April 27th, 2009
10:09 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Swine flu outbreak, so long Pontiac

Pontiac models, such as the 1969 GTO, helped usher in the era of the muscle cars, enthusiasts say. GM is retiring its Pontiac brand.

Pontiac models, such as the 1969 GTO, helped usher in the era of the muscle cars, enthusiasts say. GM is retiring its Pontiac brand.

Kay Jones
AC360° Coordinating Editorial Producer

Swine flu is on our minds today. Over the weekend, we found out about cases in the US on top of reports of more people infected in Mexico. CNN has reporters all over the place, including the good doctor, Dr. Sanjay Gupta in Mexico City. I know some of you are concerned about his well being, but Dr. Gupta and his crew are taking precautions to stay safe, including wearing the masks you see in all of the video coming out of Mexico City today. President Obama spoke about the outbreak this morning, saying this is a "cause for concern and requires a heightened state of alert," but is not a "cause for alarm." We’ll be monitoring the White House all day to see if there are any updated statements on this.

Speaking of President Obama, Wednesday marks his 100th day in office. CNN has big plans, bringing you the Best Political Team on Television Wednesday night with their report cards on how the President is doing so far. You can bet his response to the swine flu outbreak will be discussed as well as all of the other big stories that have happened this year so far: TARP, the auto bailout, his trip to Europe, and the first dog, Bo. Nothing is off limits for our Best Political Team.

In other news, if you own a Firebird, Grand AM or any other Pontiac car, you are going to be one of the last. The Pontiac brand is going away. GM has announced plans to cut 23,000 jobs by 2011 as well as getting rid of the Pontiac brand in an effort to stay out of bankruptcy. Will this help GM? Only time will tell, but we’ll keep an eye out for reaction from Detroit and industry experts on if this is the right move for GM.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the crash I saw yesterday at the NASCAR race in Talladega, AL. On the final lap, Carl Edwards was involved in a crash that sent him into the air, and into the fence that separates the crowd from the track. Amazingly, the fence held, and while debris went into the crowd, only 7 people were injured, with none of those injuries being life threatening. It’s truly a testament to the safety precautions NASCAR has taken over the past few years, although I know they’ll be looking at this latest incident to see how they can improve even further.

Filed under: Kay Jones • The Buzz
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Isabel Jimenez, Miami, FL

    I'm hoping that when we view tonight's AC360–at the absolutely very least–Anderson & Co. will properly inform us as to what exactly are the symptoms of this particular strain of Swine flu, & what we all can do to properly & successfully combat these symptoms. My 70-yr. old mother is already starting to worry; however, I haven't told her yet that her 3 grown daughters (myself included) are at even greater risk than she is. We're tough, healthy ladies, though (& none of us have been to Mexico in almost 9 years, so I think the 4 of us may just be alright.). I do hope & pray, however, for the health & safety of everyone else in this world of ours. My condolences to the 149+ souls we've lost so far (& to their families & friends, as well). As far as I'm concerned, it's at least 149 too many.

    On a somewhat lighter note, I do wish the Best Political Team on Television the best of luck on their Wednesday-night "100-Day Report Card" special. Please do not be afraid to ask the tough questions...especially while you still can in this great country of ours.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  2. David, Indiana

    The Pontiacs I see out there are not so much GTO's, but sporty affordable cars, the sleekest cars that GM makes. Reminds me of when Ford cut the Taurus and then brought it back. You don't cut your affordable sporty coupes and sedans. Even with all the new SUVs etc, that's the heart of the car market. So I wonder about this.

    April 27, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  3. Debra Roberts

    Its the car companies own fault for not staying competitive. They pay their employees more than I ever made with a college degree! And they make throw away cars! They charge more for their products and the quality does not equal that of other cheaper foriegn vehicles. I live in Michigan and our economy has been hit hard but I cannot help feeling some resentment towards the struggling car companies. I think it is outrageous when a vehicle costs as much as a small home!

    April 27, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  4. enea

    from my understanding re: the epidemic swine flu, if you wash your hands frequently and you wear the mask, you are not prone to get it.
    I am not sure about airplanes, since there is no control of what you inhale there. the only thing anyone can do is take the precautions set by health agencies everywhere and hope for the best. There are risks everyday that none of us are aware of, but we have to hope and pray we will live through it. To live in fear means uncertain death is coming to you, in my opinion.

    as for the bankruptcy at Pontiac, it was a given. The cars are just not out there and GM has been strong, so hopefully it can pull itself out and be the established company that has been there since its inception.

