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Remarks By President Barack Obama At The Swearing-In Ceremony Of Secretary Of Health And Human Services Kathleen Sebelius

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Congratulations, Madam Secretary.

SEC. SEBELIUS: Thank you, sir.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Here we go. We're just going to make a brief statement. I am thrilled to have Kathleen Sebelius as my new Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Obviously, we have a lot to do to make sure that health care is affordable for the American people, to deal with critical issues like food safety. But we wanted to swear her in right away because we've got a significant public health challenge that requires her immediate attention, and that is the H1N1 flu outbreak that we've seen initially in Mexico and we now see over at -- got some cases here in the United States.

It is something that we have to monitor very carefully. The officials who have been in charge, including the Acting Director at the CDC, those at Department of Homeland Security, have done an outstanding job, a superb job, in managing the situation up to this point.

But we need all hands on deck, and so I am thrilled that we have Secretary Sebelius taking the reins. She is going to be immediately briefed on the issues that we're working on right now. I expect her to hit the ground running, and I have every confidence that given her experience as a governor who's managed crises before, who's worked on public health issues since she's been in public life, she is the right person at the right time for the job.

So congratulations. We are thrilled, and you are going to do a great job.

SEC. SEBELIUS: Thank you. Honored to serve.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you.

All right, thanks, guys.


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