Thursday, September 17, 2009

Joe Lieberman proposes national strategy to dispense antibiotics through the postal service

S.1649 Title: A bill to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, to prepare for attacks using weapons of mass destruction, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Lieberman, Joseph I. [CT]

Some of the effects of the bill will be:

• Require DHS to designate the most dangerous pathogens which have significant potential to be used effectively in a biological attack.

• Require DHS to set new security standards for labs using the most dangerous pathogens, including risk assessments, personnel reliability programs, and staff training.

• Require a national strategy for dispensing antibiotics and other medicines to the public and expand a pilot program for using the Postal Service to dispense them.

• Require communications plans to convey instructions to the public - including whether to evacuate or shelter-in-place - in the critical moments after an attack.

• Support a National Bioforensics Analysis Center to identify the perpetrator of a WMD attack rapidly.

• Provide personal medical kits to emergency responders in order to enable them to respond quickly to a WMD attack without jeopardizing their own safety.

• Require DHS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to provide better terrorism threat and risk assessments to the public.

• Promote citizen and community preparedness for WMD attacks, including by authorizing grants to States.


September 8, 2009

Contact: Sara Lonardo
Lieberman, Collins Seek to Protect U.S. Against Biological and Other Terrorist WMD Attacks
Legislation Responds To Warnings of a WMD Terrorist Attack By 2013

WASHINGTON - As the nation prepares to mark the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent anthrax attacks, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., and Ranking Member Susan Collins, R-Me., Tuesday introduced legislation to prevent and prepare for terrorist attacks from biological weapons and other weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

The Weapons of Mass Destruction Prevention and Preparedness Act of 2009 responds to a statement by the Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell in December 2008 and the findings of a Congressionally-mandated WMD commission that a WMD terrorist attack is more likely than not to occur by 2013 and that a biological attack is more likely than a nuclear attack.

"The approaching eighth anniversary of the 9/11 and anthrax attacks reminds us that we cannot let our guard down against the constant threat of terrorists intent on doing us harm," Lieberman said. "This legislation provides a comprehensive framework for protecting the United States from weapons of mass destruction and biological attacks, in particular, which the experts say is more likely than a nuclear attack.

"Our bill would strengthen security at labs using the most dangerous pathogens, improve our capabilities to assess the threat of terrorists acquiring WMD, ensure that citizens get critical safety information, and develop a means for quickly delivering life-saving drugs to areas that have been attacked.

"We dare not bury our heads in the sand and ignore the very real risks we face from a terrorist WMD attack. This legislation would help prevent such an attack and better prepare the nation to respond should one occur."

"As the Commission noted in its comprehensive report, terrorists have been active since the attacks of September 11, 2001. America must not become complacent. Terrorists haven't given up; they haven't gone away. Our enemies remain fixed on their avowed goal of committing mass murder," said Collins. "Nuclear proliferation and advances in biotechnology could give terrorists new means to wreak death and destruction around the world. That is why the Commission's report is a call to action. And this legislation answers that call by proposing aggressive, urgent steps that will help safeguard our nation, particularly against the threat of biological attacks."

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What in the world is Holy Joe doing here? Is this because he has our best interests in mind or is it his idea of Universal Health Care?

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