From today's Times:

Other public health experts also endorsed the administration’s response to the outbreak that emerged from Mexico. They gave much of the credit to President Bush, whose administration did extensive planning for such an emergency.

“We’re seeing a payoff of the original investment made in pandemic preparedness by the Bush administration,” said Jeffrey W. Levi, executive director of Trust for America’s Health. The term pandemic refers to a widespread outbreak of an infectious disease.

Frances Fragos Townsend, who was assistant to President Bush for homeland security and counterterrorism, noted that the Department of Health and Human Services had devised a detailed plan for responding to the threat of pandemic flu in 2005 and 2006.

On his summer vacation in 2005, Mr. Bush read “The Great Influenza,” a history of the 1918 pandemic by John M. Barry.

Who knew?

--Noam Scheiber