Obama Declares Swine Flu a National Emergency

  1. WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency and empowered his health secretary to suspend federal requirements and speed treatment for thousands of infected people.

    The declaration that Obama signed late Friday authorized Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to bypass federal rules so health officials can respond more quickly to the outbreak, which has killed more than 1,000 people in the United States.

    The goal is to remove bureaucratic roadblocks and make it easier for sick people to seek treatment and medical providers to provide it immediately. That could mean fewer hurdles involving Medicare, Medicaid or health privacy regulations.

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  3. by   HonestRN
    Quote from Washington Post
    President Obama Saturday declared the H1N1 flu a national emergency, clearing the way for legal waivers to allow hospitals and doctors offices to better handle a surge of new patients.
    The proclamation will grant Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius the power to authorize the waivers as individual medical facilities request them, officials said.
    It says that Obama does "hereby find and proclaim that, given that the rapid increase in illness across the Nation may overburden health care resources and that the temporary waiver of certain standard Federal requirements may be warranted in order to enable U.S. health care facilities to implement emergency operations plans, the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic in the United States constitutes a national emergency."
  4. by   sirI
    Threads merged.
  5. by   HonestRN
    Quote from afludiary.blogspot

    This declaration doesn't appear to have come about due to any change in the virulence of the virus.

    Rather, this move is designed to clear the way for some emergency measures which become easier to implement once a declaration of a National Emergency has been made.
  6. by   meme048
    I was following the number of deaths in the US since this started. The cdc stopped reporting the number of deaths in the US on Sept 3rd. The number was 593 deaths at that time from April to Sept. 3rd. So now that it is flu season we've had 400- 450 deaths in a 1 1/2 months. It would be nice if they would contine to report it as healthcare workers. It would be nice to have that information.
  7. by   mcknis
    Nevertheless if the media would just broadcast info that is factual, we would all be in a better situation! According to multiple studies, death by the flu viruses has totaled 8,000 to 10,000 every year! 1,000 from the H1N1...ok, not near 10,000. Also, how long has H1N1 been around? No man can tell, why? Because we have not had a way to dx it. Even though I have been beaten down verbally by those I work with, i am not getting myself hyped up yet about this. Pharmaceutical companies want money, hence the reason for the H1N1 vaccine, and the media is playing it up to be the best thing since sliced bread, although in the package insert for the vaccine, in fine print however, is a note stating that this vaccine has not been tested on pregnant women, infants, children or those under 25 years of age (and this is the group they want vaccinated most). Funny? I think not! Definitely something to ponder...
  8. by   tulip928


    By PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press Writer Philip Elliott, Associated Press Writer - 1 hr 30 mins ago

    WASHINGTON - 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.
  9. by   sirI
    Threads merged.
  10. by   RNboston
    Finally! maybe people will start taking this pandemic seriously and the people that are completly uneducated will start looking at the stagering deaths, hospitalizations, rates of illness in the united states in comparison to previous years. Please don't down play this pandemic it is serious, real and has implications that are unknown for our health care system. This situation is unpredictable please the news is downplaying. The CDC has all press releases on website including articles on southern hemisphere's winter experience. Remember all statistics released are reset from aug. 30th and not counting deaths from patients not tested so influenza and pneumonia related dealths are over 3000! We have not gone through our flu season yet so to compare 36000 to current deaths is not relevant. Our season started October 4th...
  11. by   CASTLEGATES
    When I was in Thailand and got the swine flu (this was a few months ago) there were 300 cases that were doubling rapidly then they, too stopped counting.

    The deaths aren't too different than a regular bad outbreak, really. It's just that this can morph and they found tamiflu resistant strains in China (GHZ city I think)
  12. by   CityKat
    Personally, I find it appalling that they're requesting/recommending pregnant women and children get it first. Guinea pigs eh? I'm 9 months pregnant and both my midwife and OB told me NOT to get it b/c there hasn't been enough testing; and quite frankly, I wouldn't get it anyway. Too much media hype, too much attention being drawn to this instead of ways OTHER THAN a "shot" to protect you. How come we always think of "medicinal" ways to protect ourselves versus through other "non-medicinal" ways first? Have we ever thought about current medicines that already suppress peoples immune systems, thereby making them more susceptible to dying from the flu? Probably not. There are plenty of drugs that children are on (asthma inhalers) that already suppress their immune system, making them more susceptible to getting pneumonia b/c their own immune systems are already suppressed. I'm only throwing out one example.

    I smell profit over patient safety yet again. Yes, I'm a bit skeptical as I always am. Especially when we know there is such a LARGE profit to be made off of fear!
    Last edit by CityKat on Oct 25, '09
  13. by   RN1982
    I don't think this is a national emergency. More people have died from Influenza than H1N1. Anyhow, I'm not getting that vaccine. It hasn't been tested enough and I don't trust it.
  14. by   Charity
    Does anybody know how we are differentiating between H1N1 and the "regular" flu? If they have stopping doing confirmatory tests, do they do a prelim that can tell what kind? I seem to remember a friend whose daughter had it. They told her they could not give her an official diagnosis with the test they did, but that it was the same class (or something) as the H1N1, which differs from the current "regular" one going around. Do the symptoms differ?