"The findings presented here indicate that despite large national expenditures on drugs and vaccines, our nation remains woefully unprepared for a bioterrorism attack. Survey results from 41 states demonstrate that preparedness to deliver the stockpiled drugs and vaccines has improved marginally since 2003. In the first ever examination of bioterrorism preparedness at the local level, preparedness appears weak. Based on the findings in this report, we conclude the United States is not yet as prepared as it needs to be in light of the threat of bioterrorism or a naturally occurring public health emergency. In order to achieve adequate preparedness, strong and sustained funding, of at least the $1 billion per year, should be provided to state and local health agencies to ensure they build and maintain vaccine and drug distribution capabilities. The Administration must also immediately develop a coherent and comprehensive national biodefense strategy to reach consensus on what biological threats we face and how we should prepare. State and local governments, who have a crucial role in response, must be included in establishing benchmarks and timetables for achieving full preparedness. Finally, the National Guard should take a more prominent role in homeland security by building a specialized capacity to respond to a bioterror attack or public health emergency."
Select Committee on Homeland Security - Democratic Office: http://www.house.gov/hsc/democrats/