Obama Declares Swine Flu a National Emergency
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: October 24, 2009
Filed at 12:26 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency and empowered his health secretary to suspend federal requirements and speed treatment for thousands of infected people.
The declaration that Obama signed late Friday authorized Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to bypass federal rules so health officials can respond more quickly to the outbreak, which has killed more than 1,000 people in the United States.