Beyond Readiness: An Examination of the Current Status and Future Outlook of the National Response to Pandemic Influenza, Hearing Before the Committee on Homeland Security, House of Representatives, One Hundred Eleventh Congress, First Session, July 29, 2009 [open pdf - 406KB]
From the opening statement of Bennie G. Thompson: The committee is meeting today to receive testimony on 'Beyond Readiness: An Examination of the Current Status and Future Outlook of the National Response to Pandemic Influenza.' [...] The good news is that a vaccine is currently under development, and over the last 4 years, Congress has provided approximately $8.6 billion for pandemic planning efforts. But unfortunately, despite this amount of funding, according to GAO [Government Accountability Office] there are still major gaps in pandemic planning and preparedness efforts. Among the major gaps is the failure to plan for additional bed space and medical supplies. Additionally, GAO determined that leadership roles and responsibilities for an influenza pandemic need to be further clarified, tested, and exercised. Given this country's recent experience with disasters, it is hard to believe that there are those who underestimate the importance of plans and drills. [...] Finally, we need to understand that the emergency preparedness and response community and the health care community have always shared resources during crises and disasters. These formal and informal partnerships may be strained during a pandemic. Increased drills and exercises will strengthen these relationships, decrease uncertainty, and improve response and recovery. Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Bennie G. Thompson, Peter T. King, Paul C. Broun, Stephen F. Lynch, Jane Holl Lute, William Corr, Bernice Steinhardt, Colleen M. Kelley, Richard G. Muth, and Thomas A. Farley.
Serial No. 111-32
Government Printing Office, Congressional Hearings: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/chearings/index.html