On November 14, 2018, the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense held a meeting to gain a better understanding of how far the Executive Branch has come in implementing the National Blueprint for Biodefense. The Panel focused specifically on illustrative action items among those the Panel felt that the federal government could complete in the three years since releasing the Blueprint in 2015. Representatives from the White House were present to discuss the recently released National Biodefense Strategy.
Policy objectives of this meeting included:
- Discuss the development and release of the National Biodefense Strategy and opportunities associated with its implementation;
- Review current biosurveillance and biodetection programs, and efforts to improve situational awareness of biological threats;
- Gain perspective on the nature of leadership and getting things done in the biodefense arena through long-term commitment and perseverance despite shifting policy and political priorities;
- Explore innovations and resource needs for medical countermeasure development, and the importance of diagnostics in confronting biological events; and
- Analyze the state of intelligence and information sharing efforts for biodefense.
Current and former government officials, as well as subject matter experts, discussed their perspectives, experiences, and challenges in this regard.