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Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House regarding Designation of Contingent Emergency 2009-H1N1 Funding

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary
__________________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                                                 September 2, 2009

TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 2, 2009

Dear Madam Speaker:

Within the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009 (Public Law 111-32), Congress appropriated $7.65 billion to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the 2009-H1N1 influenza outbreak, including a $5.8 billion contingent appropriation for an influenza pandemic. As you know, my Administration is actively responding to H1N1 and has appropriately utilized the emergency appropriations that Congress provided for development and procurement of 2009-H1N1 vaccine, domestic and international surveillance activities, and continuing to prepare for an immunization campaign this fall.

On July 16, 2009, I designated $1.825 billion of the contingent appropriation as emergency funds required to address critical needs related to emerging influenza viruses (specifically, the virus known as 2009-H1N1). To further enhance our Nation's capability to respond to the potential spread of this outbreak, in accordance with the appropriation, I hereby designate an additional $2.716 billion to support the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Health and Human Services, State, and Veterans Affairs to support the procurement of vaccine product and supplies, antiviral medications, preparations for a vaccination campaign, and agency preparedness activities.

There continues to be much uncertainty about the severity of the outbreak this fall during the northern hemisphere flu season. A vaccine is under development and currently being tested for safety and efficacy. Results from the clinical trials, along with the latest information regarding the evolution of the 2009-H1N1 virus and the worldwide outbreaks, will inform our decisions regarding
the national response.

We will communicate with you further in the future should additional funds be required.

Sincerely,
BARACK OBAMA