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No Obama Health Department, As Flu Hits

A rare bit of actual reporting from the Politico:

Pigs on a farm in eastern Germany. The United States has declared ...

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

By: Carrie Budoff Brown
April 26, 2009

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…

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.”

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.

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…

Now compare and contrast this with an email we from Soro’s paid stooges at MoveOn.org back in October 2005:

(Click to enlarge)

Subject: Tell your friends: Replace Simonson, Prepare for a Flu Pandemic

Dear friend,

Apparently the Bush administration did not learn anything from the Michael Brown/FEMA debacle. The Bush administration’s point man for a flu pandemic is another crony with no experience related to his job. Stewart Simonson, the Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has no public health management experience. He got his job because he is close with former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson.

Will you join me in urging the Bush administration to replace Simonson with a more obviously qualified person?


We can’t sit by and let another unqualified appointee put our public health at risk.


Back then, because of the lack of someone filling the seat of the Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness – we were all going to die.

But now it’s no problem.

And no one is citing Katrina or saying anything about how the Obama administration being unprepared.

Why is that?

And speaking of our watchdog media:

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.”

Just imagine the kind of questions Mr. Bush would have gotten from our one party media had he golfed during these darks days of the ‘recession,’ let alone at the brink of the latest plague scare.

Just imagine.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, April 27th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

22 Responses to “No Obama Health Department, As Flu Hits”

  1. proreason says:

    It’s not a problem because Dear Leader can fill the role until a suitable sychophanat without felonies in his criminal record can be located.

    After all, what could be more thrilling that having the precious leader of our country personally handle the greatest crisis since the last greatest crisis?

    • jobeth says:

      (Sorry, This should have been posted under the “US Declares ‘Emergency Preparedness’ thread…. :-( (My bad) )

      Ahhhh, The REAL reason for it all….

      From “The Nation”
      by John Nichols on 04/27/2009

      “When House Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey, the Wisconsin Democrat who has long championed investment in pandemic preparation, included roughly $900 million for that purpose in this year’s emergency stimulus bill, he was ridiculed by conservative operatives and congressional Republicans.

      “Obey and other advocates for the spending argued, correctly, that a pandemic hitting in the midst of an economic downturn could turn a recession into something far worse — with workers ordered to remain in their homes, workplaces shuttered to avoid the spread of disease, transportation systems grinding to a halt and demand for emergency services and public health interventions skyrocketing. Indeed, they suggested, pandemic preparation was essential to any responsible plan for renewing the U.S. economy.”

      Not to mention that EVEN ultra lib Shepard Smith just said it was like they are layering things, alerts, press releases, speeches from the Obalmy that it’s beginning to look like they are trying to divert us from seeing something else!

      Shepard Smith said that…Amazing.

    • proreason says:

      “The REAL reason ”


      So having allocated the money for a purpose that couldn’t be justified when the country was flush, they cover their arses as 900 million goes to relatively well-to-do labcoaters while 10% of the working class wonder where the next meal will come from

  2. Enthalpy says:

    If the President uses his usual selection process, the choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services ( free of felony conviction) should arrive on the second Tuesday of next week.

  3. MinnesotaRush says:

    “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.”

    1) This administration is unable to “be very clear” (or honest).
    2) Their “team” is no more capable from top to bottom than the Botswana Olympic Downhill Ski Team.

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    Lovely pic of Demoncratic Heads of Congress and the Senate, Piglosie / Greed.

    What shell is the pea under?

  5. Zilla says:

    Napolitano is speaking now. She is reading from prepared notes. Why would anyone write the word “uh” in their notes? It must be in there because she has used that word about 200 times. Must be some kind of demo catch phrase. I would think that a course in public speaking would be required for someone with that type of job.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      I’d be happy if she just did the damn job and shut the eff up.
      It appears to me she knows nothing on Homeland Security or Public Health or immigration or being a good American!

  6. canary says:

    The global stimulous money paid out to experimenting to lower “pig smells” has created an odorless toxin, when mixed with Mexico’s water, causes new illness.

  7. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    Fear not, everyone. They’re bringing Jocelyn Elders out of mothball and putting her back into active service. Just kidding. Lord I hope not.

