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As flu hits, holes in W.H. health team

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The Obama administration declared a “public health emergency” Sunday to confront the swine flu — but is heading into its first medical outbreak without a secretary of Health and Human Services or appointees in any of the department’s 19 key posts.

President Barack Obama has not yet chosen a surgeon general or the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His choice to run the Food and Drug Administration awaits confirmation.

In an unusual Sunday briefing at the White House, acting CDC Director Richard Besser appeared on camera with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Obama homeland security adviser John Brennan to announce the emergency declaration in response to the swine flu outbreak.

Napolitano is the former Arizona governor, and Brennan is a longtime CIA counterterrorism specialist once thought to be in line to run the agency.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs insisted the vacancies won’t hinder Obama’s response.

“I want to be very clear here: There is a team in place. Part of it is standing behind me, and part of it working as we speak to identify exactly what [Besser] and others have talked about,” Gibbs said. “This notion that somehow that if there is not currently a secretary, that there is not the function that needs to take place to prepare for either this or any other situation is just simply not the case.” “I think it’s all hands on deck, and we’re doing fine,” Gibbs said.

The Senate could vote to confirm HHS Secretary-designate Kathleen Sebelius as early as Tuesday. Obama’s first choice for the post, former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, withdrew.
As the swine flu outbreak intensified, Obama has received “multiple” briefings a day since Friday on the outbreak, and an interagency response team has been in constant communication, White House aides said.

Health officials have reported 20 cases across five states — Ohio, Texas, New York, California and Kansas — and expect the numbers to rise as doctors perform more tests to detect the illness. None of the U.S. cases have been fatal. The outbreak started in Mexico, where it has killed 80 and infected 1,300.

Obama recently traveled to Mexico, and his host on a museum tour in Mexico City died the next day, showing flu-like symptoms, but Gibbs said, “the president’s health was never in any danger.” He said the flu has a 24- to 48-hour incubation period and that Obama left Mexico nine days ago and has not shown symptoms of the flu nor been seen by a doctor or received preventive treatment.

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Replies: 154      
default avatar for user 1920s
Party: NA
Reply #1
Date: Apr. 26, 2009 - 6:56 PM EST

TeamPOLITICO: Apr. 26, 2009 - 6:37 PM EST

The Obama administration declared a �public health emergency� Sunday to confront the swine flu � but is heading into its first medical outbreak without a secretary of Health and Human Services or appointees in any of the department�s 19 key posts.

lol!

What a joke!

Maybe the community organizer needs to stick with organizing communities instead of the health and human services department. This is the most pathetic, incompetent, unprepared group of people I have ever seen in my entire life. These clowns wouldn't be hired on a high school football coaching staff much less a human health department in the US government. PATHETIC.

TeamPOLITICO: Apr. 26, 2009 - 6:37 PM EST

�I want to be very clear here: There is a team in place.

Yeah, right. LIAR.

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avatar for user thgirbla
Party: Independent
Reply #2
Date: Apr. 26, 2009 - 6:57 PM EST

306,297,000 million people in the U.S. and 20 reported/suspected (?) cases of Swine Flu is a "Declared Health Emergency"??? Give me a break that someone is not overeacting!!!

.....OR just another case of the Government letting the public know that they are in charge of YOUR lives???


TrueTexan
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avatar for user theMoJo
Party: N/A
Reply #3
Date: Apr. 26, 2009 - 7:11 PM EST

And these are the people who want to reform U.S. health care?

God help us....

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default avatar for user Maxdemon
Party: Independent
Reply #4
Date: Apr. 26, 2009 - 7:12 PM EST

Let's see now, we have a health emergency on some as yet to be determined level and no HHS sectretary because the 'loyal" opposition has been holding up the confimation of Gov. Sebelius because, like the majority of Americans, she believes that adults can make their own ethical decisions.

Meanwhile the comments here thus far are a repeat of the usual political BS.

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avatar for user theMoJo
Party: N/A
Reply #5
Date: Apr. 26, 2009 - 7:16 PM EST

Maxdemon: Apr. 26, 2009 - 7:12 PM EST

Let's see now, we have a health emergency on some as yet to be determined level and no HHS sectretary because the 'loyal" opposition has been holding up the confimation of Gov. Sebelius because, like the majority of Americans, she believes that adults can make their own ethical decisions.

