RealNews

New HHS center stands ready to track bioterror attacks

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson has wasted no time in constructing a state-of-the-art command center to handle any bioterrorism or public health emergency that might arise. In less than 60 days’ time, Thompson finished the job, with the ribbon-cutting on the $3.5 million center occurring in December. The center is just across the hall from Thompson’s office in the main HHS building at the foot of Capitol Hill, and it won’t require plastic sheeting and duct tape to keep out germs and chemicals. The center has a self-contained ventilation system that allows government officials to take refuge there for an extended period of time, even if the rest of the building is crawling with anthrax or another harmful chemical or biological agent. The center’s purpose is to provide timely, accurate information and intelligence to the secretary so that he can make quick, well-informed decisions about a public health situation anywhere in the country. Special equipment can map and display the progression of illness outbreaks. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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