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Germ WarsThe Politics of Microbes and America's Landscape of Fear$
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Melanie Armstrong

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520292765

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520292765.001.0001

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Agents of Care

Agents of Care

Bioterrorism Preparedness at the CDC

(p.139) 4 Agents of Care
Germ Wars

Melanie Armstrong

University of California Press

Following 9/11 and the subsequent anthrax attacks, the U.S. government enlisted the public health industry in homeland security and defense, bringing weapons like disease surveillance and life science research to the war against terrorism. As Congress poured out funding for bioterrorism preparedness, agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rearranged themselves around new logics of biosecurity. In the decade after 9/11, CDC brought its surveillance, science, and communication practices to bear on questions of national security, and became a federal organizing agency for emergency response and pharmaceutical stockpile stewardship. The political transformations at the CDC exemplify how bioterrorism changed the role of government in disease management, along with the specific work of the nation’s largest public health agency.

Keywords:   Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), public health, homeland security, surveillance, bioterrorism, preparedness, biosecurity, 9/11, emergency response, government

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