Swine Flu Widow Blasts Bloomberg After Gaffe

"I'm not feeling very lucky"

The widow of the city's first swine flu fatality was angered when Mayor Michael Bloomberg said some New Yorkers should "consider themselves lucky" to get the swine flu.

"I'm not feeling very lucky. I'm sorry I can't agree with that," Bonnie Wiener told the New York Daily News. "My children are not feeling very lucky either. It's a very puzzling comment to make."

Mitchell Wiener died on May 18 after contracting the swine flu while working as the assistant principal of IS 238 in Hollis, Queens.

Bloomberg was attempting to downplay fears over the swine flu outbreak.

"In some senses, if you have H1N1, you should consider yourself lucky because it so far seems to be a milder flu than the garden variety," Bloomberg said Monday, just days after a woman became the city's second swine flu victim.

A Queens woman in her 50s died from the swine flu over the weekend, becoming the 11th person in the country to die from the disease. The woman had an underlying condition which, combined with the flu, contributed to her death, according to the city Health Department. The mayor refused to identify the woman, but he did say she didn't work in the city's school system.

Students are returning to 20 New York City public schools that had been closed because of swine flu.
Chancellor Joel Klein welcomed children back to Public School 19 in Corona, Queens.

"The purpose of this though was to really give the children a chance to take some time off becasause we found, according to the Health Department, that the H1N1 virus was spreading here rapidly," Klein said outside the school.

Of the 20 schools or school programs scheduled to reopen on Tuesday, 16 are in Queens, 2 in the Bronx and 1 each in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Another 17 public schools will remain closed on Tuesday. Five others that were closed in early May have since reopened.

New York has 96 new cases of swine flu, bringing the total confirmed to 462, according to health officials.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Richard Daines said the total outside New York City rose to 132 in 19 counties, with one case each in Clinton and Onondaga counties, and two cases each in Dutchess and Suffolk. New York City has 90 new cases. The total there is now 330.
Health officials expect laboratory-confirmed cases to be a fraction of the infections in the state because many people don't seek care and recover at home.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us