[USC02] 42 USC CHAPTER 6A, SUBCHAPTER XXVI, Part A: National All-Hazards Preparedness and Response Planning, Coordinating, and Reporting
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42 USC CHAPTER 6A, SUBCHAPTER XXVI, Part A: National All-Hazards Preparedness and Response Planning, Coordinating, and Reporting
From Title 42—THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARECHAPTER 6A—PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICESUBCHAPTER XXVI—NATIONAL ALL-HAZARDS PREPAREDNESS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCIES

Part A—National All-Hazards Preparedness and Response Planning, Coordinating, and Reporting

Codification

Pub. L. 109–417, title I, §101(2), Dec. 19, 2006, 120 Stat. 2832, substituted "National All-Hazards Preparedness" for "National Preparedness" in heading.

§300hh. Public health and medical preparedness and response functions

(a) In general

The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall lead all Federal public health and medical response to public health emergencies and incidents covered by the National Response Plan developed pursuant to section 314(6) 1 of title 6, or any successor plan.

(b) Interagency agreement

The Secretary, in collaboration with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the head of any other relevant Federal agency, shall establish an interagency agreement, consistent with the National Response Plan or any successor plan, under which agreement the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall assume operational control of emergency public health and medical response assets, as necessary, in the event of a public health emergency, except that members of the armed forces under the authority of the Secretary of Defense shall remain under the command and control of the Secretary of Defense, as shall any associated assets of the Department of Defense.

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XXVIII, §2801, as added Pub. L. 107–188, title I, §101(a), June 12, 2002, 116 Stat. 596; amended Pub. L. 109–417, title I, §101(2), Dec. 19, 2006, 120 Stat. 2832.)

References in Text

Section 314(6) of title 6, referred to in subsec. (a), was in the original "section 502(6) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002", and was translated as meaning section 504(6) of Pub. L. 107–296, to reflect the probable intent of Congress and the renumbering of section 502 as 504 by Pub. L. 109–295, title VI, §611(8), Oct. 4, 2006, 120 Stat. 1395.

Amendments

2006Pub. L. 109–417 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section consisted of subsecs. (a) to (d) relating to a national preparedness plan for carrying out health-related activities to prepare for and respond effectively to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies.

Guidance for Participation in Exercises and Drills

Pub. L. 116–22, title III, §306, June 24, 2019, 133 Stat. 941, provided that: "Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act [June 24, 2019], the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall issue final guidance regarding the ability of personnel funded by programs authorized under this Act [see Tables for classification] (including the amendments made by this Act) to participate in drills and operational exercises related to all-hazards medical and public health preparedness and response. Such drills and operational exercises may include activities that incorporate medical surge capacity planning, medical countermeasure distribution and administration, and preparing for and responding to identified threats for that region. Such personnel may include State, local, Tribal, and territorial public health department or agency personnel funded under this Act (including the amendments made by this Act). The Secretary shall consult with the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other applicable Federal departments and agencies as necessary and appropriate in the development of such guidance. The Secretary shall make the guidance available on the internet website of the Department of Health and Human Services."

Government Accountability Office Report

Pub. L. 107–188, title I, §157, June 12, 2002, 116 Stat. 633, provided that:

"(a) In General [sic].—The Comptroller General shall submit to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate, and to the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives, a report that describes—

"(1) Federal activities primarily related to research on, preparedness for, and the management of the public health and medical consequences of a bioterrorist attack against the civilian population;

"(2) the coordination of the activities described in paragraph (1);

"(3) the effectiveness of such efforts in preparing national, State, and local authorities to address the public health and medical consequences of a potential bioterrorist attack against the civilian population;

"(4) the activities and costs of the Civil Support Teams of the National Guard in responding to biological threats or attacks against the civilian population;

"(5) the activities of the working group under subsection (a) and the efforts made by such group to carry out the activities described in such subsection; and

"(6) the ability of private sector contractors to enhance governmental responses to biological threats or attacks."

