The purpose of the biosecurity blog is to encourage debate and discussion of a wide range of health security, biosecurity and biodefense topics. The primary author of the commentaries is Randy Larsen. The opinions expressed are his and do not necessarily represent those of the WMD Center, the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University, or the UPMC Center for Health Security.
There will also appear frequent guest commentaries. The opinions expressed within those postings will also represent the author’s, and not necessarily that of their organizations.
Colonel Randall J. Larsen, USAF (Ret) formerly served as the chief executive officer of the WMD Center, a not-for-profit research organization he founded along with former Senators Bob Graham (D-FL) and Jim Talent (R-MO). He also served as the national security advisor at the UPMC Center for Health Security, and a senior fellow at the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University.
He also served as the executive director of the Congressional Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, the founding director of The Institute for Homeland Security, and as the chairman of the Department of Military Strategy and Operations at the National War College, where in 1999 he created the nation’s first graduate course in homeland security.
He was one of the first witnesses to testify before the 9/11 Commission, and since 9/11 he has served as an expert witness to: Senate Armed Services, Senate Judiciary, Senate Appropriations, House Government Reform, House Homeland Security, and House Budget Committees. He served on the 2003 Defense Science Board Summer Study on Homeland Security, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology from Texas State University in 1974, and a Master of Arts Degree in National Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1983.
Colonel Larsen is the author of Our Own Worst Enemy: Asking the Right Questions About Security to Protect You, Your Family, and America (Warner Books, 2007), AVOIDING THE ABYSS: Progress, Shortfalls, and the Way Ahead in Combating the WMD Threat (Air War College, 2005), What Corporate America Needs to Know About Bioterrorism (National Legal Center, 2003), and The Executive’s Desk Book on Corporate Risks and Response for Homeland Security (National Legal Center, 2003). His articles have been published in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, Business Week, and Ripon Forum. He is a frequent guest on radio and television including: CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, BBC, Fox News Channel, Larry King Live, Jim Lehrer News Hour, and Dr. Oz. He is the founder and principal author of http://biosecurityblog.com.
Larsen retired as an Air Force Colonel in July 2000 after serving in both the Army and Air Force for a combined total of 32 years of military service. His flying career began as a 19-year old Cobra pilot in the 101st Airborne Division. He flew 400 combat missions in Vietnam. He also served as military attaché at the US Embassy in Bangkok, the chief of legislative liaison at the US Transportation Command, and the commander of America’s fleet of VIP aircraft at Andrews AFB MD. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, 17 awards of the Air Medal (3 with “V” Device for Valor), and the South Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
Colonel Larsen – You and your work are mentioned in Wil Hylton’s article in the New York Times Magazine today. You would agree with him that we are not ready for a bioterroism attack. I suspect, however, that neither he nor you are aware of the possibility that we could treat patients affected by a bioterrorist attack with one or several widely available and inexpensive generic immunomodulatory agents that have already been shown to reduce mortality in influenza. I’ve been advocating this idea in articles and lectures since 2004. Tara O’Toole, Tom Inglesby and a large number of scientists and federal health officials know about it, yet none has done anything to advance the laboratory and clinical research that could show it would work. The WMD Center could and should draw attention to this idea. I would be happy to send you information and would welcome the opportunity to discuss it with you. With best regards,
David S. Fedson, MD
57, chemin du Lavoir
01630 Sergy Haut, France
Formerly, Harry T. Peters, Jr. Professor of Medicine
University of Virginia School of Medicine