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Tuesday, November 01, 2005 

Bush unveils pandemic plan

Transcript of Bush's speech

New government pandemic flu site

Don't have much time to dig into it right now so I'll just highlight what caught my eye. One notable quote:
Our country has been given fair warning of this danger to our homeland and time to prepare.
(Let's see him stick to that one, should a pandemic happen this year).

Overall, it looks like he's emphasizing surveillance, training/expanding medical personnel, vaccine/antiviral stockpiles (including more money to have an immediate stockpile of the H5N1 vaccine already working its way through clinical trials), developing new vaccine technologies, and emergency response planning.

I'm unclear as to whether this initiative will apply to just influenza, or all disease:
To strengthen domestic surveillance, my administration is launching the National Biosurveillance Initiative. This initiative will help us rapidly detect, quantify and respond to outbreaks of disease in humans and animals, and deliver information quickly to state and local and national and international public health officials.
And of course, it wouldn't be Bush without a mention of one of his pet causes:
I'm also asking Congress to remove one of the greatest obstacles to domestic vaccine production: the growing burden of litigation.

Finally--the price tag for all this?
So to meet all our goals, I'm requesting a total of $7.1 billion in emergency funding from the United States Congress.
Just where is all this money coming from? Guess we'd better make those Medicare cuts a little bit deeper.

Edited to add: Revere at Effect Measure also has a discussion of Bush's speech today.

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About me

  • I'm Tara C. Smith
  • From Iowa, United States
  • I'm a mom and a scientist, your basic stressed-out, wanna-have-it-all-and-do-it-all Gen Xer. Recently transplanted from Ohio to Iowa, I've spent most of my life in the midwest (with 4 years of college spent out east in "soda" territory). My main interest, and the subject of my research, is infectious disease: how does the microbe cause illness? What makes one strain nasty, and another "avirulent?" Are the latter really not causing any disease, or could some of those be possible for the development of chronic disease years down the road? Additionally, I've spent a lot of time discussing the value of teaching evolution, and educating others about "intelligent design" and other forms of creationism. My interest in history of science and medicine is also useful as a way to tie all of the above interests together. [Disclaimer: the views here are solely my own, and do not represent my employer, my spouse, that guy who's always sitting by the fountain when I come into work, or anyone else with whom I may be remotely affiliated.]
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