U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, criticized the federal government's preparation and response to the H1N1 virus, saying vaccine production and distribution cannot continue to fall short of the public's need.
"The Administration promised vaccines that they have not delivered, and I have serious concerns that the vaccines that have become available are not reaching high risk populations," Enzi said at today’s HELP Committee hearing titled, “The Cost of Being Sick: H1N1 and Paid Sick Days.”
"Families across the country are worried, and delays in distributing the vaccine are
creating new fears about the federal government's ability to protect public health," Enzi
continued. Additionally, Enzi warned that legislation mandating paid sick days would further endanger the nation’s fragile economy and undermine efforts employers are already taking to protect their workers.
"Many employers are not able to maintain current payrolls, which is evidenced by the
rise in unemployment to a 26-year high at 10.2 percent. If this bill is enacted, employers will be forced to adjust somewhere either by reducing current healthcare or retirement benefits, or by downsizing their number of employees and adding to the ranks of the unemployed," he concluded.