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In the News Archive: 2008


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December 2008

Smallpox vaccination could remain potent for decades, researchers find, by Chris Schneidmiller. Global Security Newswire. (12-11-2008): Dr. D.A. Henderson comments about a study suggesting that smallpox vaccine confers protection for decades longer than previously believed: “The bottom line on this is quite simple, and that is if we had an outbreak of smallpox we would advise again vaccinating everybody who had any reasonable chance of being in contact with a patient, just as a matter of precaution. . . Here you’ve got a disease with a 30 percent death rate, you don’t want to take any chances.”The Dark Winter exercise of 2001 is also mentioned in this article.

Analysts debate bioterror risks. Global Security Newswire. (12-11-2008): Dr. Tara O'Toole notes that in conducting the Atlantic Storm and Dark Winter exercises, "The most striking response from the participants in both exercises was that for the most part, they had no idea that something like this was possible."

Vaccine findings go against the grain: new data stir up debate over the length of protection afforded by smallpox vaccination. Emerging Health Threats. (12-04-2008): Dr. D.A. Henderson weighs in on a study that suggests that smallpox vaccine confers protection for decades longer than previously believed: "I believe more is needed to be known about the Taub laboratory results and to determine how or why these differ so markedly from other studies and actual experience in so many countries during the eradication programmes and for centuries before this” 

Report: WMD attack likely by 2013, by Michele Kelemen. All Things Considered. National Public Radio. (12-03-2008): Dr. Thomas Inglesby comments about a bipartisan report on weapons of mass destruction: "Given that pathogens are in laboratories big and small around the world and given, as they say in the report, that it doesn't require any more than a few skilled individuals to make and use a biological weapon, our efforts to prevent biological attack should be strengthened, but the country can't bank on prevention as its sole strategy."

November 2008

Are we safer since 9/11?, by Marcus Stern & Adam Piore. Reader's Digest. (11-10-2008): Dr. Tara O'Toole comments about BSL research and the growing number of labs in the U.S.: "We can fight about the right number of labs, but the more researchers you have working on this, the more likely you're going to get effective medicine and vaccines against these threats." She also notes that "We don't have rapid diagnostic tests that say you have anthrax or flu...even though the technology exists."

How to fix biosecurity? The Scientist. (11-04-2008): Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall is quoted: "The GAO came up with this list of criteria and measured labs against it . . .And there's no analysis saying that those are the security characteristics a lab should have—that's kind of a problem."

Addressing radical threats through security solutions. Chief Engineer. (11-02-2008): The Center for Biosecurity is cited as a source of information about reducing the threat of exposure to biological weapons among occupants of commercial buildings.

October 2008

Bioterrorism's deadly math: Despite billions spent, we’re not ready for a big attack, by Judith Miller. City Journal. (Autumn 2008): Dr. Tara O’Toole comments about the growing number of biosafety laboratories in the U.S. and the threat that research at these facilities poses to national security: “We have not wildly expanded over what we need. . . But we do need better training and to ensure that the labs and people in them conform to rigorous standards.”

BU outlines biolab safety steps: Scientists face in-depth screenings, by Stephen Smith. Boston Globe. (10-14-2008): With regard to security screenings of lab workers, Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall notes “It’s very hard to protect against an insider who’s one of the experts.”

Former Bassett trustee delivers speech on disaster preparedness, by Tom Grace. Oneonta Daily Star. (10-11-2008): Dr. D.A. Henderson discusses U.S. preparedness for disasters: “We are better prepared than we were before September 11, 2001, but as often happens, when we get farther away from a disaster, we tend to grow complacent.”

After big win, PharmAthene focuses on bigger deal: Bidding on $500 million government contract for anthrax vaccine, by Katie Arcieri. Annapolis Capital. (10-05-2008): Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall weighs in on government efforts to fund recombinant protective antigen vaccines: “It’s a public health need in the event of an attack.”

