Stay Off Subways And Planes, Says Biden

VP Biden, on NBC's 'Today Show' April 30, told viewers he would tell his family to stay off planes and subways because of fear of infection by swine flu virus. Medical experts were quick to disagree, and his office had to issue a retraction.
May 2, 2009, 9am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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Asked whether he'd advise his family against a trip to Mexico, the vice president said: "It's not just going to Mexico, if you're any place in a confined aircraft and one person sneezes it goes all the way through the aircraft. That's me. I would not be at this point, if they had another way of transportation, suggesting they ride the subway."

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, asked about Mr. Biden's remarks at a news conference Thursday morning, declined to criticize the vice president.

"This flu does not seem to be taking over the city and so there's no evidence that being on the subway would, in a confined space, increase dramatically the probability," Mr. Bloomberg said, noting that he rides the subway everyday. "I don't see people coughing or sneezing on the subway. I don't see people complaining."

From NPR: Biden Clarifies Travel Comments: "The clarification was fast in coming" . Video has the original excerpt from the Today Show, and a medical expert refuting the VP's assertions. Also interviewed is NYC Mayor Bloomberg, and Jet Blue representative who was more forthcoming.

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Published on Thursday, April 30, 2009 in The New York Times - Politics Blog
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