"The federal government has clearly failed to meet a basic responsibility to move quickly to ensure the availability of H1N1 vaccines," Blunt said in a statement. "Congress needs to be asking serious questions about why the vaccine isn’t yet widely available, even though we’ve known for six months that we needed to be fully prepared," he added.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Blunt Blames Obama For Vaccine Shortage and Dems Pounce
TALENT ALSO QUESTIONS VACCINE TIMING
Congressman Roy Blunt blamed the Obama administration Wednesday for failing to ensure widespread availability of H1N1 vaccines across the country at a time when Missouri only has about a quarter of the total amount of vaccine it needs.
The Missouri Democratic Party quickly noted that Blunt voted against a supplemental appropriation bill this year, which included $7.65 billion dollars to help the government prepare for the H1N1 pandemic. Here's the vote: Vote 348, 6/16/09].
"Congressman Blunt has turned a public safety issue into a political football and once again he’s on the attack with no real solutions of his own," said Brian Zuzenak, Chair of the Missouri Democratic Party, in a statement.
"The American people expect the federal government to protect them in the face of a pandemic," Blunt said. "If the current administration cannot manage what is a basic responsibility of the federal government, how can they be expected to micro-manage doctor-patient relationships? Is this what we can expect from government-run health care?," he added.
Zuzenak fired back: "The real outrage is that Congressman Blunt voted against funding to fight H1N1 and prepare the public, and then has the nerve to act outraged at preparedness efforts."
Earlier in the day, former Sen. Jim Talent also questioned why H1N1 vaccines weren't available before school started. Talent's newly formed group, American Freedom and Enterprise Foundation, issued a release saying the current shortage underscores "the severe lack of U.S. preparedness in responding to pandemics, whether through natural disease transmission or manmade bioterrorist attacks."
The Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, of which Talent serves as vice-chair, also released a video on a new website called http://www.fastervaccines.org/.
"The video takes a light approach to a serious issue," said Talent. "We want the public to know there are better options, and encourage policymakers to have the foresight to invest in them."