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The Biden administration says it will spend more than $3 billion on a program for antivirals to fight pandemics. The leader of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, says the money will go toward everything from drug design to clinical trials.

  • Rose Butchart, associate fellow in the Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the federal government should continue to increase efforts in biosecurity (managing risks from biological threats) through its work with the bioeconomy (the investments in, and community outside government taking action on, biosecurity).
  • Butchart said the government’s work with the bioeconomy has increased greatly during the pandemic, but it needs to do more with production and purchasing in addition to research and development.
  • Butchart said it will be important for the Defense Department to get in the habit of working with the bioeconomy in “biosecurity peacetime” to best prepare for future crises.
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