THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
White House Releases Analysis of the Health Consequences of the Gulf War
Today, the White House is releasing the report, "Health Consequences of the Gulf War: An Ongoing Analysis." The report provides an overview of the background, clinical programs, research and investigations, compensation initiatives, outreach efforts and lessons learned from the last seven years of the Administration's efforts to better understand the causes of illnesses arising from the Gulf War.
Both the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have established registries and clinical evaluation programs for our veterans, as well as post-deployment health centers. DoD, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the VA have funded 192 peer-reviewed Gulf War research projects at a cost of over $155 million. These research projects have targeted the most likely causes of Gulf War Illness and have covered topics as diverse as Depleted Uranium, Pyridostigmine Bromide, Anthrax vaccinations, low-level chemical warfare agents, endemic infectious diseases and stress.
Since 1994, when the VA was granted authority to compensate any Persian Gulf War veteran suffering from a chronic disability resulting from an undiagnosed illness, about 3,000 such claims have been granted. DoD and the VA have reached over 80,000 service members in their "town hall" outreach programs. Both Departments have established hotlines and websites to reach the veterans community. DoD has also published 24 case narratives and nine information papers to help veterans understand more about specific incidents and important issues.
"We have left no stone unturned in our efforts to understand the nature of the health problems that arose as a result of the Gulf War," President Clinton writes in the report. "As we continue to pursue research leads, the United States remains committed to ensuring that our veterans and their families get the health care they need, and that disabled veterans receive the compensations they deserve."