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Thursday, April 25, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

In Case of Biological Attack, Check the Mail

WASHINGTON (CN) - President Obama wants the U.S. Postal Service to deliver appropriate medicines to every American household if a large scale biological attack occurs.

He has given the Departments of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security 180 days to develop a medical mail dispensing model in cooperation with the USPS.

In an Executive Order dated Dec. 30, the President also directed all state and local law enforcement authorities to coordinate with the Postal Service to act as escorts for the postal workers delivering medical countermeasures in the event of an attack.

Some believe that even with the agency's overnight mail capabilities, the mailbox may remain empty for some time.

The U.S. is failing to address the "urgent biothreat" the nation faces, the Chairman of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, former Senator Bob Grahm, wrote on the commission Web site.

The Senator used the slow response of the nation to the H1N1 pandemic as an example, writing that even with six months' warning, the country has failed to produce sufficient quantities of the H1N1 vaccine. He believes that the U.S. needs an "infrastructure of surveillance, communication and large quantities of safe vaccine and medicines..." that quickly may be made larger in the case of a biological attack.

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