Congress looks at money to battle wars abroad and the flu virus at home. A supplemental appropriation bill being presented to House this week includes $1.5 billion for the Health and Human Services Department, and Centers for Disease Control. Congressman Steve Kagen (D-Appleton) says most of which is to develop an H1N1 vaccine and beef up surveillance to monitor changes in the virus.
Kagen, who is also a physician, says influenza A took us by surprise because our immune systems have not seen this disease. He considers it necessary to develop a vaccination within the next six months.
The Appleton Democrat says he is unsure he'll vote for the bill which also includes funding for Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
"I believe very strongly that our tax dollars must be invested not in Iraq but right here at home rebuilding America's infrastructure," says Kagen.
Wisconsin has the second highest number of Influenza A cases in the US, behind Illinois. Wisconsin health officials report 496 confirmed incidents with no more probable cases.