A bill from United States Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI) and James Lankford (R-OK), the Disaster Assistance Simplification Act, advanced out of Senate committee last week, putting to the Senate floor the idea of simplifying the application process for federal disaster assistance.
“Victims of natural... Read More »
The Safeguarding the Homeland from the Threats Posed by Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Act crossed its first legislative hurdle last week, after it was advanced from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to full Senate consideration.
A joint work from U.S. Sens. Gary... Read More »
From a virtual press conference to a letter to the White House, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) led eight colleagues in pressing for the Biden administration to tap the Defense Production Act to increase domestic production of monkeypox vaccines.
The senator’s state of New York currently... Read More »
As more states and localities declare emergencies over the growing monkeypox outbreak, President Joe Biden this week formed an official White House national monkeypox team from other agencies to guide federal response.
Helming the team will be FEMA’s Regional Administrator for the American... Read More »
New legislation up for consideration in the U.S. House would revamp the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts on weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) by modernizing its Countering WMD office and formalizing and expanding its Office of Health Security.
The Health Security and Countering... Read More »
In a close vote of 217-213, the House advanced the Assault Weapons Bill (H.R. 1808) last week, marking the first vote on an assault weapons ban by the full House since 1994.
Originally introduced by U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), the ban advanced with support from major gun safety... Read More »
San Francisco declared monkeypox a local public health emergency last week as New York state designated the disease an imminent threat.
In both cases, such designations will help focus preparedness and response efforts to rising cases of monkeypox. That same disease was declared a public health... Read More »
The newly introduced Enhancing DHS Drug Seizures Act seeks to bolster efforts by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to detect and seize illicit drugs, including through the development of a plan for stronger public-private partnerships.
Introduced by U.S. Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI) and... Read More »
Drawing on funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that $1 billion is now being offered through the Community Wildfire Defense Grant program to assist at-risk communities.
“Insight and guidance from the communities most at risk for... Read More »
The biopharmaceutical company Soligenix, Inc. signed a worldwide exclusive license this week guaranteeing supply of its ricin antigen to SERB Pharmaceuticals, which the latter intends to use in developing a therapeutic treatment for ricin toxin poisoning.
"We are pleased to be partnering with... Read More »
As an international monkeypox outbreak continues to grow in scope, U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and 20 colleagues last week dispatched a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calling for... Read More »
Last week, U.S. Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) introduced a security modernization bill known as the Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act to address wide-reaching cybersecurity issues.
The bill would require federal agencies to engage the most up-to-date... Read More »
U.S. Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI) and John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the Non-Intrusive Inspection Expansion Act (S. 4572) this week, seeking to improve the screening of vehicles, cargo, and overall border security at the nation’s ports of entry.
Drug detection is one of the major focuses of the... Read More »
At a hearing convened by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, lawmakers heard from federal officials about the risks posed by chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological weapons, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) efforts to counter them, and the creation of... Read More »
Following a spate of shootings in Buffalo, N.Y., last summer, the Erie County Gun Violence Prevention Task Force was formed to promote gun violence reduction initiatives and engage with the community, and as of this week, it delivered its first report on the efforts and successes that... Read More »
Worried about rapidly fixing cyber vulnerabilities in the highly digital age, U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) introduced the Proactive Cyber Initiatives Act of 2022 last week to direct investment into new cybersecurity efforts and shift from responsive defensive tactics to proactive ones.
The... Read More »
A major provision of the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA, or H.R. 7900) – which advanced from the House by a vote of 329-101 last week – addresses commercial wildlife markets and illegal wildlife trafficking.
An amendment to the act from U.S. Reps. Mike Quigley... Read More »
U.S. Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) introduced this week the CONSULT Act, which aims to prevent Russian, Chinese, and other countries of concern from meddling with national security consulting firms.
CONSULT, or the Combating Obstructive National Security... Read More »
While the general focus has been on the immediate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the outbreak also reversed years of progress in the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AR), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In a report released this week – "COVID-19:... Read More »
With new and aggressive strains of COVID-19 continuing to emerge, such as the omicron subvariants BA.4/5, Moderna, Inc. has continued developing new means to counter them, including its booster candidate mRNA-1273.214, which recently delivered promising results.
One month after administration... Read More »
New recommendations meant to overhaul U.S. research oversight for enhanced potential pandemic pathogens (ePPPs) and life sciences dual-use efforts were submitted last week by a 34-member group of scientists, public health experts, and policy researchers.
These recommendations were submitted by... Read More »
In response to Afghanistan’s return to Taliban rule, U.S. Reps. Mike Turner (R-OH) and Marc Veasey (D-TX) introduced legislation last week – the Preventing Terrorist Transfers to Afghanistan Act – that would disallow the release of terrorism-aligned individuals to Afghanistan.
A similar... Read More »
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced this week that $122.5 million had been awarded through the State Aid for Police Protection (SAPP) program to expand resources for police departments statewide.
“Prioritized by our budget, this record 60% increase in funding will help police officers and the... Read More »
As part of a competitive search for climate-friendly cooling solutions in the face of extreme heat conditions, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) awarded $195,000 to winners of the Cooling Solutions Challenge this week.
Participants worked on innovative solutions to heat, inventing... Read More »
Responding to the more than 450 cases of monkeypox reported in the United States as of July 1, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ordered another 2.5 million doses of Bavarian Nordic’s JYNNEOS vaccine for smallpox and monkeypox.
The case count held at 459 at the end of... Read More »
The efforts of an interdisciplinary research team funded by the National Institutes of Health’s Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) Tech program have yielded a quick, cost-effective new means of detecting and identifying known variants and subvariants of SARS-CoV-2.
The results of the... Read More »
Struggling to contain a national opioid epidemic, the United States Justice Department (DOJ) Criminal Division this week gathered various law enforcement operations together under the New England Prescription Opioid (NEPO) Strike Force.
The strike force represents a renewed focus on unlawful... Read More »
A new study conducted by consulting firm Trail of Bits and funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) concluded that despite claims to the contrary, blockchains are not impenetrable but can be subverted to dishonest means.
Despite the growing prevalence of blockchains... Read More »
With the acceptance of a biologics license application (BLA) from Emergent BioSolutions Inc. last week, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is set to review the potential of AV7909, an anthrax vaccine candidate.
“Over the last 20 years, Emergent has partnered with the U.S.... Read More »
After a final vote last week, the House’s $850 billion version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023 advanced toward reconciliation with its Senate counterpart.
Notably, the NDAA as written surpassed President Joe Biden’s own proposal for $813 billion and... Read More »
Late-stage biopharmaceutical company Soligenix, Inc. announced last week that it has created and tested a bivalent filovirus vaccine that offered 100 percent protection to non-human primate test subjects against the lethal Marburg and Ebola viruses.
"Filoviruses such as Zaire ebolavirus, Sudan... Read More »
A new partnership arranged between SC Johnson and the Global Fund this week will focus on resource development for malaria, one of the world’s oldest and deadliest diseases.
Together, the pair intend to push for social impact in some of the places malaria has proven most stubborn: Burundi, the... Read More »
In an official visit to Washington, D.C., the Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Fernando Arias, met with various U.S. officials to address current international security and prevent the re-emergence of chemical weapons.
Under... Read More »
A bipartisan collection of 34 senators expressed concern this week amid reports that the Pentagon may downgrade the U.S. Security Coordinator (USSC) position based in Israel to a colonel rather than a three-star general.
The senators argue that the change could disrupt operations at a key U.S.... Read More »
Following up on the demands made by the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) last week published its official strategy for barring importations from China’s Xinjiang region and cracking down on goods made from forced labor.
China has come... Read More »