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Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense receives $5.2M Open Philanthropy grant for bio-preparation work

The Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense announced Tuesday that it had received a $5.2 million grant from Open Philanthropy to strengthen efforts to improve preparation for biological incidents, ranging from pandemics and zoonotic diseases to biological terrorism and warfare.

The private organization is dedicated to assessing the state of U.S. biodefense efforts and providing recommendations for improvement. Founded in 2014, the Commission has provided details on perceived gaps and changes to policy and law that could strengthen national biodefense and make better use of investments.

“The support we receive from Open Philanthropy is absolutely critical in our ability to continue working with the Administration and Congress to implement our recommendations,” said former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, first Secretary of Homeland Security and co-chair of the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense. “The world can no longer consider a devastating biological event like the COVID-19 pandemic to be a rare, once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. Naturally occurring biological threats will become more deadly and transmissible than we see now with COVID-19. Increasing air travel, mass market food production, climate changes, urbanization, and increasing human-wildlife interactions only add to the growing risk and frequency of natural infectious diseases.”

Open Philanthropy, a research and grantmaking nonprofit that focuses on getting results and publishing them openly for public review and build-up, has provided the Commission with five total grants, amounting to more than $13 million.

“The biological threats to our Nation remain all too real,” said former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, co-chair of the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense. “Our nation and the world are dealing with natural, accidental, and intentional biological threats simultaneously. Our Commission has made tremendous progress in getting recommendations in our initial Blueprint and subsequent Commission reports taken up by the Administration and Congress. We thank Open Philanthropy for their generosity and vision, which will allow this critical work to continue.”

Chris Galford

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