Our response to this threat should include short-, medium- and long-term solutions.
In the short term, US consequence management must be enhanced. While this cannot be the whole answer, too much time has passed to assume that no biological or chemical weapons have yet left Russia. We must act under the assumption that such weapons are on the black market and could be deployed against the United States by terrorists at any time. In accordance with the President’s Biodefense for the 21st Century plan, we should continue to
• Support the BioWatch network of environmental sensors to detect biological weapons attacks,
• Secure and defend our agriculture and food systems,
• Expand the Strategic National Stockpile of medicines and vaccines,
• Fund bioterrorism research, including Project BioShield efforts to develop new medical countermeasures against biological weapons,
• Provided Federal funds to improve the capacities of state and local health systems to detect, diagnose, prevent, and respond to biological weapons attacks.