The newest developments in the spread of swine flu include a 20 year old student at Pace University in Manhattan and an aide to President Obama. This follows one day on the first death in the United States (a terribly sad case of a 23 month old toddler).
What is notable here is not the spread of the illness, but the persistent misrepresentations of government officials from President Obama down to Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York and on. These officials have consistently said that the spread is something to take seriously but that there is no substantial reason for concern on the part of the public.
Mayor Bloomberg's response has approached being dismissive, even glib.
Honesty combined with calls for calm and caution is needed here. Not dismissiveness and not belittling of concerns people have.