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Joe Biden’s flu advice angered Barack Obama: ‘He meant something different!’ | World | News

According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, the majority of Americans think Mr Trump could have avoided infection if he had taken the virus more seriously. The national opinion poll did not show outpouring support for the President beyond Mr Trump’s core group of followers, some of whom gathered outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he had been hospitalised. Among those who are expected to cast their vote on November 3, the poll found that 51 percent were backing his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, while 41 percent said they were voting for Mr Trump.

Four percent were choosing a third-party candidate and another four percent said they were undecided.

After suffering from the disease, though, Mr Trump is set to return to the campaign trail this week in what is likely his last opportunity to reset his beleaguered presidential reelection bid.

As the clock ticks down to Election Day, unearthed reports reveal how Mr Biden drifted from the Obama administration’s cautious message on swine flu in 2009.

When asked by NBC’s “Today” show what he would tell members of his family if they asked whether they should get on a commercial plane to Mexico in the next week, Mr Biden said: “I would tell members of my family – and I have – I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places now.”

The former Vice President said the problem was that “when one person sneezes it goes all the way through the aircraft.”

He added: “I would not be, at this point, if they had another way of transportation, suggesting they ride the subway.

“So from my perspective, what it relates to is mitigation.”

Mr Biden‘s comments came just hours before the White House announced that a Department of Energy official who had traveled to Mexico City with former Secretary Energy Chu exhibited flu-like symptoms upon his return, but tested negative for the swine flu.

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Mr Gibbs said: “If somebody is feeling sick, if somebody is exhibiting symptoms of being sick, then they should take all necessary precautions.

“Obviously, if anybody was unduly alarmed for whatever reason, we would apologise for that.”

Mr Biden‘s comments also drew the ire of the travel industry, though.

The US Travel Association immediately released a statement countering Mr Biden’s remarks, and advised people to listen to medical experts.

Roger Dow, president and chief executive of the association, said in the statement: “Americans should heed the advice of medical experts when determining how best to manage health concerns during the ongoing swine flu outbreak. According to the US. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and countless other experts, swine flu should not discourage people from traveling to or within the United States.

“Elected officials must strike a delicate balance of accurately and adequately informing citizens of health concerns without unduly discouraging travel and other important economic activity.”

American Airlines issued an even stronger statement.

American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith said: “To suggest that people not fly at this stage of things is a broad brush stroke bordering on fear-mongering.

“The facts of the situation, at this stage anyway, certainly don’t support that.”

The 2009 swine flu pandemic was an influenza pandemic that lasted for about 19 months, from January 2009 to August 2010.

Some studies estimated that the actual number of cases including asymptomatic and mild cases could be 700 million to 1.4 billion people – or 11 to 21 percent of the global population of 6.8 billion at the time.

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