September 2008

Homeland Security: Inside and Out. Host: Randy Larsen. KAMU 90.9 FM. (09-30-2008): Jennifer Nuzzo is interviewed about who receives top priority for flu shots during a pandemic: "It certainly makes sense to preserve the functioning of society in a pandemic, and so I think the federal government's articulation that . . . critical infrastructure workers and folks that work on homeland and national security should be first [to receive flu vaccine]. . .I think that sounds reasonable. The problem is that there are going to be operational challenges with actually carrying that out at the state level. In a given state, if you look at what it takes to function society and power society, it quickly becomes difficult to tell who's not important."

Fittingly, Fox’s ‘Fringe’ blurs boundaries of science, by Dan Vergano. USA Today. (09-28-2008): Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall comments about the use of science as portrayed in Fox’s new drama, “Fringe”: “I watched the first 10 minutes of the pilot and was so grossed out I just couldn’t watch anymore.”

Seeking details, lawmakers cite anthrax doubts, by Scott Shane and Eric Lichtblau. New York Times. (09-07-2008): Dr. Thomas Inglesby comments about how the scientific community feels about the evidence released thus far in the government's case against USAMRIID researcher Bruce Ivins: “For a lot of the scientific community, the word would be agnostic,” . . . “They still don’t feel they have enough information to judge whether the case has been solved.”

August 2008

Senators seek to boost U.S. biosafety, by Chris Schneidmiller. Global Security Newswire. (08-22-2008): Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall comments about the increasing numbers of scientists working in high containment biosafety labs and the need for standardized biosafety training: “When you had only a few people working in these areas, then they would train their people so that they could work safely in BSL-4,” . . . “Now that there are so many more scientists that are going to be working in these conditions, there needs to be a way to standardize that training so that you can conserve these mentors’ time and energy and bring everybody up to a certain level.”

Homeland Security Inside and Out. Host: Randy Larsen. KAMU Radio, 90.9 FM (08-19-2008): In the wake of the case against Dr. Bruce Ivins as the prime suspect in the anthrax attacks of 2001, Dr. Gronvall weighs in on imposing restrictions on scientific research: "We can tell legitimate scientists [in the U.S.] they need to go through clearance to be able to work with anthrax. But we can't do anything about the many researchers all over the world who are working with anthrax and other people who can just readily access anthrax from the soil or other sources. It's a policy decision; we have to balance the risks and the rewards. We want countermeasures against anthrax—we need them—and in order to get them, you have to do research . . . "

FBI agrees to release more details from anthrax probe, backpeddles on key elements, by Andrew Tilghman. Talking Points Memo. (08-18-2008): Regarding the scientific evidence the FBI used to close case on the anthrax attacks of 2001, Dr. Gigi Gronvall comments “I expect people to be dazzled by the science. I am worried that people will confuse solid science (and I expect the science to be very good) with a solid case”… “The science will only take you so far.”

F.B.I. will present scientific evidence in anthrax case to counter doubts, by Eric Lichtblau and David Johnston. New York Times. (08-16-2008): Dr. Brad Smith comments on the FBI’s announcement that the bureau will release the scientific evidence used to close case on the anthrax attacks of 2001: “That is going to be critically important, because right now there is really no data to make a scientific judgment one way or the other.”

Labs that perform bioterrorism research proliferating, by Dave Altimari. Hartford Courant. (08-16-2008): Expressing concern about the thoroughness of background checks for lab workers, Dr. Gigi Gronvall notes that "Nobody is checking to see if people being approved to work with anthrax or other biological agents actually have the scientific skills to work with it."

Stockpiling antiterror drugs may be unsafe, experts warn, by David Malakoff. ScienceNow Daily News. (08-13-2008): Responding to a letter from the National Biodefense Science Board to HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt regarding a draft HHS document that provides advice to the public on stockpiling anitbiotics, Brooke Courtney notes that "The board does raise some very good points" and that the HHS document "could be very confusing to the public."

Nagging questions in anthrax case, by Laura Fitzpatrick. TIME.
Dr. DA Henderson calls for the FBI to release to the science community the scientific evidence used to close the case on the anthrax attacks of 2001: "You have less confidence in how much [the FBI is] really sharing and how accurate this might be."

Bioterrorism: Are We safe? Host: John Dankosky. Where We Live, WNPR (Connecticut). (08-12-2008): Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall comments on the FBI's conclusion of the investigation of the anthrax attacks of 2001 and the implications that has for the threat of anthrax: "Anthrax and bacteria that behave like anthrax are found all over the world, and people work on them for largely legitimate purposes. If weaponization of that bacteria is as easy as the FBI alleges that it was, then this is a big problem."

