April 27th, 2009
10:24 AM ET
9 years ago

Obama: Swine flu outbreak cause for 'concern,' not 'alarm'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Monday that the swine flu outbreak is a "cause for concern and requires a heightened state of alert," but is not a "cause for alarm."

He added that the federal government is "closely monitoring" emerging cases and had declared a public health emergency as a "precautionary tool to ensure that we have the resources we need at our disposal to respond quickly and effectively."

The president said he is receiving regular briefings on the outbreak, and that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will provide regular updates
to the public.

Obama made his remarks during a speech to the National Academy of Sciences.


soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Fair is Fair

    Maybe... just MAYBE... if we secure our Southern border, there would be fewer illegals bringing this "gift" with them.

    April 27, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  2. FreeNLovIt

    Again, we're immune to flu and our bodies are prepare for war. We'll be okay. We live in states where one day it's 90 degrees and the next day it's 30 degrees. WE can handle it. Right now, we shouldnt be scared. The governmetn just needs to partner up with Walgreens and ask Walgreens or Walmart to give away free FLU drugs for people that do not have health insurance and then we'll be okay.

    (I was fortunate last year my brother was sick with the flu and had a few drops of leftover flu YUMMY medicine and I drank the last drop and it saved me.)

    April 27, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  3. C W

    Obama/mama: You should ask your friend to stay home for a few days – flu takes about 48 hours before you start showing symptoms, and a person is most contagious right before those symptoms appear.

    Also, why is no one saying where in Mexico these outbreaks are? Folks who've recently returned from Mexico with the flu (in New York, New Zealand, etc.) – where were they vacationing? I've heard it was Mexico City, but I'm wondering if the resort areas have also been affected?

    That kind of detail would be helpful.

    April 27, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. FreeNLovIt

    We shouldnt close the border or shut Mexico off. Imagine if we all have to move to Mexico because of meteor showers and Mexico shut its borders. Make friends not enemies. We should narrow in on the SICK, regardless of race and contain them until they are healed.

    April 27, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. KLK

    The more successful the person, the more vicious the haters. Keep up the good work Mr. President. Keep being hateful wingnuts.

    April 27, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  6. Ray Fisher

    I simply hate to hear the old "See your doctor" routine because my doctor's house has been foreclosed and it takes a month to get an appointment anyway. I'll see the ER or urgent care if I need anything as my doctor is AWOL most of the time!!!

    April 27, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  7. How would Obama know....

    its not a cause for alarm--is he a researcher at the CDC--does he know that a similar strain of swine flu killed 50 million people in 1918-and that it came in 3 waves-one in the spring and two in the following winter and that each one was worse--I know very little but its more than he knows-

    April 27, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  8. Ann

    if he says so...

    April 27, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  9. Jeff from Atlanta

    Luckily GWB has put into place a program to combat a global epidemic just is case.
    obama is too busy having photo ops to be prepared for something like this.

    April 27, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  10. Simmy

    Many students that were warned not to go to Mexico on Spring Break went any way....I hope that none of them are responsible for any of the cases in the US.....

    It astounds me how many want the President to become someone he is not, by showing panic, as opposed to remaining calm. He went through a block buster fight with candidates and never lost his cool. He survived rumors and accusations, to become #44 of the US. WIthout a doubt, he is THE ONE with the best temperament for these times. God bless America.....Pray without ceasing....Be calm...

    April 27, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. Tell that to.....

    the families of the 102 people who have already died in Mexico.

    April 27, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  12. Nothing kills millions of people like influenza....

    you better be alarmed.

    April 27, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  13. cj

    It's the flu. Come on you wimps, free flu durgs for those who don't have insurance. Come on! Who uses their insurance for flu remedies that dont work any way. Give me a break mooche FreenLove

    April 27, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. Jackie in Dallas

    What on earth makes you guys think that swine flu comes from Mexico?? We've had periodic outbreaks of it here since at least 1976. It mutated from a virus found in pigs (hence the name "swine flu"), and could actually be the same flu virus that caused the flu pandemic in 1918 that killed thousands. Yes, it is true that it is found in Mexico (where yearly people DIE from it) and South America, but it is also found in China, and all over the US and Canada, even in areas with little to no emigration (legal or otherwise) from Mexico. Where it originated, we will never know at this point.

    President Obama is doing the correct thing, in that he is not spreading alarm, just information. The latest outbreaks here have not led to deaths because we tend to vaccinate fairly effectively once an outbreak is suspected. I really wish that you guys would stop politicizing EVERY SINGLE TOPIC. Considering that universal health care would make it more feasible for everyone to get vaccines, it could be instrumental in STOPPING pandemics. However, since his health care plan has not been adopted as of yet, it is a bit premature to be blaming a flu epidemic on it! Especially since there IS no epidemic yet.

