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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Triumph of the 'It Just Will'

“The White House on Wednesday unveiled a foreboding report on the nation's lack of preparedness for a bird flu pandemic, warning that such an outbreak could kill up to 2 million people and deal a warlike blow to the country's economic and social fabric. It urged state and local governments to make preparations beyond the federal efforts.
In the government's first detailed look at the potential impact on public health and U.S. society, the report said a full-blown pandemic could lead to travel restrictions, mandatory quarantines, massive absenteeism, an economic slowdown ‘and civil disturbances and breakdowns in public order.’"
-LA Times, May 4, 2006

“So today’s topic is the possibility of a bird flu epidemic. As you may be aware, bird flu is slowly making its way around the world and has an exceptionally high mortality rate. The saving grace here is that it is so far not communicable between humans. People can so far only get it from birds (thus the name). The fear is that the virus may mutate to one that would be transmittable between human beings. This danger is something that our Administration takes very, very seriously…”

“Q Fran, thank you. Can you tell us a little bit, walk us through the chain of command? As we saw with Hurricane Katrina, you can have a plan, but if it's not implemented and there's not coordination, it might not work. As I understand it, the Health and Human Services Secretary would be the point person. But what's the chain of command, direct access to the President? What's the role of Secretary Chertoff, what's your role, U.S. military, Secretary Rumsfeld? How are you going to coordinate that within the government in a crisis?
MS. TOWNSEND: Okay, so is this one question or several? Okay. All right, let me start from the top down, because that's the easiest way to do this. The ‘who's in charge’ -- I mean, essentially what you're asking me, Ed, is who's in charge. And the answer is, in a national crisis, the President of the United States is in charge.”
-White House Press Gaggle with Fran Townsend, May 3, 2006

“Oh crap… Dubya’s in charge. That would be the guy in charge of dealing with hurricane Katrina.”

“A Senate inquiry into the government’s Hurricane Katrina failures ripped the Bush administration anew Thursday and urged the scrapping of the nation’s disaster response agency. But with a new hurricane season just weeks away, senators conceded that few if any of their proposals could become reality in time.
The bipartisan investigation into one of the worst natural disasters in the nation’s history singled out President Bush and the White House as appearing indifferent to the devastation until two days after the storm hit.”
-Associated Press, May 3, 2006

“In this case though the Administration DOES have a plan…”

“A flu pandemic would cause massive disruptions lasting for months, and cities, states and businesses must make plans now to keep functioning -- and not count on a federal rescue, the Bush administration said Wednesday.
‘Our nation will face this global threat united in purpose and united in action in order to best protect our families, our communities, our nation and our world from the threat of pandemic influenza,’ President Bush said in a letter to Americans noting the release of an updated national pandemic response strategy.
Much of that plan is telling everybody to be prepared.
‘A lot of the federal and the state plan is based on the fact of a local response," said Lance Madigan, spokesman for the Utah County Department of Health, adding the federal government couldn't come to the aid of the entire country. "The whole idea is the fact that a pandemic means that everybody is going to be dealing with it.’"
-Associated Press, May 4, 2006

“…and that plan involves letting people handle a pandemic at the local rather than a Federal level. Kind of like the way they dealt with Katrina. Don’t worry though. This time inaction will work. This time it will all just magically come together. It just will.”

“Q But some of it -- you have 40 percent of the workforce out in the most severe outbreak. You've got guidelines for people to stay three feet apart, which seems unworkable in areas of work -- I mean, how can it not be chaos with the economy --
MS. TOWNSEND: Good planning and preparation will avoid it being chaotic. It just will.”
-White House Press Gaggle with Fran Townsend, May 3, 2006


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