COVID-19

Being in the middle of a global pandemic feels unsettling and frightening. Part of that fear is rooted in the unknown, because we still have many unanswered questions: fundamental information researchers don’t know about the coronavirus and how viruses like it will act in the future. At the moment, we’re rightly focused on urgent issues such as securing personal protective equipment and ventilators. But we need more research, because to win the battle we need to understand our enemy so that better diagnosis, treatment, and prevention will become a reality. As I wrote recently in USA Today , “Rarely in recent memory has it been this difficult to see beyond the next day. ... But that is...
Research!America hosted an alliance member call for members and partners on April 13, 2020 with Dr. Robert Redfield, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Redfield opened with an overview of the COVID-19 pandemic and the CDC’s response. He stressed that COVID-19 is the greatest public health challenge the United States has faced in over a century and highlighted the CDC’s deployment of personnel, development and expansion of serology testing, and distribution of funding to state, local, and tribal public health departments. He also emphasized that our nation should use this time to expand the existing public health infrastructure in order to be better prepared for future...
Dear Research Advocate, Research!America board member and APHA Executive Director Dr. Georges Benjamin addressed a recent alliance meeting, discussing three epidemics: COVID-19: Emerging infectious disease; Infodemic: Misinformation and disinformation; and Epidemic of Fear: Fear of the unknown, complicated by misstatements and poor risk communication by a range of actors in a rapidly moving communication environment. Dr. Benjamin emphasized the importance of correcting misinformation – not letting bad information go unchecked. He also suggested we talk about “physical” distancing rather than “social” distancing because being social is important to our health and well-being and shouldn’t be...
Dear Research Advocate, Jumping right in: Funding, Current and Future : Democratic Leaders in the House are focusing on the Moving Forward Framework , an infrastructure investment blueprint they originally released in January 2020, as the foundation for a fourth, $2 trillion supplemental. As it stands, both House Republicans and the Senate seem reluctant to pass another supplemental; nonetheless, the prospects for an infrastructure-focused stimulus are strong. We have heard that Congress and the administration may opt to roll FY21 funding into the aforementioned infrastructure supplemental rather than go the well-worn (and progress-stifling) “Continuing Resolution” route. While at this...
Dear Research Advocate, Congress is expected to pass a stimulus bill that includes significant investments in our nation’s key research agencies. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes $27 billion to BARDA for critical medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE), and the manufacturing and purchase of vaccines and therapeutics; $4.3 billion to CDC for public health preparedness and response; $945 million to NIH for vaccine, therapeutic, and diagnostic research; $80 million to FDA for additional funding for vaccines, medical product manufacturing, and medical supply chain monitoring; and $75 million to NSF for research and grant programs related to...
The Research!America team is working remotely as are many of you to take precautions against COVID-19. But we are certainly not slowing down. We are working hard to assure federal funding and policy actions are evidence-based and match the urgency needed to: Support the flexibility and funding research institutions need during this challenge. Capture and reflect back the essential role public and private sector fueled science is playing in addressing COVID-19. Promote completion of the FY21 appropriations process, critical to economic stability and strategic capacity going forward. We will continue to keep you updated about important advocacy opportunities and other valuable COVID-19-...
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, At this challenging time, Research!America is laser-focused on helping to advance policy and funding actions to speed the day we see the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. You will be hearing more from us as we share what we know, including ways you can get involved in advocacy at this important time. We invite you to be in touch with us with your suggestions. While we took the step of postponing one of our signature events — our Advocacy Awards Dinner — we look forward to announcing a new date. As we hit the “send” button, members of Congress and the White House are negotiating a supplemental budget package focused on mitigating the economic impact of the COVID-19...
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...

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You can change the image of things to come. But you can’t do it sitting on your hands … The science community should reach out to Congress and build bridges.
The Honorable John E. Porter