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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Goals and Objectives

The National Biodefense Strategy and Presidential Memorandum on the Support for National Biodefense represent a single coordinated effort to orchestrate the full range of activities that are carried out across the U.S. government to protect the American people from biological threats. It explains how the U.S. government will manage its activities more effectively to assess, prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from biological threats. The National Biodefense Strategy details the federal government’s plans for coordinating its biodefense efforts with those of international partners, industry, academia, non-governmental entities, and the private sector.


The goals of the National Biodefense Strategy are:

Goal 1: Enable risk awareness to inform decision-making across the biodefense enterprise

The United States will build risk awareness at the strategic level, through analyses and research efforts to characterize deliberate, accidental, and natural biological risks; and at the operational level, through surveillance and detection activities to detect and identify biological threats and anticipate biological incidents.

Goal 2: Ensure biodefense enterprise capabilities to prevent bioincidents

The United States will work to prevent the outbreak and spread of naturally occurring disease, and minimize the chances of laboratory accidents. The United States will also strengthen biosecurity to prevent hostile actors from obtaining or using biological material, equipment, and expertise for nefarious purposes consistent with United States Governments approach to countering weapons of mass destruction (WMD) terrorism.

Goal 2 will ensure we have the capabilities necessary to disrupt plots, degrade technical capabilities, and deter support for terrorists seeking to use WMD. This goal also recognizes the “dual use” nature of the life sciences and biotechnology, in which the same science and technology base that improves health, promotes innovation, and protects the environment can also be misused to facilitate a biological attack. The United States seeks to prevent the misuse of science and technology while promoting and enhancing legitimate use and innovation.

Goal 3: Ensure biodefense enterprise preparedness to reduce the impacts of bioincidents

The United States will take measures to reduce the impacts of bioincidents, including maintaining a vibrant national science and technology base to support biodefense; ensuring a strong public health infrastructure; developing, updating, and exercising response capabilities; establishing risk communications; developing and effectively distributing and dispensing medical countermeasures; and preparing to collaborate to support biodefense.

Goal 4: Rapidly respond to limit the impacts of bioincidents

The United States will rapidly respond to limit the impacts of bioincidents through information-sharing and networking; coordinated response operations and investigations; and effective public messaging.

Goal 5: Facilitate recovery to restore the community, the economy, and the environment after a bioincident

The United States will take actions to restore critical infrastructure services and capability; coordinate recovery activities; provide recovery support and long-term mitigation; and minimize cascading effects elsewhere in the world.

  • This page last reviewed: March 11, 2021