    Get a life, guys - and buy a clue. Millions of middle and lower income families, including millions that pay taxes and are doing the work that most of you won't lower yourself to do because it doesn't pay well enough, desperately need health coverage. I'm a full-time employee with a "health plan," well, at least my company calls it that. It means I have to spend at least $2800 before it starts covering anything other than serious emergencies, and didn't cover anything on my recent abscessed tooth and subsequent root canal - and that doesn't count toward my deductable either. It isn't socialized medicine when we provide it for our military and their dependents, or our prison inmates. We are the only industrialized nation in the world left without some sort of universal health care, and even a lot of 3rd world countries have it. But you guys would rather cling to your outmoded and inane arguements than consider actually looking at the facts.

    April 27, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  15. FreeNLovIt

    To CW

    I was watching CNN last night and they showed these silly high school teenagers partying in Cancun.

    To all

    My friend told me that she bought a air purifier or whatever it's called and brought it into her office and she was the only one that WAS not sick with the flu LAST YEAR. I think our GOVERNMENT needs to have every internaltional public space install these air purifiers to kill germs. Planes need it and plane terminals, buses and trains BADLY need them. AIR PURIFIER for EVERYONE!!!!!!

    April 27, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  16. Terry in Iowa

    And again, the far right looks to misinformation, fear and panic to feed their frenzy.

    President Obama, thank you for calmly and intelligently managing this current crisis. I have the utmost confidence that through your outstanding leadership, we will be kept well informed and directed as necessary.

    Although we may not always agree, “Real” Americans support you. Keep up the great work.

    April 27, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  17. Baze

    Concern, not alarm? Way to split hairs Barack.

    April 27, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. RJ

    You know, as a near-Republican I don't really care for the cause for panic, BUT I live in Texas and one county over from some of the closed schools, so I am VERY cautious. But, I would like to point out the hypocrisy of everybody criticizing Bush 43 for playing golf after 9/11 only to find out that while the WH is handling this crisis, where's Obama? Playing golf. This makes me sick and frustrated with ALL politicians, regardless of the party. Now I'm independent. Makes me sick. People who attack other people. I'm sick of it. Can I have a President who is busy running the country, not running the greens? Can I have a President who is on TV calming and assuring me its going to be okay? I guess not. I've seen failures from both parties. If I'm sick, I'm sick of all this political nonsense. I like Obama and I like Bush, but I'm just tired of both parties now. Can't someone handle it? I'm not looking for panic or an alarm, I'm looking for leadership and guess what-I SEE NONE!

    April 27, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. A New Day

    It Costs too much to go check if I have it or not,, I'll settle for the mask

    April 27, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  20. Little Miss Sunshine

    The reason the Department of H&HS called for the public health emergency is so that people can be alert and vigilant, so that it doesn't spread any more than it has. Right now ... 20 people in this country have had it. Only one has been serious enough that they have had to hospitalized and all 20 have recovered from it. If you have symptoms, as long as you get treatment within the first 48 hours, you will most likely be okay. A large portion of the people in Mexico that have had it, have died from it and the reason the people that died from it in Mexico was because didn't seek treatment until it was too late. People here are getting treatment immediately. There is absolutely no reason to panic and the Obama administration was right to call it a public health emergency (as I said, so that people can be more alert and vigilant), but to tell people not to worry (once again, as I said there are ONLY 20 cases (not many at all when you think about the number of people in this country) and all of those people have now recovered).

    Everyone that is freaking out about this, just needs to relax. Most of you will probably never get this and if by some chance you do, you will most likely be perfect fine.

    April 27, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  21. jenn

    No one in the US has died from the disease, and few have become appreciably ill. Yes, people have died in Mexico, but there is no way to tell what % of the infected actually died–lots of people may have had the disease but never sought testing or medical care. People die from the flu every single year all over the world, so the deaths in Mexico may not be out of the ordinary.

    The swine flu may or may not be any more dangerous than the average strain of the flu. Obama is quite right to take a cautious but not panicked approach. But of course the right wing will find fault no matter what he does....heck, if he personally developed a vaccine and gave it away for free and saved America's children, they'd still find something to whine about.

    April 27, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  22. J-S-U-99

    What on earth makes you guys think that swine flu comes from Mexico?? We've had periodic outbreaks of it here since at least 1976, it is a good thing to know your histort before you start talking about something you know nothing about.

    April 27, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  23. J-S-U-99

    What on earth makes you guys think that swine flu comes from Mexico?? We've had periodic outbreaks of it here since at least 1976, it is a good thing to know your histort before you start talking about something you know nothing about.

    Do all the things you do if you just had the FLU

    1. Wash your hands with hot water

    2. Cover your mouth when you cough

    3. Do not eat behind anyone.

    April 27, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  24. obama/mama

    They should just offer each American some type of shot just in case.

    April 27, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  25. Mississippi Mike

    Nothing to see here folks. Illegal immigrants from Mexico brought this disease to our country so you are racist if you have a problem with getting terribly sick from a disease whose spread should have been stopped at our southern border. Plus, the ultra-competent (sarcasm intended) Janet Napolitano will be monitoring this situation with the same keen eye that missed the objectionable parts of the threat assessment posed by radical conservatives and that discovered that Canada is the source of terrorists in our country. I'll sleep safer knowing that Obama and his DHS secretary are watching out for me.

    April 27, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
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