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Bush Issues Directive to Bolster Defense Against Bioterrorism

President Bush has approved a series of initiatives intended to enhance the nation’s defenses against a catastrophic biological weapons attack, senior administration officials said Tuesday. The steps include creation of a common surveillance system to collect and analyze information about bioterrorist threats. The plan, detailed in a secret directive signed by Mr. Bush last Wednesday, also calls for the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a national risk assessment every two years on new biological threats, like those posed by genetically modified agents that may not respond to vaccines or antibiotics.In addition, the department is to perform a biological “net assessment” every four years, to evaluate the effectiveness of existing biodefenses and to remedy vulnerabilities. Full Story

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