In Weekly Address, President Discusses H1N1 Flu

By Theresa Cook

May 2, 2009 10:18am

President Obama focuses on the government’s response to and planning for the H1N1 — or "swine" — flu virus in his weekly address.

“This is a new strain of the flu virus, and because we haven’t developed an immunity to it, it has more potential to cause us harm," the president says. "Unlike the various strains of animal flu that have emerged in the past, it’s a flu that is spreading from human to human.  This creates the potential for a pandemic, which is why we are acting quickly and aggressively.” 

He explains the steps the government has taken so far — urging people with symptoms to stay home from work or school; distributing to states more than 12 million antiviral treatments from the Strategic National Stockpile; requesting $1.5 billion from Congress to invest in additional antivirals, emergency equipment and the development of a vaccine; and launching new social media — including Twitter — to update the public as quickly and effectively as possible.

"As our scientists and researchers learn more information about this virus every day, the guidance we offer will likely change.  What will not change is the fact that we’ll be making every recommendation based on the best science possible," the president says.

- jpt

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