GALVESTON — James LeDuc, the director of the Galveston National Laboratory, was one of 16 people appointed to a new state task force dedicated to infectious disease preparedness and response.

Gov. Rick Perry announced the creation of the task force on Monday. Perry was schedule to tour the National Laboratory today.

The task force’s job will be to “assess and enhance the state’s existing capabilities to prepare for and respond to pandemic disease,” according to the governor’s office.

The task force was created in reaction to the single case of Ebola virus that was diagnosed in Dallas last week. Health officials have been criticized for parts their handling of the case, including for the late diagnosis of the man, Thomas Eric Duncan.

Executive commissioner of Texas Health and Human Services Kyle Janek, who previously represented parts of Galveston County in the state senate, will also serve on the task force.

The task force will issue two written reports on its finding in December and February.

Reporter John Wayne Ferguson can be reached at 409-683-5226 or

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