Governors Should Heed Bioterrorism ‘Wake-Up Call’
Although a panel of bioterrorism experts briefed the National Governors Association during their winter meeting this week, Jules Witcover writes in a Baltimore Sun opinion piece that "judging from the sparse turnout" at the session, the governors "seemed more worried" about their "highway construction dollars" than the threat of bioterrorism. Witcover writes that the bioterrorism panel had a "simple message" for governors: "Don't wait for a biological attack to happen; start preparing for it now. The task cannot be done ... without a public awareness that there are reasonable steps that can be taken and resources to deal with it in advance." According to Witcover, the panel said that "it is up to the governors to mobilize all aspects of their communities, private as well as public, to meet the challenge. Hospitals, health care organizations, doctors, insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors -- all should be brought into coordinated planning for a bioterrorism emergency." He writes that the panel's recommendations should serve as a "wake-up call" to the governors, "one that will need more response from them than they seemed show" this week (Witcover, Baltimore Sun, 2/27).