Washington, DC – Today, Democratic Leader Harry Reid released the following statement on the Senate’s approval of $8 billion to protect Americans from the avian flu:
“Today, the Senate approved an $8 billion amendment to the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill that will help to prepare and protect the American people against the threat of an avian influenza pandemic.
“Our amendment will ensure that preparations for a potential flu pandemic are not delayed any longer. The United States has already fallen behind nations like Canada, Britain and Australia who finalized their avian flu plans months ago. Other nations are already implementing their protections, yet our President has not even finalized a national plan.
“The $8 billion would go a long way toward ensuring that our nation is better prepared to handle a pandemic. The recent spread of avian flu to Europe proves we cannot afford to drag our feet any longer and that we must do better. I hope the House of Representatives and the President will follow the Senate’s lead and support the investments necessary to make sure this nation does everything possible to prepare and protect Americans from the threat of a global flu pandemic.”