1 See References in Text note below.

§300hh–1. National Health Security Strategy

(a) In general

(1) Preparedness and response regarding public health emergencies

Beginning in 2018 and every four years thereafter, the Secretary shall prepare and submit to the relevant committees of Congress a coordinated strategy (to be known as the National Health Security Strategy) and any revisions thereof, and an accompanying implementation plan for public health emergency preparedness and response. Such National Health Security Strategy shall describe potential emergency health security threats and identify the process for achieving the preparedness goals described in subsection (b) to be prepared to identify and respond to such threats and shall be consistent with the national preparedness goal (as described in section 314(a)(19) of title 6), the National Incident Management System (as defined in section 311(7) of such title), and the National Response Plan developed pursuant to section 314 of such title, or any successor plan.

(2) Evaluation of progress

The National Health Security Strategy shall include an evaluation of the progress made by Federal, State, local, and tribal entities, based on the evidence-based benchmarks and objective standards that measure levels of preparedness established pursuant to section 247d–3a(g) of this title. Such evaluation shall include aggregate and State-specific breakdowns of obligated funding spent by major category (as defined by the Secretary) for activities funded through awards pursuant to sections 247d–3a and 247d–3b of this title, and an analysis of any changes to the evidence-based benchmarks and objective standards under sections 247d–3a and 247d–3b of this title.

(3) Public health workforce

In 2022, the National Health Security Strategy shall include a national strategy for establishing an effective and prepared public health workforce, including defining the functions, capabilities, and gaps in such workforce (including gaps in the environmental health and animal health workforces, as applicable), describing the status of such workforce, identifying strategies to recruit, retain, and protect such workforce from workplace exposures during public health emergencies, and identifying current capabilities to meet the requirements of section 300hh–2 of this title.

(b) Preparedness goals

The National Health Security Strategy shall include provisions in furtherance of the following:

(1) Integration

Integrating public health and public and private medical capabilities with other first responder systems, including through—

(A) the periodic evaluation of Federal, State, local, and tribal preparedness and response capabilities through drills and exercises, including drills and exercises to ensure medical surge capacity for events without notice; and

(B) integrating public and private sector public health and medical donations and volunteers.

(2) Public health

Developing and sustaining Federal, State, local, and tribal essential public health security capabilities, including the following:

(A) Disease situational awareness domestically and abroad, including detection, identification, investigation, and related information technology activities.

(B) Disease containment including capabilities for isolation, quarantine, social distancing, decontamination, relevant health care services and supplies, and transportation and disposal of medical waste.

(C) Risk communication and public preparedness.

(D) Rapid distribution and administration of medical countermeasures.

(E) Response to environmental hazards.

(3) Medical

Increasing the preparedness, response capabilities, and surge capacity of hospitals, other health care facilities (including pharmacies, mental health facilities, and ambulatory care facilities and which may include dental health facilities), and trauma care, critical care, and emergency medical service systems, with respect to public health emergencies (including related availability, accessibility, and coordination), which shall include developing plans for the following:

(A) Strengthening public health emergency medical and trauma management and treatment capabilities.

(B) Fatality management.

(C) Coordinated medical triage and evacuation to appropriate medical institutions based on patient medical need, taking into account regionalized systems of care.

(D) Rapid distribution and administration of medical countermeasures.

(E) Effective utilization of any available public and private mobile medical assets (which may include such dental health assets) and integration of other Federal assets.

(F) Protecting health care workers and health care first responders from workplace exposures during a public health emergency or exposures to agents that could cause a public health emergency.

(G) Optimizing a coordinated and flexible approach to the emergency response and medical surge capacity of hospitals, other health care facilities, critical care, trauma care (which may include trauma centers), and emergency medical systems.

(4) At-risk individuals

(A) Taking into account the public health and medical needs of at-risk individuals, including the unique needs and considerations of individuals with disabilities, in the event of a public health emergency.

