Bush administration prepared for flu outbreak

Tevi Troy:

Swine flu has presented the Obama administration with its first major public-health crisis. Fortunately for the Obama team, the Bush administration developed new tools that will prove critical in meeting this challenge.

Under President Bush, the federal government worked with manufacturers to accelerate vaccine development, stockpiled crucial antivirals like Tamiflu, war-gamed pandemic scenarios with senior officials, and increased the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) sample identification capabilities. These activities are bearing fruit today.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has already deployed 12.5 million courses of antivirals -- out of a total of 50 million -- to states and local agencies. In addition, CDC's new capacities have allowed Mexican officials to send flu samples to CDC for quick identification, a capability that did not exist a few years ago. Collaboration between the government and the private sector on vaccines -- which Mr. Bush and his HHS team actively encouraged -- could potentially allow manufacturers to shepherd a vaccine to market within four months of identifying the strain and getting the go-ahead from CDC or the World Health Organization.

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There is more. This does not fit with the blame Republican theme of the Democrats. That may be why you have not see this information before. It is unlikely the Obama administration will ever give credit to the bush administration for doing anything so you may not hereabout it elsewhere.

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