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Obama Lays Out Steps Taken to Counter Flu

By Scott Wilson
President Obama used his weekly radio address Saturday to reassure the public that his administration is squarely confronting the swine flu, which over the past week has spread to at least 19 states and roughly a dozen countries.

The president outlined some of the steps he has taken so far to prepare for a worsening outbreak in the United States, where one child has died of the 2009 H1N1 flu, as this strain is technically known, and more than 140 others have tested positive for the virus.

He underscored that 50 million courses of anti-flu treatment were stockpiled in anticipation of any outbreak -- preparations he credited the Bush administration for helping put in place. His administration has purchased an additional 13 million courses to replenish the reserves as they are drawn down.

Obama also said he acted out of "an abundance of caution" in asking Congress to set aside $1.5 billion to buy additional antiviral medications, emergency equipment, and fund the development of a vaccine in preparation for the regular fall flu season.

"As our scientists and researchers learn more information about this virus every day, the guidance we offer will likely change," Obama said, referring to his advice for those feeling ill to stay home and to keep sick children out of school. "What will not change is the fact that we'll be making every recommendation based on the best science possible."

In the Republican address, freshman Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kansas) criticized the size of Obama's $3.4 trillion budget, which Congress passed this week.

No Republican lawmakers voted in favor of the measure, which the president has said sets the long-term framework for his plans to expand health care coverage, develop an alternative energy industry, and improve public education.

"This week, we marked the President's 100th day in office," said Jenkins, a former Kansas state treasurer. "And while, like most of you, I like the President personally, I think the Democrats' first 100 days running Washington can be summed up in three words: spending, taxing, and borrowing."

By Web Politics Editor  |  May 2, 2009; 1:45 PM ET
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Possibly lethal pandemic spreading, but let's keep the borders wide open. Yeah, that works just fine - idiots.

Posted by: segeny | May 3, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The empty suit still doesn't get it. While he takes every opportunity to get in front of a television camera with his teleprompter, the economy, which his stupid spending spree was supposed to fix, keeps tanking. Unemployment is up and productivity is down.
Wonder what Emanuel and the rest of the corrupt slugs in the White House are doing to take advantage of the opportunity posed by the flu scam.
No telling, but it won't be good for the people.
What a disgrace Obama and the rest of his incompetents are.

Posted by: LarryG62 | May 3, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

People are encouraged to stay home from work if they are ill - but the evolving sick leave benefits by employers has shifted the financial burden to the employee - people are discouraged from using a sick day. ............

Posted by: glclark4750 | May 3, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

O_ne B_ig A_ss M_istake A_merica

Posted by: rlking2 | May 3, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

We've lost wealth continually for the last thirty years by redistributing wealth upwards. Bubbette1, I understand your argument, but you're only partially right. We've lost more money to the predator class than we lose through taxation.
The "wealth" creation we've undertaken since Reagan is largely phantom wealth. Money is not wealth. Added value through long term asset creation, such as infrastructure, is real wealth. Reagan talked Americans into abandoning real wealth creation, and to replace it with an insidious Ponzi scheme.
It's as simple as this: If you make stuff, you have stuff. If you stop making stuff, then borrow to fool yourself into thinking you're prosperous, then you are going to lose everything and become a debt slave That's a bad deal for us, and a great deal for the rich (in this life only).
"Disaster capitalism" (see Naomi Klein) allows the predator class to take all the goodies, and leave their victims in dire straits where they have to keep playing the predator's game. They did it to coal miners, who owed the company store more than their wages could repay. They did it to Ecuador, Bolivia, South Africa, and to America.

Posted by: rooster54 | May 2, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

"Anybody's taxes gone up?, because mine have gone down, I hope the Repubs don't mind."

It is the clueless statements like this that should give everyone cause for alarm. The tab for this over the top spending has not come due yet. All we have had so far is the spending part. Now looming on the horizon is the payment part. If you all think the top 1 to 3% of "rich folk" are going to pay this are foolish and naive. Take a look in the mirror because that's who will be paying for this. If you have any children or grand-children have them stand next to you.

It is estimated the cost to every child born in this Country will be a birth debt of $500,000.00 for this spending.

I would like to point out that as an Independent it is tiresome to read the constant bickering between the Republicans and Democrats. You both got it wrong. There are combinations of both parties that people can support. To me fiscal responsibility needs to be front and center. We have to get rid of deficit spending.

Unfortunately there is going to be pain in that route because it is always hard to cut people off from entitlement programs. But there is going to be cutting as this Nation cannot survive by spending beyond its means.

As to JRM2: Get ready because Uncle Sugar is going to be driving you to Dallas in every form of tax they can conceive. Someone is going to pay for these Trillion dollar deficits looming.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | May 2, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

The rudderless Repubs have nothing psitive to offer.
" I think the Democrats' first 100 days running Washington can be summed up in three words: spending, taxing, and borrowing."

Anybody's taxes gone up?, because mine have gone down, I hope the Repubs don't mind.

Posted by: JRM2 | May 2, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

As usual, the Republicans are unconcerned with endless murder in Iraq on borrowed Chinese funds against future tax dollars. Republicans are happy to see unethical contracts given out to companies controlled by the very same Republican politicians.
What Republicans hate is for a politician to try to help the people of their own country. This is against the Republican's unwritten rule book. A politician who wants to improve the lives of all Americans is against the Republican rule book. Republicans prefer to posture, plunder, and party - and, if Americans beg, they may let them clean up the place afterward, for a "right-to-work" wage of course.

Posted by: mangograss | May 2, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Jenkins, how would you sum up the Republican willingness to work with the president for the public good in three words?

"Obstinate, foolhardy, and childish" come to readily to mind.

Posted by: HappyWarrior | May 2, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

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