Flu “emergency” powers can be extensive

President Obama has declared the H1N1 or “swine” flu a “national emergency.” Exactly what this will mean to the average citizen remains unclear, as shortages of the swine flu vaccine continue; but it is unlikely that simply declaring an “emergency” will relieve bottlenecks in distribution or cause additional supplies to magically appear. What is perhaps more interesting, will be if governors follow the president’s lead and start declaring state “emergencies” simply because the H1N1 flu virus has appeared in their state. Various “emergency declaration” provisions in state law books or currently being considered by state legislatures (such as in Massachusetts) give the governors extensive, if not downright frightening powers once an “emergency” is declared.

The Barr Code

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