Friday, December 2, 2011

U.S. unprepared for biological attack

From Homeland Security News Wire:

1 December 2011

The United States is inadequately prepared to respond to a biological attack and there are several severe weaknesses in its defense capabilities. According to a New York Times investigative report, funding issues, competing agencies with different priorities, and an overall lack of urgency have contributed to a situation where the U.S. lacks countermeasures to combat a number of biological agents that could be used in an attack.

The threat of bioterrorism is not a new phenomenon, Bill Clinton established the first stockpile of medicines for an array of dangerous pathogens in 1998, but it was not until the 2001 anthrax attacks that defense officials declared their commitment to developing the necessary countermeasures to deal with a biological attack.

Ten years and billions of dollars later, serious gaps still exist in the United States’ bioterrorism defenses.[emphasis mine]

One of the main problems in addressing the threat of a bioterror attack is the ease in which a terrorist could develop a biological weapon.

“What took me three weeks in a sophisticated laboratory in a top-tier medical school twenty years ago, with millions of dollars in equipment, can essentially be done by a relatively unsophisticated technician,” said Brett Giroir, a former director at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). “A person at a graduate-school level has all the tools and technologies to implement a sophisticated program to create a bioweapon.”...

The premise of this article is so obvious to me, I am amazed that Americans (or any of us) are sleeping at all.

Go read the rest here.

BE informed, and pay close attention.

No comments: