U.S. Still Falls Short on Preparedness for Biological Threats

The WMD Center, a Skoll Global Threats Fund grantee, published this week a report card assessing U.S. readiness to respond to a biological threat, whether accidental or intentional. This follows a broader report published in 2008 by the Congressional Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism called World At Risk that revealed big gaps in U.S. response capacity for a range of potential threats, including biological. Sadly, the news still isn’t good. The WMD Center report card assesses a range of capacities – detection, countermeasures, communications, and more – and finds many gaps. It also provides recommendations for how to prioritize resources to close the most important gaps. The report card has received significant media attention, including articles on CNN, the Wall Street Journal, UPI and more.

Coming on the heels of the film Contagion, co-produced by our sister entity, Participant Media, we hope the BioReponse Report card continues to drive public conversation around the risks of pandemics and biological threats and the need to think creatively on ways to counter them.