Bioterorrism experts say U.S. needs more preparedness

Several bioterrorism experts preparedness in the United States recently spoke to the New York Times Magazine about biopreparedness in the United States.
These experts including Randall Larsen, a retired Air Force colonel, Joel McCleary, a former aide to Jimmy Carter, and Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that the current administration lacks a biodefense director with proper focus on bioterrorism alone, The New York Times Magazine reports.
“Today, there are more than two dozen Senate-confirmed individuals with some responsibility for biodefense," Larsen said, according to the New York Times Magazine. "Not one person has it for a full-time job, and no one is in charge.”  
In a meeting with Vice President Dick Cheney in 2001, Larsen smuggled a tube of weaponized powder of Bacillus globigii into the White House to prove a point that one of the most secure buildings in the nation was not looking for biological weapons in the right places.
"They were looking for the wrong things,” Larsen said, the New York Times Magazine reports. “They still are.”
William Patrick was the final director of the last American bioweapons program, which closed down more than 40 years ago, before he passed away last fall. McCleary presented the information he learned about the program to members of Congress, the White House national-security staff and senior officials at the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services and Homeland Security. McCleary said that the scientists were able to create weaponized bacteria like tularemia with extraordinary potency.
“Between 50 and 60 pounds of freeze-dried tularemia produced in our production facility would eliminate about 60 percent of the population of London, England," McCleary said in the presentation, according to The New York Times Magazine.
Fauci said that even a mutated microbe might be more dangerous than many of the pathogens that have countermeasures available in the somewhat outdated Strategic National Stockpile.
“We call that the military model.” Fauci said, the New York Times Magazine reports. “Do we have this little thing in the stockpile or not? I don’t judge the safety of the country on that basis. To me, the idea of a naturally occurring threat is infinitely greater.”
Several experts agree that the threat of bioterrorism is growing and that there is still a lot of work that must be done to improve the protection the government can offer.
“What took me three weeks in a sophisticated laboratory in a top-tier medical school 20 years ago, with millions of dollars in equipment, can essentially be done by a relatively unsophisticated technician,” Brett Giroir, a former director at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said, according to The New York Times Magazine. “A person at a graduate-school level has all the tools and technologies to implement a sophisticated program to create a bioweapon.”