What if the FBI is right about Bruce Ivins? by Colonel Randall Larsen, Op-Ed Contributor. Wall Street Journal. (08-12-2008): Colonel Larsen writes: "If the FBI theory on the man responsible for the anthrax attacks of 2001 is correct, then the threat of bioterrorism is far more troubling than we have imagined."

Scientists continue to question anthrax investigation and case against Bruce Ivins, by Andrew Tilghman. Talking Points Memo. (08-11-2008): Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall comments on the closing of the case against Dr. Bruce Ivins: "[federal officials] came out and said they'd made the case, but they didn't actually present that science. So it really can't be evaluated."

Anthrax attacks gave rise to biodefense industry. Weekend All Things Considered, National Public Radio. Host: Andrea Seabrook. (08-10-2008): NPR Science Correspondent David Kestenbaum cites the Center for Biosecurity as the source for federal biodefense budget figures.

Prosecutors clear Hatfill in anthrax case, by Carrie Johnson and Joby Warrick. Washington Post. (08-09-2008): Dr. Tara O’Toole calls for scientific review of the evidence the FBI used to justify closing the investigation of Dr. Bruce Ivins: “They [the FBI] have got to get some technically competent people to talk about the science”…”For all I know, they may have it down cold. But they need to be transparent.”

Anthrax case spurred field of germ-gene sleuthing, by Lauran Neergaard. Associated Press. (08-09-2008): Dr. Gigi Gronvall comments about using scientific data in criminal investigations: "Science is a wonderful thing, but it is, at the end of the day, a tool"…"the question is how that [tool] was used."

Two experts—one in bioweapons and one in journalism—explore the numerous, still unanswered questions in the anthrax case, by Glenn Greenwald. Salon Radio: Anthrax Edition. (08-08-2008): Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall comments about the evidence in the Ivins case: “They [the FBI] didn't present anything so it's really hard to comment on it. You can develop a list of questions about it, but broadly, it's hard to poke holes at something that hasn't been offered.”

New details show anthrax suspect away on key day, by Carrie Johnson and Joby Warrick. Washington Post. (08-08-2008): Dr. Tara O’Toole comments about the Ivins investigation: “There is not enough scientific information to make an evaluation of the science the FBI used in this investigation.”

Gaps in system kept Ivins at high-security lab, by Matt Apuzzo and Lara Jakes Jordan. Associated Press. (08-08-2008): Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall comments about the security at the Fort Detrick research facility: “USAMRIID is not like being in a shack in the wilderness. It's interacting with people in a pretty secure place.”

Anthrax case leaves three questions unanswered, by Greg Gordon. McClatchy Newspapers (formerly Knight Ridder). (08-08-2008): Dr. D.A. Henderson remarks that based on what has been released, the FBI’s case against Ivins "just doesn't add up."

Doubts persist on Ivins' guilt: scientists and legal experts skeptical, by Stephen Kiehl and Josh Mitchell. Baltimore Sun. (08-08-2008): Colonel Randall Larsen notes “So much of the FBI's case [against Bruce Ivins] is based on the fact they are 100 percent convinced it [the anthrax used in the 2001 letter attacks] came out of that one container.”

Years after anthrax attacks, bioterrorism threat still looms, reported by Jeffrey Brown. The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, PBS. (08-07-2008): Dr. Tara O’Toole was interviewed at length regarding U.S. security 7 years after the anthrax letter attacks.

FBI paints chilling portrait of anthrax-attack suspect, by Evan Perez, Siobhan Gorman, Gary Fields, and Elizabeth Williamson. Wall Street Journal. (08-07-2008): Colonel Randall Larsen comments about evidence pertaining to the case against Bruce Ivins released by the FBI on August 6, 2008: “I am disappointed. I would have slept better tonight knowing it was Ivins, and not al Qaeda or some other group still out there.”

