Report Release

Panel Report: A National Blueprint for Biodefense: Leadership and Major Reform Needed To Optimize Efforts

Wednesday October 28, 2015

Washington, DC

Through public meetings, targeted interviews, and extensive research, the Panel examined the national state of defense against biological attacks and emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, of the order that could cause catastrophic loss of life, societal disruption, and loss of confidence in our government. We scrutinized the status of prevention, deterrence, preparedness, detection, response, attribution, recovery, and mitigation – the spectrum of activities deemed necessary for biodefense by both Republican and Democratic Administrations, and many experts outside of government. We identified substantial achievements, but we also found serious gaps and inadequacies that continue to leave the Nation vulnerable to threats from nature and terrorists alike.

Our intent is to help remedy the correctable shortfalls by identifying specific short-, medium-, and long-term programmatic, legislative, and policy actions with this report.

Former Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig told the Panel, “We don’t really get to choose what we have to prepare for.” We have no choice – the Nation must take action to defend against the biological threat. We have done much already, but we need the leadership only a top-level official can bring to bear to optimize the biodefense enterprise. We believe that our recommendations will make America more secure, and we will continue to monitor actions taken to improve our national biodefense posture. If you take and demand action now, you can save lives. There is no greater calling or responsibility.

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