Real-Time Assessment of the Federal Response to Pandemic Influenza, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology of the Committee on Homeland Security, House of Representatives, One Hundred Eleventh Congress, First Session, October 27, 2009 [open pdf - 946KB]
From the opening statement of Yvette D. Clarke: "The Homeland Security Committee has long been concerned with the state of our preparedness to deal with pandemics. Today, our subcommittee turns its attention to the Federal response to the reemerging threat of pandemic influenza. Over the weekend, President Obama declared a National emergency with respect to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. This action underscored the gravity of the situation. Although we went into this pandemic better prepared than we had been in the past, we were not fully prepared to meet the pandemic when it started this year. Going into this pandemic, we knew that, No. 1, our early warning and detection systems were inadequate; No. 2, some key planning activities were incomplete; No. 3, we didn't have a good approach to provide health care under pandemic conditions; and, No. 4, our levels of preparedness for pandemic influenza were unclear. Unfortunately, our failure to develop these systems, activities, and policies cost us during the response. For instance, the pandemic started in North America, the one place we were not looking for it. We did not have an early warning. The alarm sounded only when people started to die. We did not have the luxury of time to observe the virus before the pandemic started; and, to the surprise of the community, the virus turned out to be H1N1, not the H5N1 virus that causes avian influenza." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Yvette D. Clark, Daniel E. Lungren, Bennie G. Thompson, Laura Richardson, Alexander Garza, Nicole Lurie, Richard Serino, and Marcy Forman.
Serial No. 111-41
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