To the Editors:
In a recent issue of Biosecurity and Bioterrorism (March 2011), Tucker discussed partial retention of smallpox virus stock for continuation of smallpox research at 2 laboratories, 1 in the U.S. and 1 in Russia. A recent editorial in Nature (January 20, 2011) supported his opinion, saying ‘‘smallpox is a disease of history, but it cannot be consigned to the past.’’ I worked for the WHO smallpox eradication program for many years, including during the disposal of smallpox virus stocks in the last phase and posteradication. While I agree with the retention of the virus for research, I feel that retaining the virus at a UN/WHO facility would be better, as I have already brieﬂy suggested in my book Smallpox Eradication Saga (2010). I would like to give the rationale for my point: Why have a UN/WHO facility for retention? And what research is needed?
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To the Editors:
- February 22, 2012
Amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 2356 offered by Mr. King of New York.
- April 15, 2012
Two units of AAAS—the Center for Science, Technology and Security Policy and the Program on Scientific Freedom, Responsibility and Law – have conducted a study on building a knowledgeable workforce to prepare for and respond to infectious disease outbreaks, natural or man-made.
We convened a group of experts in public health, nursing, medical, veterinary, and first responder education on infectious disease response, as well as experts in areas including biosecurity and public health law on May 26, 2009 at AAAS to review existing educational programs on infectious disease preparedness and response, and provide recommendations for improving workforce development activities in this area.
- March 4, 2011
This report assesses the nation’s activities, initiatives and programs to prevent weapons of mass destruction proliferation and terrorism. The commission’s findings are centered on several areas: the crossroads of terrorism and proliferation in the poorly governed parts of Pakistan, the prevention of biological and nuclear terrorism, and the potential erosion of international nuclear security, treaties and norms.” The commission stated that it believed there would be WMD attack somewhere in the world by the end of 2013, an attack that would most likely be biological.This is the first time that a major report has highlighted biological threats over nuclear threats.
- December 1, 2008