News

June 8, 1998

PRESIDENT REQUESTS ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR PROTECTION AGAINST BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL TERRORISM

                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                           (New York, New York)

_______________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                              June 8, 1998


                   PRESIDENT REQUESTS ADDITIONAL FUNDING
         FOR PROTECTION AGAINST BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL TERRORISM


     As part of the Administration's ongoing fight against terrorism,
President Clinton has asked the Congress to provide an additional $294
million to deter and respond to terrorist incidents involving the use of
biological or chemical weapons. This action is part of an integrated plan,
announced by the President last month, for the Federal Government to combat
and defend against terrorist threats.

     "Because we live in an age where technology and terrorism can be
combined to deadly effect, it is vital that we take measures to safeguard
the health and safety of our civilian population," said President Clinton.

     The funding will provide equipment and specialized training for health
and rescue workers, improve the current surveillance system to detect
biological or chemical agents, and for the first time build a civilian
stockpile of antidotes and antibiotics.

     The President asked that his Fiscal Year 1999 budget request,
currently under consideration by the Congress, be amended to allocate an
additional $294 million for chemical and biological warfare to the
Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Health and Human Services (HHS), and to
the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  If approved, these funds
would be available October 1, 1998. They are offset by funding reductions
in lower priority program areas.


     Specifically, the President requested:

        $94 million for HHS to build a civilian stockpile of antidotes and
       antibiotics to respond to a large scale biological or chemical
       attack, and to improve the current public health surveillance system
       in order to rapidly detect chemical or biological agents and analyze
       resulting disease outbreaks.  This increase would almost double HHS
       pending 1999 request related to chemical and biological warfare.

        An additional $10 million to expand the National Institutes of
       Health (NIH) research programs on bioterrorist agents and candidate
       vaccines and therapies for these agents.

        $190 million for HHS, DOJ, and FEMA for programs to provide
       specialized equipment, training, and planning assistance for
       responding to a chemical or biological incident.

     Most of the training and equipment would go to State and local
governments, who would be the "first responders" to such incidents.  In
addition, the capacity of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to deter and
respond to incidents would be enhanced through additional
chemical/biological detection devices, protective suits, and staffing for
response units.


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