F.B.I. presents anthrax case, saying scientist acted alone, by Scott Shane and Eric Lichtblau. New York Times. (08-07-2008): Dr. Tom Inglesby offers that although the FBI “certainly has strong circumstantial evidence…” linking Bruce Ivins to the anthrax attacks of 2001, “…it’s important that the F.B.I. go on to release the scientific details.”

The anthrax files, by Amanda Ripley. TIME. (08-07-2008): With regard to the scientific evidence released by the FBI on August 6, 2008, in the Bruce Ivins case, Dr. Tara O’Toole notes that “We don’t know what techniques were used to link the samples…There are a lot of weird little details that are tantalizing but unexplained.”

Dark portrait of Ivins, reported by Jeanne Meserve. The Situation Room, CNN(08-07-2008): Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall noted that requiring more stringent rules for scientific research could make scientific research tougher: “There are lots of things that we need these scientists to do. We need them to do their job.”

Ivins troubled but FBI docs fall short, by Eric Umansky. ProPublica. (08-07-2008): Dr. Tom Inglesby offers that although the FBI “certainly has strong circumstantial evidence…” linking Bruce Ivins to the anthrax attacks of 2001, “…it’s important that the F.B.I. go on to release the scientific details.”

Experts cast doubt on feds' evidence in anthrax case, by Richard Sisk. New York Daily News. (08-07-2008): Colonel Randall Larsen comments about the FBI’s closing the case regarding the anthrax attacks of 2001: “Biology tends to be very squishy. This is not over…I would have liked it if they had convinced me.”

Threat of bioterrorism a frustrating and persistent security risk. Prism Insight Government Security Online Exclusive. (08-07-2008): Dr. Tara O’Toole comments that with regard to the nation’s capacity to detect a release of a pathogen and to distribute life-saving medicines to the public, and the capacity for hospitals to be able and meet the challenges associated with responding to a mass casualty event, “We’ve made very little progress in [any] of these very big areas.”

Death renews biosecurity debate: Microbiologist’s suicide over anthrax case raises questions on U.S. regulations, by Amber Dance. Nature. (08-06-2008): With regard to U.S. biosecurity and the threat of bioterrorism, Dr. Tara O'Toole notes that “The notion that we can somehow prevent a bioattack by locking up pathogens in research laboratories is ridiculous”…“We have to make it so hard to kill a lot of people that the terrorists aren’t interested in trying.”

Universal detection technology receives and completes contract to provide anthrax/bioterrorism detection equipment for the 2008 Beijing Olympics: Detection equipment capable of detecting anthrax as well as ricin toxin, botulinum toxin, plague, and SEBs in as little as 3 minutes. CNNMoney.com. (08-06-2008): Colonel Randall Larsen notes that “the biotech revolution is making it ‘easier for non-state actors to develop sophisticated weapons.’” 

Limited progress in preparing for bioterror attack, by Pam Fessler. National Public Radio. (08-05-2008): With regard to oversight of federal preparedness programs, Colonel Randall Larsen notes that, “There are 26 presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed people working in biodefense in the federal government”… “Not one has it as a full-time job, and no one is in charge.”
With regard to the ground gained thus far in federal preparedness efforts, Dr. Tara O’Toole comments: “In particular, think we miscalculated on how fragile and starved of resources the public health system truly is.”

Anthrax and the biodefense debate, by Jane Clayson. On Point with Tom Ashbrook (Nationally Syndicated Talk Show). 90.0 WBUR (Boston National Public Radio Affiliate).
Dr. Tara O’Toole was interviewed for this program, and one of her remarks is that “…we are trying to deal with a national security issue—a bioterrorism attack—via 3,000 public health departments at the city, county, and state level, and they all have different capabilities, and many of them have very different plans.”

Industry enthusiastic about proposed biosecurity spending hike, by Matt Korade. Congressional Quarterly Today, Congressional Quarterly Homeland Security. (08-05-2008): The Center for Biosecurity is mentioned as a member of the Alliance for Biosecurity.

How solid is the anthrax evidence? by Amanda Ripley and Massimo Calabresi. TIME. (08-05-2008): Colonel Randall Larsen comments on attribution of a bioweapons attack: “The nature of biological weapons is such that it is very difficult to figure out where something came from"…"The FBI does a marvelous job with guns and bombs, but anthrax is extremely difficult.”

