Bioterrorism: Assessing the Threat

Recently, the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications held a hearing on bioterrorism and biological warfare.Tom Inglesby, MD, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Center for Health Security and Robert P. Kadlec, MD, Center for a New American Security, presented testimony outlining their concerns on current threats to public safety and recommendations for emergency preparedness.

Drs. Inglesby and Kadlec asserted that the risk of biological attacks on the U.S. with biological agents is an uncertain, imminent reality. The ability to predict or know when this threat will manifest itself is severely limited by the capabilities of our intelligence services and the wide array of potential perpetrators who could conduct such attacks. Biological weapons could inflict grievous harm on America, equal to and potentially greater than nuclear weapons, and any investments to defend against them is a modest insurance policy against an uncertain future.

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