04.29.09

Senator Burr Statement on HELP Committee Hearing on Flu Outbreak

Today, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) issued the following statement after the Committee's hearing on our nation's public health and medical response to the 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak.

"We are deeply saddened by the news this morning of the death in the United States related to this flu outbreak. Americans are understandably concerned and are watching very closely. Three years ago, Senator Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) and I introduced the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, which gave the Department of Health and Human Services and our health professionals new tools to protect the American people more effectively and efficiently in public health emergencies.

"I am ready to work with the Administration and my colleagues to do what we need to do to make sure that we fight the spread of the 2009 H1N1 flu and protect the health of Americans.While we have immediate needs to address, we must also not lose sight of the ongoing work that must be done if our nation is going to be fully prepared for future public health emergencies.

"This situation underscores the reason why we must invest in important emergency preparedness and response programs, like the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, so that our nation is prepared for what we must tackle today and what we may have to confront in the future."