Shrub cuts bird-flu preparedness

Europeans appear to take the bird-flu threat seriously: Germany now mandates that chicken be kept only inside. But although Bush said he read “The Great Influenza” his administration still slashes funding for public health preparedness by $129 million in next year’s budget.

“Critical funding is shrinking just as public health agencies are being required to expand their work in pandemic influenza preparation and response,” said Dr. Rex Archer, health director of Kansas City, Mo., and president of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).
The Bush administration, in its proposed 2006 HHS budget, slashed funding for public health preparedness by $129 million — from $926 million in 2005 to $797 million. The House version of the 2006 HHS bill appropriates $853 million while the Senate bill sticks with the$797 million requested by the administration.
Health directors say HHS flu cuts are for the birds Government Health IT, Oct. 18, 2005

All the while, more and more bird-flu reports across Asia.

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