Obama declares swine flu a ‘national emergency’

President Barack Obama declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency, giving his health chief the power to let hospitals move emergency rooms offsite to speed treatment and protect noninfected patients.

The declaration, signed Friday night and announced Saturday, comes with the disease more prevalent than ever in the country and production delays undercutting the government’s initial, optimistic estimates that as many as 120 million doses of the vaccine could be available by mid-October.

Health authorities say more than 1,000 people in the United States, including almost 100 children, have died from the strain of flu known as H1N1, and 46 states have widespread flu activity. So far only 11 million doses have gone out to health departments, doctor’s offices and other providers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials.

Administration officials said the declaration was a pre-emptive move designed to make decisions easier when they need to be made. Officials said the move was not in response to any single development.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius now has authority to bypass federal rules when opening alternative care sites, such as offsite hospital centers at schools or community centers if hospitals seek permission.

Some hospitals have opened drive-thrus and drive-up tent clinics to screen and treat swine flu patients. The idea is to keep infectious people out of regular emergency rooms and away from other sick patients.

Hospitals could modify patient rules — for example, requiring them to give less information during a hectic time — to quicken access to treatment, with government approval, under the declaration.

It also addresses a financial question for hospitals — reimbursement for treating people at sites not typically approved. For instance, federal rules do not allow hospitals to put up treatment tents more than 250 yards away from the doors; if the tents are 300 yards or more away, typically federal dollars won’t go to pay for treatment.

Administration officials said those rules might not make sense while fighting the swine flu, especially if the best piece of pavement is in the middle of a parking lot and some medical centers already are putting in place parts of their emergency plans.

“I think the term emergency declaration sounds more dramatic than it really is,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, a research professor and chairman of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine at George Washington University. “It’s largely an administrative move that’s more preemptive …” He said such a step would give emergency rooms and hospitals the flexibility they need.

The national emergency declaration was the second of two steps needed to give Sebelius extraordinary powers during a crisis.

On April 26, the administration declared swine flu a public health emergency, allowing the shipment of roughly 12 million doses of flu-fighting medications from a federal stockpile to states in case they eventually needed them. At the time, there were 20 confirmed cases in the U.S. of people recovering easily. There was no vaccine against swine flu, but the CDC had taken the initial step necessary for producing one.

“As a nation, we have prepared at all levels of government, and as individuals and communities, taking unprecedented steps to counter the emerging pandemic,” Obama wrote in Saturday’s declaration.

He said the pandemic keeps evolving, the rates of illness are rising rapidly in many areas and there’s a potential “to overburden health care resources.”

The government now hopes to have about 50 million doses of swine flu vaccine out by mid-November and 150 million in December. The flu virus has to be grown in chicken eggs, and the yield hasn’t been as high as was initially hoped, officials have said.

“Many millions” of Americans have had swine flu so far, according to an estimate that CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden gave Friday. The government doesn’t test everyone to confirm swine flu so it doesn’t have an exact count. He also said there have been more than 20,000 hospitalizations.


On the Net:

CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/update.htm

Government’s flu site: http://www.flu.gov/


Associated Press writer Jackie Quinn contributed to this report.


  1. griff

    What a joke.

    Don’t forget to get your flu jab.

    This “pandemic” is perhaps the biggest hoax since WMD in Iraq. All fear all the time, relentless and unwarranted.

    What this article fails to mention is that among the millions who have had the flu there have only been a thousand deaths attributed to it. Most people don’t even die from the flu itself but have underlying conditions that lead to their deaths.

    I had it a month ago. I had minor symptoms for two days and didn’t even take off from work. Of course I don’t run to the hospital with every sniffle like we’ve been trained to do.

    It’s simply amazing the lies perpetrated by the media regarding swine flu. The only thing they tell you is to wash your hands and take the vaccine. No mention of vitamins D or C – known flu-killers.

    They also say that they’re “targeting” small children and pregnant women for vaccination despite the fact that the vaccine inserts themselves recommend not giving it to children under four years of age and pregnant women. Of course, no one really reads these inserts.

    This insert for the Fluvirin vaccine reveals a number of warnings that go unmentioned in the media.

    Such as…

    Pregnancy Category C: Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with FLUVIRIN®. It is also not known whether FLUVIRIN® can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. FLUVIRIN® should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.

    The safety and immunogenicity of FLUVIRIN® have not been established in children under 4 years of age.

    The 1976 swine influenza vaccine was associated with an increased frequency of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). Evidence for a causal relation of GBS with subsequent vaccines prepared from other influenza viruses is unclear.

    And of course, the list of other side effects is too long to list.

    We have been conditioned to believe that the word “pandemic” is associated with mass death. This is untrue as it merely means mass illness – illness that we humans are more than adequately equipped to fend off without vaccination or running off to the emergency room for treatment of an illness that there is no treatment for. Once you have it there’s nothing to do but let the body’s natural immune system work to be rid of it.

    And for those that don’t like shots you can opt for the nasal vaccine, which contains live flu virus and warns you not to come in contact with anyone “immunocompromised” for 21 days.

    Some known side effects of the Flumist…

    Congenital, familial and genetic disorder: Exacerbation of symptoms of mitochondrial encephalomyopathy (Leigh syndrome).

    Immune system disorders: Hypersensitivity reactions (including anaphylactic reaction, facial edema and urticaria)

    Nervous system disorders: Guillain-Barré syndrome, Bell’s Palsy

    Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders: Epistaxis

    Everyone I know have been advised by their own doctors not to take the flu vaccine. Most medical workers are refusing vaccination.

    In 1976 more people died from the vaccine than the flu, but that doesn’t stop our government from using fear and hype to give itself “extraordinary powers” once again.

