Biological threats to humans, animals, agriculture, and the environment are among the most serious threats facing the United States and the international community. In today's interconnected world, biological incidents have the potential to cost thousands of American lives, cause significant anxiety, and disrupt travel and trade. Unveiled in September 2018, the National Biodefense Strategy (NBS) outlines a national vision for addressing challenges arising from naturally occurring, deliberate, or accidental biological threats. The NBS sets the course for the U.S. to combat the real, serious and evolving 21st century biothreats.
The strategy explains how the U.S. Government will manage its activities more effectively to assess, prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from biological threats. The NBS and National Security Presidential Memorandum 14 (NSPM-14) established a leadership structure and approach to coordinate the full range of biodefense activities carried out across the U.S. Government to protect the American people from biological threats. Together the strategy and the memorandum also created a mechanism to identify and link gaps to the annual budget process for the first time.
By providing a mechanism to link implementation of the strategy to the annual budget process, the NBS and NSPM-14 ensure that priority biodefense actions are implemented across the U.S. Government. The HHS Secretary serves as the chair of the Biodefense Steering Committee, where he oversees and coordinates the execution of the strategy and its implementation plan and ensures coordination with domestic and international government and nongovernmental partners.