The administration is taking the threat of swine flu seriously, as congressional Republicans’ main interest in the health arena seems to be roping the president’s nominee to head Health and Human Services into an abortion fight. The Centers for Disease Control and the Homeland Security Department issued an emergency declaration Sunday, while the World Health Organization and governments around the globe scrambled to confront the potential crisis.

One would imagine this would be exactly the type of situation to be addressed by Health and Human Services, the $750 billion department that oversees 11 health-related agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, the president’s pick to lead such an effort, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, has been held up in Congress because she received campaign contributions from an abortion doctor.

New York Times:

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, at a Washington news conference, called the emergency declaration “standard operating procedure,” and said she would rather call it a “declaration of emergency preparedness.”

“It’s like declaring one for a hurricane,” she said. “It means we can release funds and take other measures. The hurricane may not actually hit.”

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