$50B bioterror program delivers marginal gains

Seven years and more than $50 billion after 9/11, biosecurity experts say the U.S. still has made only marginal progress developing the security measures and new therapeutics needed to protect the U.S. from the next bioterror threat. With various reports heatedly discussing the possible guilt or innocence of Bruce Ivins, the Fort Detrick scientist and anthrax specialist who killed himself either (A) just as FBI agents were preparing to nab him or (B) while officials were still reviewing the evidence against him in front of a grand jury, some reporters are more focused on the spotty record of the vast federal effort he was involved in.

"We've made very little progress in [any] of those very big areas," Dr. Tara O'Toole, director of the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, told the Wall Street Journal.

"The threat of bioterrorism has not subsided," while the challenge of predicting or preventing a major biological attack remains "daunting," Robert Hooks, the Homeland Security Department's deputy assistant secretary for weapons of mass destruction and biodefense, told a House panel two weeks ago.

- read the article in the Wall Street Journal
read the story in the Washington Post

ALSO: In the hunt for motives, the Los Angeles Times examined Ivins' work as co-inventor of an experimental anthrax vaccine and how he might have profited from a panic. Report