In 2009, the Obama administration released the National Strategy for Countering Biological Threats that addressed deliberate use of biological weapons. Over time, progress was made in guiding the nation in an all-hazards approach to preventing, responding to, and recovering from threats including deliberate acts, natural disasters and other man-made incidents. In light of the progress that has been made as well as the changing threat landscape, it is time to refocus and adjust our biodefense programs and priorities.
In the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2017, Congress requested the Secretaries of Defense, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and Agriculture to jointly develop and execute a comprehensive National Biodefense Strategy. The National Biodefense Strategy will provide a strategic context for biodefense activities across the federal government.
Together with today’s National Security Presidential Memorandum, the National Biodefense Strategy is a unique mechanism for bringing the interagency together to coordinate a wide range of biodefense activities. The presidential memorandum lays out a process for linking our biodefense capabilities to the annual budget process, to ensure that we make progress in addressing these challenges.