Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the following statement in support of President Trump’s National Biodefense Strategy:
“Biological threats—whether naturally occurring, accidental, or deliberate in origin—are among the most serious threats facing the United States today. As part of the President’s efforts to better protect Americans, the National Biodefense Strategy sets the course for the U.S. to combat 21st century biothreats. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stands ready to support the implementation of this strategy, in close coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services.
“Late last year, I directed the formation of the DHS Office of Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction office (CWMD) to elevate and streamline our efforts to stop terrorists and rogue actors from using chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear agents against us. Since then, the CWMD Office has renewed the Department’s emphasis on bio security with efforts to develop and deploy a new biodetection system, update emergency responder and medical personnel guidance, examine new technologies, and provide support to our frontline operating components. As threats continue to evolve, our defenses must evolve as well. The CWMD Office will continue to address complex biological threats to the nation, but DHS needs additional authorities to be fully execute its mission. I look forward to working with Congress to pass the proposed authorizing legislation that will best position our CWMD response, mitigation, and recovery measures.
“DHS will continue to work closely with federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, as well as industry and non-government organizations, to ensure we combat evolving biological threats and prepare to respond to biological disasters. By coordinating actions across the interagency, we can better anticipate, prevent, prepare for, respond to, mitigate, and recover from biological disasters.”
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