Despite global efforts to build capacity to respond to biological threats, there is a lack of understanding about how an international response to a deliberate biological event would unfold. Talus, in collaboration with Georgetown University, performed a detailed policy analysis aligning an epidemiological timeline with the stakeholders and response requirements, described in an interactive tool to define the gaps and articulate the requirements of a coordinated response effort.
The deliberate biological events tool is a research visualization designed to support analysis and a broader understanding of the intersection between the unfolding of a deliberate biological event along an epidemiological timeline, the policies triggered as the event progresses, and the international stakeholders tasked with managing the response based on those policies. While naturally occurring outbreak response is generally well-understood by the international response community, many of the response requirements and authorities change if the event is deliberate. As presented at the multi-states expert meeting of the Biological Weapons Convention at the United Nations, we identified and articulated a critical policy gap assigning lead authority for coordinated response efforts and are continuing efforts to work with the international policy community to fill the gap.