Crystal Franco and Tara Kirk Sell
Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Volume 10, Number 2, 2012. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. DOI: 10.1089/bsp.2012.0025
Introduction: Since 2001, the United States government has spent substantial resources on preparing the nation against a bioterrorist attack. Earlier articles in this series have analyzed civilian biodefense funding by the federal government for fiscal years (FY) 2001 through proposed funding for FY2012. This article updates those figures with budgeted amounts for FY2013, specifically analyzing the budgets and allocations for civilian biodefense at the Departments of Health and Human Services, Defense, Homeland Security, Agriculture, Commerce, and State; the Environmental Protection Agency; and the National Science Foundation. As in previous years, our analysis indicates that the majority (>90%) of the “biodefense” programs included in the FY2013 budget have both biodefense and non-biodefense goals and applications—that is, programs to improve infectious disease research, public health and hospital preparedness, and disaster response more broadly. Programs that focus solely on biodefense represent a small proportion (<10%) of our analysis, as the federal agencies continue to prioritize all-hazards preparedness. For FY2013, the federal budget for programs focused solely on civilian biodefense totals $574.2 million, and the budget for programs with multiple goals and applications, including biodefense, is $4.96 billion, for an overall total of $5.54 billion.
This year’s analysis looks at funding for civilian biodefense programs across the federal government from fiscal year (FY) 2001 through the proposed budget for FY2013 (Table 1, Figure 1). This analysis reflects information collected from FY2013 budget materials, as well as information collected for the 8 previous articles in this series (formerly titled “Billions for Biodefense”).1-8
As in years past, for this FY2013 budget, a minority (10%) of the programs categorized as “civilian biodefense” are dedicated solely to biodefense. Since 2001, the federal government has steadily moved away from threat-specific programs and toward all-hazards preparedness. As a result, most programs that were once focused on biodefense now address many threats and have biodefense only as a component. Programs like the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Hospital and Public Health Preparedness grants, the Department of Defense’s (DoD) WMD Civil Support Teams, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Homeland Security programs all have an impact on biodefense, but they are not solely focused on that purpose. These programs have been included in this analysis in their entirety because of their relevance to biodefense, but it is important to note that the amount of money being spent on biodefense only is a small component of the total.
For FY2013, $574.2 million would be dedicated to programs that have objectives solely related to biodefense, while $4.96 billion would go to programs that have biodefense objectives but also aim to advance basic scientific research in infectious disease pathogenesis and immunology, to improve planning and operations related to public health preparedness, and/or to improve preparedness and response for a range of other disasters.9 For some of these programs, biodefense would seem to be a lesser objective than the non-biodefense objectives. In total, FY2013 funding for programs dedicated strictly to biodefense and for those with broader goals and applications would total $5.54 billion (Table 1, Table 2, Figure 2).
Over the course of the 13 fiscal years included in this analysis, $59.96 billion of the $71.83 billion total in biodefense funding has been dedicated to programs with both biodefense and non-biodefense goals and applications, while only $11.87 billion has gone to programs with objectives solely related to biodefense (Table 2, Figure 2).
|a||A total of $5.6 billion was appropriated to a Project BioShield Special Reserve fund in FY2004. Of the $5.6 billion fund, $885 million and $2.507 billion were allocated to DHS in FY2004 and FY2005, respectively, and were obligated for use through FY2008. $2.175 billion in BioShield was allocated to DHS in the FY2009 budget and obligated for use through FY2013. In 2010, the balance of the SRF was transferred to HHS.|
Based on analyses from previous biodefense funding articles1-8 and updated numbers for this year’s article, at first blush, this year’s analysis appears to indicate that proposed funding for overall civilian biodefense in FY2013 is flat compared with FY2012. However, further analysis shows that this is an artifact of a change in the budgeting process and that proposed funding for a number of key biodefense programs has actually been reduced. Many biodefense programs have been consolidated into larger line items with other programs (eg, chemical programs) but had to be included as a whole in the analysis due to lack of transparency. So, despite large cuts to programs like public health and hospital preparedness grants and the Strategic National Stockpile, the overall proposed budget for biodefense falsely appears to be flat because non-biodefense related monies could not be separated from the analysis this year (Table 1, Figure 2).