Killing of al Qaeda’s WMD chief not the blow some believe it is, by Anthony L. Kimery. Homeland Security Today. (08-05-2008): Colonel Randall Larsen remarks that advances in the biological sciences will make it “easier for nonstate actors to develop sophisticated weapons.”

Bioterrorism’s threat persists as top security risk; efforts in response, prevention have made little progress, by Siobhan Gorman. Wall Street Journal. (08-04-2008): Dr. Tara O’Toole comments that with regard to the nation’s capacity to detect a release of a pathogen and to distribute life-saving medicines to the public, and the capacity for hospitals to be able and meet the challenges associated with responding to a mass casualty event, “We’ve made very little progress in [any] of these very big areas.” Colonel Larsen remarks that advances in the biological sciences will make it “easier for nonstate actors to develop sophisticated weapons.”

Modest gains against ever-present bioterrorism threat: An attack could be hard to predict with current tools, by Spencer S. Hsu. Washington Post. (08-03-2008): Dr. D.A. Henderson notes that “The potential for something to happen is much greater now than it was in 2001, simply because of developments of technology and education.” Dr. Tara O’Toole remarks that “There are a lot of fabulous new tools out there that could be turned to biosurveillance, but government hasn't figured out how to marshal them, who should control them or what to do.”

Anthrax mystery continues, by Tony Guida. CBS News. (08-02-2008): Colonel Randall Larsen notes that “The suicide of Bruce Ivins does nothing for resolving this case right now. For five years they told us it was Stephen Hatfill, and less than 2 months ago the U.S. taxpayers had to pay him $5.8 million, because apparently it wasn’t him.”

Anthrax researcher commits suicide, by Jeanne Meserve. CNN: The Situation Room. (08-01-2008): When queried about requiring more stringent security at U.S. biological research facilities, Dr. Tom Inglesby noted that “You could make a large supply of anthrax or other kinds of biological pathogens elsewhere in the world and bring them across borders without detection. There's no way that we're going to be able to stop these kinds of things from coming across the border.”

U.S. scientist in anthrax case said to kill self, by James Vicini. Reuters. (08-01-2008): Dr. Monica Schoch-Spana remarked “It's a shame that people's awareness about the kind of disruption and destruction that is possible [from a bioterrorist attack] came from someone working inside biodefense circles.”

July 2008

Powder scare unnerves East Liberty, by Jill King Greenwood and Tim Puko. Pittsburgh Tribune Review. (07-26-2008): With regard to a white powder incident in Pittsburgh, Dr. Eric Toner comments, “It’s an effective way for people who want to cause havoc to get some attention or create a disturbance…Putting some talcum powder in a bag and dropping it somewhere gets a lot of attention and is very disruptive. And there’s nothing we can do about that.”

Feingold works to improve medical care during public health. Congressional Quarterly. (07-24-2008): The report notes that the Center for Biosecurity is supportive of the Public Health Emergency Response Act.

Restructuring BioShield; Move aims for better organization, as hospitals cooperate on preparedness, by Jessica Zigmond. Modern Healthcare. (07-21-2008): Dr. Brad Smith discusses the dual benefits of hospital preparedness: “One of the `good news’ stories about hospital preparedness is that most of the things that a hospital would need to do for a bioterrorist attack or influenza would be relevant for a natural disaster.''

Potential veeps joining Obama on Indiana trip, by Glen Johnson. Associated Press. (07-16-2008): Dr. Tara O’Toole is named as a participant with Senator Obama in a national security roundtable held at Purdue University.

Obama on security with Bayh, Nunn. MSNBC.com. (07-16-2008):  Dr. Tara O’Toole is named as a participant with Senator Obama in a national security roundtable held at Purdue University.

Mega disasters: Airborne attack. The History Channel(07-01-2008): Dr. Eric Toner is interviewed for this hour-long feature.

June 2008

Kennedy-Burr bill targets potential threats from within bio-research, by Matt Korade. Congressional Quarterly. (06-23-2008): Regarding the Kennedy-Burr legislation which promotes voluntary incident reporting, Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall commented, "This is a way to call attention to potential problems, so other researchers can learn for them and hopefully make the labs safer and more productive."

