The federal government’s plan for responding to the twin threats of natural pandemics and biological terrorism bears a striking resemblance to the plan that was to guide the federal response to Hurricane Katrina: both assume that state and local entities have the resources and capabilities to take over primary responsibility for managing the crisis. Unfortunately, the reality is that they do not.

The Center for American Progress brings together a distinguished group of experts from the homeland security, nonproliferation, and public health communities to discuss U.S readiness for a major biological incident and a new report, “Biosecurity: A Comprehensive Action Plan.” The report, written by Jonathan B. Tucker and Andrew J. Grotto, argues that biological weapons and natural pandemics, such as avian flu, share fundamental characteristics that the United States can leverage in order to counter both of these threats more effectively.

Since 9/11, the United States has undertaken a series of worthy efforts to strengthen biosecurity, but they do not add up to an effective biosecurity system for all Americans. The primary reason is a failure to correlate plans on paper with the capabilities needed to implement them. The report offers more than three dozen recommendations in the interrelated and mutually reinforcing areas of global nonproliferation, domestic and international public health, and scientific research and development.

The new report will be published on Thursday and distributed at the Center’s conference. Jonathan B. Tucker, Senior Fellow, Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and Andrew J. Grotto, Senior National Security Analyst at the Center for American Progress, will be joined on the panel that day by David Heyman, Director and Senior Fellow of the Homeland Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Laura Segal, Director of Public Affairs at the Trust for America’s Health.

Read the full report:

For more information on the luncheon conference, please go to the following link:

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