This past flu season was one of the worst in decades, with thousands bedridden and a high number of fatalities. In January the CDC announced that 2017/2018 is the first season, since the agency began monitoring the flu 13 years ago, that every state in the continental 48 experienced widespread influenza activity. Although the flu is a virus, it often results in secondary bacterial infections, like pneumonia, that can prove fatal. These bacterial infections are getting stronger and developing antibiotic resistance, mainly due to the widespread overprescription of antibiotics by doctors and by the insane overuse of antibiotics to fatten livestock. But these illnesses are also getting help from another source—the notorious Koch brothers.
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), a Koch-backed group and the largest small business association in the country, has been working overtime to sabotage paid sick leave laws enacted by states and cities, despite studies proving that flu infection rates decline in cities where workers earn paid sick days. Parents without paid leave not only go to work and spread their illness; they also send their sick kids to school more often. Waiters and cooks without paid leave do the same, further spreading the epidemic.