FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Steve Aaron
BIPARTISAN COMMISSION ON BIODEFENSE RECEIVES $5.2 MILLION GRANT FROM OPEN PHILANTHROPY
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 23, 2022) – The Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense today announced a $5.2 million grant from Open Philanthropy to support the Commission’s work to better defend the nation against a wide range of biological incidents ranging from pandemics and zoonotic diseases to biological terrorism and warfare. This is the fifth grant from Open Philanthropy, whose critical support of the Commission’s work now totals more than $13 million.
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 Commission’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.
“The support we receive from Open Philanthropy is absolutely critical in our ability to continue working with the Administration and Congress to implement our recommendations,” said Gov. Tom Ridge, first Secretary of Homeland Security and co-chair of the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense. “The world can no longer consider a devastating biological event like the COVID-19 pandemic to be a rare, once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. Naturally occurring biological threats will become more deadly and transmissible than we see now with COVID-19. Increasing air travel, mass market food production, climate changes, urbanization, and increasing human-wildlife interactions only add to the growing risk and frequency of natural infectious diseases.”
Open Philanthropy identifies outstanding giving opportunities, makes grants, follows their results, and publishes its findings. Its mission is to give as effectively as it can and share the findings openly so that anyone can build on them.
“The biological threats to our Nation remain all too real,” said former Senator Joe Lieberman, co-chair of the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense. “Our nation and the world are dealing with natural, accidental, and intentional biological threats simultaneously. Our Commission has made tremendous progress in getting recommendations in our initial Blueprint and subsequent Commission reports taken up by the Administration and Congress. We thank Open Philanthropy for their generosity and vision which will allow this critical work to continue.”
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 Commission’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. In its 2021 report, Biodefense in Crisis: Immediate Action Needed to Address National Vulnerabilities, the Commission described the extent to which the federal government had implemented the Commission’s recommendations. Other Commission publications have addressed critical needs for agrodefense; land grant universities; biodefense budgeting; diagnostics; an Apollo Program for Biodefense; an Athena Agenda for implementing the Apollo Program; national biodetection; biodefense of critical infrastructure; and State, Local, Tribal and Territorial response capabilities. In September 2018, the White House released the National Biodefense Strategy, a top recommendation from the Blueprint and in September 2021 released the American Pandemic Preparedness plan, based on the Apollo Program report. The Commission continues to address biodefense challenges and to urge reform. Former Senator Joe Lieberman and former Governor Tom Ridge co-chair the Commission. Hudson Institute is the Commission’s fiscal sponsor.