FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Steve Aaron, SRA Communications, (717) 554-8614, steve@SRACommunications.com
CO-CHAIRS LIEBERMAN AND RIDGE SAY ENACTMENT OF LEGISLATION WILL HELP READY NATION FOR BIOLOGICAL INCIDENTS
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 24, 2019) –President Trump today signed the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act. The Act reauthorizes existing statute governing Department of Health and Human Services responsibilities. Additions made by this Act – some of which were recommended by the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense – address biodetection, hospital preparedness, medical countermeasures and response. Panel Co-Chairs Senator Joe Lieberman and Governor Tom Ridge thanked the Trump Administration for its support of these critical public health security priorities.
“Many of these programs will enable HHS to better defend the nation against biological threats,” said Sen. Lieberman. “Along with the release of the National Biodefense Strategy last September, the Administration is demonstrating its commitment to preparedness for, surveillance of, response to, and recovery from pandemic influenza, bioterrorism, and other biological threats. We applaud these efforts.”
Congress addressed 15 of the Panel’s recommendations in the legislation signed into law today by President Trump. Said Governor Ridge, “This legislation was supported by both parties and shows how bipartisan effort can result in good, commonsense legislation to protect the Nation. There is still much work that remains to be done, but we are grateful that both Congress and the Administration are embracing our recommendations and putting them to work on behalf of all Americans.”
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, 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. Subsequent Panel publications have addressed critical needs for agrosecurity, biodefense budgeting, and State, Local, Tribal and Territorial support. In September 2018, the White House released the National Biodefense Strategy, a top recommendation from the Blueprint. 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 Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, former Representative Jim Greenwood, former Homeland Security Advisor Ken Wainstein, and former Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor Lisa Monaco. Hudson Institute is the Panel’s fiscal sponsor.