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Suggested Citation:"Authors." National Research Council. 1978. The Swine Flu Affair: Decision-Making on a Slippery Disease. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
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Authors Richard E. Neustadt, author of Alliance Politics and Presidential Power, is the Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Public Administration in the John Fitzgerald Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Professor Neustadt was a White House assistant to President Truman and a con- sultant to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson on problems of government organization and operation. In that capacity he reviewed the Skybolt crisis of 1962. Recalling that study, Secretary Califano asked for this one. Harvey V. Fineberg holds an M.D. from the Harvard Medical School and a Mas- ter in Public Policy from the Kennedy School where he studied with Professor Neustadt. Dr. Fineberg teaches at the Harvard School of Public Health and has been director of its Graduate Program in Health Policy and Management. He was an Intermediate Junior Fel- low in Harvard's Society of Fellows and a Mellon Fellow at the Aspen Institute for Hu- manistic Studies. He practices general medicine part-time and is a member of the Massa- chusetts Public Health Council. His wife, Mary E. Wilson, is a physician who specializes in infectious diseases. 159

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In 1976, a small group of soldiers at Fort Dix were infected with a swine flu virus that was deemed similar to the virus responsible for the great 1918-19 world-wide flu pandemic. The U.S. government initiated an unprecedented effort to immunize every American against the disease. While a qualified success in terms of numbers reached—more than 40 million Americans received the vaccine—the disease never reappeared. The program was marked by controversy, delay, administrative troubles, legal complications, unforeseen side effects and a progressive loss of credibility for public health authorities. In the waning days of the flu season, the incoming Secretary of what was then the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Joseph Califano, asked Richard Neustadt and Harvey Fineberg to examine what happened and to extract lessons to help cope with similar situations in the future. The result was their report, The Swine Flu Affair: Decision-Making on a Slippery Disease.

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