FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Steve Aaron
THE U.S. CAN END PANDEMICS WITHIN A DECADE
New Report from the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense Provides
Steps to Effectively Execute
The Apollo Program for Biodefense
WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 12, 2022) – Today, the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense released a timely report containing specific recommendations to Congress and the Administration about how the U.S. could put an end to pandemics within a decade. This report comes as the Nation approaches one million human deaths from COVID-19, culls millions of chickens to prevent the spread of avian influenza in the Midwest, and works to combat the use of biological weapons against Ukraine and throughout the world.
The Athena Agenda: Advancing The Apollo Program for Biodefense, provides recommendations to implement the 15 technology priorities described by the Commission in its 2021 report, The Apollo Program for Biodefense, and also identifies the US government organizations responsible for leadership, accountability, and engagement in public-private partnerships necessary for success. Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom, reason, and strategy. The Commission named this report after her to represent and symbolize the insight, strategy, and technological craft needed to achieve the Apollo Program for Biodefense. Download the full report here.
“Throughout our history, our Nation has achieved many great things once thought impossible,” said former Senator and Commission Co-Chair Joe Lieberman. “It was hard to imagine landing a person on the Moon in 1961, when President John F. Kennedy committed the United States to achieving that goal in 10 years. We accomplished the Apollo 11 mission 9 years later, with 161 days to spare. The United States can similarly put an end to pandemics within a decade if we commit ourselves fully to that goal.”
Sen. Lieberman noted that the President’s Budget Request for FY23 significantly addresses ten of the technology priorities identified by the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense in its 2021 Apollo Program for Biodefense report. “We thank the Biden Administration for this important leadership,” Sen. Lieberman added.
“Our country must decide to make prevention and deterrence of biological threats top priorities,” said former Secretary of Homeland Security and Commission Co-Chair, Governor Tom Ridge. “We simply cannot afford to focus only on responding to the current pandemic. Our continued vulnerabilities to biological threats increase the likelihood of biological attacks on our country, especially as advances in science and technology make it easier to produce biological weapons.”
Visit TheNextApollo.com to learn more about The Apollo Program for Biodefense
About the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense
The Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense was established in 2014 to assess 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 report, Biodefense in Crisis: Immediate Action Needed to Address National Vulnerabilities, the Commission described the extent to which the federal government has implemented the Commission’s recommendations. Other Commission publications have addressed critical needs for agrodefense, biodefense budgeting, diagnostics, Apollo Program for Biodefense, 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.