SWINE FLU

Obama Team Preps for Pandemic

Even though President Obama says the swine flu outbreak is “not a cause for alarm,” top officials in the White House are on full alert and treating the disease as if it were already a pandemic. “We are proceeding as if we are preparatory to a full pandemic level,” says Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. Officials expect the flu to spread much more widely than it has so far in the U.S. and don’t want to be caught in a disaster of under-preparedness, as President Bush was in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina. Since 2005, the U.S. has stockpiled $1.5 billion worth of Tamiflu and Relenza, used to treat flu outbreaks.