medical epidemiology. Money spent on vaccine research and delivery may help to buttress our limited capacity to protect civilian and military populations.
While this report was being prepared, the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) released a bioterrorism research agenda for rapidly addressing the most threatening biological agents (NIAID, 2002).1 Though important and commendable, this agenda lacks several major components—such as surveillance strategies, epidemiology of transmission, and the entire range of agricultural threats—needed for a comprehensive plan to counter bioterrorism. Consideration must also be given to preparing for still-uncharacterized threats and to assuring investment in long-term, broad-range strategies. These gaps must be filled, where not appropriate for NIAID action, by other federal agencies. CDC is the logical place for surveillance efforts, given its expertise, and therefore it will require additional resources.
NIAID’s expanded role in bioterrorism research demands a focused effort to coordinate activities with other agencies—CDC, the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the very recently proposed new Department of Homeland Security, for example. All of the governmental entities must seek expertise from private organizations, such as industry and professional societies with relevant expertise, for example, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Society for Microbiology. It also demands that NIAID’s parent, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), find new mechanisms to fund research in this area, particularly for taking on long-range, highly managed, higher-risk projects and for moving the research at a faster pace. Likewise, CDC’s role is critical to the nation’s preparedness, but it must have the resources to improve its focus, strengthen its extramural capacity, and extend its international collaborations. National security also depends on public-private sector cooperation and communication and on an increased willingness to collaborate.
This chapter is organized into three sections: (1) intelligence, surveillance, detection, and diagnosis; (2) prevention, response, and recovery; and (3) policy and implementation. Each section describes the desired capabilities that could soon exist through better application of existing science and technology (and that might therefore have a near-term payoff) as well as desired capabilities that
See March 14, 2002, press release “NIAID Unveils Counter-Bioterrorism Research Agenda” at <http://www.niaid.nih.gov/newsroom/releases/biotagenda.htm>.