    April 27, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  5. Carole

    Please report on the potential for antibodies, from those who have recovered from swine flu, to be extracted & used to treat swine flu. The first victims and survivors have a natural treatment in their bodies. Thank you for your consideration of this topic.

    April 27, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  6. Isabel

    Good afternoon, Kay Jones and Anderson Cooper!

    Let 's hope that the restructuring plan announced by GM has positive effects.

    Oh, Gosh! What situation that we are living!
    I read just now that a case of swine flu was confirmed in Madrid. Here in Brazil, there are a suspect and he is in isolation.

    It is impossible try to establish a government, building upon the first 100 days, a period dubbed as "honey-moon" with the electorate and where the president has wide margin of action.

    But 100 days is enough time, on the other hand, for a government say what for it comes. I look forward to the Special Wednesday.


    April 27, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  7. Peggy Stackwood

    RE: Swine flu...Why is no one talking about herbal anti-virals like colloidal silver @ 5000 or 10000 p.p.m. or oil of oregano? Can we get beyond just washing our hands as the CDC is recommending? Why are there no second opinions on getting a handle on what is possibly a bio-terrorist attack?

    April 27, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  8. suntak

    Why be concern about Mexico outbreak..when more than 22 million are already in the US...some could already carry the epidemic.

    April 27, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  9. suntak

    Swine Flu...sounds demonic to me..is there vaccine for the flu? Swine Flu is killing residents of Mexico...How serious is this swine flu?
    America faces a test with look how many Immigrants are here & coming into America everyday. lets face it..there had better be a cure.
    A lot of People could die. Killing the American's.

    OBAMA..100th day on the Job...The Checks are in the mail already.

    No Pontiac future...there goes my car vanished in the shuffle..I could cry.

    We need to be inventing new careers ...more & more people without Jobs..whats new?? this crunch has been going on for the past 40 years..wait & buy your house back for less than the money owed...smart real smart.. never try to out smart the American consumers.

    April 27, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  10. Norma Adams

    CDC recommends the use of oseltamivir or zanamivir for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with these swine influenza viruses.(http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/swineflu_you.htm)
    I could only find this info on CDC website. Is this medication for treatement/prevention AVAIABLE RIGHT NOW for anyone that wishes to take preventative steps?

    April 27, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  11. Shari

    I am very concerned about this flu. There are so many of us that travel and are un aware of the dangers. It all neds to be put out there!

    April 27, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  12. Jey Rolon

    Hi Mr. Anderson,

    My question to you about the swine flu outbreak is, should the CDC find out if any of these people that have the flu have donated blood and or should our blood banks in the affected areas be checked?

    April 27, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  13. Justin Sluss

    looks like we'll never seen the Trans Am (Firebird) re-released after all

    April 27, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  14. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    I'm still trying to wrap my head around that crash, too. I've been a racing fan my whole life, and while yesterday's was a bad one, everyone is all right. Thank God. But it's like Carl Edwards and other drivers have said, the rules have to change or someone will die. Sadly, NASCAR and racing in general often waits until a tragedy happens for changes to be made. Let's hope yesterday was a wake up to make things better before something worse happens. Hand it to NASCAR families, they must have gargantuan faith and nerves of steel.

    As for the swine flu, here's hoping it's contained before we hit panic pandemic status. I live in a community that has Mexican workers who come in and out of the country on a regular basis. I live near some of them. I teach their kids. I'm home today with a bug (not flu-related, but probably caught from one of my students). It's all a wee bit freaky.

    Losing Pontiac is just sad when I think of Firebirds and GTO's. But, it's part of the life and death cycle of business.

    April 27, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  15. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Good Morning Kay

    The swine flu epidemic is scary it's reached part of Canada and B.C .I hope Anderson is alright too considering he traveled to the Mexican border not too long ago also Mexico City i hope Dr.Gupta stays safe too it 's so dangerous being in the misdst of the outbreak .The race at Talledga was incerdible they should be fined and held accounable for the saftey in these cars Thank god no major injuries but it's just or more dangerous to be just a bystander than it is to be racing .

    Thanks for the buzz

    Michelle D.

    April 27, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  16. Pati Mc, Camp Hill, PA

    Thank you for assuring us of the safety of Dr. Sanjay and crew. I was just recalling that Anderson and Larry were both recently in Mexico. Needless to say I am hoping that they will both remain in good health. Just goes to show you that we just never know.

    Very anxious to join the party in filling out the Report Card for the first 100 days of the Obama Administration. Sounds like it shall be an evening of great converstation and stimulating information. Look forward to it.

    April 27, 2009 at 10:32 am |