Celebrating the revolution in nursing, and bringing important news and views to nursing, healthcare and labor activists since 2000.

Biodefense: National Dimension - Homeland Insecurity

National Dimension:

Achieving National Preparedness

A Regional Policy Workshop on Bioterrorism

National Governors Association, May 15, 2004

The NGA Center for Best Practices, in conjunction with the
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), recently convened state
bioterrorism response officials from the Western United States to discuss policy
issues concerning information-sharing, legal considerations, state strategic
planning, state-federal relations and exercises and training. The two-day
workshop is the final installment of a series of regional meetings that provided
support for state officials working to establish and bolster bioterrorism
preparedness strategies and plans. Additionally, the workshops helped inform the
CDC and NGA of any technical assistance requirements states may have. ...

Alabama, California, DC/Maryland, Montana, New Jersey, Texas, Utah, Washington


UAB selects site of newest lab

Birmingham Business Journal, February 4, 2005

UAB today announced plans to extend its research corridor along
19th Street South with construction of the Southeast Biosafety Laboratory
Alabama Birmingham. The university will demolish two buildings at the 9th Avenue
and 19th Street site to make way for the lab. Construction of the nearly 35,000
square-foot, $22.3 million facility is scheduled to begin at the end of this
year, with completion anticipated in late 2007. UAB received almost $16 million
from the National Institutes of Health in September 2003 to construct the
research facility. In addition, the State of Alabama has committed $5 million to
the construction and UAB is providing nearly $1.4 million. The lab will help
develop the next generation of vaccines, drugs and diagnostic tests for emerging
infections such as SARS and West Nile. The facility also will house research
that will defend against organisms such as pox viruses that might be used in
bioterrorists attacks. Scientific experts decided after the Sept. 11, 2001
attacks that the nation needed additional laboratory facilities research these
diseases and biological agents. Subsequent anthrax cases and spread of diseases
such as West Nile virus and SARS also prompted their decision. UAB received one
of the initial 11 grants after the NIH asked for proposals on such labs.

Massachusetts Background: BU Triumphant & Shamed

Massachusetts Background:

Information About the Proposed South End Biodefense

Adam Smith, Sampan, April 12, 2004

Boston University Medical Center plans to build a high-level
biodefense research laboratory in the South End. Only about four such labs (also
called BSL 4 labs) are in operation in the country. The laboratories are
controversial because they house research of highly infectious, hazardous and
exotic pathogens, such as Ebola. Sampan has written many stories about the
laboratory, which will be housed in the nearly 15-acre BioSquare research
complex, whose program manager is Robert Walsh, a former Boston Redevelopment
Authority director. BioSquare was first proposed in the early 1990s but only
parts of it have been completed. The original plan included bioresearch
facilities as well as a hotel and parking garages. The new project - the result
of federal grant money to create the biodefense laboratory - includes no hotel,
a cutback in laboratory space and the top-level biodefense laboratory.

Massachusetts Nurses Association Steps Forward

After five months of intense discussion and debate, with input
from MNA's Diversity Committee, Task Force on Emergency Preparedness, Board of
Directors, staff and allies, the MNA board passed the following statement on
January 20th. The final version, incorporating stronger language proposed at
that meeting and formatted for clarity, was published on January 25th. The
revelations since January 19th of BU's deceitful coverup of multiple breaches in
protocol in handling potentially deadly organisms only made the drive to condemn
this siting all the more urgent. The MNA Congress on Health Policy and
Legislation and its Legislative Department is looking at Representative Gloria
Fox's bill (An Act to Protect the Public Health and Environment from Toxic
Biological Agents) to see if it is, as expected, consistent with the principles
laid out in the MNA position statement. Proposals to site Level 3 and Level 4
bioterror labs are cropping up across the country. This is all part of the
Bush/Cheney drive toward Armageddon, making about as much sense as the mass
vaccination of healthcare workers against smallpox and the preemptive invasion
of Iraq. Therefore public opposition to this madness should be part of Labor's
social and political agenda.

Syndicate content