Category Archives: U.S. Policy

PATH Act bill’s introduction in Senate praised

Infectious Diseases Society of America idsa

The Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) welcomed the introduction of the Promise for Antibiotics and Therapeutics for Health (PATH) Act on Monday. The bill aims for a smoother path to regulatory approval for compounds that treat infections from bacteria … Read More »

DHS offers cities funds for counter-terror program

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently reached out to governments at the city, state or county level to offer funding to develop counter-terrorism efforts, specifically biological terrorism. They are accepting applications until Sept. 30, 2015. The agency seeks applicants … Read More »

Wilson to head House Intelligence Subcommittee

JoeWilson

U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) named Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) on Thursday to head the Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities, under the House Armed Services Committee, in the next legislative session. The committee oversees areas in counterterrorism efforts … Read More »

Soldiers train against CBRN attacks

USArmy

For years, the U.S. Army taught soldiers about sniper fire, explosives and other traditional weapons of war, but now it is preparing them for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats at the Lewis-McChord Joint Base in Washington. Training courses … Read More »

Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense holds first meeting

Biotechnology Industry Organization

The Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense met for the first time Thursday in Washington, D.C., and will look at identifying and recommending any changes to federal policy and laws that will increase the country’s biodefense and preparedness. Dr. Robert … Read More »

Senators praise passage of faster Ebola review by FDA

Senate - LARGE

Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) applauded the U.S. Senate on Tuesday for its unanimous passage of a bill that adds the Ebola virus to the Food and Drug Administration‘s (FDA) priority review list. Under the current law, … Read More »

Sen. McCaskill questions officials over biological threat funding priorities

Claire McCaskill

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) questioned representatives of the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services (HHS) on Wednesday at a hearing on public health threats about bio-preparedness funding priorities. Rear Adm. Nichole Lurie, the assistant secretary for preparedness … Read More »

House subcommittee to hold hearing on Ebola

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The U.S. House of Representative’s Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations will hold a hearing on Ebola at 10 a.m. on Nov. 18. The featured witnesses will be Rabih Torbay, the senior vice president for … Read More »

Foreign Affairs Committee hearing to review U.S. Ebola effort in Africa

Ed Royce

Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, recently announced that a hearing on U.S. efforts to combat the Ebola epidemic in West Africa will be held at 10 a.m. on Nov. 13. “The Ebola epidemic … Read More »

Obama asks Congress for $6.2 billion to fight Ebola

Barack Obama

The Obama administration asked Congress on Wednesday to approve nearly $6.2 billion in emergency funding to combat the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa and prevent any further cases in the United States. Many of the front-line agencies … Read More »

Alejandro Mayorkas visits U.K.

Alejandro Mayorkas

Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas visited London on Wednesday to discuss counterterrorism efforts, safety in air travel, and the curbing of illegal immigration and human trafficking with his counterparts in the United Kingdom. Participating in the United States-United … Read More »

Homeland Security Committee to hold biopreparedness hearing in Texas

Committee on Homeland Security

The “Ebola in the Homeland: The Importance of Effective International, Federal, State and Local Coordination” hearing will take place in Dallas, Texas, on Oct. 10 and will be hosted by the Homeland Security Committee and Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul … Read More »

King introduces bill to make anthrax vaccine available to first responders

Peter King

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) recently introduced House Resolution 5620, which would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to make anthrax vaccines and antimicrobials available for use by emergency response providers. Also known as the First Responder Anthrax Preparedness Act, the … Read More »

White House responds to threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria

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Following a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report last year on the top drug-resistant threats to human health, President Barack Obama signed an executive order on Thursday creating a task force to develop a national strategy to combat … Read More »

CDC provides update on safety improvements

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released an update on Friday of its efforts to improve laboratory safety in the wake of multiple high-profile incidents involving pathogens this year. The moves to improve safety were made after the release … Read More »