“Protect against bioterror,” Gov. Ridge’s Latest Op-Ed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

June 24, 2016 (Pittsburgh, PA) – In today’s Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Gov. Ridge and Tara O’Toole, Executive Vice President of In-Q-Tel, warn of how a failure to “harness the explosion of bioscientific knowledge” could lead to disaster. Gov. Ridge is the Co-Chair of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense.

“The Post-Gazette reported recently on a Pennsylvania woman infected with a strain of E. coli resistant to all known antibiotics. It reminds us that we cannot treat an increasing proportion of infections with antibiotics, the miracle drugs we started using at the end of World War II. It also reminds us that dangerous diseases are emerging more frequently.

Population pressures, urban sprawl and travel and trade patterns are increasing human contact with and infection by microbes that can spread around the world at jet speed. When we cannot or fail to halt this spread, they create epidemics. This summer, the world is struggling to contain the spread of the Zika virus. Last fall, it was Ebola. Before that, it was MERS, SARS, avian flu.

Additionally, as biotechnology spreads around the world — bringing new medicines, agricultural advances and pollution-free manufacturing techniques — so does the ability to build biological weapons.”

To read the rest of the op-ed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, click here.

To learn more about the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense, click here.