(B) For the purpose of this chapter, the term "at-risk individuals" means children, pregnant women, senior citizens and other individuals who have access or functional needs in the event of a public health emergency, as determined by the Secretary.

(5) Coordination

Minimizing duplication of, and ensuring coordination between, Federal, State, local, and tribal planning, preparedness, and response activities (including the State Emergency Management Assistance Compact and other applicable compacts). Such planning shall be consistent with the National Response Plan, or any successor plan, and National Incident Management System and the National Preparedness Goal.

(6) Continuity of operations

Maintaining vital public health and medical services to allow for optimal Federal, State, local, and tribal operations in the event of a public health emergency.

(7) Countermeasures

(A) Promoting strategic initiatives to advance countermeasures to diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or treat harm from any biological agent or toxin, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent or agents, whether naturally occurring, unintentional, or deliberate.

(B) For purposes of this paragraph, the term "countermeasures" has the same meaning as the terms "qualified countermeasures" under section 247d–6a of this title, "qualified pandemic and epidemic products" under section 247d–6d of this title, and "security countermeasures" under section 247d–6b of this title.

(8) Medical and public health community resiliency

Strengthening the ability of States, local communities, and tribal communities to prepare for, respond to, and be resilient in the event of public health emergencies, whether naturally occurring, unintentional, or deliberate by—

(A) optimizing alignment and integration of medical and public health preparedness and response planning and capabilities with and into routine daily activities; and

(B) promoting familiarity with local medical and public health systems.

(9) Zoonotic disease, food, and agriculture

Improving coordination among Federal, State, local, Tribal, and territorial entities (including through consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture) to prevent, detect, and respond to outbreaks of plant or animal disease (including zoonotic disease) that could compromise national security resulting from a deliberate attack, a naturally occurring threat, the intentional adulteration of food, or other public health threats, taking into account interactions between animal health, human health, and animals' and humans' shared environment as directly related to public health emergency preparedness and response capabilities, as applicable.

(10) Global health security

Assessing current or potential health security threats from abroad to inform domestic public health preparedness and response capabilities.

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XXVIII, §2802, as added Pub. L. 109–417, title I, §103, Dec. 19, 2006, 120 Stat. 2835; amended Pub. L. 113–5, title I, §101(a), Mar. 13, 2013, 127 Stat. 162; Pub. L. 116–22, title I, §101, title II, §203(d), title III, §303(a), June 24, 2019, 133 Stat. 906, 914, 935.)

Amendments

2019—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 116–22, §101(1)(A), substituted "2018" for "2014" and "Such National Health Security Strategy shall describe potential emergency health security threats and identify the process for achieving the preparedness goals described in subsection (b) to be prepared to identify and respond to such threats and shall be consistent with the national preparedness goal (as described in section 314(a)(19) of title 6), the National Incident Management System (as defined in section 311(7) of such title), and the National Response Plan developed pursuant to section 314 of such title, or any successor plan." for "Such National Health Security Strategy shall identify the process for achieving the preparedness goals described in subsection (b) and shall be consistent with the National Preparedness Goal, the National Incident Management System, and the National Response Plan developed pursuant to section 314(6) of title 6, or any successor plan."

Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 116–22, §101(1)(B), inserted before period at end ", and an analysis of any changes to the evidence-based benchmarks and objective standards under sections 247d–3a and 247d–3b of this title".

Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 116–22, §101(1)(C), substituted "2022" for "2009" and "gaps in such workforce (including gaps in the environmental health and animal health workforces, as applicable), describing the status of such workforce, identifying strategies" for "gaps in such workforce, and identifying strategies" and inserted ", and identifying current capabilities to meet the requirements of section 300hh–2 of this title" before period at end.

Subsec. (b)(2)(A). Pub. L. 116–22, §101(2)(A)(i), substituted "investigation, and related information technology activities" for "and investigation".

