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House and Senate Urged to Fund HHS Bioterrorist Preparedness Request

October 17, 2001

(Washington, DC): The physician community and the public health system of the United States must be adequately equipped to respond to a serious biological weapon threat, according to the American College of Physicians - American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM) in a letter to President George W. Bush supporting his recommendation that Congress approve $1.5 billion toward combating terrorism.

"The American health care system needs to improve its capacity to respond to bioterrorism threats," said ACP-ASIM President William J. Hall, MD, FACP. " The nation requires enhanced early surveillance programs, adequate laboratory capacity to identify victims, and greater vaccine availability to treat victims. While the medical response to the limited cases of anthrax exposure seen in the last month has been quick and appropriate, increasing diagnostic capabilities and vaccine availability may be necessary in the future."

For years, ACP-ASIM has been deeply concerned about the threat of bioterrorism to the public health and how unprepared physicians, nurses, and the medical and public health organizations are.

"We strongly support President Bush's recommendation that the Congress allocate an additional $1.5 billion in new funds toward the Department of Health and Human Services' efforts in preparing for a bioterrorist attack," said Dr Hall.

ACP-ASIM is the nation's largest medical specialty organization and the second largest physician group. Membership encompasses more than 115,000 internal medicine physicians and medical students. Internists are the major providers of medical care to adults in America.

Jennifer Whalen, ACP-ASIM Washington Office, 202 261-4575
Jack E. Pope, ACP-ASIM Washington Office, 202-261-4556

Page updated: 11-03-03

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