Biodefense: Senate bill would alter biosafety, select agent rules, by Jocelyn Kaiser. Science. (06-20-2008): Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall weighs in on the Select Agent Program and Biosafety Improvement Act of 2008: "It's very exciting. It has a lot of things that I completely agree with."

U.S. President's 2009 biodefense budget proposal calls for overall growth, but some cuts. States News Service. (06-19-2008): Dr. Eric Toner cautions,"Unless we address the critical issue of hospital overcrowding, our ability to respond to any sort of biological attack is going to be severely limited." Dr. Brad Smith states,"If the government is going to get the products it says it needs to protect American citizens, the government will need to increase its investment across the board in developing new vaccines and medicines."

Tracing air travelers at risk for disease still tough, by Maryn McKenna. CIDRAP News(06-10-2008): The article cites the Center's public comments about a proposed the rules change to federal regulations that govern airline passenger data: "It will cause legitimate public concern that government would be able to track citizens'movements and have access to their personal information based on the suspicion of a person's having a contagious illness or having had contact with someone who had a contagious illness."

Boston University angers neighbors with Ebola, SARs germ lab, by Brian Sullivan. Bloomberg News. (06-05-2008): Dr. Gigi Gronvall was interviewed about the rise in the number of biosafety laboratories in the U.S.

Vaccine mishap, flu outbreak overwhelms EDs, highlight lack of surge capacity, by Maryn McKenna. Annals of Emergency Medicine. (June 2008): Dr. Eric Toner comments about the demands that this year's flu season placed on hospitals: "This is a teaching moment for hospital administrations. Emergency departments being overwhelmed is not a problem that can't be fixed."

May 2008

Review of Bioviolence: A Growing Threat, by Barry Kellman. Review written by Patrick Tucker. The Futurist. (May 2008 - June 2008): The article cites Center for Biosecurity's website and the Dark Winter exercise of 2001, which was developed by Center staff.

DHS looks to adopt Israeli airport security methods, by Anthony L. Kimery. Homeland Security Today. (05-30-2008): Randy Larsen agrees with TSA's new implementation of passenger behavior screening as an airport security measure: "I was saying this when they were first creating TSA ... base it on people, not technology - absolutely."

Is Milwaukee prepared for a bio-terrorism attack? Reported by Kent Wainscott. WISN, ABC TV Affiliate in Milwaukee, WI. (05-21-2008): Dr. Eric Toner comments on the security afforded by BioWatch detectors, "At this point I would say that people who are in cities with BioWatch monitors are no safer than people who are in cities without BioWatch monitors."

Homeland Security: Inside and Out. Host: Randy Larsen. KAMU 90.9 FM. (05-13-2008): Four Center staff members were interviewed. Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall discussed vaccine research and biosecurity: "There [has] been a lot of concern about whether or not we can control legitimate research and [keep] it from getting into the hands of people who wish to do harm." Dr. Ann Norwood discussed hospital versus home care during a flu pandemic: "Generally when a flu wave comes in to a community, it hits that community for 6-8 weeks. And there will be a spike in [healthcare workers] who are sick themselves, caring for people who are sick, or just, quite frankly, don't want to expose themselves to any risk and stay home." Brooke Courtney discussed MedKits and city response to a public health emergency: "I think that a lot of communication needs to occur about the specific roles that federal, state, and local agencies will have. If a local health department . . . like in Baltimore City is responsible for responding to an anthrax attack and getting medicines to people . . . we would need to know what is the role of the federal government, will they be coming in, what role will they play in our city, what role will the state play?" Jennifer Nuzzo identified the difference between isolation and quarantine: "Isolation . . . means to separate someone who is sick from those who are well . . . in quarantine, we separate people who do not have any symptoms of being sick from other people in the population simply becuase we think that they may have been exposed to someone who is sick . . . The practice of quarantine on a large scale is very, very difficult to do, and modern attempts at trying it during SARS showed that it wasn't very effective."

The profit of protection; Annapolis biodefense firm PharmAthene buys development rights for anthrax vaccine as part of $40 million deal, by Katie Arcieri. Annapolis (MD) Capital. (05-11-2008): With regard to anthrax, Dr. Gigi Gronvall notes that "It's as much of a threat as it ever was . . It's important to continue preparing for it." 

