In light of the preparedness gaps highlighted by COVID-19 that could make communities vulnerable to bioterrorism events, this report outlines the need for a comprehensive, robust, and integrated approach to preparedness for public health crises and bioterrorism. The report explores the differences between naturally occurring diseases and weaponized bioagents, reviews the threats posed by bioterrorism, and analyzes how the gaps exposed by COVID-19 would perform in a bio-attack. As mitigating tools, the report also outlines the importance of political and strategic leadership, multi-agency and public health preparedness, and community behaviors. Overall, the authors propose that preparedness for bioterrorism events and public health crises are complementary if communities apply an integrated approach. Therefore, this document also outlines a set of recommendations for city authorities to enhance preparedness for both bioterrorism events and public health crises.
This report was prepared by the Counter Terrorism Preparedness Network (CTPN), an international collaboration that brings together strategic leaders, practitioners, and academics to inform city-level policies and practices to keep communities safe from terrorism. CTPN is an international collaboration governed by the CTPN International Board, facilitated by London Resilience Group and hosted by the London Fire Commissioner. CTPN accomplishes this by conducting research and analysis, convening international conferences and seminars, and delivering projects and reports.