President Obama began a press conference to mark his 100th day in office with a topic he probably wouldn't have expected a week ago: advising Americans to take "very sensible precautions" against the swine flu but not to "panic."
Mr. Obama appeared as though he was trying to strike a delicate verbal balance between underreaction and overreaction, saying that the federal government was closely coordinating with state and other health officials and suggesting simple precautions such as hand-washing and keeping sick children home from school. "It sounds trivial but it makes a huge difference," he said.
The president also said that it was time for Americans to develop "contingency plans" if school or business closings disrupt their personal lives. "Our public health officials have recommended that schools with confirmed or suspected cases of this flu strongly consider temporarily closing," he said. "And if more schools are forced to close, we've recommended that both parents and businesses think about contingency plans if their children do have to stay home."
Also on Wednesday, the World Health Organization raised its alert level for swine flu -- also being called Mexican Flu or H1N1 flu -- one level on fears that a global pandemic is imminent.
- Obama: Proud But Not Content
- Obama Urges Swine Flu "Contingency Plans"
- Obama: Info Gained Doesn't Justify Torture
- Obama: "I Don't Want To Run Auto Companies"
- Obama's "Enchanted" Answer
- Obama Hints At Change To "State Secrets" Privilege
- Watch The Full Webcast
- Huffington: Bank Bailouts Could Be Obama's "Achilles' Heel"
- Valerie Jarrett Defends Obama On CIA Memos
- Republicans Ponder: What Next?
- Americans Sound Off On Obama's 100 Days
- Photos: 100 Pictures For 100 Days
- Timeline: The Obama Presidency Day By Day
- Steve Chaggaris: 100 Days In, A Presidency Still Undefined
- Brian Montopoli: What Has Obama Meant For Black America?
- Marc Ambinder: Grading Obama's First 100 Days
- Mark Knoller: 100 Days By The Numbers
- Lara Logan: New President To Be Tested By Old Enemies
- Declan McCullagh: Obama's Transparency Vow Receives Mixed Reviews
- Jessica Derschowitz: The "Obama Effect" In Pop Culture
- Around The Web: What The Media Are Saying
- Chart: 100 Days In The Stock Market
- Word Cloud: President Obama's Words
- Polls: Obama | Race Relations | Torture | Same Sex Marriage | Our Poll, Your Questions | Video: Polling Director
- Complete 100 Days Coverage
Obama's Press Conference:
CBSNews.com's 100 Days Webcast With Katie Couric:
Recap, Analysis & Reaction: