March 30, 2016

Government must invest now to protect against biological threats

By Dr. J. Phillip Gingrey

District Policy Group Senior Advisor and former Congressman J. Phillip Gingrey stressed the importance of medical countermeasures (MCMS) against biosecurity threats and legislation that supports it in his latest column for The Hill, “Government must invest now to protect against biological threats.”

The Project BioShield Act – which Dr. Gingrey helped to pass – was created in the aftermath of the 2001 anthrax letter attacks, and was established to provide the U.S. government with resources to purchase MCMs and protect Americans from the next chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) attack. The President’s budget for fiscal year 2017 cuts $160 million from the Special Reserve Fund (SRF). However, President Obama’s “National Strategy on Countering Biological Threats” stated that the potential effect of a lethal biological agent within an unprotected population could $1 trillion for each such incident.

Dr. Gingrey states that “the SRF and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority's (BARDA) pandemic influenza preparedness program are critical elements of protecting our nation from biosecurity threats, because they have incentivized partnerships with the private sector, built critical infrastructure and created a viable market for MCMs that would otherwise have no market. The MCMs these companies develop and provide to the U.S. government are a cornerstone of our preparedness.”

With recent crises such as Ebola and Zika threats, Dr. Gingrey urges a proactive government and critical infrastructure to face the nation’s biosecurity threats.  

Read: Government must invest now to protect against biological threats.

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