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Bipartisan E&C Leaders Respond to GAO Report on NDMS

Jun 18, 2020
Press Release

Today, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS).  The NDMS is made up of thousands of responders that support local response efforts to natural disasters, large events that could yield an emergency, or other emergency situations.  NDMS is managed by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR), said the following about the GAO report:

“Whether it’s the Strategic National Stockpile, infectious disease modeling, or any other aspect of the government’s response efforts to public health emergencies and disasters, we must continue to look for opportunities to improve our preparedness efforts.  GAO’s report on our National Disaster Medical System highlights critical areas for improvement and recommends how ASPR can take a more strategic personnel approach.  We are thankful to those who use their talents to respond to our nation’s emergencies and disasters, like the COVID-19 pandemic we are facing today.  We encourage ASPR to implement the recommendations in the report, and we will continue to conduct oversight to streamline and further build the country’s ability to respond to public health emergencies,” said Pallone and Walden.

“This pandemic has reinforced my belief that we need to continuously evaluate our nation’s readiness and identify opportunities for improvement.  I’m pleased that my provision helped to guide the GAO to issue helpful recommendations for how we can better protect all Americans moving forward,” said Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL).

Background:

The GAO report titled - “PUBLIC HEALTH PREPAREDNESS: HHS Should Take Actions to Ensure It Has an Adequate Number of Effectively Trained Emergency Responders” – can be found HERE. It includes five recommendations, all of which HHS concurred with.

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