WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) today made the following statement after President Bush signed the Project Bioshield Bill into law:
“Today, with a stroke of the President’s pen, we take a major step forward in making America more safe and secure. President Bush first proposed the Project Bioshield legislation in his 2003 State of the Union Address to Congress. As with so many other areas in our war on terrorism and homeland security, the President once again has demonstrated foresight, determination, and wisdom. Because of the President’s leadership, the nation’s defenses against biological, chemical, and radiological threats will be substantially strengthened.
“This legislation is proactive. It will help ensure that our public health agencies can focus in a deliberate and comprehensive way on developing vaccines, drugs, devices, assays and other countermeasures against biological, chemical, radiological, and nuclear agents.
“Along with legislative steps we have taken, including the Bioterrorism Preparedness Act of 2002 and the substantial increases in biodefense, Project Bioshield will go a long way toward strengthening our nation’s defenses against the threat of anthrax, botulinum toxin, Ebola, plague, and smallpox – some of the most dangerous weapons of mass destruction known to man.”