Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) says President Obama has endangered American lives by not doing more to alleviate the nation's short supply of H1N1 vaccine. In a new interview with the conservative-leaning CNSNews.com, Wilson says Obama's administration is "solely responsible" for the vaccine shortage, which he said are related to promises America made to donate vaccine to some foreign allies.
From the interview:
"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."
Last week, some Democrats predicted that H1N1 could become a line of new line attack of attack on Obama from Republicans. In a release issued on Thursday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee claimed that any criticism of H1N1 policy by the GOP would amount to hypocrisy.
The DCCC pointed to a June vote on a supplementary appropriations bill as evidence. Wilson joined 95% of Republicans and voted against the bill, which contained special funding to combat H1N1 both domestically and internationally. But the bill also contained other much more money for other plans and programs Republicans at the time viewed as wasteful, including the Cash-For-Clunkers car purchase incentive program.
Still, the DCCC says that a vote against the bill essentially equaled a vote against combating H1N1 and means Republicans who voted against it like Wilson favored a public health program that would have resulted in even less vaccine than is available now.
"The families, schools, and businesses fighting against the H1N1 flu pandemic deserve better than House Republicans' reckless, knee jerk partisanship and just-say-no approach to helping prepare for this national emergency," DCCC spokesperson Ryan Rudominer said in a statement released Oct. 27.
Wilson has been personally touched by the H1N1 virus. Last week, he sent an email to his district announcing his wife, Roxanne, had been diagnosed with the swine flu and urging his constituents to get vaccinated.
Wilson says he plans to get vaccinated himself, but "only after the majority of Americans" have received the inoculation, he told CNN last week.