Tommy Thompson on Homeland Security

Former Secretary of H.H.S.; former Republican Governor (WI)

Pushed smallpox vaccinations in response to anthrax attacks

By early Nov. 2001, there had been sixteen confirmed cases of anthrax exposure.

To this day, no one has been charged with the anthrax killings, though many law enforcement personnel believed that the source was domestic. One person of interest was mentioned publicly though never indicted.

The influence of the anthrax attacks on policymaking within the Bush White House shouldn't be underestimated. Soon afterward, Cheney, along with Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, led efforts to push ahead on a smallpox vaccine program for all Americans, in hopes of minimizing the impact of a bioattack using smallpox. While many potential first responders and hospital personnel--those who might first come into contact with a smallpox outbreak--were eventually vaccinated, the more ambitious plan never materialized. We also pressed ahead with funding for Project Bioshield, aimed at developing vaccines and stockpiling them to protect Americans in the event of a bioterror attack.

Source: What Happened, by Scott McClellan, p.111 May 28, 2008

Maintain vigilance against terrorism

Q: Halloween is tomorrow night--worried about children trick-or-treating?

A: Iím always worried about children trick-or-treating but I am not more worried because of whatís going on right now. All Iím asking people to do is be very careful; watch what they receive, and check it out and be vigilant with their activities.

Q: How about safety of the food system overall?

A: We have been reviewing all of the sensitive intelligence that is coming in from overseas and around the US, that we have been working tremendously long hours to get prepared. But there are always problems, and we want people to be vigilant and that is what the president wants, and that is what I want.

Q: Is there an end in sight for the anthrax mailings

A: I hope thereís an end, and I hope that the FBI is able to arrest the individuals behind it. But until that happens, we have to stay vigilant. We have to make sure that we examine our mail in a very strenuous manner.

Source: CNN Larry King Live interview Oct 30, 2001

24-hour-a-day war on bioterrorism

TOM RIDGE, HOMELAND SECURITY DIRECTOR: The president has been conducting a 24-hour war on terrorism, not just with our troops located in Afghanistan and with the eyes of this country toward Afghanistan, but itís been a 24-hour-a-day war on terrorism here in the US. As we continue our round-the-clock war on terrorism at home, we think itís very appropriate to bring some of these principals together on a regular basis to respond to questions

TOMMY THOMPSON, H.H.S. SECRETARY: Currently, the Department of Health and Human Services has 575 individuals in the field responding to acts of threats of bioterrorism. More resources and help are only a phone call away, weíre going to be very aggressive as possible in responding to acts of threats or bioterrorism. We understand that people are very concerned about anthrax, and weíre going to continue to respond with the personnel, the expertise and the medicine necessary to deal with these acts and threats of bioterrorism. Weíre going to err on the side of caution

Source: Press conference with Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge Oct 29, 2001

Other candidates on Homeland Security: Tommy Thompson on other issues:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
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Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010