This swine flu virus (now H1N1 flu virus) is bad news for politicians across the globe. If government officials do not handle the flu outbreak promptly and properly, they will allow a global pandemic. Obviously, their voters will rally around this inaction as an example of government ineptitude. However, if they do handle the outbreak properly and prevent a pandemic, many voters will probably forget about the swine flu and only remember the large number of tax dollars that were used to fight a problem that never happened.
I think that there are a good number of people that, paradoxically, can only appreciate the potential devastation of an outbreak if they see it happen, and obviously, if the outbreak is prevented, it won't be seen. Of course, I think the politicians should and will act in the best interest of the general public and contain the virus; I just think that their work will not be adequately appreciated.