Politico, September 18, 2018
Sarah Owermohle


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President Donald Trump Tuesday morning issued a national biodefense strategythat repeals Bush and Obama administration policies and installs an HHS-led committee to survey gaps in responding to biological threats.

The committee includes officials from the Pentagon, Agriculture and Homeland Security departments and will review capabilities across the intelligence community and 15 executive branch agencies.

It will assess the agencies' ability to respond to both man-made and naturally occurring biological threats, HHS Secretary Alex Azar said during a press briefing. That survey will influence spending priorities in fiscal 2020, with the biggest effects likely to be seen in 2021, he said.

Senior administration officials said the strategy would take a year to implement. The National Security Council will help develop policy with the HHS-led committee implementing changes, said National Security Adviser John Bolton, adding that the mandate will be reviewed on an annual basis. [...]

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