Ever wish you could whisper in the president's ear? Give him advice on issues plaguing the nation? Well, here's your chance to tell the world what you would do if you were president of the United States. Twice weekly, we'll ask our readers a question about an issue facing the nation and post your responses here.
If you were president, what would you do to make sure the U.S. is prepared for a possible flu pandemic?
Read some of the recent stories on this topic in the box on the right, then e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check back during the day to read more responses from FOX Fans and to see if yours was posted.
Check out what FOX Fans are saying:
“I would be very frank with the public and tell them, in no uncertain terms, that (as demonstrated by Katrina): (a) no central government can or will be able to provide for the needs of all Americans in the event of a pandemic; (b) each individual and family unit must assume responsibility now for providing for its own sustenance and survival in the event of a natural disaster such as a pandemic; and (c) these preparations should include stockpiling of food, water, and medicine for at least three months duration. I would then arrange for public distribution of detailed preparation guides that did not pull any punches as to what individuals urgently need to do for themselves.” — Mark (Nashville, TN)
“I would look to the states and make sure they have adequate procedures in place to deal with such a problem. The Delmarva Peninsula, a large peninsula occupied by Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, has an excellent preparedness program in place to deal with an outbreak of Avian Influenza. It is a joint public-private endeavor and will do more to protect the health of the general public than anything coming out of the alphabet soup agencies of the federal government (the CDC in particular). The president is limited in what he is able to do, but I propose the dissolution of the CDC, EPA, and FDA as a starting point. They are all dysfunctional and controlled by outside interests and need to be wiped out and restarted as one agency.” — Gabrielle (Temperanceville, VA)
“I would have Americans prepare for the worse with the impending flu pandemic. Since illegal immigrants will fill the hospitals first and they will be fully covered, I would close the borders and handle that situation so that legal Americans could get the due healthcare that they pay for. That should free up hospital rooms and have enough vaccine for people who have earned it. Each state would handle their own preparations and education of the people on awareness if this crisis should happen.” — Linda (North Carolina)
“First, I would remove any politician that would try to stop measures that he or she tried to find political mileage out of. Then, I would do whatever was necessary to produce vaccines for all Americans. I would also start planning ahead by building facilities so that we would be able to mass produce vaccines for the population.” — Robin
“The first thing I would do would be to remove ‘political correctness’ from public health and restore integrity and professionalism to case finding, follow-up, and quarantine. With the states, I'd ensure proper plans and systems are in place to monitor the spread of the flu among domestic and wild flocks around the world, in addition to any outbreaks among humans. I'd ensure that this country’s drug industry has the capacity to develop and manufacture as much vaccine as humanly possible as soon as sufficient evidence is available to target a strain that can be spread among humans. I'd ensure that vaccines and anti-flu medications are stockpiled and that there is a fair system for their rapid distribution.” — Phil (Rensselaer, NY)
"If I were president, the possibility of bird flu mutating into a human flu would be way down on the list of things I would want to address. Instead, I'd set a date to leave Iraq, resotre our constitutional rights, secure our borders, expel illegal immigrants, build more refineries, etc." — Jerry (Humboldt, TN)
"I would begin by encouraging all citizens to prepare by storing water, food, medical supplies, and fuel for their own use. If a pandemic hits, it will be too late because hoarding will delete supplies quickly. If, and when, the pandemic hits, I would secure the borders and quarantine cities where there are outbreaks." — Lona (Connersville, IN)
"I would not be confident in the situation. Simply put, it would have to run its course." — Sheldon (Granbury, TX)
"I'd ensure that the CDC is preparing for an outbreak. I'd ensure that the proper governmental agencies were working delgently on vaccine." — Joseph (San Diego, CA)
“As president, I would start talking about the certainty that the flu pandemic is coming sooner or later, not just reassuring us that everything is being done to plan for it. If it becomes an accepted fact among our citizens that the pandemic is coming we might avoid the worst aspects of panic that are bound to develop. Also, an acceptance of certainty will help the president sell the concept that some of the freedoms we enjoy may have to be temporarily suspended during an outbreak. Lastly, as president, I would reinforce the idea that the pandemic is coming because it will help motivate people to prepare for it to the extent they can. A president needs to reinforce the idea that this is not something the government can effectively protect us from.” — Steve
"As president, I would first educate myself on the situation and not overreact. With a world population of 6.6 billion, just over 100 people have died worldwide over three years from H5N1 avian flu — that many people get killed by lightning strikes every year in the U.S. alone. So, you are far more likely to get struck by lightning than get H5N1 Avian Flu. I might suggest folks buy a couple boxes of Tamiflu. That's about it.” — Chris
"I would appropriate adequate funds to speed up the manufacture of an effective vaccine without delay. Inasmuch as the flu might still be harbored somewhere around the world, and with the lack of an epidemic here in the U.S., it would be good to have large quantities on hand to help in any geographic region. It’s better to be safe than sorry and hustle after an outbreak here or near our borders." — Virginia (Darien, CT)
"If I were president, I would recommend that businesses, including the federal government, try to engage in more telecommuting. Besides saving money on commuting costs, it would help slow down the spread of an infectious disease while allowing critical services to continue uninterrupted." — Mark
"As president, I would relocate the most susceptible American citizens to a warmer climate (Mexico) so they could have a better chance to survive the impending flu pandemic." — Kevin (Watkinsville, GA)
“At this point, as president, I would do everything possible to encourage and fund research. This bird flu pandemic may not happen, but if it does we need to be ready. We need to know exactly what to do, and how and when to do it. There will be no margin for error or delay. We need to develop an effective medicine now. Our medical community needs to be trained and ready. Everyone involved in the poultry industry, at any level, should be trained. If I, as president, could do all this, then a great many lives would be saved, and that's what it is all about.” — Sam (Memphis, TN)
“The Constitution gives the president no authority on such an issue. However, if I were a governor, then I would insure a sufficient amount of vaccinations were in place to cover the flu season. I would also encourage citizens to take care of their bodies with fluids, vitamin C, rest, etc. It is sad a governor would have to do this and even sadder that the president is seen as being responsible for such personal welfare.” — Mike (Texas)
“The first thing I would do is halt all export of flu vaccine orders to other countries until we have all the orders filled in the U.S. first. I would also mandate that all states have a pandemic emergency response plan, along with local pandemic emergency response plans.” — Mike
“First, I would seal the borders. If people come across our border with weapons and drugs, who’s to say they can’t come across with a disease that could cause a pandemic and wipe out millions of Americans.” — Diane (Pennsylvania)
“Tough one! I would have to start by funding research to help understand and identify the strain, then attempt to create a vaccine, and the more the merrier. Second, I would order monitoring for early detection of the outbreak.” — Michael
“Close the borders.” — Sam