DHS Pandemic Preparedness Lacking
(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement in response to a Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) report on "DHS Has Not Effectively Managed Pandemic Personal Protective Equipment and Antiviral Medical Countermeasures" (OIG-14-129):
"I am deeply troubled with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General's report finding that the Department had not adequately managed its stockpile of personal protective equipment and antiviral countermeasures for its workforce. DHS is among the chief Federal agencies charged with helping State and local governments improve capabilities to prepare for and respond to catastrophic health threats. Unfortunately, we do not know whether the Department even has the capability to protect its own workforce in the event of a pandemic. It is unclear what data or methodology drove the investment decisions DHS made with approximately $47 million Congress appropriated to help DHS plan, train, and prepare for such an event. It also appears DHS invested millions of dollars in equipment and countermeasures without establishing a lifecycle plan – this is unacceptable. DHS should immediately implement a plan to address the 11 recommendations laid out in this report."
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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978