President Obama signed an Executive Order on Friday preparing Americans for a “worldwide epidemic” just days before the U.S. election.
The order, entitled “Advancing the Global Health Security Agenda to Achieve a World Safe and Secure from Infectious Disease Threats,” gives authorities extra powers to respond to “biological threats” as they emerge.
Here is the summarized policy from the order:
“As articulated in the National Strategy for Countering Biological Threats and implemented in Presidential Policy Directive 2 (PPD-2), promoting global health security is a core tenet of our national strategy for countering biological threats.
No single nation can be prepared if other nations remain unprepared to counter biological threats; therefore, it is the policy of the United States to advance the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), which is a multi-faceted, multi-country initiative intended to accelerate partner countries’ measurable capabilities to achieve specific targets to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats (GHSA targets), whether naturally occurring, deliberate, or accidental.
The roles, responsibilities, and activities described in this order will support the goals of the International Health Regulations (IHR) and will be conducted, as appropriate, in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), and other relevant organizations and stakeholders.”
The Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) is an organization whose initiative is:
“to advance a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats, to bring together nations from all over the world to make new, concrete commitments, and to elevate global health security as a national leaders-level priority.”