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Dear Research Advocate, Because Research!America’s membership spans the ecosystem of stakeholders in research, we are fortunate to have access to a broad and comprehensive range of information you might find helpful. Visit and share our COVID-19 webpage. www.ResearchAmerica.org/COVID19 . A CDC report just out indicates that younger Americans have been hospitalized with COVID-19 at a higher rate than anticipated. As we look ahead to the use of vaccines against this and other threats, we have new (in the field just last evening) survey data showing that almost two-thirds of Americans ages 18-29 may not fully understand the role of vaccines. Better news is that this demographic is increasingly...
Dear Research Advocate, In their different ways, Super Tuesday and COVID-19 both speak to public sentiment. What are Americans’ expectations for those who represent them in Washington — and candidates who want to represent them in Washington — when it comes to promoting and protecting their best interests? A new Research!America-commissioned survey (in the field just days before COVID-19 captured worldwide public attention) found that Americans want their policymakers to consult with public health professionals and scientists; are deeply concerned about a diversity of public health issues affecting their families, their communities, and our nation as a whole; and believe there should be...
Dear Research Advocate, There’s a lot going on right now, so this letter is a bit longer than usual. Stay with me! Let’s start with the Super Bowl. According to the National Retail Federation, this year’s Super Bowl-related spending is on track to be the highest ever: $17.2 billion. That’s enough to fund: NIH-sponsored research on chronic pain for more than 26 years. CDC’s National Center for Injury and Prevention Control for almost 27 years. The entire Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality budget , which plays a profoundly underappreciated role in driving better health and healthcare, for more than 38 years. This is a wealthy country; we don’t need to stop spending on all things Super...
Dear Research Advocate, This week’s headlines about the coronavirus certainly underscore how nimble and prepared our federal research agencies must always be. It’s a compelling reason health research agencies must be well-funded and well-coordinated. The CDC, FDA, and NIH trifecta are on high alert, playing leading roles in global efforts to identify and contain the deadly virus. After Chinese researchers sequenced the virus’ genome, they posted it in GenBank, a database managed by NIH. The CDC has submitted a diagnostic test to the FDA for use in select public health labs around the country. NIH is working with industry on a vaccine they hope to have ready for human trials in a few months...
Dear Research Advocate: As 2020 begins, you no doubt have made personal and professional resolutions. How could you not? With information concerning exercise , diet , and smoking cessation flooding our screens, one feels almost left out if not pledging improvement. (The links above are to evidence-based sources only; not current reality, but hope springs eternal). Here are a few advocacy resolutions to consider: Resolution1: Celebrate your successes! Members of the Research!America Alliance have much to be proud of and grateful for as we look back at 2019. Individually and collectively, day in and day out, we spoke out: we made the case for raising the budget caps, boosting science funding...
Did you know that in the United States alone someone gets an antibiotic-resistant infection every 11 seconds, and every 15 minutes someone dies as a result? That means people are dying of infections that are no longer responding to the drugs designed to kill them. This new data comes from CDC’s recently released Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2019 showing that antibiotic-resistant pathogens are causing more than 2.8 million infections and 35,000 deaths across the U.S. As the report shows, too many people are still affected by resistant infections, many of which are preventable. The world can do more to prevent these infections and to stop the spread of pathogens across...
Dear Research Advocate, With new rumors surfacing daily, it’s difficult to gauge the odds of Congress and the Trump Administration completing FY20 appropriations this calendar year. We are now anticipating another short-term CR that will flat-fund government into December, buying a bit more time for final negotiations. If those negotiations fail, the options become yet another CR or a government shutdown. None of these scenarios serves the public interest. Imagine if federal agencies couldn’t adjust spending to jettison what is not working and invest in what is. Imagine if there were resources to seed the kind of medical and public health progress that saves lives, yet those resources lie...
“Many or most public health issues are inherently local, but the federal government still has an important role to play, and they have resources to bare when needed,” said Chrissie Juliano , Executive Director of the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) . On September 23, 2019, the BCHC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) , a Research!America member, addressed this topic in a briefing titled “The Measles Outbreaks of 2018/2019: Perspectives from Local Communities.” At this event, along with Ms. Juliano, spoke Dr. Colleen Kraft , Immediate Past President of AAP; Dr. Oxiris Barbot , Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; and Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser...
Dear Research Advocate, This week was chock-full of federal appropriations activity bearing on the future of research, and ultimately, the future of health. While agency funding for Fiscal Year 2020 is far from resolved, some very positive and not-so-positive steps were taken by Congress. First, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its long-awaited Labor/HHS bill. The exciting headline is that NIH received a vital $3 billion increase, which, if enacted, would bring its total funding to $42.08 billion. The CDC, meanwhile, would receive an increase of only $180 million for a total budget of $7.46 billion. This increase is woefully insufficient to enable CDC’s 24/7 vigilance and...
Dear Research Advocate, Our guest author this week is Jenny Luray, Research!America’s Senior Advisor. We are nearly a year out from the 2020 Presidential election and six months away from the Iowa caucuses. While candidates were meeting voters and sampling local treats at the Iowa State Fair, a new survey commissioned by Research!America and Science Debate was released, demonstrating a large majority of Iowans want presidential candidates to talk about science-related issues. Ninety percent believe it is important for the U.S. to be a leader in science and technology research. These survey results reveal a not-to-be missed opportunity for candidates to highlight the value of science and...

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Funding research gives all of us a better chance of living a healthier life.
Pam Hirata, heart disease survivor