Anne Jordan was a contributing editor to GOVERNING.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bush administration is still working on the details of its preparedness plan to deal with an avian influenza pandemic. But one thing already is clear from a draft of the final plan obtained last week by the New York Times: Local and state governments are expected to play a major role.
"The plan's 10 supplements suggest specific ways that local and state governments should prepare now for an eventual pandemic by, for instance, drafting legal documents that would justify quarantines," the Times reported on Saturday.
"Over the next couple of months," HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt was quoted as saying, "you will see a great deal of activity asking metropolitan areas, 'Are you ready?' If not, here is what must be done. It will require school districts to have a plan on how they will deal with school opening and closing. It will require the mayor to have a plan on whether or not they're going to ask the theaters not to have a movie."
In a Washington Post article published yesterday, Michael Osterholm, a public health expert who has worked with HHS, concurred: "Basically, cities and states are going to have to shoulder a lot of this burden of response on their own."
On so many fronts, that's become a familiar refrain.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.