really have WMD, even though the whole world believed he did.
The reason that the U.S. will run short of the vaccine this year has nothing to do with the Bush administration. A British company, Chiron, produces vaccine that the U.S. uses. On October 5 we got the news that the UK government suspended the manufacturing license of Chiron over concerns about the way the vaccine is manufactured. As a result, the company will not be able to provide the U.S. its normal supply.
The Bush campaign fired back that the Kerry attack is baseless and hypocritical. “So few companies make flu vaccines because of a broken medical-malpractice liability system that Kerry falsely claims to want to fix, but has voted 10 times against reforming," a spokesperson said. The U.S. has only two providers of the vaccine, Chiron and Aventis Pasteur.
This shameless tactic by the Democrats illustrates the level of desperation that grips the Kerry campaign, which sees that Mr. Kerry isn’t gaining ground on Mr. Bush, and has only about three weeks left before the election.