It would probably be more realistic to place the blame on the Obama administration who nominated yet another Democrat with problems.

Just because Obama won the election doesn't mean he can simply ignore the 48% of Americans who said no to him.

You may also want to invest in a spell checker; that public education of yours has failed you.

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default avatar for user liberal do-gooder
Party: Liberal
Reply #6
Date: Apr. 26, 2009 - 7:18 PM EST

This article is right on the money and I hope the Administration has experienced, capable, motivated people lined up. I don't really know enough about the other positions to make suggestions, but DR. MARK ROSENBERG had a terrific track record during his 20 years at the CDC (ultimately reporting to the Director). Mark has quite an impressive and varied background (Harvard, Mass General, etc. in multiple medical disciplines, ranging from infectious diseases to internal medicine to psychiaitry and beyond, as well as earning a degree in public policy); that kind of breadth and depth of knowledge and experience will be vital given the range of issues that will confront the CDC over the next few years. I also believe that it is noteworthy that rather than heading straight back north and/or to a lucrative private practice, Mark has remained in Atlanta throughout the Bush era, has been fully committed to public health and working on it full time, as he still does today. In my opinion Mark Rosenberg, MD, MPP would make an excellent choice to LEAD the CDC. I hope Secretary Sibelius recognizes his value, appoints him and does it soon.
respectfully, Michael Wolkowitz
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avatar for user Blouise
Party: N/A
Reply #7
Date: Apr. 26, 2009 - 7:22 PM EST

How long have the republicans held up the confirmation of HHS Secretary-designate Kathleen Sebelius? Torture loving scum bags ... the flu is aptly named for them!

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avatar for user DFutureIsNow
Party: Liberal
Reply #8
Date: Apr. 26, 2009 - 7:33 PM EST

Lets HOPE republicans will put country ahead of politics and confirm the people that needs to be in place, their political games are shameful and just put America at risk.


President Barack Obama. BE THE CHANGE !!!
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default avatar for user mctm
Party: NA
Reply #9
Date: Apr. 26, 2009 - 7:38 PM EST

Darn, might have to hang around Washington a little. You know like, sit at the desk...govern...the boring stuff.

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avatar for user GOP'sNewFace
Party: N/A
Reply #10
Date: Apr. 26, 2009 - 7:57 PM EST

thgirbla: Apr. 26, 2009 - 6:57 PM EST

306,297,000 million people in the U.S. and 20 reported/suspected (?) cases of Swine Flu is a "Declared Health Emergency"???

Give me a break that someone is not overeacting!!!

The someone is you.


"Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you represents determinism; the way you play it is free will." Jawaharlal Nehru
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default avatar for user case1
Party: NA
Reply #11
Date: Apr. 26, 2009 - 8:12 PM EST

Conservative Bloggers: Obama would have a HHS secretary if the GOP handn't held up her confirmation remember HHS Secretary-designate Kathleen Sebelius.

You can't create the problem then blame the current President for the very same problem....ohh wait you have been doing that for just about everything...Iraq, the economy...

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default avatar for user northdallas855
Party: Independent
Reply #12
Date: Apr. 26, 2009 - 8:18 PM EST

After 100 days in office, I vote that we've seen more than enough of the President reading from his teleprompter and regurgitating the same old stuff......he obviously likes to hear himself talk & watch himself on tv. Yippee....I just found out we'll get to see him again on tv this week, to talk yet again about the same things he keeps talking about.

How 'bout you get to work filling the "holes" in your cabinet, Mr. President.

I cannot recall when I have ever seen a president making so many trips, press conferences and news conferences, OR nominate so many people with tax problems.....????? It's positively amazing.

Less camera time, more work, Mr. President. Where's that change you promised?

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default avatar for user American Tax Payer
Party: Independent
Reply #13
Date: Apr. 26, 2009 - 8:32 PM EST

TeamPOLITICO: Apr. 26, 2009 - 6:37 PM EST

The Obama administration declared a �public health emergency� Sunday to confront the swine flu � but is heading into its first medical outbreak without a secretary of Health and Human Services or appointees in any of the department�s 19 key posts.

