S. Hrg. 107-142: FEMA'S Role in Managing Bioterrorist Attacks and the Impact of Public Health Concerns on Bioterrorism Preparedness: Hearing before the International Security, Proliferation, and Federal Services Subcommittee of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Seventh Congress, First Session, July 23, 2001 [open pdf - 2MB]
S. Hrg. 107-142: This hearing discusses what the Federal Government is doing to prepare our local communities for bioterrorism. Bioterrorism is different from other forms of terrorism. A bioterrorist attack will not be preceded by a large explosion. First responders will be the physicians and nurses in our local hospitals and emergency rooms, who may not realize that there has been an attack for days or weeks. Preparing for biological events should not be limited to worst-case scenarios, where thousands of Americans die from an intentional release of anthrax or smallpox. A simple and perhaps more likely hostile act of infecting a population with food poisoning would also overwhelm most area hospitals. Naturally occurring emergency infectious diseases can do just as much damage. We must ensure that hospitals and medical professionals are equipped to deal with these threats. There are three things we must do to deal with a biological event: (1) continuous surveillance so that an unusual event can be recognized, (2) active investigation for a quick and decisive diagnosis, and (3) an emergency response. These are the areas that local and State planners concentrate on while preparing their own response plans. These are also the areas where the Federal Government can help. But how much are Federal programs that are designed to help local communities prepare for biological events, in fact, helping? Are they addressing local planners primary concerns and needs? Statements, letters, and material submitted for the record include those of the following: Daniel K. Akaka, Thad Cochran, Max Cleland, Bruce Baughman, Scott R. Lillibridge, Tara J. O'Toole, and Dan Hanfling.
S. Hrg. 107-142; Senate Hearing 107-142