Subsec. (b)(2)(B). Pub. L. 116–22, §101(2)(A)(ii), substituted "decontamination, relevant health care services and supplies, and transportation and disposal of medical waste" for "and decontamination".

Subsec. (b)(2)(E). Pub. L. 116–22, §101(2)(A)(iii), added subpar. (E).

Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 116–22, §101(2)(B)(i), substituted "including pharmacies, mental health facilities," for "including mental health" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (b)(3)(F). Pub. L. 116–22, §101(2)(B)(ii), inserted "or exposures to agents that could cause a public health emergency" before period at end.

Subsec. (b)(3)(G). Pub. L. 116–22, §203(d), amended subpar. (G) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (G) read as follows: "Optimizing a coordinated and flexible approach to the medical surge capacity of hospitals, other health care facilities, critical care, trauma care (which may include trauma centers), and emergency medical systems."

Subsec. (b)(4)(B). Pub. L. 116–22, §303(a), substituted "this chapter," for "this section and sections 247d–3a, 247d–6, and 247d–7e of this title," and "access or functional" for "special".

Subsec. (b)(5). Pub. L. 116–22, §101(2)(C), inserted "and other applicable compacts" after "Compact".

Subsec. (b)(9), (10). Pub. L. 116–22, §101(2)(D), added pars. (9) and (10).

2013—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 113–5, §101(a)(1), substituted "2014" for "2009".

Subsec. (b)(1)(A). Pub. L. 113–5, §101(a)(2)(A), inserted ", including drills and exercises to ensure medical surge capacity for events without notice" after "through drills and exercises".

Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 113–5, §101(a)(2)(B)(i), in introductory provisions, substituted "and ambulatory care facilities and which may include dental health facilities), and trauma care, critical care," for "facilities), and trauma care" and inserted "(including related availability, accessibility, and coordination)" after "public health emergencies".

Subsec. (b)(3)(A). Pub. L. 113–5, §101(a)(2)(B)(ii), inserted "and trauma" after "medical".

Subsec. (b)(3)(B). Pub. L. 113–5, §101(a)(2)(B)(iii), substituted "Fatality management" for "Medical evacuation and fatality management".

Subsec. (b)(3)(C), (D). Pub. L. 113–5, §101(a)(2)(B)(iv), (v), added subpar. (C) and redesignated former subpar. (C) as (D). Former subpar. (D) redesignated (E).

Subsec. (b)(3)(E). Pub. L. 113–5, §101(a)(2)(B)(iv), (vi), redesignated subpar. (D) as (E) and inserted "(which may include such dental health assets)" after "medical assets". Former subpar. (E) redesignated (F).

Subsec. (b)(3)(F). Pub. L. 113–5, §101(a)(2)(B)(iv), redesignated subpar. (E) as (F).

Subsec. (b)(3)(G). Pub. L. 113–5, §101(a)(2)(B)(vii), added subpar. (G).

Subsec. (b)(4)(A). Pub. L. 113–5, §101(a)(2)(C)(i), inserted ", including the unique needs and considerations of individuals with disabilities," after "needs of at-risk individuals".

Subsec. (b)(4)(B). Pub. L. 113–5, §101(a)(2)(C)(ii), inserted "the" before "purpose of this section".

Subsec. (b)(7), (8). Pub. L. 113–5, §101(a)(2)(D), added pars. (7) and (8).

Ex. Ord. No. 13527. Establishing Federal Capability for the Timely Provision of Medical Countermeasures Following a Biological Attack

Ex. Ord. No. 13527, Dec. 30, 2009, 75 F.R. 737, provided:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of the United States to plan and prepare for the timely provision of medical countermeasures to the American people in the event of a biological attack in the United States through a rapid Federal response in coordination with State, local, territorial, and tribal governments.

This policy would seek to: (1) mitigate illness and prevent death; (2) sustain critical infrastructure; and (3) complement and supplement State, local, territorial, and tribal government medical countermeasure distribution capacity.