Worry not, plans are laid, preparations made and the posts need not be filled....

President Barack Obama has not yet chosen a surgeon general or the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His choice to run the Food and Drug Administration awaits confirmation.

I guess we wait while they look for any unpaid taxes that may be hiding in that proverbial closet.

�I want to be very clear here: There is a team in place. Part of it is standing behind me, and part of it working as we speak to identify exactly what [Besser] and others have talked about,� Gibbs said. �This notion that somehow that if there is not currently a secretary, that there is not the function that needs to take place to prepare for either this or any other situation is just simply not the case.� �I think it�s all hands on deck, and we�re doing fine,� Gibbs said.

= "Don't Worry, the 'Quarantine' Camps are ready."

The Senate could vote to confirm HHS Secretary-designate Kathleen Sebelius as early as Tuesday. Obama�s first choice for the post, former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, withdrew.

As long as she passes the 'Tax Test'...

Health officials have reported 20 cases across five states � Ohio, Texas, New York, California and Kansas � and expect the numbers to rise as doctors perform more tests to detect the illness. None of the U.S. cases have been fatal. The outbreak started in Mexico, where it has killed 80 and infected 1,300.

"20 cases"? Hardly an 'Emergency'. If you really care to do something about it chicken head, start with closing the borders and ports and deport all illegal aliens now given the fact it came from Mexico.

Asked if the president�s decision to golf Sunday at Andrews Air Force Base was part of a White House strategy to reassure people, Gibbs chuckled and replied: �I�m not sure I�d draw a direct conclusion.�

= "he's had his shots, it's ya'll who haven't."

Administration officials said the government declared a �public health emergency� to mobilize resources to combat fears of a global swine flu pandemic. They said the government would release 25 percent of its stockpiles of the flu-fighting drugs Tamiflu and Relenza.

25%. Curious. Who are the recipients of that 25%?

�I wish we could call it a declaration of emergency preparedness,� Napolitano said, insisting that the same measure was taken for the Inauguration and in cases of flood and hurricane. �We�re leaning forward.�

You mean something that would really give it meaning like "man made disasters"?

This isn�t the first time Obama has been forced to confront a problem with an agency facing a number of vacancies. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was battling the global financial meltdown earlier this year with 18 vacancies in top positions.

Yes. And we all see very well what that did for us.

Gibbs said the White House was �hopeful� for a vote soon for Sebelius, but Republicans have held up her nomination over concerns she failed to disclose the full amount of contributions by a doctor who performed late-term abortions.

That couldn't have anything to do with Taxes could it? Or, killing a damn near full grown child perhaps? Ya know, a baby with fingers and toes? I assume that is what "late-term" means.

She would be the first confirmed nominee out of 20 in the department, which is the last in the Cabinet to get a secretary. As of early April, Obama had made only four HHS nominations: Sebelius, Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Bill Corr for deputy secretary and Yvette Roubideaux as director of Indian Health Services, according to the department.

I hope to God you mean Indian and not india(n). If you mean india(n), I will drop everything in my life to work to destroy you. How dare you. This Country is NOT india. THIS IS AMERICA.

india(ns) can have their "indian health services" IN india!

Obama�s team had hoped to bring on CNN�s Dr. Sanjay Gupta as surgeon general, the nation�s top public health spokesman. But Gupta took himself out of the running after Daschle�s departure, and Obama hasn�t picked someone to fill the spot.

Gee, I wonder why...

Obama named Hamburg, a former New York City health commissioner, to run the FDA, but she hasn�t been confirmed yet.

Checkin' the Tax Situation'....

William Pierce, who worked as spokesman for former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson in George W. Bush�s administration, said the lack of appointees doesn�t appear to have hampered the response so far.

"the response". Hmmm. "The Response." How so many ways this can be taken....

The CDC has held its own televised press briefings, while Besser came across well at the Sunday White House briefing, Pierce said. The acting surgeon general, Steve Galson, is �very knowledgeable,� he said.

In what? Rounding up the 'sick'?

