The Moment

4|27|09: Mexico City

President Obama has often talked about the mess he inherited from his predecessor, but on this occasion, the worst imaginings of the Bush Administration served him well. Authorities in Mexico said 150 people are believed to have been killed by swine flu. More than 100 in seven other countries are infected. But it almost doesn't matter that Obama has had no Health and Human Services Secretary to manage the response--or a surgeon general or a head of the CDC or a border-patrol commissioner. The contingency plans were already in place.

In 2005, amid fears of bioterrorism or a deadly bird-flu outbreak,...

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