In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Barack Obama designated $2.7 billion to help various federal agencies respond to the potential spread of the deadly 2009 H1N1 virus. The funding will help HHS and the State, Agriculture, Defense and Veterans Affairs departments procure vaccine product and supplies, antiviral medications, preparations for a vaccine campaign and other related activities.
This year's Supplemental Appropriations Act appropriated $7.65 billion to HHS for the H1N1—commonly referred to as swine flu— outbreak, including $5.8 billion contingent appropriation for a flu pandemic. In mid-July, Obama designated $1.8 billion of the contingent appropriation as emergency funds to “address critical needs” related to emerging flu virus, specifically H1N1, he said in the letter. In designating billions more from these appropriations on Sept. 2, Obama recognized there continues to be much uncertainty about the severity of the outbreak this autumn in the northern hemisphere.
“Results from the clinical trials, along with the latest information regarding the evolution of the 2009-H1N1 virus and the worldwide outbreaks, will inform our decisions regarding the national response,” Obama wrote in his letter to Pelosi.
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