A Nation Unprepared: Incomplete Implementation of the National Blueprint for Biodefense

Monday November 30, 2020
Virtual Meeting

Note: This event was recorded on November 19, 2020.

In its October 2015 bipartisan report, A National Blueprint for Biodefense: Leadership and Major Reform Needed to Optimize Efforts, the Commission stated that the Nation remains highly vulnerable to biological threats and made 33 recommendations to optimize U.S. efforts to prevent, deter, prepare for, detect, respond to, attribute, recover from, and mitigate intentionally introduced, accidentally released, and naturally occurring biological events. Congress and the Obama and Trump Administrations have taken steps to enhance the Nation’s biodefense in the last five years, including implementing several of the Commission’s recommendations. However, the government remains woefully unprepared for a large-scale biological event like the ongoing novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. At this meeting, the Commission assessed the national response to COVID-19 as those activities relate to the recommendations of the Blueprint.

Speakers include:

The Honorable Tom Bossert – President, Trinity Cyber, Inc.; Former Deputy Assistant to President Donald J. Trump for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, The White House

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) – Chairman, Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, U.S. Senate

Robert J. Roller – Chief, National Planning Branch, Planning and Exercise Division, Response Directorate, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency

Hillary Carter, PhD – Senior Advisor, Office of Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, Department of Homeland Security; former Director for Countering Biological Threats, National Security Council, The White House

Rajeev Venkayya, MD – President, Global Vaccine Business Unit, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd.; former Special Assistant to President George W. Bush for Biodefense, Homeland Security Council, The White House

Jack Herrmann, MSEd – Acting Director, Division of National Healthcare Preparedness Programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Department of Health and Human Services; former Senior Advisor and Chief, Public Health Programs, National Association of County and City Health Officials

Erica S. Shenoy, MD, PhD – Medical Director, Regional Emerging Special Pathogens Treatment Center, and Associate Chief, Infection Control Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital; Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

David Starr – Assistant Commissioner, Emergency Field Operations, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Mike Casey, PhD – Director, Technological Hazards Division, and Chair, Federal Radiological Preparedness Coordinating Committee, Federal Emergency Management Agency