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— It’s a sign of the serious threat posed by antibiotic-resistant germs. The president is ordering the government to create a national plan to fight the germs by early next year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says antibiotic-resistant infections are linked to 23,000 deaths and 2 million illnesses each year in the U.S. And the problem is getting worse.

President Barack Obama signed an executive order Thursday to form a task force and presidential advisory council on the issue, and he called for new regulations for antibiotics oversight in hospitals. The order also encourages better tracking of antibiotic use and development of new antibiotics and tests.

Critics had hoped for more, particularly in terms of the antibiotics used in animals processed for meat.

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