Joe Wilson: Obama Should Be ‘Held Responsible’ for Swine Flu Vaccine Shortage

By Matt Cover | October 30, 2009 | 6:41 PM EDT

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.)

( –  Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) says President Obama should “be held responsible” for the government’s lack of preparedness in addressing the swine flu epidemic. Wilson said this was one crisis Obama could not blame on any other administration.
Wilson, who gained notoriety for shouting “You lie!” at Obama during the president’s speech on the House floor on Sept. 9, was asked by whether Obama should continue with plans to donate 10 percent of the country’s H1N1 vaccine supply to foreign countries when it is well short of the 150 million doses it needs to cover at-risk Americans.
Wilson responded that not only should Obama halt any plans to donate portions of America’s vaccine supply, he should also be held accountable for the government’s lack of preparedness.
“Our first duty is to the United States,” Wilson said. “It’s my concern that actually the H1N1 [virus] was determined to be a threat to the United States – because of what occurred in Mexico – in March.”

As for the vaccine shortage, “This is during the term of the President [Obama], and I believe the president should be held responsible that the government was not prepared, and we have millions of Americans who are at risk today,” said Wilson.
The congressman said that the first duty of any administration should be to the American people, adding that there had not been “proper preparation” for the swine flu epidemic.
“The bottom line is that our first duty is to the American citizen, and there was not proper preparation,” said Wilson.
Wilson also said that President Obama could not blame the lack of preparation on another administration, a tactic the president sometimes employs when faced with criticism of his administration’s performance.
“The current administration is solely responsible. They can’t blame this on any prior administration,” said Wilson. “This is the responsibility of the current administration. They’ve put the lives of Americans at risk.”