U.S. lawmakers concerned about weapons of mass destruction

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – U.S. lawmakers fear the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is not ready to deal with a bad actor with weapons of mass destruction.

“It doesn’t take a lot of the imagination to imagine the damage that a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attack could cause to our country,” said Representative Val Demings (D-Fla.).

Demings says the DHS office – Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office – which is supposed to focus on these weapons appears to be having problems.

“Numerous government and non-government reports indicate that there are significant structural and workforce morale issues within CWMD,” said Demings.

Demings and other lawmakers are calling on DHS to resolve the issues as soon as possible.

“It is imperative that we are prepared to counter these types of threats,” said Rep. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.).

Cammack says the country depends on DHS and its employees.

“A dedicated and motivated workforce is so important to the success of this office and these programs which keep our country prepared to detect, deter and thwart a terrorist attack,” Cammack said.

CWMD Deputy Secretary Gary Rasicot acknowledges the office’s problems.

“We have made notable progress in strengthening our programs thanks to the invaluable contributions of our colleagues in Congress, the Office of Government Accountability and the Office of the Inspector General,” Rasicot said.

Rasicot says CWMD will also continue to strengthen biodefense programs, biomonitoring to monitor COVID-19 and improve employee morale.


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