HHS Makes Little Progress Toward Implementing U.S. Outbreak Detection System, GAO Says

Bloomberg Law: Overdue Outbreak Detection System Leaves Patchwork Defense
“The U.S. should have had a nationwide network to monitor for the next viral outbreak or biological threat a decade ago. It still doesn’t. … The agency responsible for making that system happen, the HHS, is more than a decade overdue to build a comprehensive biological threat awareness network. Although the agency says it’s taking steps toward meeting that goal, the Government Accountability Office says little progress has been made since Congress first tasked it with the responsibility. … The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019, which became law in June, gives the HHS until no later than September 2023 to establish networks for public health communications and surveillance and to modernize the public health awareness system. Valerie Melvin, managing director of the information technology and cybersecurity team at the GAO, who led the last report on the HHS’s progress, said the new law might get the effort moving…” (Alder, 7/30).