The Global Threat of New and Reemerging Infectious Diseases: Reconciling U.S. National Security and Public Health Policy

By Jennifer Brower; Peter Chalk | Go to book overview

Chapter Five
U.S. CAPABILITIES TO COUNTER
INFECTIOUS DISEASES

In 1992, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) challenged the United States to respond to the threat of infectious diseases by improving public health and medical capacity. Partly in response to the IOM, in 1994 the CDC drafted a strategy that included improvements in surveillance, applied research, prevention and control, and infrastructure.1 Recognizing the ongoing risks of increasing global interdependencies, in 1995 the National Science and Technology Council's CISET further recommended that the United States play a stronger role in global efforts to control infectious disease.2 The CISET report served as the basis for a 1996 Presidential Decision Directive calling for the formation of an emerging infectious disease task force to oversee efforts to develop a global surveillance and response network, enhance research and training, and strengthen cooperation with international partners.3 The continued emergence of new strains of infectious diseases, changes in healthcare delivery, and new technologies and scientific findings prompted additional action by the

____________________
1
CDC, “Preventing Emerging Infectious Diseases,” p. 3; CDC, “Addressing Emerging Infectious Disease Threats: A Prevention Strategy for the United States,” Atlanta: CDC, 1994.
2
National Science and Technology Council, Infectious Disease, September 1995, available at http://clinton4.nara.gov/textonly/WH/EOP/OSTP/CISET/html/toc.html as “Global Microbial Threats in the 1990s,” accessed August 17, 2001.
3
See The White House, Office of Science and Technology Policy, “Addressing the Threat of Emerging Infectious Diseases,” PDD/NSTC-7, June 12, 1996, available at http://www.state.gov/www/global/oes/health/task_force/whthtreat.html, accessed June 28, 2001.

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