The good news is that the current strain of H1N1 can be defeated by a course of antiviral treatment that we already have on hand. We began this week with 50 million courses of this treatment in the Strategic National Stockpile. Over the course of the last few days, we have delivered one-quarter of that stockpile to states so that they are prepared to treat anyone who is infected with this virus. We then purchased an additional thirteen million treatments to refill our strategic stockpile.Transcript here...
Out of an abundance of caution, I have also asked Congress for $1.5 billion if it is needed to purchase additional antivirals, emergency equipment, and the development of a vaccine that can prevent this virus as we prepare for the next flu season in the fall.
The Recovery Act that Congress enacted in February also included expansions of community health centers, a dramatic increase in the training of health care workers and nurses, and $300 million for the development and deployment of vaccines – all of which will help us meet this threat.
Finally, thanks to the work that the last administration and Congress did to prepare for a possible avian flu pandemic in 2005, states and the federal government have fully operable influenza readiness plans and are better prepared to deal with such a challenge than ever before.
The former Poet Laureate of the United States has a cool gig at the Audubon Park Zoo in New Orleans:
Over the next three years, I'll be working with the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans on a project sponsored by Poets' House. We'll be placing poems in installations around the zoo, as a way of centering attention on the relationship between human beings and the rest of the world.
Turnip roots at the Georgia House...
Paul Krugman explains that opponents of action on global warming practice junk economics. Taking action does create new costs, but they are minimal compared to the benefits, even the short term economic benefits:
To put it another way, a commitment to greenhouse gas reduction would, in the short-to-medium run, have the same economic effects as a major technological innovation: It would give businesses a reason to invest in new equipment and facilities even in the face of excess capacity. And given the current state of the economy, that’s just what the doctor ordered...
Rushbo Stupidism of the Week: It was quite a week for Rushbo, casting racist aspersions on President Obama's grandfather, questioning the President's love of country because he didn't go along with torture, and accusing him of deliberately assaulting the economy. At the end of the day, though, I had to go with Rushbo's uproarious assessment of the next Supreme Court justice:
We need a teenage single mother who's gay, is a lesbian, who's dirt poor, African-American, and disabled. Or, if we can't find that person, we need a bigger Supreme Court. So, you're going to find -- I'm sure we can find in any blue city a poor, minority teenage mother who can barely get around -- disabled, lesbian, had the kid with surrogacy or artificial insemination. I'm sure we can find them. You know they're all over the place. We can find one. Whether they're qualified to be on the court doesn't matter, because their qualifications -- Obama just said what they are.