Dangerous gaps remain in nation’s bioterrorism preparedness, report says

A decade after envelopes containing anthrax terrorized the nation and alerted officials to the need to protect against bioterrorism, significant gaps remain in the nation’s capacity to respond to a bioterrorism attack, according to an analysis released Thursday.
Although the anthrax attacks triggered an unprecedented attempt to bolster the nation’s preparedness, and significant improvements have been made, much more work remains to be done, according to the analysis by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, two private nonprofit, nonpartisan research groups.
“Currently, there is an additional new threat to preparedness — the current economic climate and budget cuts at the federal, state and local level mean that the progress made over the past decade could be lost,” the 92-page report concludes. “Until public health emergency preparedness receives sufficient and sustained funding, Americans will continue to be needlessly at risk for a range of public health threats.”  CONTINUE

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