Transcript: Sebelius, Specter and Hatch

What should parents do as they send their kids back to school? We know the vaccine won't be ready until October. What steps do they need to take now?

SEBELIUS: Well, we want every parent to have at a minimum a back-up childcare plan, to know if their child gets sick, who's going to be home and -- and take care of that child? What's the alternate caregiver strategy?

Because this virus spreads quickly child to child. Schools are taking preparation to get ready with hand sanitizers and frequent hand-washing, teaching your children to wash their hands, singing "Happy Birthday" to themselves as they wash their hands is good strategy. Coughing into their sleeve, not into their hands is also a really good strategy, because we know that we want to limit the number of germs that spread from child to child.

And I think, hopefully, we will engage schools as good vaccination partners. We anticipate having school-based vaccination clinics as soon as they're available and getting kids the protection that they need.

But in the meantime, it's about limiting the spread of the disease, and there's lots of, you know, kind of mitigation factors, washing your hands, coughing into your sleeve, staying home when you're sick at least 24 hours after the fever disappears, the CDC says that's the safe time to send your child back to school, but don't share it with their classmates and playmates.

TAPPER: All right, Secretary Sebelius, thanks so much. We wish you luck with the H1N1...

SEBELIUS: Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: ... and we hope for the best there.

Now, for a sense of where the health care debate is going in the Senate, we're joined by Republican Senator Orrin Hatch from Utah and Democratic Senator Arlen Specter from Pennsylvania.

And, Senator Specter, let me start with you, since you were in the rhetorical line of fire in town halls throughout the Keystone State this week, let's take a look.


(UNKNOWN): You're a socialist, fascist pig!

(UNKNOWN): Go back to Washington, D.C., and tell those people to do what the president said that I should do, is shut up and get out of the way.

(UNKNOWN): One day, God's going to stand before you, and he's going to judge you.

(UNKNOWN): There is nothing un-American about me.


TAPPER: That's a lot of anger. Where does it come from, Senator Specter?

SPECTER: A variety of factors, Jake. I think people are very nervous because so many have lost their jobs, and I think that the uncertainty of the health care bill -- remember, we don't have one in the Senate yet, and none has come to the House floor, but I think we have to bear in mind that, although those people need to be heard and have a right to be heard, that they're not really representative of America, in -- in my opinion.

We have to be careful here not to let those town meetings dominate the scheme and influence what we do on health policy. There are a number of issues here. One is that, while they were organized and have a right to be organized, as John Podesta has pointed out, there's real effort here to make this the president's Waterloo. That was stated specifically by a Republican senator.

And we also can't allow these kinds of town hall meetings to dominate the political process. That would be destructive of what we need to do to figure out, what is the best approach?

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