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We Can Prevent a Health Crisis

December 16, 2005
by Thomas Kean and Risa Lavizzo-Mourey
Philadelphia Inquirer

The nation's public-health leaders who gathered in Philadelphia this week confronted a reality so harsh that it frightened even them: Our cities and states are unprepared to handle public-health catastrophes caused by disease, natural disaster or bioterrorism, despite the terrible lessons of 9/11 and the Katrina calamity. This isn't just because the American Public Health Association's annual meeting, originally scheduled in New Orleans, was one of Katrina's many casualties. These disasters and new reports, such as the one issued by the nonpartisan Trust for America's Health (TFAH) last week, deliver a chilling conclusion: Even now, we fear that no one is watching our backs...

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