09/11/2005: Four years later…
...Is the sad truth that these self-professed “Who’s your Daddy for Keeping Ya Safe” Folks at the Top of our Government are really Unable to “Think the Unthinkable” and prepare for the next disaster in any meaningful fashion.
Four Year Later from the WaPo:
“…Put simply, this is a nation that is very good at fighting yesterday's battles, very good at distributing funds based on politics rather than risk and extraordinarily bad at fighting tomorrow's unexpected challenge.
…[N]either DHS nor anyone else has focused hard enough on the major disasters for which the United States is still least prepared, namely a nuclear disaster or a biological attack, both of which would strain the nation's public health facilities way beyond capacity. It is still the case that far too little has been done to secure the nuclear and bioterrorism weapons of the former Soviet Union; that radiation testing is still not deployed with any precision at American ports; and that evacuation plans are, as became obvious this month, not geared to the immobile, not widely understood by either officials or by the public, and probably not feasible in many cases anyway.
Dealing with the biological threat, either from terrorists or a natural pandemic, will, in addition, require far larger federal government investment in biological science than this administration has yet been willing to make, as well as a far broader partnership with the pharmaceutical industry than anyone has yet been willing to contemplate. Work on finding vaccines and cures for existing diseases has just begun; ways for distributing vaccines in case of emergency have been contemplated in only a few places and instances; and the long-term investment in the technology that will be needed to anticipate and prevent new or engineered viruses has not yet been made.
Big disaster scenarios are, it is true, gloomy to contemplate. It is much easier for emergency planners and politicians to think about containable crises. It is also much easier for federal officials to respond automatically to local and congressional demands, rather than draw up their own risk-based and possibly unpopular plans. But if there is any point to having a department of homeland security, surely it is to think the unthinkable. And we see only slim evidence, so far, that DHS is engaged in that undertaking.”
Karen on 09.11.05 @ 06:24 AM CST