Being in the business of developing countermeasures and treatments for a biological outbreak or chemical or nuclear event is a lot like the story of the boy who cried wolf. How do we, as representatives of this industry, continuously convince our fellow citizens, the government and the world that we face a potential danger and we must all prepare in the unlikely event the unthinkable happens? That is our challenge – preparing for unthinkable and unpredictable events, while at the same time collectively hoping they won’t occur.
Unfortunately we live in a world in which the potential for a biological outbreak, natural or man-made, is ever-present. It could be a resurgence of Ebola, an intentional release of smallpox or anthrax, or the use of a chemical or nuclear weapon. As weapons technologies have become easier to acquire, and as the human population experiences naturally emerging infectious diseases at a greater rate than ever before, we can never be sure what or when the next threat will be. We must, therefore, strive to be prepared for the most likely and the most disruptive potential threats. This is true at home and equally true around the globe.