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U.S. Continues to Spend Billions on Biodefense

FY2006 Budget Adds Money Across All Agencies

JULY 12, 2005 -- Baltimore, MD -- Since 2001, the U.S. government has spent substantial resources to prepare the nation against a bioterrorist attack. Last year, the Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center analyzed government spending on biosecurity from 2001 to 2005. In an article published today in Biosecurity and Bioterrorism, author Ari Schuler updates the figures for 2006 and looks at where the money is going.

The article analyzes the budgets for FY2006 for biodefense at the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of State. Among the findings:

  • The President's overall FY2006 budget request for civilian biodefense totals $5.1 billion. This is $2.5 billion less than was requested in FY2005, but the decrease is due primarily to the absence of BioShield money, which was appropriated in FY2005 but is to be spent between FY2005 and FY2008.
  • All agencies involved in civilian biodefense received at least incremental increases.
  • The requests for the greatest increases were for the Environmental Protection Agency (89%), to fund the protection of food and water supplies and to train personnel for emergencies, and the Department of Agriculture (26%), to expand the department's food and agriculture monitoring and response capabilities.
  • Most of the requested money for biodefense -- more than 87.5% -- goes to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security.

"Billions for Biodefense: Federal Agency Biodefense Budgeting, FY2005-FY2006" by Ari Schuler appears in Biosecurity and Bioterrorism and is available at https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/bsp.2005.3.94

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The Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) works to affect policy and practice in ways that lessen the illness, death, and civil disruption that would follow large-scale epidemics, whether they occur naturally or result from the use of a biological weapon.

 

 

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