Doctors for Disaster Preparedness

October 30, 2001


Our organization is being asked for solutions to the recent anthrax attacks and to bioterrorism in general because we have warned of this danger for two decades.

As you know, the current abilities of the United States government to protect American citizens from these dangers have proved very inadequate. The answers to these problems are, however, actually known to those who have been involved in all aspects of research, development, production, and deployment of biological weapons and defense against these weapons for at least 30 years: the large number of biological warfare specialists at Biopreparat in the former Soviet Union.

We respectfully and urgently request that the U.S. federal government immediately undertake to locate, hire, and bring to the United States as many as possible of the thousands of Russian scientists and engineers who have participated (or are participating) in research on anthrax and other biological weapons. They should be provided with excellent facilities and an unlimited budget.

We believe that, if this were done, very rapid progress would be made to protect the American people, especially in the detection and identification of agents; protection against exposure; prophylaxis; treatment; and decontamination.

There are several advantages to involving Russian scientists in this effort:

  1. Their existing knowledge and expertise would be invaluable.

  2. Their participation would be a substantial advance in meaningful cooperation between the United States and Russia.

  3. Scientists working in the United States would not be working in Iraq or for other potential enemies.

I enclose a reprint of my article entitled "Chemical and Biological Warfare: Should Defenses Be Researched and Deployed?" published in the August 4, 1989, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA 1989;262:644-648).

I would greatly appreciate a personal appointment with you to discuss this possibility.

Thank you for your consideration.


Jane M. Orient, M.D., F.A.C.P.
President, DDP