Pandemic

New Warrior in Flu Fight

Amidst the swine flu outbreak—and possible pandemic—President Obama has yet to fill the top 15 positions at the health department or name a full-time director for the Center of Disease Control, according to The Washington Post. But some relief is on the way, as the Senate is expected to confirm today Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Anti-abortion groups have been lobbying against her, but she is expected to earn the 60 votes needed this afternoon. The Associated Press writes “Sebelius would be the first of 20 HHS officials requiring Senate approval to clinch her job, so she'd be getting to work without much of a team.” In Sebelius’s absence, Department of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano has been leading the swine-flu response, although 20 of her senior-level posts are being temporarily filled by career civil-service employees.