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Tom Daschle: Biopreparedness ten years later

POLITICO

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ten years ago, a series of anthrax attacks throughout the country followed hard on the heels of 9/11. The deadly powder made its way through the postal system – including several sent to Senate offices — ultimately claiming five victims. The nation was alerted as never before to yet another threat to national security. Suddenly words like biopreparedness and Cipro were on everyone’s lips.

How much have we learned about biodefense in the last decade? Is America more prepared for a biological weapons attack, or even a pandemic, than it was during that frightening October 2001? In the last few weeks, Hollywood has chimed in with a film, “Contagion,” that plays out the worst possible scenario.

The good news is that there are reasons to be reassured about our preparedness. The bad news is that we are in danger of backsliding.

2011-09-10 00:00:00
POLITICO