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White House releases biodefense strategy to combat future pandemics

Virus Outbreak Hospitals
Posted at 9:30 AM, Oct 18, 2022

In a matter of months, COVID-19 spread throughout the world causing a significant disruption to commerce and daily life.

In an attempt to get ahead of future pandemics, the White House released its blueprint for addressing future pandemics. While few pandemics have had the impact COVID-19 had, the U.S. has experienced several pandemics, such as the H1N1 outbreak of 2009. And with more international travel, there are concerns that next pandemic could be even worse.

The White House said it is working with G7 nations to quicken infectious diseases response over the next decade. The U.S. said in the case of either a significant pandemic or a biological incident, officials would set a goal to enable testing within 12 hours, develop rapid diagnostics within 90 days and develop vaccines within 100 days. The goal then would be to scale the production of a vaccine to the population within 130 days and the global population within 200 days.

To bolster the United States’ defense against future infectious diseases, the Biden administration said it would call on Congress to provide $88 billion over five years. While some of those funds would go toward research, other dollars would be to replenish the nation’s diminished supply of personal protective equipment, which became scarce during much of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The White House said that a pandemic as bad as COVID-19 could happen within 25 years, based on its modeling, based on past diseases and human travel.

Part of the plan calls for the U.S. to provide $150 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which will support countries in monitoring and preparing for infectious diseases.

The plan also calls for deterrents for developing biological weapons.