Blue Ribbon Panel Study on Biodefense reveals critical need for U.S. biodefense upgrades

The Blue Ribbon Panel Study on Biodefense released a bipartisan report today in Washington, D.C. concluding that the U.S. needs to up its game by allocating a proportional share of attention to potential biological threats.

Established in 2014 to assess and improve national biodefense technology, the study determined after a series of four day-long meetings that the government does not currently provide for a centralized strategic leadership or budget for biodefense, potentially making the nation vulnerable to an attack.

Emphasizing the urgent need for leadership to coordinate efforts, collaborate with all levels of government — from state and local to territorial and tribal — and create innovative solutions with relevant industry sectors, the Blue Ribbon Panel recommended “a national blueprint” incorporating management and reform efforts.

“We have reached a critical mass of biological crises,” the report said in part. “Myriad biological threats, vulnerabilities, and consequences have collectively and dramatically increased the risk to the nation. They have also, we believe, garnered the attention of enough people who understand the threat is real, want to mobilize and take action.”

With proper leadership, the country can deal with this issue, the panel said. "Dramatic improvements are within our reach if we follow a national blueprint for biodefense, establish leadership, and engage in major reform efforts that build on the good work that is already in place, and innovates where it is not."

The full study can be read here.