RealNews

Study finds US biodefenses beginning to erode

The US capability to cope with a terrorist attack involving biological weapons is beginning to erode due to personnel problems at key government agencies and bureaucratic obstacles to solving them, according to a new study. The independent research group Partnership for Public Service warned that key US agencies that will have to deal with a biological attack, should it occur, are burdened by lengthy hiring processes and inflexible pay systems that make it difficult for them to attract young talented experts. “We have too few experts; they cannot keep pace with preparatory requirements,” said former Navy secretary Richard Danzig, a lead expert on the study. “In sum, at the very time we should be preparing for a period of most stressful and demanding activity, we are weakening.” If the 2001 anthrax mailings that left five people dead overburdened the US biodefense system, a real large-scale biological weapons attack will overwhelm them, the ex-Navy secretary warned. Full Story

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