Dor BioPharma announces appointment of Christopher J., Schraber, PhD, to board of directors of the Alliance for Biosecurity. CNNMoney.com. (05-09-2008): The Center for Biosecurity is noted as a member of the Alliance for Biosecurity.

Scientists call for biolab safety study, by Stephen Smith. Boston Globe. (05-03-2008): Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall comments about her participation on a National Research Council blue ribbon panel charged with reviewing the process for identifying suiable sites for building BSL4 research facilities: "the panel did not consider how long it would take to conduct the expanded review...and it was not part of our charge to do that."

Big bucks for biosecurity research - but who's doing what?, by Holly Menninger. States News Service. (05-010-2008): Regarding biosafety standards and federal oversight, Dr. Gigi Gronvall noted that "The time is ripe for something to be done . . . Biosafety failures have been more evident in the media, and this area has lots of eyes on it. If recommendations from the task force are reasonable, nothing should block action from being taken.Also, the Center for Biosecurity is cited as the source for estimates on federal government spending for civilian biodefense.

April 2008

Newsmakers: Biowarrior. Science. (04-25-2008): Dr. Brad Smith was interviewed about BARDA and its new director, Robin Robinson, whom Dr. Smith noted has been "very successful" in leading H5N1 flu vaccine development and stockpiling.

March 2008

WHO announces polio wiped from Somalia: still, officials worry virus could pop up again; 12 other countries remain. Associated Press. (03-25-2008): With regard to polio eradication in Somalia, Dr. D.A. Henderson commented “We can be optimistic, but I think we should also be very cautious.”

Letter to the editor: increased regulation isn't the answer, by M. Sigmund Shapiro. Journal of Commerce. (03-10-2008): With regard to government security and regulatory policy, the letter cites Dr. D.A. Henderson's perspective "that we can only protect ourselves so far, that certain vectors, for example, are impossible to interdict, much less control, so we have to live with the reality of the problem, and go on with our lives."

Five years later, smallpox preparedness improved, by Jeffrey Young. The Hill. (03-06-2008): With regard to the federal program to vaccine healthcare workers against smallpox, Dr. Eric Toner notes that the program "was ill-conceived from the beginning." Dr. D.A. Henderson notes that the program to vaccinate healthcare workers failed because "The risk [of a smallpox attack] was a very unclear risk, there’s no question about it.”

Homeland Security Inside and Out. Host: Randy Larsen. KAMU 90.9 FM. (03-04-2008): Radio interview with Dr. Gigi Gronvall. Dr. Gronvall notes that if she had a few minutes with the presidential candidates, the issues she would raise are (1) eliminating the threat of anthrax as a weapon of mass destruction, (2) continuing U.S. dominance in science, and (3) making a serious effort to combat infectious disease.

Longtime smallpox vaccine is destroyed, by Mike Stobbe. Associated Press. (03-01-2008): Dr. D.A. Henderson is cited as a source on the history of Dryvax smallpox vaccine.

February 2008

KDWN Morning News. Host: Nathan Tannenbaum. KDWN News Radio Las Vegas. (02-29-2008): Dr. Eric Toner was interviewed about ricin, following the discovery of the toxin in a Las Vegas hotel room: "Ricin has no use other than as a poison . . . there is no market for ricin itself; you make it from castor beans, and that's not difficult to do."

Homeland Security Inside and Out. Host: Randy Larsen. KAMU 90.9 FM. (02-19-2008): Radio interview with Dr. D.A. Henderson about his experiences leading the WHO's smallpox erdication campaign: "Out total budget from the World Health Assembly was $2.4 million per year. And whatever we could scrounge in terms of getting donations from countries in any way, we did that, but none of them were very forthcoming."

Biosafety: biodefense watchdog project folds, leaving a void, by Jocelyn Kaiser. Science. (02-15-2008): Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall is quoted regarding the end of the biosafety watchdog group, the Sunshine Project: "[Hammond] called attention to very real problems in the way that biosecurity has been funded and research reviewed . . . There's no one else I know of that will look over at that level of detail and keep things transparent."

