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. today

    I'm glad our President is taking this flu outbreak seriously, he will do everything he can to protect America.

    April 26, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  2. What does "take it seriously" mean???

    They are actually doing nothing-just talk as usual. Who's developing the vaccine? Nobody. This White House will go down in history as the "waffle and do nothing" administration.

    April 26, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. Bart Stampley

    What Did Obama know and when did he know it. I want to see the PDB on this outbreak. This will be 0's Katrina, heckuva job Browine...

    April 26, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  4. Ryan

    People need to calm down. Swine flu is totally treatable y'know.

    The 80 deaths were people with no access to medical attention or predisposed to a weak immune system already.

    This is why funding preventative medicine is important. Something the GOP systematically fought against by banning stem cell research (as an example).

    At least it's hurting Texas and not the smarter states.

    April 26, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  5. gee

    Obama will just say whatever to please people. You cannot close the borders, hahaha, that is so funny. I am from El Paso, people living in Juarez and coming to ElP can bring the virus with them.

    I think the best thing to do is just to not shake hands, no kissie like we like to do and pray that we don't catch it and NOT be thinking about it , cause where you attention is, there you are...

    April 26, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. joe

    I for one welcome this pandemic. Kill off a couple million people worldwide. It will indiscriminately help the overpopulation problem.
    Before you ask, I don't mind if I am one of the sick/dead.

    April 26, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  7. Bobo

    Too late to close the border nice try. Educate yourself, If you get flu symptoms, go to the Dr. case closed.

    April 26, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  8. Leslie

    Felipe Solis, a museum anthropologist in Mexico died from symptom of FLU; he died the following day after meeting Obama.

    April 26, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  9. James(Iowa)

    Caring only about your own self is the surest way to insure our collective destruction. Why must we still play nationality games at this point in history? Are we still this ignorant? (Rhetorical question I know)

    April 26, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  10. thetruth

    we should not be so quick to dismiss the sentiment at the heart of Fritz's argument. which is, that recently we are increasingly being exposed to nature's wrath from foreign born illnesses. How many times do we hear in the news about chemicals, cuasing many deaths, woven into the very toys we give our children to play with coming from China. Also there are food posioned germ/viral strains found in the following : tainted letteuce, tainted jalepeno peppers, tainted tomatoes, tainted fruit, tainted pigs...all coming from abroad. I think the fear eminates from reports that suggest, "Mexican workers" in and out the U.S. are handling these foods in plants which might not practice safe FDA standards. Or because safe standards are not enforced from the countries where we get these food products. It may or may not be fair to single out Mexicans or the Chinese as a whole, but what do we do to protect the U.S.?

    April 26, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  11. Tann in Georgia

    One of the unfortunate side effects of a steady diet of partisan TV is the idea that all complex problems have simple, finite solutions. As past pandemics demonstrate, blaming one group of people or even closing borders is no solution. Blame the foreigner, close the borders, criticize the political leadership...sounds like faux noise.

    April 26, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  12. angrysob in VA

    Good to here he's taking something seriously. Can't wait to hear how he'll blame this on the previous administration. I'm sure Gibbs will try to make some sort of connection.

    I feel so much better now that Napolitano is going to speak. She'll blame this on Conservatives some how. We'd be better off if we had a rent-a-cop as head of DHS. She never even completed the security plan for AZ while she was Gov.

    April 26, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  13. Observation

    Third Little Pig – The New Zealand cases were teacher(s) and students who had just returned from a trip to Mexico.

    April 26, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  14. Curled up in a ball

    I hope Obama doesn't call martial law and suspend the constitution. Oh that's right, he already has.

    April 26, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. Annie

    We should all stay calm yet be smart about preventing this virus playing the blame game doesn't help the situation!

    April 26, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. banks

    hey texas ur governor wanted to seperated from the rest of the states now is ur time you extremists republican hahahaha

    April 26, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  17. Jack

    Curled up in a ball, what are you talking about? Obama suspended the constitution!? Where the hell have you been the last eight years?

    April 26, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. Scott AZ

    Now do you liberals want open borders with Mexico? The next illegal you run into might very well give you or your family the swine flu.

    April 26, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  19. K. Iwi

    Mexico MUST close its border with New Zealand immediately. That will stop this pandemic dead in its tracks.

    April 26, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  20. Sean Chong

    Sad to see some of the contributors either watched too many Fox News (Hannity to be exact) or they're trying to win the day back for the Republicans without considering much for this country.

    April 26, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  21. Mike

    I have no doubt whatsoever that our President cares about our well-being and is taking this outbreak seriously. This statement by Jarret is a strong sign that this administration will not sit back and wait to respond to crises (like Hurricane Katrina).

    I agree with Annie... we need to pay attention to this threat and remain calm. When you talk to people about it, try not to spread fear and doomsday forecasts, remember that none of the reported US cases have been fatal. Be smart.

    April 26, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  22. chuck

    CNN is putting human beings to sleep on Sunday Mornings with John King. His show has no taste.

    April 26, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  23. N. E. Ocon

    Let's not forget who who granted immunity to illegals: Ronald Reagan. Or who started this latest go 'round of illegal problems: George W. Bush. The problems have been caused by right-wing nut, neocon Republicans. Same ones responsible for the economic meltdown, torture, anti-American sentiment worldwide. Thank God we have Obama to rescue us from the messes of the right ! !

    April 26, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  24. joe

    "watched too many fox news" does not make grammatical sense.
    That being said, this pandemic is nothing to worry about.
    More important diseases are:
    Common Cold
    Smallpox(if it gets out again)
    Bubonic Plague

    April 26, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  25. The Broker.

    I'd give him three doses, he needs it...

    April 26, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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