  2. Carl Nemo

    “Officials do not deny that many flu vaccines will contain Thimerosal, a mercury based preservative, and a number of other toxins including ethylene glycol (antifreeze), formaldehyde, phenol, and antibiotics.” …extract from link content


    Thanks Griff for your timely piece about the undisclosed hazards of flu vaccines. I’m supplying a link concerning this issue. One element that’s found in these vaccines is a mercury based preservative “Thimerosal” which contains the maximum allowable dose of this element that’s classed below a hazard to human life level. The link showing the young woman that can only walk backwards might be due to her having a hyperallergenic reaction to mercury compounds on her brain chemistry. I would suggest they do intravenous chelation on the woman no differently than workers that have been contaminated by heavy metals, radioactive materials etc. in hope of clearing the mercury and possibly other compounds from her system.

    There’s also a profit motive with the major producers of the vaccines hoping to make as much as $25 per dose on this seasonal scam regardless of the H1N1 variant this flu season which is linked back to questionable sanitation practicies in a factory farm in Mexico that produces pork products for human consumption. They are probably still in business and engaged in the same unsanitary business practices too. Mucho dinero $$ can silence even the most vocal critics down Mexico way.

    Carl Nemo **==

  3. Carl Nemo

    Wow is all I can say Almandine! Thanks for the link.

    It seems we best know who our betters are…no?!

    Carl Nemo **==

  4. Sandra Price

    The flu season comes around regularly. I double my vitamins, get plenty of sleep and exercise and have never had the flu in my long life. I wash my hands before I leave the house and when I return. I am not mandating this for everyone (I’ve been accused of being a bully) I have never had a flu shot. When I worked for Hospice I learned how to clean my hands and was tested regularly for TB.

    Back in the late 60’s I insisted that the kid’s innoculations be done with no mercury and not all in one shot. We had tiny chihuahua and the vet did the same for them.

    This morning on “Meet the Press” they had an old film of our swine flu problem in 1977 and I’m certain people will relate this to today’s virus problem.

  5. Carl Nemo

    A few weeks back I had read an article about flu vaccines even being linked as a cause of Alzheimers in those people that have flu innoculations for a number of years. I don’t have access to the data, but this link sponsored by a Dr. Joseph Mercola who also sells a newsletter is somewhat informative.


    Like you Sandra I’ve never had a seasonal flu shot. Without getting into my health regimen I do believe in maintaining a healthy immune system. Products such a IgG concentrate; ie., immunoglobulin G, an immunogen stimulant, MSR-3 Mushroom polysaccharide complex and AHCC which boosts NK cell (natural killer cell) acitivy can all boost your system’s first line of defense along with the importance of maintaining a healthy colon through the use of probiotics etc. A host of these products are available from comprehensive vitamin sites, my favorite being Swanson’s out of Fargo, N.D. I have no financial interest in the company other than its my flagship source for all my vitamin needs. Great company, great products.

    Carl Nemo **==

  6. Sandra Price

    Thank you Carl. I have taken a look at Swanson’s and signed up for their emails. I normally visit my local health store here. Their prices are great.


  7. Carl Nemo

    My apologies Ms. Price for not replying sooner.

    What you’ll find at Swanson’s is not simply good pricing, but the fact that they offer the most comprehensive selection of supplements addressing different maladies associated with the human body.

    So like in any successful business, they offer “selection” at a great pricepoint.

    Just about any vitamin/herbal supplement that one can imagine is offered by their firm. They also have an amazing guarantee in that you are dissatisfied with their products in any way you can return them using a postpaid label provided by them to get a full refund. I’ve done this on several occasions and received by timely refund, no questions asked, no return authorization required…! : )

    Again, I have no vested financial interest in Swanson’s Vitamins. I guess when I’m enthused…I’m simply enthused! 😀

    Carl Nemo **==

  8. Warren

    Fear a “National Emergency” not for whatever the concocted ’emergency’ is, but for the power that the president has given himself, given that he declares it. Presidents for the past thirty years or so have been unilaterally giving themselves extra-constitutional power in the event that they declare an ’emergency’. These Executive Orders legitimize canceling the Constitution, instituting martial law, and rounding up civilians and putting them in detention centers. The list is scary, to say the least.

    Here’s a partial list of these Executive Orders at Canada Free Press. You may want to skip the first five paragraphs or so, which for some will be over the top. But, from there on the reading is worth it.

    It appears that Obama has declared this ’emergency’ under the National Emergencies Act and National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 51. These allow the President to institute martial law, use the military, and even suspend the Constitution.

    A more detailed article is here:

    And people think all Obama has done is authorize distribution of flu shots. He has just authorized himself to be dictator to whatever extent he chooses.


  9. Carl Nemo

    Hi Warren,

    Thanks for this expanded view of how a simple, seasonal flu epidemic could be manipulated in order to serve the interests of mattoids that are craven to turn the U.S. into a police state if it should suit their needs.

    The only thing stopping them is their love for money and a system that allows them to counterfeit money in an unchallenged fashion.

    To declare martial law in a frivolous manner would cause both domestic and international capital markets to crash wholesale. Regardless of how bad America’s financial and political paradigm have become we are still considered by many nations including our publicized enemies as planetary ballast in a world of potential storm induced instability.

    So for them to do so would create a domino effect that in the end would destroy their long term incrementally structured goal for one world order; ie., world government. They’ve been working at this for at least 100 years; ie., systematically troweling in the bricks of our future, societally engineered prison.

    At this point they seem to be slowly but surely softening the masses to the idea of serial to permanent national emergencies giving our national leadership defacto powers although not totally excercised, but still in place to be used for the control of citizens both judiciously and when they deem necessary.

    Carl Nemo **==