By David Goldstein • MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS • December 16, 2009
WASHINGTON — The swine flu outbreak has exposed holes in the nation’s emergency-preparedness network, according to a report issued Tuesday on how well states can handle a public health disaster.
“The H1N1 outbreak has vividly revealed existing gaps in public health emergency preparedness,” said Richard Hamburg, the deputy director of the Trust for America’s Health, a nonpartisan public-health advocacy group, which co-authored the report with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Hamburg, who spoke on a conference call with reporters, compared what he called the nation’s “Band-Aid approach” to emergency preparedness to “only funding the fire department after the fire has already started.”
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