Tuesday President Bush outlined a costly new battle to stop a flu strain that doesn't even exist yet.
While President Bush was careful to say there is no evidence that a global outbreak of the avian, or bird flu, is certain, he did paint a grim picture of what could happen.
"If the virus were to develop the capacity for sustained human-to-human transmission, it could spread quickly across the globe," said President Bush.
The fear is there could be thousands, even millions of deaths with severe shortages of vaccines and medical supplies. So, Tuesday, the President asked Congress for an additional $7 billion to get ready by stockpiling the rapid production of vaccines...just in case.
The President's plan includes $1.2 billion to buy 20 million doses of a vaccine for the strain of bird flu that is now circulating in Asia. And $2.8 billion to upgrade the age old method of making the vaccine in chicken eggs to a modern, faster technique.
And finally, it allows funding for new laws to protect manufacturers against lawsuits over any side effects from the vaccine.