There’s an interesting article in today’s New York Times concerning availability and distribution of the swine flu vaccine.
The most interesting part of the article was Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius’ comments. When asked about the confusion concerning the swine flu vaccine, Secretary Sebelius responded thus:
“I’ve heard a lot about how much confusion there is about how to get the vaccine,” Ms. Sebelius said Friday.
“We’ll never, from the mother ship, give one national picture,” she added. “It’s going to be many, many local decisions. What we do need to know is — if that information isn’t getting across, then maybe we can do something about it.”
Secretary Sebelius’ words strike ‘Puter as remarkably similar to President Bush (43)’s response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster. That is, it is the job of the federal government to assist the states when asked, not to do the job of the states for them, whether hurricane preparedness or public health programs. This strikes ‘Puter as correct in concept, though woefully shortsighted in public relations.
As President Bush found out, one can be correct, and still end up getting pilloried for one’s troubles. ‘Puter expects a similar backlash against the Obama Administration in the increasingly likely event that the swine flu vaccine program is poorly administered, and children and pregnant women start dying.