This Wall Street Journal article was written by Tom Frieden, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2009 to 2017. While COVID-19 preoccupies us at the moment, it is crucial to begin thinking about the next inevitable pandemics. Dr. Frieden explains that in the years after COVID-19, it is likely that another infectious disease, possibly a similar pneumonia-like illness, suddenly emerges. Will we be ready?
I originally created this blog as a way to spread awareness of the importance of public health preparedness, as it was an undervalued and underfunded topic. However, times have changed and public health and emergency management are at the forefront of news and public policy today as a result of COVID-19.
Update: This year’s summer workshop on Pandemics, Bioterrorism, and Global Health Security was cancelled. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Schar School of Policy and Government of George Mason University has cancelled all on-campus events through mid-August.
As I have researched the topic of bioterrorism, I have found this subject to be a uniquely challenging issue for society and nations to tackle to ensure the safety of their citizens. Dr. Jeffrey Ryan defines bioterrorism as, “the intentional use of microorganisms or toxins derived from living organisms to cause death or disease in humans or the animals and plants on which we depend.”1 In this article, I will point out the issues that make bioterror not only a difficult topic, but an extremely important one to focus on, as well. Continue Reading