Budget includes $274 million to futher improve nation's
biosurveillance capabilities Press
Release January 29, 2004
Contact: DHS Press,
HHS Press, 202-690-6343
DC) Jan.29, 2004 - Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary
and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary
Tommy G. Thompson today announced that President Bush’s Fiscal
Year 2005 budget request includes a $274 million Bio-Surveillance
Program Initiative designed to protect the nation against bioterrorism
and to strengthen the public health infrastructure. The initiative
will enhance on-going surveillance programs in areas such as human
health, hospital preparedness, state and local preparedness, vaccine
research and procurement, animal health, food and agriculture safety
and environmental monitoring and integrate those efforts into one
comprehensive system. Further details of the initiative will be
announced on February 2.
“These funds clearly reflect the President’s commitment
to further enhance our capabilities to be prepared for and to respond
to the threat of bioterrorism,” said Secretary Ridge. “This
initiative will enable us to build upon the success of the BioWatch
Program, an important public health tool, which has been operating
in more than 30 cities across the nation since 2003.”
unprecedented investments in our public health and bio-surveillance
since September 11, 2001, President
Bush’s Bio-Surveillance Program Initiative calls on DHS to
spend $129 million to expand and upgrade the BioWatch Program and
create a system to integrate a broad variety of surveillance data
from across the government. HHS would spend $135 million to strengthen
laboratories, better monitor human health, and enhance food surveillance.
In addition, the initiative provides $10 million to the Department
of Agriculture to improve food and animal surveillance.
“Better bio-surveillance will mean early detection and improved
response to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies,” said
Secretary Thompson. “It is vital that we detect, monitor
and treat any disease outbreak as quickly and efficiently as possible.
This initiative will better integrate information to give us the
tools we need to protect American families.”
Since September 11, 2001, the Bush Administration has spent or
budgeted $12.9 billion to prepare and protect the nation from a
bioterror attack, including $5.2 billion in the Fiscal Year 2004
budget. This is 15 times the $305 million spent in Fiscal Year
Bio-Surveillance Program Initiative includes:
Department of Homeland Security
Homeland Security will use $129 million to undertake two significant
enhancements to its current bio-surveillance efforts.
to the Department’s
Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection (IAIP) division
to develop a real-time
system for harvesting data on the health of our population, animals,
plants, and food supply and integrate this information with environmental
monitoring and intelligence data as well. This integration will
result in better informed decision making and a quicker federal,
state and local response.
to the Department’s Science and Technology (S&T)
division to enhance current environmental monitoring activities.
When this additional investment is added to the $53 million already
included in the President’s budget as base funding for Homeland
Security’s bio-surveillance efforts, the total FY 2005 investment
in this area would be $118 million. A key component of this initiative
will be an expansion and deployment of the next generation of technologies
related to the BioWatch Program, a bio-surveillance warning system.
Department of Health and Human Services
HHS would allocate $130 million to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) to support investments in human health surveillance.
CDC will use these funds to improve linkages between public health
laboratories, and border health and quarantine stations
will augment its current efforts by using automated analysis
electronically available health-related
data. In addition, public health, clinical, and private sector
commercial laboratory capabilities will be expanded to provide
timely and accurate diagnoses across the country.
operations would be enhanced with public health quarantine stations
from 8 to up to 25 at U.S. international
airports servings and other U.S. ports of entry.
· HHS would also provide $5 million to the Food and Drug
Administration to help coordinate the agency’s existing food
surveillance capabilities, establish connectivity with public health
and environmental officials and the integrate with Homeland Security’s
“These investments not only will better prepare the nation
for and protect us from a bioterror attack, they also will better
prepare us for any public health emergency,” Secretary Thompson
said. “We already have seen our investments pay off in CDC’s
leadership in fighting the SARS outbreak last year and through
a coordinated public health response to the West Nile Virus.”
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
USDA would use $10 million to improve food and animal surveillance
conducted by the Food Safety and Inspection Services and the Animal
and Plant Health Inspection Service.