President Obama gave brief remarks at the White House this afternoon, first lauding a report that U.S. manufacturing grew for the first time in 19 months, and then announcing the government's swine flu preparations.
Obama said there will be a vaccine program, which he said will be "voluntary, but it will be recommended."
He also said local governments, hospitals and schools are receiving information and guidance on how to prepare for a wave of swine flu cases that are expected this fall and winter. " He urged businesses and families to make a plan in case someone gets sick and has to stay home, and encouraged individuals to prevent the spread of the illness by staying home if they get sick, washing their hands and covering sneezes with their sleeve and not their hands.
"I know it sounds simple, but it works," he said.
"We do anticipate that there will be some issues over the next several months. The way it's moving is somewhat unpredictable," he said, but added that he's "absolutely confident that our team has done an extraordinary job in preparing for whatever may happen."
He thanked the task force, which includes Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden and White House Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan. He did not take questions.