Ridge leads effort to help government prepare for potential biological threats

"We think the risk is that significant."

Ian Bush
August 01, 2018 - 7:57 am
Former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge

Photo by Erin Sutherland/MCT/Sipa USA


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The United States is woefully ill-prepared to battle biological threats — whether they be man made or from Mother Nature. Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge is leading the charge to make the feds wise to the dangers. 

Ridge says it should be a job for the vice president, a high-level figure, tasked with oversight of this critical national security-meets-public health policy.

"We think the risk is that significant," he said. "We just want to reduce the risk to the population and to our economy."

Ridge, the nation's first homeland security secretary, is co-chairman of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense. Members are making the case on Capitol Hill and to the Chamber of Commerce.

"There are very basic things that need to be done in order to be better prepared to deal with the risk," Ridge said.

This includes a unified budget, so the billions of dollars needed to fight the next epidemic or bioweapon can go to where they will do the most good.

"The American public should demand that these things be done," he said.