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DoD to carry out 'military missions' during pandemic, WMD attack By Lori Price, www.legitgov.org

Bill Will Establish 'National Emergency Centers' On Military Installations --FEMA Camps Mandated in H.R. 645 22 Jan 2009 A Bill to direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish national emergency centers on military installations. SECTION 1. This Act may be cited as the 'National Emergency Centers Establishment Act'. SECTION 2. ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY CENTERS. (a) In General - In accordance with the requirements of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish not fewer than 6 national emergency centers on military installations... (b) Purpose of National Emergency Centers... (3) to provide centralized locations to improve the coordination of preparedness, response, and recovery efforts of government, private, and not-for-profit entities and faith-based organizations; and (4) to meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security.

On Thursday, the Bush administration issued a directive that, 'establishes a National Strategy for Public Health and Medical Preparedness (Strategy), which builds upon principles set forth in Biodefense for the 21st Century (April 2004) and will transform our national approach to protecting the health of the American people against [with] all disasters.'

HOMELAND SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/HSPD-21, issued 18 October 2007, states that within one year of the directive's date, 'the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Defense, in coordination with the Secretaries of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, shall establish an academic Joint Program for Disaster Medicine and Public Health housed at a National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences... Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense authorities will be used to carry out respective civilian and military missions within this joint program.'

White House Directive/HSPD-21 selections cited, below:

Background

(3) A catastrophic health event, such as a terrorist attack with a weapon of mass destruction (WMD), a naturally-occurring pandemic, or a calamitous meteorological or geological event, could cause tens or hundreds of thousands of casualties or more, weaken our economy, damage public morale and confidence, and threaten our national security. It is therefore critical that we establish a strategic vision that will enable a level of public health and medical preparedness sufficient to address a range of possible disasters.

(4) The United States has made significant progress in public health and medical preparedness since 2001, but we remain vulnerable to events that threaten the health of large populations. The attacks of September 11 and Hurricane Katrina were the most significant recent disasters faced by the United States, yet casualty numbers were small [!] in comparison to the 1995 Kobe earthquake; the 2003 Bam, Iran, earthquake; the 2004 Sumatra tsunami; and what we would expect from a 1918-like influenza pandemic or large-scale WMD attack.

 

Education and Training

(38) Within 1 year after the date of this directive, the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Defense, in coordination with the Secretaries of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, shall establish an academic Joint Program for Disaster Medicine and Public Health housed at a National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. The Program shall lead Federal efforts to develop and propagate core curricula, training, and research related to medicine and public health in disasters. The Center will be an academic center of excellence in disaster medicine and public health, co-locating education and research in the related specialties of domestic medical preparedness and response, international health, international disaster and humanitarian medical assistance, and military medicine. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense authorities will be used to carry out respective civilian and military missions within this joint program.

Task Force and Implementation Plan

(43) In order to facilitate the implementation of the policy outlined in this Strategy, there is established the Public Health and Medical Preparedness Task Force (Task Force). Within 120 days after the date of this directive, the Task Force shall submit to the President for approval, through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, an Implementation Plan (Plan) for this Strategy, and annually thereafter shall submit to the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism a status report on the implementation of the Plan and any recommendations for changes to this Strategy.

(a) The Task Force shall consist exclusively of the following members (or their designees who shall be full-time officers or employees of the members’ respective agencies):

(i) The Secretary of Health and Human Services, who shall serve as Chair;

(ii) The Secretary of State;

(ii) The Secretary of Defense;

(iii) The Attorney General;

(iv) The Secretary of Agriculture;

(v) The Secretary of Commerce;

(vi) The Secretary of Labor;

(vii) The Secretary of Transportation;

(viii) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs

(ix) The Secretary of Homeland Security;

(x) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget;

(xi) The Director of National Intelligence; and

(xii) such other officers of the United States as the Chair of the Task Force may designate from time to time.

*****

See also: DoD to 'augment civilian law' during pandemic or bioterror attack

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