April 26th, 2009
10:05 AM ET
9 years ago

Jarrett: Obama taking swine flu outbreak 'very seriously'

Jarrett is one of the president’s top advisors.

Jarrett is one of the president’s top advisors.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett told CNN Sunday the president takes the swine influenza outbreak "very seriously," as the White House announced an afternoon briefing to provide an update on efforts to keep the disease from spreading to the United States.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and acting CDC director Dr. Richard Besser will speak at 12:30. The State Department is also involved in tracking efforts.

This week, isolated cases of the illness were reported in at least three states. The swine flu has stricken more than a thousand and been blamed for more than 80 deaths in Mexico over the past few weeks.

Filed under: State of the Union • Swine Flu
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. simonsays

    I guess it's not just workers, drugs, and gang members that cross the Mexican border.

    April 26, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  2. Fitz in Texas

    Well, like I said in another posting if Obama takes this swine flu "very seriously" then why doesn't he order the boarder closed...NOW!!!! And, as I stated before, if you bleeding heart liberals think that's such a bad idea, well, I have a suggestion. We'll gather all the sick and send them up to the most liberal states and let YOU take care of them starting with the state Janeane Garofalo lives in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so sick and tired of this crap (bleeding heart liberals) I could scream. I want my family and country (American Citizens) taken care of FIRST then we'll worry about everyone else.

    April 26, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  3. ib

    To Fritz in Texas: Amen; no one could say it better.

    April 26, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  4. Carl

    Fritz in texas shut up and you leave the country that would be better.

    April 26, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  5. Brian

    I have confidence Obama is on top of this potential epidemic.

    After all, HE'S NOT FROM TEXAS!

    April 26, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  6. "bleeding heart liberal"

    Fitz in Texas: if you're such a genius, try spelling "boarder" correctly next time.

    April 26, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  7. chris

    maybe if you knew how to spell 'border,' conservatives wouldn't be seen as ignorant and uneducated extremists

    April 26, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  8. P. Y.

    I think until this thing is over we should close the borders. It is no guarantee but it would probably help.
    By doing that though, what about all the food we get from Mexico ? I personally never buy food IF I KNOW that it comes from Mexico, or China for that matter. I like fruits and vegs in season, not all year long coming in from other countries.

    April 26, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  9. jan

    This is like watching a middle school dance. We have paid a great deal of money for the DJ (pandemic plans) and now everyone is standing around waiting for someone else to make the first move. The opportunity for containment passed as the experts watched.

    April 26, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  10. The black spider

    @ Fitz In Texas

    Use your Brain before you post.
    You want the border closed? Wow do you think only people cross the border on the daily bases?
    What will say if the price of some goods sky rocketed in Texas? This shows how the right wing nuts think.
    Irrational thinking is what is dooming your party.

    April 26, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  11. Karina

    Being from a border state to Mexico, I agree, close the border now and travel to and from for a while to contain this before it really gets out of control. Also, I don't believe anybody when they are telling us that pork meat is safe to eat right now. Cross contamination is a real problem when cooking even under most regular circumstances, never mind the fact that something out there originating from pigs is now jumping from one person to another. Better safe than sorry later.

    April 26, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  12. Rush Bush

    Close the Texas border(s) – the borders with New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

    April 26, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  13. Elizabeth

    As a "bleeding heart liberal", I agree, close the borders and issue a travel advisory for Mexico. This is not a time to mess around with this issue. This could potentially kill a massive amount of people. If we were really addressing the issue, we would contain the disease and stop worrying about the economic impact that it would have (that is why most people argue it to be open, which isn't very "liberal" in my eyes!). The more it spreads the harder it will be to treat the mutated strains.

    April 26, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  14. Denise

    The world is no longer about just borders,if anyone thinks that closing one border is going to stop something like this from spreading they must be forgetting shipping,air travel,tourism etc. If one country has a problem we all do, that's why it's called a pandemic.

