Brooks Statement Supporting Strategic National Stockpile Shift to HHS
WASHINGTON, DC – The President’s Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Proposal shifts the Strategic National Stockpile from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) provided the following statement:
“We must continue to build on investments to protect the civilian population against public health emergencies related to infectious disease outbreaks, whether they occur naturally or are associated with bioterror tactics. When natural disasters devastate our communities, or our neighborhoods and workplaces are threatened by chemical, biological or nuclear hazards, it is critical to ensure we are able to respond as quickly and efficiently as possible in order to keep the American people healthy and safe.
“This announcement reinforces the importance of streamlining public health emergency response measures so that if and when our country faces a public health emergency or bioterrorism threats, we are in a better position to respond with the appropriate supplies and resources to adequately protect the homeland and everyone who lives in it.”
The Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) is our nation’s supply of vaccines, medicine, and medical supplies for use in a public health emergency. The SNS was created in 1999 and was strengthened after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The SNS has been used after hurricanes and is ready for use against potential bioterrorism threats like botulism, anthrax, smallpox and tularemia.
The CDC has a vast mission to save lives and protect people, and moving the SNS from the CDC to ASPR within HHS will consolidate decision making regarding the development and procurement of medical countermeasures and streamline leadership in order to ensure efficient responses to public health emergencies. In 2017, ASPR coordinated disaster and emergency responses that assisted more than thirty-six thousand patients.