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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 21, 2003

Fact Sheet
Health Security Initiative

Presidential Action

Today, President Bush and the Other APEC Leaders Endorsed the U.S.-driven health security initiative.

Lessons of SARS: The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2003 demonstrated the importance of prevention, surveillance and detection, and coordinated responses to outbreaks of disease, whether they occur naturally, like SARS, or are inflicted intentionally, like the 2001 anthrax incidents in the United States.

APEC Response: APEC Leaders took action to improve the region's preparedness to counter such health threats. In launching the Health Security Initiative today, APEC Leaders committed to protect the region's people and economies by improving the public health infrastructure and working together to combat disease and bioterrorism. Specifically, the Leaders agreed to:

REDI Center: Leaders welcomed the establishment of the joint U.S.-Singapore Regional Emerging Disease Intervention (REDI) Center. The REDI Center will focus on preventing and responding to disease, both naturally-occurring and man-made. The REDI Center will:


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