FY21 appropriations

With 2020 in our rearview mirror, we’re taking a look back at our 10 most popular blog posts (based on page views) for the year. The posts cover a wide range of topics including basic and clinical research, public health, clinical trials, and the impacts of COVID-19. We thank our distinguished group of guest bloggers including young researchers, academics, industry experts, public health professionals, and patient advocates as well as the staff here at Research!America who are united in support for stronger investments in research and innovation to combat diseases and build a safer, stronger, healthier nation. 1) Explained: How a COVID-19 Serology Test Works and Obstacles to its Use May 19...
For more than 30 years, the organizations that constitute the Research!America alliance – patient advocates, research universities, independent research institutes, academic health centers, scientific societies, biomedical, medical technology and data companies, philanthropies, and more – have fought hard and successfully for life-saving progress. During a year in which alliance members were called to defeat COVID-19, even as you confronted its destructive effects, our alliance members – you – stepped up. While Research!America advocacy and communications efforts redoubled in 2020 (40 letters and 7,000 emails to Congress; 141 meetings with congressional offices; and a more than five-fold...
Dear Research Advocate, Even as the death toll rises and hospitals are overwhelmed, we can feel optimistic as the first COVID-19 vaccine to be authorized by the FDA is being delivered into the arms of Americans. Some recipients have cried in relief and gratitude. I like thinking about this vaccine metaphorically as a “double shot” – to protect against COVID-19 and as a booster shot in the arm for science. The vaccine truly brings home the value of science. Leading at the FDA : Science has delivered and so has the FDA. We hosted Dr. Peter Marks, the director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) on Monday to discuss the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the...
Dear Research Advocate, Last days of 2020 : The deadline for finalizing FY21 legislation and for a supplemental spending bill will almost certainly be delayed until December 18. Delays like these are difficult to countenance. However, the important point is Congress and the White House are now trying to complete FY21 appropriations and the supplemental when they could instead abdicate by passing a long-term CR and – literally for some and figuratively for others – just call it quits. Advocates can’t call it quits either. While two major points of contention reportedly remain – liability protections for business and state and local funding support – there is no way to know for certain what...
Dear Research Advocate, Lame-Duck Session : Congressional lame-duck sessions can be busy, and the current one is no exception. The appropriations front remains quite fluid – while there were some signs that lawmakers would be able to move an FY21 omnibus funding package before the current Continuing Resolution (CR) expires on December 11, we are once again hearing that another short term CR may be necessary. Meanwhile, after weeks of inaction, there has been movement on the COVID-19 supplemental front. A group of bipartisan lawmakers this week released a $908 billion relief proposal as the basis for renewed negotiations. Will FY21 appropriations and the supplemental finally move forward?...
Dear Research Advocate, This Thanksgiving will be challenging – there is no way around it – but giving thanks right now is especially appropriate. Medical and public health personnel, academic and industry researchers, and a plethora of other COVID-19 responders have put the interests of the public ahead of their own, working in high-risk settings, 24-7, to navigate an end to this brutal pandemic. And end it, we will. To help speed the day, elected officials must do their part. Unfinished Business: Unfortunately, we cannot yet thank federal policymakers for meeting two COVID-19-related imperatives: completing the FY21 appropriations process to unstick government functions basic to the...
Dear Research Advocate, Appreciation : As we approach Thanksgiving, please consider two opportunities to recognize public health heroes. #PHTYD : Taking a moment to participate in Public Health Thank You Day is a quick way to express thanks to members of the public health workforce. Always held on the Monday before Thanksgiving, PHTYD carries special meaning this year as the public health community faces down a dramatic escalation in the pandemic. Visit and share the PHTYD link for tools you can use to make Monday a true day of appreciation for public health heroes. Call for Nominations : Speaking of heroes, nominations are open for four Excellence in Achievement in Public Health awards, a...
Dear Research Advocate, Earlier this week, we held our Post-Election Briefing with a terrific panel featuring national public health leader Dr. Georges Benjamin, award-winning journalist Frank Sesno, and Capitol Hill veterans Cybele Bjorklund and Pete Kirkham. Through the lens of science and public health, we discussed the election results, the lame duck Congress, the upcoming 117th Congress, and a future Biden Administration. What surprised the panelists the most about the election: the high levels of voter participation despite the pandemic. Another area of consensus: the election results provide a crucial opportunity to elevate science and to rebuild our public health infrastructure ,...
Dear Research Advocate, Physician and author Dr. Alison Escalante wrote in Forbes this week: “According to [a survey commissioned by Research!America], a strong majority of Americans agree that ‘the Covid-19 pandemic is a disruptive event and requires urgent refocusing of America’s commitment to science.’” Results from the survey were also featured in The Aspen Institute’s Science & Society publication released today. See the survey here . You can use the survey data to act on behalf of science right now! Visit www.VoteScienceStrong.com to engage with candidates on the strategic significance of R&D and the multi-faceted benefits of faster medical and public health progress. Use #...
Dear Research Advocate, Wow, what a day! I hope you were among the many who joined us yesterday for the first day of Research!America’s 2020 Virtual National Health Research Forum — Straight Talk: Securing a Science-Strong Future. Here’s some of what we learned: We must "communicate, communicate, communicate — but in one voice. Leadership at all levels need to display unwavering enthusiasm for science and communicate the importance of scientific advancement like was done for [the response to] Sputnik.” —Dr. Susan Hockfield “We have an opportunity to really communicate and explain in a better way, what scientific data really mean and what is the respective context. There is no absolute truth...

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If concerted, long-term investments in research are not made, America will lose an entire generation of young scientists.
Brenda Canine, PhD; McLaughlin Research Institute, Montana