    April 26, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  15. Observation

    Fitz in Texas – Why do so many of you (so called conservative republicans) believe that all liberals are proponents of unchecked illegal immigration????? I am a liberal democrat and am against ILLEGAL immigration. Following bush's speech about "imminent amnesty" a few years back, the number of illegals increased very dramatically in CA. I tried writing to my political reps (including republican gov. & pres. without so much as a courtesy reply). In frustration, I finally moved from my home state.

    In short, I don't think that this is a totally partisan issue. And I don't think that people who haven't lived in border states have any idea of how out of control things really are.

    April 26, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  16. Jax

    Clsoe the borcder with Mexico before it is too late. Once it gets going in Third World Mexico, panicked campesinos will storm the border as no health care is available down there. Obama fiddles while Rome burns!

    April 26, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  17. James

    well, many years ago, when you arrived at ellis island and you were sick – GO BACK TO FROM WHERE YOU CAME.
    same applies here. until this thing is contained, close the mexican border.

    April 26, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  18. Ken in NC

    I agree that the border with Mexico to stem the flow of this virus to this country but it kind of closing the barn door after the horse has left the barn. We should close the borders to people and imports until this virus can be brought under control. Yes foods grown in Mexico are also a source of contamination too so no food imports. Yes, that will drive the cost of our foods higher but the question is as simply put as this. DO YOU WISH TO RISK THE INCREASED CHANCE OF SICKNESS AND OR DEATH FOR CHEAP FOOD? My response is NO. We need to get back to growing and harvesting our own food in this country. That is a vital part of our economy. As far as foreign workers is concerned, when unemployment is down to 3 or 4% for a period of not less than 6 months, then we should allow a limited number of workers into this country.

    April 26, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  19. Leslie

    PROTECT YOURSELF, buy a mask. The mask must be N95, you can get it in Walmart and other stores near you.


    April 26, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  20. mk

    Secretary of Health not confirmed; CDC only acting; serious, come on? Who is in charge?

    April 26, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  21. Tee

    I consider myself liberal and I say close the boarder,- like a week ago already! And I live in Georgia.This swine flu has been a news by-line for at least a week now (so it may already be too late for some). I would rather pay more for itiems that may come from there (in reality I will be doing without items that originate from there-tight budget right now) rather than have the multitudes lose out on income from being sick( and we all know the multitudes are going to be the poor and underprivliged who cannot afford to buy face masks before the government starts giving them out or stay in or off of public transportation). This virus is going to cost. I would rather people pay more for goods that will have to now come from the U.S. only than we make the makers of Tamiflu rich. Anyhow, maybe it will only be a few days/weeks that we would have to keep it closed (my optimistic side always shows lol)!

    April 26, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  22. Leslie

    I agree with other posters here, our border with Mexico MUST be close. Trucks from Mexico must not be allowed to enter USA. Stay away from eating raw veggies. Wash fruits real well before eating them.

    April 26, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  23. The third little pig

    The closing our borders to prevent the spread of a pandemic is useless. Now it looks like the swine flu has shown up in New Zealand. Don't tell me you think that's a border issue too. The proper course of action is to stop panicking, immunize and wash our hands. Closing the gates, building walls and halting air travel is waste of time, because the disease is already here. Besides, we are a nation that likes to tear down borders and walls, because we believe that all people should be able to travel uninhibited. As for the term "bleeding heart liberal," all that means is that the person so labeled is kind instead of selfish. This derisive term is a badge of honor for those to whom it is applied and a self portrait of fanaticism and intolerance to those who use it. The United States of American is not selfish. In times of great need, we have reached out and crossed many borders, even at our own peril.

    April 26, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  24. obamamama

    Closing the border is ridiculous...wash your hands frequently, eat a healthy diet and get enough rest. Staying away from crowds not a bad idea either. And did I mention wash your hands frequently?

    April 26, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  25. Anonymous

    The swine flu has originated from people who traveled over a border to the neighboring country of Mexico. simple, take away the option of travel to that country and control the outbreak or continue to allow people to carry this virus over our borders and deal with a epidemic.Keeping a border open that 1000's of people cross daily is irresponsible of the US government. Would you feel as strongly about closing the border if this virus had originated in Canada? I think not.

    April 26, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
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