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Progress in the War on Terror

President George W. Bush signs S.15-Project Bioshield Act of 2004, in the Rose Garden Wednesday, July 21, 2004.

Presidential Action

  • President Bush on July 21, 2004 signed into law Project BioShield, which provides new tools to improve medical countermeasures protecting Americans against a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) attack.
  • The President first proposed Project BioShield in his 2003 State of the Union address and Congress approved it last week. Project BioShield is a comprehensive effort overseen jointly by Secretary Thompson and Secretary Ridge, and involving other Federal agencies as appropriate, to develop and make available modern, effective drugs and vaccines to protect against attack by CBRN weapons. Project BioShield will:
    • Expedite the conduct of NIH research and development on medical countermeasures based on the most promising recent scientific discoveries.
    • Give FDA the ability to make promising treatments quickly available in emergency situations – this tightly controlled new authority will enable access to the best available treatments in the event of a crisis.
    • Ensure that resources are available to pay for “next-generation” medical countermeasures. Project BioShield will allow the government to buy improved vaccines or drugs. The fiscal year 2004 appropriation for the Department of Homeland Security included $5.6 billion over 10 years for the purchase of next generation countermeasures against anthrax and smallpox as well as other CBRN agents.
  • As the result of the Project BioShield legislation, the Administration has already begun the process of acquiring several new medical countermeasures:
    • 75 million doses of a second generation anthrax vaccine to become available for stockpiling beginning next year.
    • New medical treatments for anthrax directed at neutralizing the effects of anthrax toxin.
    • Polyvalent botulinum antitoxin.
    • A safer second generation smallpox vaccine.
    • Initial evaluation of treatments for radiation and chemical weapons exposure.
  • Today, based on the new BioShield authorities, Secretary Thompson will launch multi-year initiatives to develop advanced treatments and therapeutics for exposure to biological agents and radiation poisoning.
  • Today’s action is just the latest step the President has taken to win the War on Terror and protect our homeland. America is safer and stronger than it was three years ago as a result of President Bush’s leadership.

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