This year’s analysis employed similar methods and sources as previous articles in this series. Sources for the FY2013 analysis include agency “Budgets in Brief,” agency budget justifications, and personal contact with agency representatives to obtain and track civilian biodefense funding. In order to make this analysis readable, funding amounts for FY2001-FY2005 have been collapsed into one column in the tables. Please see previous Federal Biodefense Funding analyses for a full, detailed description of methods, sources, assumptions, and FY2001-FY2005 funding details.1-8
In addition to the analysis of biodefense funding by federal agency, this article includes an updated assessment of the proportion of civilian biodefense funding, from FY2001 through FY2013, that has been dedicated to programs with objectives solely related to biodefense, versus the amount provided for programs with both biodefense and non-biodefense goals and applications. For the purpose of this analysis, a program with objectives solely related to biodefense is defined as:
A program that focuses entirely on prevention, preparedness, and/or mitigation of bioterrorism’s effects on civilians.
Some specific examples of programs with solely biodefense goals include: the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) BioWatch program for biological agent early detection; HHS’s smallpox and anthrax vaccine research; and DoD’s cooperative biological threat reduction programs to engage former bioweapons scientists in new biological research activities.
A program with both biodefense and non-biodefense goals is defined as:
A program that serves one or more purposes beyond biodefense: At least one major element of the program is specifically related to improving biodefense. However, the program also has objectives related to advancing other areas of science, public health, health care, national security, or international security.
Some specific examples of programs with both biodefense and non-biodefense goals include: the HHS Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), which helps to improve healthcare surge capacity around the country for multiple hazards including bioterrorism; the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID) Biodefense Research Program, which, in addition to funding preclinical and clinical research for biodefense countermeasures, also funds basic infectious disease pathogenesis and immunology research with implications for a multitude of other diseases; and the DoD WMD Civil Support Teams, which would be deployed to respond to a range of disasters in the U.S., including a biological attack (Table 2, Figure 2).
For FY2013, the HHS budget for civilian biodefense is $3.96 billion, a proposed increase in funding of $28.2 million (1%), above FY2012 estimated funding levels (Table 3). Of the FY2013 total HHS biodefense budget, only $5 million would be used solely for biodefense. The rest of the budget would be dedicated to programs with many public health and medical preparedness and response missions and goals (Table 2).10
The majority of funds requested for HHS in FY2013 are allocated to programs at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) (Figure 3).
The FY2013 CDC biodefense budget would decrease by $54 million due to cuts to the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) cooperative agreement grant program and the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). The NIH FY2013 budget for biodefense research administered through NIAID would remain steady from the past 2 fiscal years, while the FDA budget would increase by $25 million, mainly due to the additional line item for operationalizing the new FDA Life Sciences Biodefense Laboratory.
The overall FY2013 biodefense budget for ASPR shows an increase of $56 million. The increase in ASPR funding is due to the proposed Strategic Investor (SI) program ($50 million) and the proposed increase in funding for the Biodefense Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of $132 million, for a total of $547 million. Of the FY2013 BARDA budget, $415 million would be reallocated from the BioShield Special Reserve Fund and would not be a new appropriation. These increases in medical countermeasure development funding mask a proposed cut to the Hospital Preparedness Program under ASPR of $120 million in the overall budget numbers.10
As noted above, 2 programs in HHS that affect state and local preparedness would see decreases in funding. The CDC State and Local Preparedness and Response Capability, which includes the PHEP cooperative agreement grants to states, would be reduced by $15 million from FY2012 and a total of $298 million (31%) since FY2002. The HPP grant program funding would be reduced by $120 million or 32% from FY2012 and by $290 million (50%) since FY2003 (Table 3).10
|a||This figure does not include a $404.7M contract for 14.5M doses of Anthrax Vaccine Absorbed announced in September 2008 because the purchase was made using CDC funds rather than the Project BioShield Special Reserve Fund.|
|b||This figure does not include $8 million in additional payments for studies to support FDA approval.|
Franco C, Sell TK. Federal agency biodefense funding, FY2010-FY2012. Biosecur Bioterror 2011;9(2):117-137.
Gottron F. Project BioShield: Authorities, Appropriations, Acquisitions, and Issues for Congress. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service; May 27, 2011.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Project BioShield Annual Report to Congress: January 2010-December 2010. https://www.medicalcountermeasures.gov/BARDA/documents/PBSReport2010.pdf. Accessed March 26, 2012.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. FY2013 Budget in Brief. 2012. http://www.hhs.gov/budget/budget-brief-fy2013.pdf. Accessed March 23, 2012.
