The White House on Saturday said Obama signed a proclamation that would allow medical officials to bypass certain federal requirements. Officials described the move as similar to a declaration ahead of a hurricane making landfall. Swine flu is more widespread now than it’s ever been and has resulted in more than 1,000 U.S. deaths so far.
“In keeping with the administration’s proactive approach to H1N1 Flu, President Obama last night signed a proclamation declaring 2009-H1N1 Influenza a national emergency,” it said in a statement. “The proclamation enhances the ability of our nation’s medical treatment facilities to handle a surge in H1N1 patients by allowing, as needed, the waiver of certain standard federal requirements on a case-by-case basis.”
CDC said almost 100 children have died from H1N1, and 46 states now have widespread flu activity. The White House said Obama signed the declaration on Friday evening.