Amendment to Rules Committee Print for H.R. 6395 offered by Congressman Gosar of Arizona
On behalf of the American BioDefense Institute, we commend Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona on proposing an amendment to the H.R.6395 – William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. We submit this statement for the record to urge the Congress to include this amendment into the final bill to provide useful rapid pandemic response capabilities.
This amendment would add the Pandemic Prevention Platform to H.R.6395,obliging the Secretary of Defense to establish a program “to implement and advance thedevelopment of rapid and cost-effective medical countermeasures to pandemics.” The objective is to ensure that our nation has the capability to respond to any pandemic within 60 days of identifying a virus or other pathogen and make every effort to reduce this time frame to 28 days. This would provide unprecedented capabilities to contain and suppress anypandemic before it spreads.
This initiative addresses a bipartisan issue. The development of rapid pandemic response tools is a vital national security issue and a public health issue. CongressmanGosar has rightly recognized that pandemic prevention is a vital issue that has not been appropriately recognized until now. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic and its broader economic and social consequences, it is necessary to take action to prevent any future pandemic from having a similar effect.
One of the vital provisions of the amendment is the challenge to the American ingenuity to reduce the time frame of the rapid pandemic response from 60 days to 28 days. In the first 60 days of apandemic, every day is crucial, and being able to deploy pandemic countermeasures as early as possible is vital in saving lives. This amendment recognizes the importance of this and also recognizes that American companies and research institutions are capable of developing cutting-edge pandemic response tools with the U.S. government’s support.
The development ofrapid pandemic response tools holds the promise of effectively countering any future emerging infectious disease at its source. By preventing its spread worldwide and containing it and eradicating it if it reaches the U.S. These tools can be used both as a therapy for the infected patients and as a passive immunization method to prevent further infections and spread of the disease.
The American BioDefense Institute urges the Congress to accept this amendment to the H.R.6395 – William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. And ensure that the U.S. healthcare system is equipped to deal with any future pandemic effectively and that the American people are given the pandemic protection they deserve. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has shown that this is a vital issue of both national security and public health, and a necessary measure to protect the U.S. economy and the American way of life.