Progress for tomorrow: Preparing for the next disaster
The United States right now, we're roughly at about 5 percent. By the way, many of those countries have already achieved that level of stockpiling. Now you can grant that, you know, Switzerland is small; it's not quite as big a deal, but 40 to 50 percent, here we're at about 5 percent. We heard this morning by the end of the year, the end of '06 we'll be at a still under 10 percent. I think that would be 25,000 or 26,000 units, and by the end of '07 we would be up to 25 percent and we will level off there. Now, that's with the recognition, whether you're in Europe or whether you're here, that we don't know whether or not this is going to work, but at least the evidence the WHO, the CDC, they're all saying it's sort of the best we have.
All right, now, does this say something about our country being more willing to accept risk? Is it that Switzerland and France and they're less willing that they're more security oriented, less you know, they don't want to take risk to their population whereas we're a little more willing to take risk. Why the 5 percent/50 percent?
KELLERMAN: I think it's because we were more worried about bioterrorism than we were about pandemic flu. I think that's where we were putting our money and our time and our resources.
Mother Nature is one heck of a bioterrorist. Just look at natural history and look at biology. Western Europe focused on a different kind of threat. We focused on our threat. You know, who guessed right? Time will tell.
INGLESBY: Yeah, can I just respectfully disagree with Art? I understand the frustration. It may seem from a distance that that's the choice, that it's either pandemic threats that are natural or bioterrorist threats. I think that's the wrong choice. We're spending the Wall Street Journal last year said last week reported that the United States government is spending $1.3 trillion on new weapons systems in the next five years, and in the last two months, the inflation adjustment on that purchase went up by $40 billion.
The United States should be able to prepare for bioterrorism since we had an anthrax 2001 and pandemic flu at the same time. And the problem is that the people who are charged with doing in this in the government are very few. It's a new program. If you compare it to what the DOD program is for any particular for fixed-winged aircraft or for bio-programs, they are completely off in orders of magnitude. We should be able to get a pandemic vaccine at the same that we are looking for an anthrax vaccine.
HEALY: Are we
BENJAMIN: Let me agree with Tom on that.
BENJAMIN: We clearly we have to balance our portfolio. This nation spends money on what it wants to spend money on.
HEALY: I want to make it practical. Let's go back to Tamiflu. Should we be at 5 percent, 10 percent, 25 percent right now or by the end of the year. I mean, is that if it's all we have for a while until the vaccines come in, what do you think?