COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) has highlighted worldwide vulnerabilities to biological threats, whether naturally occurring, accidental, or deliberate in origin, especially with the increase of global interconnectedness and the amount of overwhelmed health systems.
Recognizing the vital need for improvement, the White House released National Security Memorandum-15 and an updated National Biodefense Strategy and Implementation Plan for Countering Biological Threats, Enhancing Pandemic Preparedness, and Achieving Global Health Security. Together, they represent a single coordinated effort to orchestrate the full range of activities that are carried out across the U.S. government to protect Americans and prepare for, prevent, detect, respond to, and recover from biological threats.
Overall, five goals are presented:
- Enable risk awareness and detection to inform decision-making across the biodefense enterprise;
- Ensure biodefense enterprise capabilities to prevent bioincidents;
- Ensure biodefense enterprise preparedness to reduce the impacts of bioincidents;
- Rapidly respond to limit the impacts of bioincidents; and
- Facilitate recovery to restore the community, the economy, and the environment after a bioincident.
For more resources related to this piece, check out HSDL’s In Focus on Pandemics and Epidemics or other resources related to biological threats and global health security.