The FY2013 DoD biodefense budget of $831.1 million represents a proposed decrease in funding of $119.1 million (13%) from FY2012 estimated funds (Table 4). For the purposes of this analysis, DoD civilian biodefense includes programs to prevent biological terrorism; programs to respond to domestic disasters, including bioterrorism; and programs that are coordinated with other federal agencies for the purpose of research and development of biodefense countermeasures and technologies. DoD biodefense activities with civilian applications in this FY2013 budget include the Army National Guard WMD Civil Support Teams; Cooperative Biological Engagement at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA); the Biological Warfare Defense Program at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA); and the Medical Biological Defense program under the Chemical and Biological Defense Program (CBDP) heading.
The Medical Biological Defense (MBD) program represents the largest portion of DoD’s investment in biodefense activities with civilian applications. For FY2013, MBD is budgeted to receive $347.9 million, a decrease of $257.5 million from FY2012 estimates. The proposed reduction in funding for this program is mainly due to the zeroing out of projects in Basic and Applied Research and Advanced Technology Development. If MBD is funded according to this budget request in FY2013, the DoD would not conduct basic and applied research for development of vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutic drugs against biological threat agents, and it would not work to develop technologies for delivery of drugs and vaccines and use of diagnostics against threat agents.11
For FY2013, the DTRA Cooperative Biological Engagement (CBE) program is budgeted to receive an increase in funding of $16.9 million, for a total of $276.4 million. This program aims to counter the threat posed by pathogens (as delineated in the U.S. Select Agent List), related materials and expertise, and other emerging infectious disease risks.12
DARPA’s Biological Warfare Defense program, which focuses on technologies for biological pathogen detection, prevention, treatment, and remediation, and works jointly with other government agencies to fund programs supporting new approaches to biological warfare defense, would receive a decrease in funds of $11.2 million (37%), for a total of $19.2 million for FY2013.13
Finally, the Army National Guard’s WMD Civil Support Teams (WMD-CST) would receive a large budget increase of $132.7 million (242%) above the FY2012 estimated funding level, for a total FY2013 funding request of $187.6 million for WMD-CST training and equipment.11,14 The increase in budget for WMD-CST teams is due to the transfer of 10 Homeland Response Forces (HRF) units into this program, as well as the inclusion of a new Consequence Management Command and Control Element (C2CRE). Each HRF consists of 566 National Guard personnel and is intended to “provide a regional response capability that self-deploys by ground within 6-12 hours of a mission assignment.” The mission of the HRFs is to “perform incident site search and rescue, collect and decontaminate victims, perform medical triage and initial medical treatment, provide security and command control.”14 The C2CRE consists of “1900 National Guard personnel designed to provide command and control elements.” The C2CRE has capabilities for “limited CBRNE assessment, search and extraction, decontamination, emergency level II medical care, security, engineering, command and control, interoperable communications and logistics.”14
The DHS budget request for FY2013 totals $363.5 million for civilian biodefense programs, a proposed 18% increase of $56.6 million above FY2012 estimated levels (Table 5).15,16 However, these levels represent a reduction in funding from actual FY2011 levels and a 29% decrease from levels proposed for FY2012 in last year’s budget.8
In the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), funding for Regional Catastrophic Event Planning was proposed in the DHS FY2012 budget request, but estimates provided in this year’s budget show that the program was unfunded. The FY2013 budget request does not reflect any proposed funding for this program in FY2013.
The requested budget for the BioWatch program, in the Office of Health Affairs, is $125.3 million, a proposed increase of 10%, or $11.1 million, above the FY2012 estimate. Other programs in the Office of Health Affairs, such as the National Biosurveillance Integration Center (NBIC) and Planning and Coordination would receive reductions in funding.
