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Bachmann: Democratic connection to outbreak 'interesting'

  • Associated Press
  • April 28, 2009 - 6:42 PM

WASHINGTON - Rep. Michele Bachmann says she finds it an "interesting coincidence" that the last swine flu outbreak in the U.S. occurred under a Democratic president — though her claim is historically inaccurate.

The last major outbreak of swine flu occurred in 1976, when Republican Gerald Ford was president. The outbreak started when an army private died and four others were hospitalized at Fort Dix in New Jersey.

Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican, made her comments to conservative media outlet Pajamas TV on Monday. She says she's not "blaming this on President Obama" but found it an interesting coincidence that a Democrat was running the country at the time of the outbreak.

President Jimmy Carter, who succeeded Ford, did continue swine flu vaccinations when he took office.

A call to Bachmann's office Tuesday seeking comment wasn't immediately returned.

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