Tuesday, Apr. 28, 2009

Swine Flu Frenzy

Day 98
April 27, 2009

"We are at the most critical moment of the epidemic. The number of cases will keep rising, so we have to reinforce preventive measures."

Peter Cordingley, spokesman for the World Health Organization, on the growing swine flu threat.

"The doctors advised us that the President's health was never in any danger."

Robert Gibbs, White House press secretary, repeatedly reassuring reporters that President Obama has shown no flu symptoms since his short visit to Mexico in mid-April

"It's not very romantic, is it?"

Melisa Keeton, an Iowan, joking about the media attention outside the Polk County administration offices as she and her partner Shelley Wolfe become the first gay couple to legally tie the knot in the state

Leaders around the globe spend the day struggling to curb the spread of swine flu as numbers of cases reported worldwide skyrocket and the death toll reaches 149, with victims mostly in Mexico. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says travel warnings to Mexico will remain in place as long as swine flu is detected, while Europeans are cautioned about traveling to the U.S. as well, with over 40 cases reported here.

Reporters take an interest in the President's health amid reports that while visiting Mexico City on his way to a regional economic summit he may have come into contact with someone who was thought to have died of swine flu (though later reports say his death was unrelated to the virus). Gibbs tries to reassure the press that the President is just fine and hasn't shown any symptoms.

Meanwhile, almost a month after Iowa became the third state to legalize gay marriage, the first gay couple takes the plunge there. A Vermont law allowing gay marriage, passed by the legislature in early April, will take effect in September.

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