Under the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), the budget includes no funding for the construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) but shows an increase of $15 million for construction on the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC). Also in S&T, programs included in the CBRNE Defense Research and Development Thrust area, such as the Bioagent Detection Program ($41.0 million), the Bioagent Threat Assessment Program ($33.0 million), and a new program, the Bioagent Attack Resiliency Program ($61.4 million), have increased levels of funding from FY2012. However, with the exception of the Bioagent Attack Resiliency Program, compared to actual funding levels for FY2011, these funding levels represent a reduction. Similarly, the FY2013 budget request proposes $32.1 million for the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC), a proposed increase of $29.2 million from FY2012 estimated levels. However, proposed funding for the NBACC is only an increase of $2.7 million from actual FY2011 levels. All other DHS biodefense program funding budgeted for FY2013 remains at or near FY2012 estimated levels (Table 5).15,16
The FY2013 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) budget requests a total of $92 million for its biodefenserelated programs, maintaining the FY2012 estimate (Table 6).17 The USDA proposes funding for biodefense-related activities under the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). In addition, the budget indicates that $1 million is budgeted for homeland security initiatives in USDA.
In FY2013, $19 million in funding is directed toward emergency management, including $17 million for emergency preparedness and response and $2 million for a contingency fund to be used in responding to an unforeseen outbreak. Other significant amounts of funding are requested for the APHIS Veterinary Diagnostics program ($31 million); the FSIS Public Health Data Communication Infrastructure System ($35 million), for improved communication and investigation in response to outbreaks; and the Regional Diagnostics Network ($6 million).17
For FY2013, the EPA budget for civilian biodefense is $102.3 million, steady funding when compared to FY2012 estimated levels, but still a decrease in funding of $26 million when compared to FY2011 actual appropriations. EPA funds are budgeted for programs under the Homeland Security heading dealing with water security, decontamination, laboratory preparedness and response, critical infrastructure protection, and other preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. (Table 7).18
The FY2012 civilian biodefense budget for Commerce totals $102.3 million, slightly increasing funding by $1.3 million above the FY2012 estimate (Table 8). The Commerce biodefense budget is comprised solely of the Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS) program on export controls. This number represents an overestimation of the Commerce biodefense budget, as an unspecified portion of these monies is used for biodefense.19
For FY2013, the Department of State budget requests biodefense funding of $67.9 million, a reduction of $5.4 million, for 3 civilian biodefense programs: the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance’s Office of Chemical and Biological Weapons Affairs; the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation’s (ISN) program on Global Threat Reduction; and the ISN program on Missile, Biological, and Chemical Nonproliferation (Table 9).20
For FY2013, funding for the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance’s Office of Biological Affairs and the ISN program on Chemical and Biological Weapons Threat Reduction would remain at FY2012 estimated levels.22 The Global Threat Reduction (GTR) program under ISN would receive $63.6 million, a reduction of $5.4 million from FY2012 levels.21
The NSF FY2013 budget proposes flat funding of $15 million for its civilian biodefense program. In the FY2013 budget, biodefense funding is solely directed to Microbial Genomics, Analysis and Modeling in the NSF BIO Directorate, which has received the same level of funding since FY2003 (Table 10).22
The President’s FY2013 budget requests $574.2 million for programs that have objectives solely related to biodefense and $4.96 billion for programs with both biodefense and non-biodefense goals and applications, for a total civilian biodefense budget of $5.54 billion. A large majority (90%) of the “biodefense” program funding included in the FY2013 budget is intended not only to improve biodefense, but also to improve preparedness and response more broadly.8 This year’s article provides an updated assessment of the programs in the biodefense budget that are solely dedicated to biodefense versus those that have both biodefense and non-biodefense goals and applications, including in the areas of science, public health preparedness, and disaster response (Figure 2).
HHS continues to receive the majority of federal biodefense funding (72%), followed by DoD (15%), DHS (6%), USDA (2%), EPA (2%), Commerce (2%), State (1%), and NSF (<1%). Only 2 of the 8 agencies included in this budget analysis (HHS,DHS) would receive increases to their biodefense budget in FY2013, with USDA, EPA, Commerce, and NSF receiving relatively flat funding, and DoD and the State Department receiving funding cuts (Figure 3).
It should be noted that while at first glance this year’s analysis appears to show proposed funding for overall civilian biodefense in FY2013 as flat compared with FY2012, further review shows that this is an artifact of a change in the budgeting process and that proposed funding for biodefense has actually been reduced. Many biodefense programs have been consolidated into larger line items with other programs (eg, chemical programs), which had to be included as a whole in the analysis due to lack of transparency. So, despite large cuts to programs like public health and hospital preparedness grants and the Strategic National Stockpile, the overall proposed budget for biodefense falsely appears to be flat because non-biodefense related monies could not be separated from the analysis this year.
