"Our experience with the H1N1 virus over the last couple of weeks is a sobering reminder of how vital it is that we all recognize we're all in this together," he said. "We're one country, we're one community. When one person gets sick, that has the potential of making us all sick. And when we help to make everybody well, one person well, then everybody has the potential to get well. We can't be divided by communities."
The president urged the community leaders present to spread the word about the importance of "washing your hands, about covering your mouths, staying home if you're sick, keeping children home from school if they're sick."
The town hall was billed by the White House as an opportunity to "listen to the community's concerns and inform the public about the government's efforts to control the impact of the H1N1 virus." Among those present were Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and experts from the Department of Homeland Security and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Despite the fact that the town hall was in Spanish, the only two words spoken by the president in the language were "muchas gracias."
"I'm very proud of this first White House town hall meeting conducted entirely in Spanish...except for my part," he quipped, prompting laughter from the audience. "I'm kind of messing up the whole thing."