(Released March 31, 2022) The Biden Administration’s proposed FY 2023 budget, unveiled by The White House this week, includes $88.2 billion in funding to enable America to rapidly produce and deliver medical countermeasures against pandemics and other biological threats. The request significantly addresses ten priorities identified by the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense in its 2021 Apollo Program for Biodefense.
To achieve the results sought in the Apollo report, the Commission urged the Administration and Congress to include funds for The Apollo Program for Biodefense as part of a unified biodefense budget and in the President’s Budget Request; appropriate long-term, multi-year funding for the Program; and fully implement the remaining recommendations laid out in the Commission’s 2015 National Blueprint for Biodefense.
The President’s Budget Request includes $40 billion in mandatory, non-annual spending for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) to invest in advanced development and manufacturing of medical countermeasures – including vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and next-generation personal protection equipment (PPE) – for high priority threats and viral families.
“When the Commission first released our Apollo Program for Biodefense report in 2021, we said that if the U.S. government acts quickly, our recommendations could effectively end the era of pandemic threats and eliminate U.S. vulnerabilities to biological attacks,” said former Senator and Commission Co-Chair Joe Lieberman. “With the release of this budget request, the Biden Administration is delivering on these goals with the science, technologies, and medicines we need to make invisible biological enemies visible and take pandemic threats off the table within ten years. Our Commission thanks President Biden for his leadership which will save lives in the future.”
The 2021 report, The Apollo Program for Biodefense: Winning the Race Against Biological Threats, details an ambitious program to develop and deploy the technologies needed to defend against all biological threats, empower public health, and prevent pandemics. The President’s Budget Request speaks to the following ten priorities laid out in our report:
- Vaccine Candidates for Prototype Pathogens
- Point-of-Person Diagnostics
- Multi-Pathogen Therapeutic Drugs in Advance of Outbreaks
- Flexible and Scalable Manufacturing of Pharmaceuticals
- Needle-Free Methods of Drug and Vaccine Administration
- Ubiquitous Sequencing
- Next-Generation Personal Protective Equipment
- An Integrated National Pathogen Surveillance and Forecasting Center
- Pathogen Transmission Suppression in the Built Environment
- Comprehensive Laboratory Biosafety and Biosecurity
“We are gratified to see many of our recommendations taken up by the President’s Budget Request,” said former Secretary of Homeland Security and Commission Co-Chair Tom Ridge. “The very reason we created our Commission was to help inform the Administration and Congress of the gaps that exist and provide a blueprint for biodefense. Now we must invest in the science and technology we need to achieve our next great national goal – freedom from devastating infectious diseases that affect our national security. The Administration’s request takes a critical and significant step forward in this effort. Responsibility now falls on Congress to fund these activities and ensure something like COVID-19 never happens again.”
Those interested in learning more are invited to visit www.TheNextApollo.com.
Released by Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense. Click HERE for source.