Schuler A. Billions for biodefense: federal agency biodefense funding, FY2001-FY2005. Biosecur Bioterror 2004;2(2):86-96.
Schuler A. Billions for biodefense: federal agency biodefense budgeting, FY2005-FY2006. Biosecur Bioterror 2005;3(2):94-101.
Lam C, Franco C, Schuler A. Billions for biodefense: federal agency biodefense funding, FY2006-FY2007. Biosecur Bioterror 2006;4(2):113-127.
Franco C, Deitch S. Billions for biodefense: federal agency biodefense funding, FY2007-FY2008. Biosecur Bioterror 2007;5(2):117-133.
Franco C. Billions for biodefense: federal agency biodefense funding, FY2008-FY2009. Biosecur Bioterror 2008;6(2):131-146.
Franco C. Billions for biodefense: federal agency biodefense funding, FY2009-FY2010. Biosecur Bioterror 2009;7(3):1-19.
Franco C, Sell TK. Federal agency biodefense funding, FY2010-FY2011. Biosecur Bioterror 2010;8(2):129-149.
Franco C, Sell TK. Federal agency biodefense funding, FY2011-FY2012. Biosecur Bioterror 2011;9(2):117-137.
Fauci AS, Zerhouni EA. NIH response to open letter. Science 2005;308(5718):49. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/308/5718/49b?ck=nck. Accessed March 23, 2012.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. FY2013 Budget in Brief. 2012. http://www.hhs.gov/budget/budget-brief-fy2013.pdf. Accessed March 23, 2012.
U.S. Department of Defense. FY2013 Chemical and Biological Defense Program Budget Justification. 2012. http://comptroller.defense.gov/defbudget/fy2013/budget_justification/pdfs/03_RDT_and_E/
Chemical_Biological_Defense_Program_PB_2013_1.pdf. Accessed March 23, 2012.
U.S. Department of Defense. FY2013 Budget Estimates: DTRA. 2012:CTR 75. http://comptroller.defense.gov/defbudget/fy2013/budget_justification/pdfs/
01_Operation_and_Maintenance/O_M_VOL_1_PARTS/O_M_VOL_1_BASE_PARTS/CTR_OP-5.pdf. Accessed March 23, 2012.
U.S. Department of Defense. DARPA FY2012 RDTE Budget. 2012:129. http://comptroller.defense.gov/defbudget/fy2013/budget_justification/pdfs/
03_RDT_and_E/Defense_Advanced_Research_Projects_Agency_PB_2013_1%20Final.pdf. Accessed March 23, 2012.
U.S. Department of Defense. FY2012 Department of the Army Budget Estimates. 2012:64-65, 68. http://asafm.army.mil/Documents/OfficeDocuments/Budget/BudgetMaterials/FY13/milpers//
ngpa.pdf. Accessed March 23, 2011.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FY2013 Budget in Brief. 2012. http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/mgmt/dhsbudget-in-brief-fy2013.pdf. Accessed March 23, 2012.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FY2013 Congressional Budget Justification. 2012. http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/mgmt/dhs-congressional-budget-justification-fy2013.pdf. Accessed March 23, 2012.
U.S. Department of Agriculture. FY2013 USDA Budget Summary and Performance Plan. 2012. http://www.obpa.usda.gov/budsum/FY13budsum.pdf. Accessed March 23, 2012.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA FY2013 Budget in Brief. 2012:81-89. http://nepis.epa.gov/Adobe/PDF/P100DRB5.PDF. Accessed March 23, 2011.
U.S. Department of Commerce. Department of Commerce FY2013 Budget in Brief. 2012. http://www.osec.doc.gov/bmi/budget/FY13BIB/fy2013bib_final.pdf. Accessed March 23, 2012.
U.S. Department of State. FY2013 Department of State Congressional Budget Justification. 2012:169, 179. http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/181061.pdf. Accessed March 23, 2012.
U.S. Department of State. FY2013 Department of State Executive Budget Summary: Function 150 & Other International Programs. 2012. http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/183755.pdf. Accessed March 23, 2012.
National Science Foundation. FY2013 NSF Homeland Security Activities Budget Request. 2012. http://www.nsf.gov/about/budget/fy2013/pdf/09_fy2013.pdf. Accessed March 23, 2012.