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Rep. Bera Chairs House Foreign Affairs Hearing on Strengthening Biosecurity Through Deterrence and Detection

WASHINGTON, DC – Representative Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Nonproliferation, today chaired a Subcommittee hearing on the importance of strengthening biosecurity through deterrence and detection.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the grave consequences that low-probability, high-impact biological threats can have on our daily lives if we are not prepared,” said Chair Bera. “It is a national security imperative that the United States dedicate appropriate resourcing and sustained attention to biological security to counter and prepare for a wide range of threats, including naturally occurring events, medical center accidents, or deliberate biological weapon attacks. We cannot afford to be stagnant in our preparations and planning for the biological threats of tomorrow.”

Expert witnesses included The Honorable Andy Weber; Senior Fellow, Council on Strategic Risks; Jaime Yassif, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Global Biological Policy and Programs, Nuclear Threat Initiative; Amesh Adalja, Ph.D., Senior Scholar, Center for Health Security, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health; and Kevin Esvelt, Ph.D., Director, Sculpting Evolution Group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Click here to watch a recording of the hearing.

Rep. Bera has a been a champion on global health security since entering Congress. He chaired the first congressional hearing on COVID-19 in February 2020, and co-chaired a October 2020 joint House Foreign Affairs and House Armed Services hearing on biosecurity and emerging biological threats.

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