  8. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    Yikes! I was hoping no one remembered that little gem of wisdom from Madame Elders. Conservatives definitely have a much better memory than they get credit for. Good one jobeth. I had thought of making the ‘Master of your domain’ remark but I chickened out. You’ve shown how it could be tactfully posted.

  9. So, what are you saying, Steve? That our MSM is biased, or something??

  10. pdsand says:

    “Asked if the president’s decision to golf Sunday at Andrews Air Force Base”. At least he is no longer too good for military accomodations at this point. Or maybe he was slumming.
    I guess Obama doesn’t have any brush to clear outside the old Chicago ranch?

  11. pdsand says:

    I’m sorry, the doctors and low-level employees of CDC, the military and the hospitals of this country will do the real work of organizing and responding to any flu epidemic. The employees and scientists of drug companies will do the work of producing vaccines. Doctors and nurses will treat the patients. And citizens of this country will wash their hands, and avoid contact with the sick.

    All of this will happen whether or not any cabinet level political appointees are chosen by the politician in the white house, or are ever confirmed by the politicians in the Senate. Any “response” on their part will be purely window dressing designed for the television.
    Obama and Sanjay Gupta could both drop dead tomorrow, and the real “team” that is in place in this country to respond to a flu epidemic will still be at 100%.

    • caligirl9 says:

      I’m a medical volunteer at the county response level and in the past two days I’ve received e-mail alerts/updates from the county EMS agency.

      Yes, the good people in the front lines, those who will be triaging sick people (and exposing themselves to the virus in the bargain) are on it, and we don’t need any of TOTUS’ talking heads’ saying how THEY have it under control.

      I predict a photo op of MO parading through a flu clinic, handing out flyers on how to deal with pandemics.

    • CGardner says:

      I can’t think of what the Surgeon General would do here, except to loan members of the Public Health Service out to state/local health departments. And Sebalius? Who needs a rookie lawyer during a health emergency?

      What no one is doing in the MSM is giving Bush a big “THANK YOU” for giving the public health agencies the capability of dealing with a health emergency in the post-9/11 era. All Obama and Napolitano had to do was to throw the switch, declare a “health emergency,” and the Bush system immediately went into effect. No panic, no fumbling or confusion, since public health agencies have been well-drilled. This is a description of what happened immediately in New York State:

      . . .All local health departments and 22,000 health care providers, including hospitals and physicians have been notified to be on heightened awareness for respiratory illness. Individuals with symptoms consistent with swine flu, particularly clusters of cases, will be promptly investigated for early detection and to minimize potential spread.

      DOH is advising hospitals and other health care providers on techniques to maximize protection of all staff and patients, and to promptly ship appropriate specimens to the DOH’s public health laboratory, the Wadsworth Center, which is preparing to receive an increased volume of respiratory specimens from suspected cases of swine flu. DOH has mobilized staff and is assessing its laboratory supplies necessary for flu testing as part of its surge capacity plan. Guidelines for testing, including safety precautions for personnel, will be circulated to all hospital and commercial laboratories who may receive specimens.

      DOH will work with CDC on developing guidance appropriate for the public and providers of New York State. The nationwide situation is rapidly evolving and guidance is subject to change. In addition, DOH is monitoring respiratory illness throughout the State by tracking emergency department visits for respiratory illnesses, as well as monitoring the volume of Medicaid prescriptions for Tamiflu and Relenza, which are used for treatment of flu.

      DOH is also setting up a toll-free number for New York State residents who have questions or concerns about swine flu. The hotline number is 1-800-808-1987. It will be available 24 hours a day, beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 26, 2009.


      Interesting how this is a system designed to contain the spread of the virus, while Obama and Napolitano have objected to doing anything about the border and incoming airline flights.

  12. Anonymoose says:

    Well thank goodness Obama isn’t a Republican, otherwise the media would say he was an unprepared idiot. But since he’s a Democrat we should all just chill out, it’ll be cool………right.

    • JohnMG says:

      …..”otherwise the media would say he was an unprepared idiot…..”

      So should we conclude that since he’s a democrat he’s a ‘prepared idiot’? Or just a run-of-the-mill, common, ordinary, everyday idiot? Either way…………..

  13. Barbie says:

    Well they need Kathleen Sebilius in place. Who knows when some pregnant woman will need a late term abortion because she has the sniffles? I mean, really…

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