Bests tests for candidates. Editorial. Nature. (02-07-2008): This editorial refers to the Dark Winter exercise of 2001.

ACLU stresses public health's role in pandemics: A new report urges attention on health departments, vaccine manufacture and distribution, and surge capacity, by Susan J. Landers. www.amnews.com. (02-04-2008): The article reports national flu planning recommendations that Dr. Monica Schoch-Spana spoke of during a panel presentation sponsored by the ACLU; namely, that the nation should provide hospitals with federal aid to help with surge capacity because they are already overburdened.

Federal pandemic plan called inadequate; local officials point to stress on hospitals, by Christopher Lee, Washington Post. (02-03-2008): With regard to national plans for responding to pandemic flu, Dr. Monica Schoch-Spana commented, "The priority focus within U.S. pandemic plans on controlling contagion has unwittingly diverted attention from the problem of caring for the sick."

January 2008

Homeland Security: Inside and Out. Host: Randy Larsen. KAMU 90.9 FM. (01-29-2008): Radio interview with Dr. Eric Toner about a recent incident involving a woman with tuberculosis who flew from India to Chicago and on to San Francisco, and the CDC's response in tracking other airline passengers: "TB is spread through the air, but requires prolonged contact. And so they're [CDC] tracking down people who flew with her from India to Chicago, and not those people who flew from Chicago to San Francisco, because the risk of catching the disease is really quite small with a short exposure."

Homeland Security: Inside and Out. Host: Randy Larsen. KAMU 90.9 FM. (01-29-2008): Radio interview with Dr. D.A. Henderson about the advice he would offer the presidential candidates, advocating strongly for a top-level biological scientist to head the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy: "I think we've had a number of physicists who had experience with nuclear weapons and all that the Cold War implied at that time. We're in a different world now, and we really have a whole different set of problems to look at."

Fishing for a way to change the world; Bush thought his father lacked a grand doctrine. His greatest failures have come from trying to craft one, by Jacob Weisberg. Newsweek. (01-28-2008): Newsweek printed an excerpt from a book entitled The Bush Tragedy, by Jacob Weisberg, in which an interview with Dr. D.A. Henderson is referenced. Dr. Henderson recalls advising the vice president, after September 11, 2001, that vaccinating the public against smallpox was a bad idea. The 2001 Dark Winter exercise is also referenced in the article.

Experts challenge homeland security strategy, by Pam Fessler. Morning Edition, National Public Radio. (01-16-2008): Center for Biosecurity consultant Randy Larsen was interviewed about U.S. homeland security priorities: "The issue must be on preventing terrorists from getting their hands on nuclear materials. That's not about X-raying and doing radiological scans of containers."

Report urges U.S. to abandon containment strategy for pandemic flu planning, by Leah Nylen, CQ Healthbeat News. (01-14-2008): Article refers to a panel discussion in which Dr. Monica Schoch-Spana participated. Her recommendations included that "agencies. . . look into alternative forms of health care delivery, such as allowing community groups to dispense vaccines."

New York presses to deploy more bioweapons sensors, by Spencer Hsu. Washington Post. (01-09-2008): Article references a statement in Dr. Tara O'Toole's October 2007 Congressional testimony: "Does it make sense to invest limited biodefense funds in more advanced BioWatch technology even as we cut funds for public health personnel needed to analyze BioWatch data, as we are now doing?"

HHS draft: Hospitals must purchase antivirals for pandemic influenza. Hospital Employee Health. (01-01-2008): With regard to the new ruling that hospitals purchase antivirals for their employees, Dr. Eric Toner notes "It's likely you're not going to get people to work in those units if you don't provide them with prophylaxis." He also notes that "hospitals that have little money to spend are going to take a lot of convincing to spend it on this."

'Highest Risk' HCWS to get first pandemic vaccine. Hospital Employee Health. (01-01-2008): Report refers to an article published in the journal Biosecurity and Bioterrorism entitled “What Hospitals Should Do to Prepare for an Influenza Pandemic,” by Drs. Eric Toner and Richard Waldhorn of the Center for Biosecurity, and quotes Dr. Toner: "There are so many variables that can't be known until a pandemic starts. . . The best you can do is come up with an initial game plan that has to be modified."