Financial Crisis Jeopardizing Bioterror Preparedness, Report Warns

December 10, 2008
Global Security Newswire (National Journal Group)

A new report warns that U.S. economic instability is prompting leaders to pull funds from programs aimed at preparing communities for acts of bioterrorism or other major disasters, USA Today reported today (see GSN, Oct. 8).

"The economic crisis could result in a serious rollback of the progress we've made since Sept. 11," 2001, said Jeffrey Levi, head of Trust for America's Health, a nonpartisan think tank that released an annual report on U.S. preparedness for a major health threat.

The federal government and 11 states have slashed public health funding so far, and a worsening economy could lead more governments to do the same, Levi said. A bioterrorism incident might cause more devastation if medical facilities are inadequately supplied or unprepared to handle a large influx of patients, he warned.

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