Release of the President’s National Biodefense Strategy

10/19/2022 12:59 PM EDT


Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

Today the Administration is releasing its National Biodefense Strategy, which establishes a roadmap to help us plan for and protect against future biological threats, whether naturally occurring, accidental, or deliberate in origin.  It outlines a bold vision by transforming the Federal Government’s ability to prevent, detect, prepare for, respond to, and recover from outbreaks, together with our partners – including our international partners.

Infectious diseases that cross borders and disrupt societies are a threat to national security and global stability.  Over the last two years, we have seen the impact across America and around the world of diseases like COVID-19, which has resulted in millions of deaths and trillions of dollars of economic losses globally.  Beyond COVID-19, the global community is concurrently fighting outbreaks of monkeypox, polio, Ebola, highly pathogenic avian influenza, and other infectious diseases, stretching thin global resources and demonstrating gaps in our current preparedness – challenges that are aggravated by changes in global travel, land use, and climate.  Despite a nearly universal ban, some nations and groups continue seeking to turn the destructive power of disease to their own ends by developing biological weapons.  Preventing, detecting, and responding to biological threats regardless of source is a significant challenge – but it is one we cannot afford not to meet.

The National Biodefense Strategy recognizes that domestic action alone is insufficient to protect America’s health and security in an interconnected world.  It directs greater international attention and focus, including expanding sustainable and transparent capacity building, improving country-led and adequately financed health security, as well as actions to prevent the acquisition and use of biological weapons.

The State Department will play a critical role in advancing these efforts.  In order to achieve these goals, we must work together with our foreign partners to support and strengthen capacities to prevent, detect, and effectively respond to biological threats at their source and encourage prioritization of these issues around the world.