Biodefense is a national effort. Protecting Americans from biological threats requires the involvement of nearly every federal department. Together, we will coordinate federal biodefense efforts and use all appropriate means to assess, understand, prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from biological incidents.
National Biodefense Strategy and the
Presidential Memorandum on the Support for Biodefense outline a structure for interagency cooperation to ensure that biodefense efforts are integrated, comprehensive, efficient, and effective.
Achieving these goals requires participation from federal, state, local, territorial, tribal, and other governments, practitioners, physicians, scientists, educators, and industry.
Working Collaboratively to Assess Threats
By coordinating programs, actions and budgets, the federal government can better assess, prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from biological disasters.
The National Security Presidential Memorandum, "Support for National Biodefense" creates a dedicated mechanism, housed within the Department of Health and Human Services, to coordinate federal biodefense activities and assess the effectiveness with which the National Biodefense Strategy goals and objectives are being met.
- The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA) will serve as lead for policy coordination and review, providing strategic input and policy oversight for federal biodefense efforts.
- The Biodefense Steering Committee (BSC), chaired by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, will be responsible for overseeing and coordinating the execution of the strategy and its implementation plan, and ensuring coordination with domestic and international government and nongovernmental partners. As Chair of the Committee, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall serve as the federal lead for implementation of the Strategy.
- The Biodefense Coordination Team (BCT) will assist the Committee in coordinating implementation of the Strategy.
The National Security Presidential Memorandum also describes a process by which the Biodefense Steering Committee and Biodefense Coordination Team will work with federal departments and agencies (D/As), the National Security Council (NSC) staff, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to assess how effectively the goals and objectives of the National Biodefense Strategy are being met. The results of this process will inform the annual budget cycle, ensuring that biodefense resources are managed effectively to assess, prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from biological incidents.
Figure 1: National Biodefense Strategy Tasks and Deadlines: Year 1
Figure 2: Annual National Biodefense Strategy Tasks and Deadlines