'This Week' Transcript: Sens. Leahy and Hatch

SEBELIUS: Well, I don't think there is any question, the planning that has been done in the last five years has been extraordinarily helpful. States are much more prepared than they were four and five years ago with emergency plans.

The private sector has been engaged in that. In fact, the first time I met Dr. Besser was not involved in this situation, but he came to lead and led a leadership conference that -- co-hosted by Kansas and Missouri with 1,000 people from the private and public sector to talk about a pandemic flu outbreak.

So people have been prepared and ready and I don't think there is any question that President -- former President Bush had a strategy and resources were put in, and that's all very good news.

And, you know, the aggressive ability to get out in front of a virus like this is so very important. And I think President Obama made sure that his team was in place early on. That we acted on this appropriately. That we're working with public-private partnership. And that we're really ready to do what it takes to keep the American public safe and secure, which is the number one priority.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That hasn't meant, Secretary Napolitano, you've been immune from criticism. You seem to take it from all sides up on Capitol Hill this week. A lot of senators saying you should be shutting the border down right now.

Yet on talk radio, complaints that the media and others are hyping the threat. Take a look.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, HOST, "THE RUSH LIMBAUGH SHOW": You look at the degree and the level at which the media is elevating this to a panic, and you have to say, why?

Well, because this is the kind of thing, create crisis and panic. And this has more people clamoring for the government to do something. For the government to fix it.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Government overreach is the charge. What's the response?

NAPOLITANO: Oh, I -- you know, I -- no, not at all. When you think about where we were a week or 10 days ago, we had a new strain of flu. We didn't really know what its lethality was going to be. We didn't know how quickly it was going to move. And so we had to move. Because once you get behind flu, you can't catch up. You have to get ahead of it. And we took as our number one guide, what do the doctors tell us to do to act for the safety of the American people?

Now as we go through it every day, we can adjust because they know a little more, they know a little more, particularly they know a little more about what actually happened in Mexico.

So our guidance has been, you know, get prepared for the worst and be able to then adjust as we go through the actual cycle.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But for today, we're ahead of it?

NAPOLITANO: Today we have done, I think, everything that we could do, yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you all very much.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SPECTER: I have found myself increasingly at odds with the Republican philosophy and more in line with the philosophy of the Democratic Party.

SEN. HARRY REID, D-NEV.: I welcome Senator Specter and his moderate voice to our very diverse caucus.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY.: Obviously we are not happy that Senator Specter has decided to become a Democrat.

OBAMA: Let me tell you, Arlen Specter is one tough hombre.

MICHAEL STEELE, RNC CHAIRMAN: This has nothing to do with philosophy and principle and all those wonderful sounding words, but it's a cold and crass political calculation.

Page
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...