Sec. 2. United States Postal Service Delivery of Medical Countermeasures. (a) The U.S. Postal Service has the capacity for rapid residential delivery of medical countermeasures for self administration across all communities in the United States. The Federal Government shall pursue a national U.S. Postal Service medical countermeasures dispensing model to respond to a large-scale biological attack.

(b) The Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security, in coordination with the U.S. Postal Service, within 180 days of the date of this order, shall establish a national U.S. Postal Service medical countermeasures dispensing model for U.S. cities to respond to a large-scale biological attack, with anthrax as the primary threat consideration.

(c) In support of the national U.S. Postal Service model, the Secretaries of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and Defense, and the Attorney General, in coordination with the U.S. Postal Service, and in consultation with State and local public health, emergency management, and law enforcement officials, within 180 days of the date of this order, shall develop an accompanying plan for supplementing local law enforcement personnel, as necessary and appropriate, with local Federal law enforcement, as well as other appropriate personnel, to escort U.S. Postal workers delivering medical countermeasures.

Sec. 3. Federal Rapid Response. (a) The Federal Government must develop the capacity to anticipate and immediately supplement the capabilities of affected jurisdictions to rapidly distribute medical countermeasures following a biological attack. Implementation of a Federal strategy to rapidly dispense medical countermeasures requires establishment of a Federal rapid response capability.

(b) The Secretaries of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, within 90 days of the date of this order, shall develop a concept of operations and establish requirements for a Federal rapid response to dispense medical countermeasures to an affected population following a large-scale biological attack.

Sec. 4. Continuity of Operations. (a) The Federal Government must establish mechanisms for the provision of medical countermeasures to personnel performing mission-essential functions to ensure that mission-essential functions of Federal agencies continue to be performed following a biological attack.

(b) The Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security, within 180 days of the date of this order, shall develop a plan for the provision of medical countermeasures to ensure that mission-essential functions of executive branch departments and agencies continue to be performed following a large-scale biological attack.

Sec. 5. General Provisions.

(a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) authority granted by law to a department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Barack Obama.      

§300hh–2. Enhancing medical surge capacity

(a) Study of enhancing medical surge capacity

As part of the joint review described in section 300hh–11(b) of this title, the Secretary shall evaluate the benefits and feasibility of improving the capacity of the Department of Health and Human Services to provide additional medical surge capacity to local communities in the event of a public health emergency. Such study shall include an assessment of the need for and feasibility of improving surge capacity through—

(1) acquisition and operation of mobile medical assets by the Secretary to be deployed, on a contingency basis, to a community in the event of a public health emergency;

(2) integrating the practice of telemedicine within the National Disaster Medical System; and

(3) other strategies to improve such capacity as determined appropriate by the Secretary.

(b) Authority to acquire and operate mobile medical assets

In addition to any other authority to acquire, deploy, and operate mobile medical assets, the Secretary may acquire, deploy, and operate mobile medical assets if, taking into consideration the evaluation conducted under subsection (a), such acquisition, deployment, and operation is determined to be beneficial and feasible in improving the capacity of the Department of Health and Human Services to provide additional medical surge capacity to local communities in the event of a public health emergency.

(c) Using Federal facilities to enhance medical surge capacity

(1) Analysis

The Secretary shall conduct an analysis of whether there are Federal facilities which, in the event of a public health emergency, could practicably be used as facilities in which to provide health care.

(2) Memoranda of understanding

If, based on the analysis conducted under paragraph (1), the Secretary determines that there are Federal facilities which, in the event of a public health emergency, could be used as facilities in which to provide health care, the Secretary shall, with respect to each such facility, seek to conclude a memorandum of understanding with the head of the Department or agency that operates such facility that permits the use of such facility to provide health care in the event of a public health emergency.

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XXVIII, §2803, as added Pub. L. 109–417, title III, §302(a), Dec. 19, 2006, 120 Stat. 2855.)