FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Steve Aaron, SRA Communications, (717) 554-8614, steve@SRACommunications.com
BIPARTISAN BLUE RIBBON STUDY PANEL ON BIODEFENSE APPLAUDS RELEASE OF NATIONAL BIODEFENSE STRATEGY AS A CRUCIAL STEP IN PROTECTING THE U.S. FROM BIOLOGICAL ATTACKS
National Biodefense Strategy Recommended by Panel in its 2015 National Blueprint for Biodefense
WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 18, 2018) – The bipartisan Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense today applauded the Trump Administration for developing and releasing a National Biodefense Strategy to better defend the U.S. against myriad biological threats. The development and implementation of a comprehensive national biodefense strategy was among the top recommendations of the Panel’s 2015 report: A National Blueprint for Biodefense.
The Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense convenes to assess how much has been done to address the biological threat and what remains undone. Despite some progress, the nation remains dangerously vulnerable to a large-scale biological event. The lack of strong centralized leadership at the highest level of government perpetuates risk to the nation. Today, with the release of a National Biodefense Strategy, the Administration has taken a crucial step forward to address the gaps.
Said Governor Tom Ridge, Panel Co-Chair, “Today’s release of the National Biodefense Strategy is an important and necessary part of U.S. national security. Our Panel called for the government to create a comprehensive national strategy to address the biological threat. Congress agreed and included the requirement in the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2017, President Obama signed that Act into law, and now the Trump Administration has produced it. The White House made a great start with the Implementation Plan they included with the Strategy. We look forward to the White House assigning responsibilities for each element of this Plan to specific federal departments and agencies, and establishing timelines for their completion. This is the sort of proactive planning and preparation the American people are looking for in their federal government.”
Adds Dr. Asha M. George, Panel Executive Director, “The biological threat is real, and I am glad to see that the Trump Administration recognized this fact and released the National Biodefense Strategy today. The Strategy addresses every part of the spectrum of activities that our Panel determined comprise biodefense – from prevention, deterrence, and preparedness, to detection and surveillance, response, attribution, recovery, and mitigation. In releasing this Strategy, the Administration has better positioned the Nation to address biological events no matter what the source – whether those events occur naturally, accidentally, or as a result of bioterrorism or biological warfare.”
Biodefense touches every part of society, falling within the purview of national security, homeland security, public health security, and economic security. As such, it requires an enterprise approach to eliminate stovepipes; transcend agency-centric activity; draw upon stakeholders throughout government, academia, and the private sector; and recognize the extraordinary breadth of the challenge – to provide flexible solutions that address the full spectrum of the biological threat.
About the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense
The Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense was established in 2014 to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the state of U.S. biodefense efforts, and to issue recommendations to foster change. The Panel’s 2015 report, A National Blueprint for Biodefense: Leadership and Major Reform Needed to Optimize Efforts, identified capability gaps and recommended changes to U.S. policy and law to strengthen national biodefense while optimizing resource investments. The Panel continues to assess biodefense challenges and to urge reform. Former Senator Joe Lieberman and former Governor Tom Ridge co-chair the Panel, and are joined by former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, former Representative Jim Greenwood, and former Homeland Security Advisor Ken Wainstein. Hudson Institute is the Panel’s fiscal sponsor.