The Bird Flu Scare

The government strategy for the bird flu was to deny there was any bird flu at all despite evidence to the contrary:

Earlier: Roasting the PM - January 27, 2004
The foreign press is going all out in predicting the PM's downfall (Bird flu outbreak may be downfall of Thai PM, ABC Online, January 27, 2004). However, there is nothing in the article that might lead one to believe that the PM is in trouble. The reporters are clearly having a good time questioning him though: JOURNALIST 2: How can you say that, how can you be so confident Prime Minister? THAKSIN SHINAWATRA: I know what I'm doing.

Earlier: Questions remain over Thai competence -, January 21, 2004
While this article uses many quotes from the Post, it has some interesting perspective of how the food industry views the bird flu in Thailand: But not everyone is as confident in Thai assurances that the country remains free from the virus. "Thailand's leaders characteristically express over-confidence and premature over-reassurance in the face of the unknown and unproven," Jody Lanard, a US-based risk communication consultant told "They have done the same thing regarding SARS preparation, and regarding terrorism."

Earlier: From The Onion: "Thai Premier Eats Entire Bucket Of Chicken To Calm Bird-Flu Fears" - February 26, 2004
Thai Premier Eats Entire Bucket Of Chicken To Calm Bird-Flu Fears
To allay concerns about the safety of Thai poultry following an outbreak of the H5N1 bird virus, Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra ate an entire 15-piece bucket of fried chicken on live television Monday. "See, it's fine, this chicken," Shinawatra said as he tore into a leg. "You are all worried for nothing. It's delicious." In a Carson's Group International poll taken after the broadcast, 63 percent of viewers said they wouldn't be afraid to eat chicken raised in Thailand, but 94 percent said they were afraid of Shinawatra.

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