May 4th, 2009
09:40 AM ET

Morning Buzz: 1,000 confirmed cases of H1N1 and counting...

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Jill Billante
AC360° Senior Producer

Good morning everyone. I took the subway to work this morning and now that I’ve thoroughly washed my hands, let’s get started.

There is quite a bit of carryover news from last week. H1N1, otherwise known as Swine flu, continues to be a top story. Right now, there are nearly 1,000 confirmed cases worldwide and 26 deaths. Meanwhile, St. Francis Prep in Queens, New York, the first school to close at the start of the outbreak, re-opened today. Are you still concerned about the swine flu?

Over the weekend, lots of talk about the future of the GOP party after Sen. Arlen Specter’s defection to the left side of the aisle. Specter said his move should be seen as a “wake up call” to a GOP party that has become too conservative. What do you think?

The sniping has already started about who President Obama should choose to replace Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court. Republicans charged that Obama's stated desire to pick someone with "empathy and understanding" masked an intention to pick a judicial activist who would try to pull the high court significantly to the left. Democrats dismissed the GOP charge, arguing that Obama - a former constitutional law professor - would tap a candidate committed to equal justice and not use a high court opening to pursue a partisan political agenda.

And there is outrage this morning in the wake of the acquittal of two teenage boys accused of beating an illegal immigrant to death in Pennsylvania. Prosecutors called it a hate crime. Hispanic-American leaders in eastern Pennsylvania say they'll take the case to the DOJ and urge federal charges against two white youths acquitted of slaying the man.

Meanwhile, Madonna's appeal to adopt a 3-year-old girl started in Malawi's highest court Monday as a man claiming to be the father said he was fighting for custody of the child. The 50-year-old singer had filed a petition to adopt Chifundo James, whose first name translates to mercy in Chichewa, the country's national language. Her adoption was denied last month because Madonna did not meet a residency law that requires applicants to have lived in the country for some time before adoption.

More at 10 p.m. ET – see you then!

Filed under: Jill Billante • The Buzz
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Susan

    The stockpiles of Tamiflu were purchased by our government in
    2003-2004 in response to the outbreak of avian flu ( another H1N1 virus ). It never hit our shores and these doses have been stored away. I am concerned that all the hype is to get these doses of Tamiflu out before they reach their expiration date, after that they can no longer be used.

    May 4, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  2. enea ostrich: Seal Beach, CA

    the case of swine flu is the same as other flus out there, but the media took it to a different level because of W.H.O and C.D.C. That was a precaution, due to the fact that they didn't know what the strain this flu would be in the U.S. Now that they see it isn't as strong as the one in Mexico, well, they have brought the degree down, as far as warning. As always, be smart in washing your hands, that's right. You never know what you can catch when you are in public–true!

    May 4, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  3. MarieAnne Sam - Alabang in the Philippines

    Can they tagged it now as 'pandemic'? And what's this 'twist' that it was human that infected the pigs with the virus that mutate into something 'lethal'?

    Pretty interesting!!

    May 4, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  4. Teresa, OH

    Not that I am really that concerned but... at church yesterday, I did make it a point to listen to anyone sneezing, sniffling, or coughing...
    and I did thank God that I didnt hear nary a one : )

    And I did rush home to wash my hands after having given the 'sign of peace' to my fellow worshippers. And I was considering not taking communion because someone else had touched the sacred bread.
    After weighing my concerns, I figured, I would rather get swine flu from the person trying to help me save my soul than not taking communion at all.

    I was surprised at the acquittal in the teens killing the immigrant.

    Poor Madonna: she didnt meet a residency law : ( Now, how long did she live in Malawi before she adopted David? Was there not the same law at the time she adopted him?

    May 4, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  5. Annie Kate

    So far I think the flu has been much fuss about not much. Maybe this fall it will come roaring back and will be a nightmare then but right now it seems like the alarm bells are being sounded kind of early. I guess they have to be to get the vaccine ready in the quantities needed by fall but all of you in news are scaring the little blue haired ladies to death. One doctor I spoke with over the weekend said he spent more time calming his elderly patients down than actually treating people this last week.

    May 4, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  6. Jennifer

    I honestly do not understand all the hype that has come with the Swine Flu. I mean almost 40,000 people a year in the US alone get the "Common" flu and DIE. World wide we "almost" have 1000 people with this flu and what....26 people have died.

    Don't get me wrong, it is horrible when people die especially of an illness that is treatable, but still we all (world wide) are taking this issue to a level that is completely unecessary, which I feel is doing more harm then good. I mean we have some countries issolating people just because of where they are from and other countries killing live stock.

    This has just gone to far and I do feel part of it is due to the media grossly over talking the issue and making it seem worse then it really is.

    May 4, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  7. Eli Lucero

    People are going to micro analyze this right to the point they are in bed with the flu

    May 4, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  8. Terry, TX

    1. How about getting a public list of what cities and counties are hit with swine flu....not just the state numbers.
    2. Arlen Spector...was democrat...then a republican...now a democrat... because he was losing in the polls...enough said.
    3.Supreme Court Justice–well it won't be picked by someone who is best qualified....it will be based on race or gender and ideology and special interest groups...hello...the Constitution is least on the radar.
    4. "acquittal of two teenage boys accused of beating an illegal immigrant to death"....but the blacks (Jenna ) in Louisiana can beat one white kid and it is the white kid's fault. This was a murder trial... not a hate crime... you can't punish someone for their thoughts...just actions...so I find the "hate crime" rhetoric unconstitutional...as an American of Mexican descent...
    5. Madonna...celebrities...who cares?

    May 4, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  9. Nina Horner

    how fast is this swine flu actually spreading?

    May 4, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  10. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Good Morning Jil
    Happy Monday to you! I hope there was no one coughing or sneezing near you on the subway this morning AC mentiones how poeple are grumbling at the least ittle cough or sneezze .I hope this flu goes away soon .It's good news that the school reponed so hopefully there won't be any more outbreaks .

    Thanks for the buzz
    Michelle D.

    May 4, 2009 at 9:46 am |