President Obama has declared the N1H1 flu a national emergency. There are mixed feelings across the nation about Obama declaring a national emergency. By putting the N1H1 flu in the category of national emergency, it has given certain additional powers to the government.
Michael D. Shear and Rob Stein have put up an article in the Washington Post titled “President Obama declares H1N1 flu a national emergency.”
Why are some people happy about the move?
Apparently 95 children have already died from this strain of flu. It seems that pregnant women and children are at the highest risk and it would make sense that older people are as well.
The fact that 95 children have already died is a legitimate concern because that is already more than all children who die in a regular flu season.
In by-passing certain federal mandates it may help with the availability of vaccine and also allow less attention to protocol when treating people at hospitals.
Why are some people angry about the move?
Mandates are put in place for reasons including the health of people while being treated in a health care facility.
There is a concern about what other powers Obama may try and employ during a “national emergency.” This is a particularly prickly point right now because Obama’s rating has plummeted and he is failing at getting most of his programs passed.
Further it allows for changes in implementation of Medicare, Medicaid, and other disability programs.
Perhaps the greatest irritation comes from the wording causing great consternation. While there are 20,000 people that have been hospitalized with the flu, it is also true that it is a manageable flu.
The government said there would be about 40 million doses of vaccine and there have only been 16 million doses available at this point.
What does it mean to us, truly?
I can only offer my opinion. I think that it is an over-reaction by the Obama administration. I think they are looking bad because of the failure represented by the deliverance of so few doses of vaccine and this will give them a way to do so without having to “jump through hoops.”
As another benefit, the administration may get some powers that they can use to their advantage with respect to the health care debate.
There are two other possibilities.
This simply may have been the knee-jerk reaction of a young concerned president with two young daughters or, perhaps it was a wise pre-emptive strike to what could have become a terrible pandemic with tragic results.