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United States Department of Health and Human Services
News Release
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, April 28, 2004

HHS Fact Sheet: Biodefense Preparedness
Public Health Emergency Preparedness "Transforming America's Capacity to Respond"

"What has been accomplished to better prepare America's Biodefense and bolster our public health emergency preparedness capacity?"

Federal investment in Biodefense is up 17 times, and the President has proposed another significant increase for next year.

FY 2001 -- $294 million [HHS budget]

FY 2002 -- $3 billion [HHS budget]

FY 2003 -- $4.4 billion [combined HHS and DHS budgets for Biodefense]

FY 2004 -- $5.2 billion [combined HHS/DHS - incl. BioShield proposal]

An unprecedented partnership effort with states and hospitals was launched quickly.

Public health systems are already much stronger and better prepared for bioterrorism and other mass casualty incidents.

More workers and expertise have been directed at public health emergency preparedness.

America's public health laboratory capacity, a crucial element in detecting and understanding any disease outbreak, is greatly expanding.

Communications capacity within the public health structure has been expanded and improved.

Hospital preparedness efforts have resulted in new state- and region-wide coordination, with coherent plans for investment and response.

Nationwide training for health care professionals is being implemented, and scientific expertise is growing.

Federal emergency resources have been expanded to back-up local resources when they become overwhelmed.

FDA is implementing the most fundamental enhancements of its food safety activities in many years.

The Biodefense research initiative is the largest single increase in resources for any initiative in the history of NIH.

Progress in Biodefense research has been swift and substantial.

New and improved vaccines against smallpox, anthrax, and other potential bioterror agents are being developed and evaluated and will soon enter the national stockpile through Project BioShield.

Capacity is being expanded to produce medical countermeasures to protect Americans from bioterrorism attacks.

Federal coordination and capacity has been expanded.


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