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USA TODAY: White House neglecting bioterrorism. What say you??

The Obama administration is working hard to curb nuclear threats but failing to address the more urgent and immediate threat of biological terrorism, a bipartisan commission created by Congress is reporting today.
The report obtained by USA TODAY cites failures on biosecurity policy by the White House, which the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction says has left the country vulnerable. The commission, created last year to address concerns raised by post-9/11 investigations, warns that anthrax spores released by a crop-duster could "kill more Americans than died in World War II" and the economic impact could exceed $1.8 trillion in cleanup and other costs
The government's efforts "have not kept pace with the increasing capabilities and agility of those who would do harm to the United States," the report says. "The consequences of ignoring these warnings could be dire." Says Bob Graham[D] former Senator

Answer Question

Asked by grlygrlz2 at 3:29 PM on Oct. 22, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Level 39 (106,530 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • Among the commission's criticisms:

    • President Obama's National Security Council has no senior political appointees with a biodefense background. "That was not the case in the Clinton and Bush administrations," the report says.

    • Programs created after the 9/11 attacks to develop and buy vaccines and drugs to prevent and respond to a biological attack are not being funded adequately. Although the report is critical of the White House on this topic, Congress has the power of the purse. The report cites a funding shortage for a program to ensure there are enough drugs to respond to a bioterrorist attack.

    The Obama administration asked for $305 million in its fiscal 2010 budget request. "Insufficient by a factor of 10," the report says.

    • Disease surveillance programs fall short.

    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 3:30 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • The government needs to invest in rapid diagnostic tests to "improve the nation's ability to treat people by providing a more timely and accurate diagnosis" — something that can be critical to treating the victim of a biological attack.

    Shapiro says the government is spending $3.5 billion to protect the public from the H1N1 flu and is "carefully evaluating" broader "all-hazards" spending.

    Commission Vice Chairman Jim Talent, a Republican former senator from Missouri, says: "The fact is, it is only getting easier and cheaper to develop and use biological weapons. ... It is essential that the U.S. government move more aggressively."

    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 3:31 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • It is simple he doesn't give a rats ass about the American People!Considering they said this in December.

    An investigation by the US Congress into weapons of mass destruction published yesterday made a chilling prediction of terrorists mounting an attack using biological or nuclear weapons within the next five years.

    Answer by Crissy1213 at 3:36 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • "Terrorists are more likely to be able to obtain and use a biological weapon than a nuclear weapon," it said.

    Answer by Crissy1213 at 3:37 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • I say at least you're prepared, GRLY!!!

    Do you have a spare set in size Medium for me?! LOL :o)

    Answer by LoriKeet at 3:42 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • LOL~Yup, Lori... I can send you some MRE's, too.... lol...

    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 3:47 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • So what, we will all be able to smoke our medical marijuana and veg out. Got twinkies? lol


    Answer by Anonymous at 3:49 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • LOL husband's life long friend is a recently retired NJ state trooper--let's just say he's "got our backs" (including ammo, MRE's and a very safe place to hang out) should the situation warrant! ;o)

    Answer by LoriKeet at 4:05 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • Never hurts to have a plan Lori :oP If only our administration had a plan.....a clearly defined one.... For quite a few things....

    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 4:17 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • Yeah, I have a couple of safe houses to go to in an emergency.

    I don't know what bothers me more, the fact that the admin is dropping the ball or the fact that it's out there for everyone to see!

    Answer by lovinangels at 4:19 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

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