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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed its ongoing work and preliminary observations on the biological terrorist threat and some aspects of the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) bioterrorism initiative, focusing on: (1) intelligence agencies' judgments about the threat of terrorism; (2) the importance and benefits of threat and risk assessments to provide a sound basis for targeting the nation's investments in combating terrorism; (3) preliminary observations from GAO's ongoing work on the science behind the biological and chemical terrorist threat, with some focus on biological agents; and (4) overall observations on public health initiatives that deal with a new national pharmaceutical stockpile and the basis for selecting items to research, produce, procure, and stockpile for civilian defense against terrorism.

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