On May 7, 2018, the Center for Disease Control held a symposium entitled 100 Years of Influenza Pandemic and Practice: 1918-2018.
In this meeting, Dr. Rick Bright, Director of the Biomedical Advances Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), spoke about America's reliance on imported critical supplies, and stated that, "We know acutely that in a pandemic outbreak, no other country is going to import to the United States...even some of our closest neighbors."
Dr. Bright continued by saying, "We have to become self-reliant in those critical components and supplies; we need to make sure that we can respond sufficiently and adequately" in a pandemic. Watch the rest of his statement:
This fear is nothing new to the Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Bright's predecessor, Dr. Robin Robinson, had this to say in a 2012 panel:
Dr. Michael T. Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), was also in attendance of the May 2018 symposium and made this statement during a presentation:
We live in a world [where] we don't have warehouses any more. Everything as a warehouse is on these oceans. The vast majority of critical medical products and services that we need actually come from a foreign country. They're not made in the United States of America, for that matter, they're not made in most of the developing world countries.
Watch more of his presentation video here: