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Bradley Holds Briefing on Military Capabilities in Responding to Pandemics

Location: Washington, DC

Friday, October 28, 2005

Catastrophic Disasters "Gap" Panel hears from medical experts on military's role

(Washington, D.C.) - This afternoon, First District Congressman Jeb Bradley co-chaired a briefing with Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.) on the military's capabilities to respond to a pandemic within the United States. Bradley and Davis are co-chairs of the "Gap" Panel on Non-Traditional Missions and Catastrophic Disasters, part of the House Armed Services Committee's Congressional Defense Review.

Today's briefing focused on the role of the armed services in the development of plans to prevent and respond to any health care crisis within the U.S. military and the civilian community. The witnesses who testified spoke of the primary responsibility of the U.S. military in responding to such a threat, which would be to ensure the protection of our armed forces and their health needs. Also discussed were suggestions for the support role of the military in a pandemic situation, which include having the military serve to augment front-line health care workers, logistics and mobility providers, and medical supply distributors.

"Our panel heard interesting statements from the medical leadership in our military services about the considerable capability our nation has to combat infectious diseases," stated Bradley. "The nature of the threat from infectious diseases, however, is a major challenge for our country's health care system. A pandemic outbreak could have potentially devastating effects in our country, which is why it is necessary to work to implement the best planning and response if a pandemic occurs."

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