�However, this situation provides the Senate with even more reason to move quickly to confirm Sebelius,� Pierce said. �They also need to move quickly on Margaret Hamburg as the FDA commissioner because, depending on where this outbreak goes, it could mean a new flu vaccine that the FDA would have to approve.�

Okay. First, "situation" and rushing through the appointees. People Wake Up! We are talking about 20 cases here after all. Where is all the proof of an "Emergency" or "Pandemic" on the horizon? I find this "Emergency" to be quite convenient.

And, Pray Tell what exactly, is in that "vaccine up for approval should hamburg be approved"?

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default avatar for user case1
Party: NA
Reply #14
Date: Apr. 26, 2009 - 8:40 PM EST

Conservative Bloggers: Obama would have a HHS secretary if the GOP handn't held up her confirmation remember HHS Secretary-designate Kathleen Sebelius.

You can't create the problem then blame the current President for the very same problem....ohh wait you have been doing that for just about everything...Iraq, the economy...

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default avatar for user American Tax Payer
Party: Independent
Reply #15
Date: Apr. 26, 2009 - 8:46 PM EST

Blouise: Apr. 26, 2009 - 7:22 PM EST

How long have the republicans held up the confirmation of HHS Secretary-designate Kathleen Sebelius? Torture loving scum bags ... the flu is aptly named for them!

"torture loving"? Are you serious?

Everyone except True Red, White and Blue Blooded Americans should be very happy I am not in charge.

I would not expel you but I would make it mandatory, people like you would not be allowed to infest Pure American Neighborhoods with your Anti-Speak.

What I mean is:

If you think for one second that you can coddle, be kind to, negotiate or comprise with an enemy as fierce and dedicated to your ultimate destruction as the muslims are, you are in for a very cold and cruel reality.

islam does not ask. It forces. Do you get that?

The "torture" you speak of is nothing compared to what they want to do to us. Do you care?

Please, wake up to the imminent threat that lies before us. Please don't think I am kidding. Have you read your child(rens) books lately?

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default avatar for user American Tax Payer
Party: Independent
Reply #16
Date: Apr. 26, 2009 - 8:53 PM EST  updated

case1: Apr. 26, 2009 - 8:40 PM EST

Conservative Bloggers: Obama would have a HHS secretary if the GOP handn't held up her confirmation remember HHS Secretary-designate Kathleen Sebelius.

You can't create the problem then blame the current President for the very same problem....ohh wait you have been doing that for just about everything...Iraq, the economy...

Stop repeating. You said the EXACT same thing on post #11.

I would like to tell you, it's really not that hard to admit you are wrong. As a matter of fact, you don't need to admit it at all. Just join us! Pay attention to what chicken head is doing and fight it. It's all you need to do. Fax, phone, e-mail and/or mail any and/or all Congress Members and tell them you want them to be For America and Americans First or they will be OUT!

Whatdaya think?

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default avatar for user Elefante
Party: NA
Reply #17
Date: Apr. 26, 2009 - 9:00 PM EST

Barack Obama, playing golf while the zombie apocalypse takes root.

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default avatar for user shadow287
Party: NA
Reply #18
Date: Apr. 26, 2009 - 9:02 PM EST

This is a typical republican posting concerning the health emergency:

306,297,000 million people in the U.S. and 20 reported/suspected (?) cases of Swine Flu is a "Declared Health Emergency"??? Give me a break that someone is not overeacting!!!

.....OR just another case of the Government letting the public know that they are in charge of YOUR lives???

Typical "Rush Limbaugh type of response".

TrueTexan I love the "TrueTexan" signature. If you told a guy like this that- "if today you gave him two pennies and tomorrow you doubled the amount to 4 pennies and the next day you'd double it again to 8 pennies- do you think that by the end of a month you'd have a lot of money?"

He'd say "No"!

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default avatar for user jimbridger
Party: NA
Reply #19
Date: Apr. 26, 2009 - 9:21 PM EST

people are dying out there and this administration runs in circles trying to demonize people with ron paul bumper stickers. even mossulini made the trains run on time.

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default avatar for user jimbridger
Party: NA
Reply #20
Date: Apr. 26, 2009 - 9:23 PM EST

case1,maybe sebelious can figure out how to use dead babies to cure this flu.


jimbridger
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The Obama administration will assist second-mortgage holders.


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