Is the U.S. prepared to cope with swine flu, or any other potential pandemic?
How much has the nation's public health care infrastructure (everything from communications to tracking to quarantine procedures to pharmaceuticals and vaccines) improved since the anthrax and bird flu scares? Do local public health departments have sufficient resources to cope with a pandemic?
Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, is urging Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to spend $1.3 billion in unspent funds to implement the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza. Congress appropriated the money in 2007, with the intention of developing a bird flu vaccine and buying antiviral medications in the interim. Would that be a wise move?