99 to 1 - Kerry's The One

Kerry, the only Senator not to vote for the Project BioShield Act, spent today telling anyone who would listen (i.e. the mainstream media) that the U.S. is not adequately prepared for Bioterrorism.
The Associated Press quotes Kerry:

Hospitals are overburdened, Kerry said, and essential drugs and vaccines have not been adequately developed.

[. . .]

Kerry said as president he would appoint one person to oversee all bioterrorism programs, budgets and strategic priorities and to work with state and local leaders pursuing preparedness goals.

In his 2003 State of the Union speech, President Bush called upon Congress to prepare the U.S. for bioterrorism with Project Bioshield:

I ask you tonight to add to our future security with a major research and production effort to guard our people against bioterrorism, called . The budget I send you will propose almost $6 billion to quickly make available effective vaccines and treatments against agents like anthrax, botulinum toxin, Ebola, and plague. We must assume that our enemies would use these diseases as weapons, and we must act before the dangers are upon us.

Less than a week later the White House fleshed out the details of Project Bioshield. President Bush's Project Bioshield is much more comprehensive than Kerry's proposal to "appoint one person oversee all bioterrorism programs." Project Bioshield will:

Provide funding for the development and delivery of new medical countermeasures. This funding will enable the government to purchase vaccines and other therapies as soon as experts believe that they can be made safe and effective.

New National Institutes of Health programs to speed research and development on medical countermeasures, including more rapid hiring of technical experts.

New FDA emergency use authorization to permit the effective use of such treatments in an emergency, if alternative treatments are not available.

Congress passed the Project BioShield Act of 2003 on May 19, 2004. The vote in the Senate was 99-1. The only U.S. Senator who did not vote for the Project BioShield Act was, that's right, Kerry.

Does Kerry not know what the Senate voted on or what President Bush proposed? Or does Kerry simply not care so long as he can get his sound bites?

Posted by Dan Spencer at June 2, 2004 11:42 PM