President Barack Obama, joined by (from left) Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan, Education Secretary
Arne Duncan, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and CDC Director Tom Frieden, remarks on H1N1 preparedness while speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House Tuesday, September 1, 2009.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
The health and safety of the American public is the highest priority of President Obama and his administration. In preparation of the upcoming flu season, the President and his Cabinet have launched an all-hands-on-deck, H1N1 national preparedness and response strategy.
This strategy includes four pillars of public health: surveillance, mitigation, vaccination, and communications. The executive branch will partner with Congress, local governments, state and local health departments, and many others to make sure information and assistance are always close at hand for the American public.
Leaders from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other agencies are also preparing for a voluntary H1N1 vaccination program. All American families will have access to this highly-recommended prevention tool.
Finally, the government is calling on individuals and families to plan for the fall flu season and take steps to help prevent the spread of the H1N1 flu. President Obama explained the importance of involvement on all levels in his remarks in the
Rose Garden today:
For all that we do in the federal government, however, every American has a role to play in responding to this virus. We need state and local governments on the front lines to make antiviral medications and vaccines available, and be ready to take whatever steps are necessary to support the health care system. We need hospitals and health care providers to continue preparing for an increased patient load, and to take steps to protect health care workers. We need families and businesses to ensure that they have plans in place if a family member, a child, or a co-worker contracts the flu and needs to stay home.
And most importantly we need everyone to get informed about individual risk factors, and we need everyone to take the common-sense steps that we know can make a difference. Stay home if you’re sick. Wash your hands frequently. Cover your sneezes with your sleeve, not your hands. And take all the necessary precautions to stay healthy. I know it sounds simple, but it’s important and it works.