Remarks by Secretary Napolitano at the H1N1 Influenza Summit [July 9, 2009]   [open pdf - 52KB]

This Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Press Release presents the remarks made by Secretary Janet Napolitano at the H1N1 Influenza Preparedness Summit on July 9, 2009. Secretary Napolitano makes the following points in her remarks: "Now, what does the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have to do with the flu? The fact of the matter is that we've had a lot. Here's the way it's set up. It is under what's called [Homeland Security Presidential Directive] HSPD-5. The director of Homeland Security is what's called the principal federal official. What does that mean? Well, what that means is that we know the Department of Health and Human Services has to lead all the public health and science aspects of a flu epidemic; and, that's why it's so important that we work our issues through in terms of vaccine, vaccine distribution, analysis of the kind of flu that we're seeing and the like. But, if there truly is a pandemic of serious proportion, it affects many, many other things. It affects schools. It affects the workplace. It affects our ability to provide national security in a variety of ways. It affects continuation of government and a continuation of operations within the private sector. And so the plan--to be able to do that under a scenario where you could be experiencing high rates of absenteeism and where assets that you think are available are not available--are the very issues that the DHS is charged with coordinating."

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United States. Dept. of Homeland Security: http://www.dhs.gov/
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