Nationwide tracking system to detect disease needed

Posted: Friday, August 23, 2002

The anthrax scare and the bioterror threat have exposed a fundamental problem in homeland security: The nation has no nationwide tracking system to detect a surge in illness or disease. Rescue workers are trained to respond to bombings and other catastrophic events, but they lack a warning system to detect a silent spread of invisible killers. Congress took a step last year to close this gap, but continued funding will be required to make the safety net operational.

The terrorist attacks heightened the urgency of putting a nationwide tracking system into place. Congress deserves credit for realizing the need, and the $17.5-million allocation for pilot projects in the 50 states begins the process of laying the architecture behind an integrated system. But it will take years and almost $300 million to build a nationwide network. The big money needs to come now.

The House and the Bush administration, like the Senate, have shown support for the initiative. The startup cost -- a dollar for every American -- is a bargain given the protection the network would provide for our communities. Congress should make a large down payment this year.

-- St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times

Aug. 20



Related Searches

 FLORIDA   BUSH ADMINISTRATION   ANTHRAX   ILLNESS   SENATE   WAR_CONFLICT   ST. PETERSBURG   USD   CONGRESS   DISEASE   POLITICS 

Subscribe to Peninsula Clarion



Trending this week:


 
 

Peninsula Clarion © 2015. All Rights Reserved. | Contact Us