October 24th, 2009
12:16 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama declares national emergency for H1N1 virus

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama declared a national emergency Saturday to deal with the "rapid increase in illness" from the H1N1 influenza virus.

The move allows the Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius "to temporarily waive or modify certain requirements" in order to help health care facilities enact emergency plans to deal with the "pandemic."

Those requirements are contained in the Medicare, Medicaid, and state Children's Health Insurance programs, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act privacy rule.

"The 2009 H1N1 pandemic continues to evolve. The rates of illness continue to rise rapidly within many communities across the nation, and the potential exists for the pandemic to overburden health care resources in some localities," Obama said in a statement.

"Thus, in recognition of the continuing progression of the pandemic, and in further preparation as a nation, we are taking additional steps to facilitate our response."

Filed under: H1N1 virus • President Obama • Swine Flu
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Dan in FL

    The critics here are really amazing. If production of the vaccine had been rushed, there would have been even more concern about it being unsafe. By taking the time to make sure the vaccine is safe, the government is criticized for not delivering it faster.

    October 24, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. unshrub

    I can't remember when I have read so many ill informed, ignorant, and a way to bash the president than with these responses. If enough people DON'T die than its Obama's fault for alarming everyone, and if too many people die it's his fault for not doing enough. The highlight of the poor excusses is the one who says he/she didn't get that sick so what's the big deal.

    October 24, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
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