Texas To Receive $63,981,251 To Better Defend Against Bioterror Attacks

In: All News   Posted 09/01/2004

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) will award $63,981,251 to Texas to enhance the ability of local and regional public health departments to prepare for bioterrorism. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the Senate’s Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, on Wednesday said the funding is “an another important step for homeland and hometown security in Texas.” “These funds are an important part of the administration’s continuing efforts to ensure that our health care providers have the resources necessary to protect our communities,” Cornyn said. “It’s critical that officials on the state and federal level continue to cooperate to prepare now for the possibility of a bioterrorism attack, which we all hope will never come.”This funding is provided to the Texas Dept. of State Health Service and will be used in various ways, including:

  • Preparedness Planning – to better plan for bioterror attacks
  • Surveillance – to improve record keeping of different illnesses in Texas>
  • Lab Work – to provide equipment and personnel to set up labs to identify diseases
  • Health Alert Network – to link local community health departments with the state health services, the Center for Disease Control and law enforcement and emergency services
  • Risk Communication and Public Relations – to communicate with the Texas communities on emergency plans and situations
  • Education and Training – to further educate doctors and nurses about bioterrorism agents such as anthrax

The funding comes in addition to the $33,338,368 Texas received in May to reinforce the ability of the state’s hospitals to prevent and respond to bioterror attacks, infectious diseases and natural disasters that result in mass casualties.On the national level, Cornyn joined colleagues earlier this year to pass the Project Bioshield Act (S. 15). The bill, passed by a vote of 99 to 0, authorizes the procurement of biomedical protections – drugs, devices, or biological products – used to identify, prevent or respond to a chemical and biological attack. The legislation will implement an initiative proposed by President Bush known as Project Bioshield and authorizes $5.6 billion for anti-terror biomedical countermeasures.