The United States stands at constant risk of attack from naturally occurring, emerging or intentionally released biological or chemical agents. Our fragmented and underprepared health care system must rely on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) when a public health emergency occurs and surging patient populations overwhelm resources and reserves. While the SNS offers, a robust capability and logistical infrastructure, there are still concerns over the allocation of these resources when needed. As the health care system adjusts to economic and political influences, health care organizations are reexamining their investment in the market, and as facilities close and consolidate, health care resources become increasingly scarce. When needed, what ethical questions does the SNS force us to make? Can we make these decisions along a path of social justice and still turn away an emerging pandemic?
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