A Government Accountability Office study reported that states and municipalities have been spending most of their bioterrorism-response funds, which counters past claims made by HHS.
For the fiscal 2004 budget, HHS cited unused funds when it shifted some dollars to national bioterrorism-defense initiatives instead of allocating the money to states, the District of Columbia and the country's three largest municipalities -- Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City -- the GAO said. The study, however, found that the states and municipalities spent 80% of fiscal 2002 money by Aug. 30, 2004, the deadline for using the funds.
The National Association of County and City Health Officials said the study shows the localities have been spending the money responsibly and that Congress should restore the $130 million in cuts to their bioterrorism-response allocations proposed by the president's 2006 budget. The president's proposal includes a $203 million increase to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Strategic National Stockpile of drugs, vaccines and medical supplies.