in case of illness call a police state

Discussion in 'Politics' started by james q, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. james q

    james q Uranian

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    Homeland Security Agency Says It Will Manage Flu Pandemic Response
    August 24, 2005
    WASHINGTON (The New York Times News Service) -- The head of the Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday his agency -- and not the federal health establishment -- will manage the country's response if a deadly new strain of bird flu evolves into a human pandemic.

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which includes the U.S. Public Health Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health agencies, has previously described itself as the "primary federal agency" in a national health emergency.

    But at a meeting with reporters, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said his department expects to have overall responsibility for managing a national pandemic response.

    HHS would make decisions within its area of expertise, as would other federal, state and local agencies, he said.

    Chertoff said that in the event of a pandemic, the government would depend heavily on the health expertise within HHS, "but we would manage the incident particularly with the view to make sure that all of the other pieces that could flow from the pandemic would be properly addressed."

    Chertoff's statement and HHS pandemic planning documents suggest there is confusion over which government agency will have final authority over key decisions, such as who receives crucial drugs and vaccines and where health care resources are deployed.

    Officials at HHS and the CDC did not respond to questions about Chertoff's assertions.

    But public health officials and health care experts reacted with dismay.

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