FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Steve Aaron
FOCUS OF NEXT COMMISSION MEETING:
INNOVATIVE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS TO ADDRESS
RAPIDLY EMERGING BIOLOGICAL THREATS
Congressional perspective provided by
U.S. Representative Susan Brooks and U.S. Representative Diana DeGette
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 22, 2020) – The COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal major gaps in national readiness to prepare for, respond to, and recover from biological threats. The Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense will premiere a virtual meeting this Thursday, September 24 entitled, The Biological Event Horizon: No Return or Total Resilience. The event horizon is clear – either disease continues to devastate American lives and livelihoods, or the country develops the capacity to fight and overcome every disease that comes its way.
“Too often, our country is fighting the last war,” said Commission Co-Chair, former Governor Tom Ridge. “We cannot afford to do that again with this pandemic. We can’t just stockpile ventilators and new vaccines and call it a day. Naturally occurring outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics occur far too frequently to forget for a century or two. And equally troubling to me, human-generated biological risk is also rising as biotechnology advances and access increases.”
At this meeting, which will begin virtually at 9 am ET, the Commission intends to address science and technology as a source of both emerging biological threats and the innovative solutions we need to address them.
“COVID-19 will not be the last biological threat we face and it likely will not be the worst as the risk of natural and human-generated biological threats continues to increase with time,” said Commission Co-Chair, former Senator Joe Lieberman. “Innovative science and technology solutions could change the game for biodefense.”
The meeting will begin with perspectives from two sitting members of Congress: Representative Susan Brooks (R-IN) member of the House Subcommittee on Health, Committee on Energy and Commerce; and Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) Chair of the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, Committee on Energy and Commerce.
For the agenda and to register please visit the event page on the Commission website.
Editor’s Note: Due to the virtual nature of the meeting, journalists will not have the opportunity to ask questions at the conclusion of the meeting. Journalists interested in interviews should contact Steve Aaron by emailing steve@SRACommunications.com.
About the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense
The Bipartisan Commission 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. Subsequent Commission publications have addressed critical needs for agrodefense, biodefense budgeting, and State, Local, Tribal and Territorial capabilities. In September 2018, the White House released the National Biodefense Strategy, a top recommendation from the Blueprint. The Commission continues to address biodefense challenges and to urge reform. Former Senator Joe Lieberman and former Governor Tom Ridge co-chair the Commission, 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 Commission’s fiscal sponsor.