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Costly Words: 'I Don't Like President Bush'

HUD reviews
HUD reviews "Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America." Sickness flick, not a documentary. (By Ken George -- Abc)

"These computers should not be used in the classified network," Wolf wrote.

Feeling Avian? Wash Hands, Stay in Bed

The Department of Health and Human Services public affairs office is fully prepared for the bird flu pandemic. No, not a real one; the really scary one on ABC-TV last night, "Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America."

The HHS staff, after previewing the movie, issued an internal memo with talking points such as:

· "[The show] is a movie, not a documentary. It is a work of fiction designed to entertain and not a factual accounting of a real world event."

· "There is no influenza pandemic in the world at this time."

· "The . . . virus has not yet appeared in the U.S. [and should it] appear in the U.S. it does not mean the start of a pandemic."

The bottom line: Don't panic. "You can keep a supply of food and medicines on hand in case you have to stay home," the talking points recommend, and don't forget things "like frequent hand washing and staying home when sick."

The HHS memo says "the film does depict scenarios that could unfold should a severe pandemic ever develop, including . . . disruption of supplies, medicines and other essential services" and "the expected months-long delay in developing an effective vaccine" once the flu strain "emerges."

But don't panic.

We Can't Repeat What Rice Said

The State Department released its transcript of an interview Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice did with the Associated Press editorial board.

"I've got one quick political question," one person asked. "If Vice President Cheney were to step down and President Bush asked you to become vice president, would you do it?"

"Secretary Rice: (Inaudible.)"

INAUDIBLE? WHAT?

We're told Rice said that Cheney won't step down and she wouldn't do it. Rice was also asked if she would run for vice president. She made a face and shook her head.


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