White House Responds to Report Terror Suspects Get Priority Treatment for H1N1 Virus

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Mixed Message

On Monday we told you detainees at Guantanamo Bay may get H1N1 vaccines before many American citizens. During today's White House briefing, press secretary Robert Gibbs was emphatic in today's briefing, saying this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY ROBERT GIBBS: There is no vaccine in Guantanamo, and there's no vaccine on the way to Guantanamo.

QUESTION: So the Pentagon was wrong when they confirmed that on Friday?

GIBBS: I — I don't know what the Pentagon said. I — I know, in asking yesterday, whether or not there was any vaccine there or whether there was any vaccine that was on its way, the answer to both those questions was — was no.

QUESTION: Is that because of the White House stopped it or...

GIBBS: No, that was because there wasn't any there, and there wasn't any on the way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman tells Fox News that the vaccine is expected to be delivered to the detention facility sometime near the end of this month.

Back here in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control is still struggling with a vaccine shortage. The CDC director, Thomas Frieden, said today the agency is seeing an increase in availability, but "not nearly as much as we would have liked."

Color Bind

Some African-American members of Congress are outraged that all seven ongoing House Ethics Committee probes focus on black lawmakers.

One African-American Democrat tells Politico, "Is there concern whether someone is trying to set up [Congressional Black Caucus] members? Yeah, there is. It looks as if there is somebody out there who understands what the rules [are] and sends names to the ethics committee with the goal of going after the [CBC]."

An aide to one senior black Democrat says, "It's kind of crazy. How can it be that the ethics committee only investigates African-Americans? It doesn't make sense."

The ethics committee, which is of course run by the Democratic majority, has one African-American lawmaker among its 10 members. Committee members and staff chose not to respond to questions about the racial disparity in the investigations.

Fine Print

Rhode Island's Republican governor has signed legislation closing what some are calling the state's "hooker loophole" that made indoor prostitution legal and allowed more than 30 suspected brothels to operate.

Back in 1980, state lawmakers inadvertently created the loophole when they passed a law cracking down on prostitutes and their clients who operated in public, but the law was mum on paid sex in private.

Rhode Island was the only state to allow indoor prostitution state-wide, a fact the governor says gave his state a "terrible" distinction.

Fox News Channel's Lanna Britt contributed to this report.

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