Federal Grants Bring New Cash to Local Emergency-Response Efforts

Police officers practice subduing an individual playing the part of an anthrax victim as part of a bioterrorism drill in Tuscon, Ariz., in 2002. The U.S. Health and Human Services Department is awarding $840 million in new grants to benefit state and local emergency-response programs.
National Journal
Rachel Oswald
Add to Briefcase
Rachel Oswald
July 2, 2014, 8:35 a.m.

State and loc­al ef­forts to im­prove pub­lic-health re­sponses to a po­ten­tial un­con­ven­tion­al at­tack on U.S. soil are get­ting an­oth­er in­fu­sion of fed­er­al fund­ing.

The U.S. Health and Hu­man Ser­vices De­part­ment an­nounced on Tues­day that it was award­ing more than $840 mil­lion in fisc­al 2014 grants to state and com­munity pub­lic-health pro­grams that could be called on in the event of a nat­ur­ally oc­cur­ring dis­ease epi­dem­ic, or a bio­lo­gic­al, chem­ic­al or nuc­le­ar at­tack.

“Com­munity and state pre­pared­ness is es­sen­tial to the health se­cur­ity of all Amer­ic­ans,” Nicole Lurie, HHS as­sist­ant sec­ret­ary for pre­pared­ness and re­sponse, said in provided re­marks. “Events in the last few years have demon­strated how crit­ic­al it is for health sys­tems across the coun­try to be ready and able to re­spond quickly and ef­fect­ively.”

The grants are be­ing dis­persed through two dif­fer­ent pro­grams: the Pub­lic Health Emer­gency Pre­pared­ness ini­ti­at­ive, which sup­ports ef­forts by labor­at­or­ies and re­search­ers to con­tain dis­ease out­breaks, and the Hos­pit­al Pre­pared­ness Pro­gram, which works to im­prove co­ordin­a­tion among dif­fer­ent med­ic­al cen­ters for re­spond­ing to pos­sible large-scale emer­gen­cies.

The hos­pit­al-read­i­ness ef­fort is get­ting $228.5 mil­lion for the cur­rent fisc­al year. In com­par­is­on, the ini­ti­at­ive re­ceived $332 mil­lion in fisc­al 2013 and $352 mil­lion in fisc­al 2012, ac­cord­ing to pre­vi­ous re­port­ing. The Pub­lic Health Emer­gency Pre­pared­ness pro­gram is to re­ceive nearly $612 mil­lion in fisc­al 2014. That com­pares to $584 mil­lion in fisc­al 2013 and $619 mil­lion in fisc­al 2012.

What We're Following See More »
Trump Deposition Video Is Online
7 hours ago

The video of Donald Trump's deposition in his case against restaurateur Jeffrey Zakarian is now live. Slate's Jim Newell and Josh Voorhees are live-blogging it while they watch.

Debate Commission Admits Issues with Trump’s Mic
8 hours ago

The Commission on Presidential Debates put out a statement today that gives credence to Donald Trump's claims that he had a bad microphone on Monday night. "Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump's audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall," read the statement in its entirety.

Trump Deposition Video to Be Released
9 hours ago

"A video of Donald Trump testifying under oath about his provocative rhetoric about Mexicans and other Latinos is set to go public" as soon as today. "Trump gave the testimony in June at a law office in Washington in connection with one of two lawsuits he filed last year after prominent chefs reacted to the controversy over his remarks by pulling out of plans to open restaurants at his new D.C. hotel. D.C. Superior Court Judge Brian Holeman said in an order issued Thursday evening that fears the testimony might show up in campaign commercials were no basis to keep the public from seeing the video."

Chicago Tribune Endorses Gary Johnson
12 hours ago

No matter that his recall of foreign leaders leaves something to be desired, Gary Johnson is the choice of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board. The editors argue that Donald Trump couldn't do the job of president, while hitting Hillary Clinton for "her intent to greatly increase federal spending and taxation, and serious questions about honesty and trust." Which leaves them with Johnson. "Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles," they write, "and can be proud of that vote. Yes, proud of a candidate in 2016."

USA Today Weighs in on Presidential Race for First Time Ever
1 days ago

"By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump." That's the message from USA Today editors, who are making the first recommendation on a presidential race in the paper's 34-year history. It's not exactly an endorsement; they make clear that the editorial board "does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement." But they state flatly that Donald Trump is, by "unanimous consensus of the editorial board, unfit for the presidency."