April 28th, 2009
03:25 PM ET
5 years ago

President asks Congress for funds to fight swine flu

President Obama also suggested the supplementing of anti-viral stockpiles, and assisting international efforts to stem the outbreak could be good uses of the funds.
President Obama also suggested the supplementing of anti-viral stockpiles, and assisting international efforts to stem the outbreak could be good uses of the funds.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Obama is asking Congress for $1.5 billion to fight the current swine flu outbreak.

In a letter to lawmakers on Capitol Hill, the president made the request "at an abundance of caution," and said the funds should be "provided with maximum flexibility to allow us to address this emerging situation."

He also suggested the supplementing of anti-viral stockpiles, and assisting international efforts to stem the outbreak could be good uses of the funds. He added that his administration has "carefully been monitoring the situation, coordinating state and local responses, assessing the risk here in the United States and cooperating with international organizations and health officials around the globe."

Robert Gibbs, Obama's press secretary, read the letter to reporters at the beginning of Tuesday's White House press briefing.


Filed under: President Obama • Swine Flu
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Moderate Democrat

    Oh no...don't spend money helping people in america...that's bad. What will cure the swine flu is Tax Cuts...tax cuts cure everything.

    BTW People, by definition...the government spends the peoples money, by definition. Bush spent a butt load on illegal wars. Atleast this guy is spending it on REAL problems rather then the tooth fairy (WMD's).

    April 28, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. Lisa, Saugus MA

    So is this the time for alarm now that we are way past concerned. I mean 1.5 BILLION for some 20 people who have the flu. That is $50 million per person. That must be some vaccine!

    April 28, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. Joe in NJ

    I have no problems with Obama requesting money for this. However, if you are going to request 1.5 billion, please already have a plan in place on how the money will be spent and not merely suggestions.

    April 28, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. Lauren

    >>>>>and assisting international efforts to>>>>> stem the outbreak >>>>>could be good uses of the funds. He

    In other words, lets send a billion or so to Mexico to all the drug lords and drug runners will not get sick before they cross into our country with illegal drugs.

    Why dont we spend that 1.5 billion on health care for people losing jobs in the USA,,,,,

    April 28, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. AndyL

    @enlighted voter
    Maybe he can use the monies in his "photo ops" fund

    April 28, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  6. JML

    LOL, GOP'ers (right-to-lifers) are against this...............................WHY? They only are interested in Upper-income to extream-wealthy folks living everyone else dosen't deserve to stay alive. What a JOKE!

    April 28, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    It's going to be hilarious when this thing goes pandemic in 6 months after the expected lull, and suddenly everyone in this commentary section who had knee-jerk criticism of Obama for this request is glad he made it.

    April 28, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. jp,michigan

    Close the boarders. It takes 5-7 day to know if you have the flu, people who enter the USA may not be sick when they cross but could become sick once their here. Use common sense when making decision about American lives!

    April 28, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  9. Mississippi Mike

    Use some of the dang bailout money you've already gotten. Why is the answer always to spend more money? Don't we already have funding for this type of thing?

    April 28, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  10. Ghost

    I gotta admit, 1.5 billion does seem like alot on money. I'd like to hear how serious this is 1st.

    April 28, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    The only reason GOPers don't care about it yet is because it isn't effecting them, just Mexicans. At least that's how they see it. You see, Mexicans deserve it and have it coming to them as far as the GOP is concerned because they're all "illegals" and drug dealers in their simplified version of reality.

    April 28, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  12. Enlightened Voter

    Liberal and Proud of It dot com – btw i am a staunch PROUD LIBERAL DEM also. YOur post was oh so true how they think. they, the rethugs, conservatives and lush limpaugh listeners have no compassion, no ideas and no solutions. They didn't mind gwb rebuilding Iraq yet they have a huge problem with President Obama taking care of America. I wonder if they are anti american???

    April 28, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. gary

    Money takes care of everything what a joke. Keep the sickness in Mexico and dont let them over here spreading their illness. Between the drug cartels and flu's they know how to hurt us. The answer is legalize pot and there wouldn't be so much killings.Nope Government couldn't make money off of it that way.

    April 28, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. Candy West Virginia

    Mississippi Mike – no we don't have money set aside for this, the repugs made sure spending for a pandemics was TAKEN OUT of the budget. That is a FACT, go look it up.

    April 28, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. mj

    WATCH OUT!! SOCIALIZED MEDICINE IS ON THE WAY. THIS SITUATION WILL BE POLITICIZED BY THOSE WITH AN AGENDA. AND NOTCIE HOW CALIFORNIA IS THE FIRST ONE. COULD BE THAT IT IS BEING BROUGHT IN FROM MEXICO.

    April 28, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. DaBird

    It's called the swine flu stimulus package. Half the money gets funneled to ACORN.

    April 28, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. Enlightened Voter

    AndyL : you still didn't answer the question – would you rather President Obama spend the money in Iraq rather than the US of A????? Also the repugnacians took out funding for a pandemic and they still voted against the bill.

    April 28, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  18. Paul, Riverside CA

    Any idiot here that thinks it does not cost that much either has No High School Diploma, or is a Republican.

    GOP = FAIL!!!

    April 28, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. P. Y.

    Obama asked for this money in the original stimulus plan but the Repugs wanted no part of that, so, they voted it down. He wouldn't have to ask for it now if the Repugs hadn't done that.

    April 28, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  20. Bill

    I'd like to see the rational for the money and exactly what $1.5 Billlion dollars is going to be spent on. We've got a few cases of the flu in this country and no fatalities, yet once again Obama plays the fear card and asks for huge sums of money. It's time for some transparency. What will the money be spent on??? Be specific please, i.e. not just to "Fight the flu""

    April 28, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. Melissa

    More Money? Wow... who thought of that! I am sure the govt is behind the whole outbreak......Time for depopulation...

    April 28, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  22. Tom

    Of course, more spending, and then the admin can tell us what medicine to take, when to take it, how to take it, and who is eligible to take it. Why? Because when they spend money they think they get to make all the decisions. A government built on power to the people is changing (willingly and sadly) to power to the bureaucrats.

    April 28, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. Donna from Colorado Springs

    The president wouldn't have to ask congress for money to fight the swine flu if funding hadn't been removed by some holier than thou republicans from the stimulus package! They had better hope that this mess doesn't become an epidemic! Republicans whining cause nothing but trouble because they don't want any extra money to help anybody but themselves! They never learn!

    April 28, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. Bob in Pa

    The current outbreak ? There is no outbreak except in the media.
    40 reported cases in the US, none of which are hospitalized.
    There should already be money in the Dept of Health’s budget for a disease outbreak. Why more money ? What’s he going to do send our money down south ?

    April 28, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  25. Opinion

    I'd sure like just a tiny bit of this money so that I can afford to see my oncologist and get the recommended CT scan done. $18,000/year is too much income for medicaid, and I haven't been disabled by the cancer long enough, nor am I old enough, to be eligible for medicare.

    Re the swine flu pandemic, why did MX keep this under their hat for so long? Also, why do I get the feeling that a substantial portion of the 1.5 B will be sent over the border?

    April 28, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
1 2 3 4