Expert calls for greater bioterror preparedness spending

LSU's National Center for Biomedical Research and Training held its Annual Instructor Meeting in Baton Rouge on Nov. 3 and Nov. 4, featuring Dr. Robert Kadlec as its keynote speaker.

Kadlec has been a vocal proponent of strengthening biodefense measures in the United States, most recently calling for an increase in spending on biopreparedness.

“If we doubled the biodefense investment today, it would be about as much or a little less than what we spend on nuclear defense,” Kadlec said, reports. “We understand that a nuclear event and a biological event can result in the same lethal impact."

The United States has spent approximately $50 billion on biodefense since the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, which Kadlec has called not nearly adequate enough.

Kadlec called on the government to spend as much as $15 billion annually on biodefense programs, including research to develop medical countermeasures and stockpiling of countermeasures to alleviate a biological disaster, reports.

Kadlec served as an officer and physician in the United States Air Force and in several senior positions in the White House, U.S. Senate and Department of Defense. He most recently served at the White House from 2002 through 2005 as a director of biodefense for the Homeland Security Council, which saw him conducting an end-to-end biodefense assessment that culminated in drafting the "National Biodefense Policy for the 21st Century."