National Biodefense Strategy: Opportunities and Challenges with Early Implementation, Statement of Christopher P Currie, Director, Homeland Security and Justice Statement of Mary Denigan-Macauley, Director, Health Care, Testimony Before the Committee on Oversight and Reform, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 316KB]

From the Testimony: "We are pleased to be here today to discuss our recently issued work on the National Biodefense Strategy. Catastrophic biological threats highlight the inextricable link between security and public health concerns. These threats--whether naturally-occurring, intentional, or accidental--have the potential to cause loss of life and sustained damage to the economy, societal stability, and global security. The vast and evolving biological threat landscape includes threats of naturally-occurring infectious diseases, bioterrorism, and safety and security lapses at facilities that house biological threat agents. For example, the unpredictable nature of naturally-occurring disease, such as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), poses a threat to humans. As of March 5, 2020, COVID-19 has spread from China to nearly 80 countries, including the United States, which has over 150 cases and nearly a dozen deaths associated with the virus. This novel virus poses a public health and economic threat, and may eventually be declared a pandemic, as seen with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. Infectious diseases, such as coronaviruses, can be transmissible from animals to humans, demonstrating how our relationships with animals may increase the risk of disease transmission among people, pets, livestock, and wildlife."

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