The White House is trying to nip in the bud a budding controversy over terrorism detainees at Guantanamo Bay getting swine flu vaccine sooner than many Americans.
"There is no vaccine in Guantanamo, and there's no vaccine on the way to Guantanamo," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters today.
He directly contradicted a spokesman at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, who had said that guards and then detainees were set to receive the vaccinations later this month.
Pressed on that apparent conflict in stories, Gibbs replied, "I don't know what the Pentagon said," and reiterated that there would be no vaccine for the detainees.
The prospect set off Obama administration critics, who noted that with suppliers behind on delivering the vaccine, Americans have been lining up for the inoculations.
"I don't think it's a good idea," the top House Republican, Representative John Boehner of Ohio, said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.
"The administration probably didn't think it would be very popular either; that's why they announced it on Friday night," Boehner added.
Gibbs defended the administration's efforts to defend the nation against the H1N1 virus.
"Obviously, the president is frustrated that there's anybody that is in one of these groups, at a high-risk group, that is having trouble getting the vaccine now, and we're making progress on getting more and more of that vaccine each day," Gibbs said at his regular daily press briefing.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.