FY21 appropriations

Dear Research Advocate, The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has surpassed 100,000 lives. If anything other than tragedy and destruction lies in the wake of COVID-19, let it be the courage to see, clearly, the world we live in now. Our nation is ill-equipped for crises, ill-equipped for economic competitiveness, and under-resourced to speed progress against other health threats that kill just as surely, if not as rapidly, as COVID-19. Ignoring the pandemic’s message is all too tempting. Let’s not succumb to it. As National Academy of Sciences President Dr. Marcia McNutt advises, we must learn from the pandemic and “build back better”. Speaking of building back better, this Washington Post...
Dear Research Advocate, Researchers at Yale and George Mason University released a report this week reflecting Americans’ attitudes on climate change, including its impact on health. Queried in April, in the midst of the pandemic, respondents registered high levels of concern, surprising researchers who had anticipated the pandemic would have displaced climate as a top issue. That Americans link climate change and health correlates with our own survey data from earlier this year (pre-pandemic) in America Speaks! Poll Data Summary . Just released today, a new Pew Research Center report shows that a growing number of Americans, surveyed recently, say they have a “great deal of confidence in...
Dear Research Advocate, On Tuesday, Research!America sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar asking him to clarify the decision to end NIH grant funding for an ongoing, EcoHealth Alliance research initiative focused on pandemic preparedness. We urge the Secretary to shed needed light on this significant (on many levels) decision. On Capitol Hill : House Democrats have released a draft emergency spending bill, the HEROES Act . This discussion draft includes $4 billion for the Office of the Director at NIH, of which “not less than $3 billion” would be set aside to help academic institutions absorb COVID-19 related shutdown and start-up costs. (This is $7 billion shy of the recovery costs NIH...
Dear Research Advocate, “Hopefully, the urgency that everyone is seeing around COVID-19 will translate into bigger investments for global health vaccines.” — Dr. Peter Hotez Renowned vaccinologist and prolific author Dr. Peter Hotez, Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and Co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, joined us yesterday for an alliance member call. Dr. Hotez spoke about the history of life-saving vaccines, COVID-19 vaccine development, and the alarming spread of the novel coronavirus across the southern hemisphere. He also spoke about the anti-science and anti-vaccine movements in our country and...
The May 2020 issue of Research!America's newsletter, The Research Advocate, is now online! In this issue: Research!America's Response to COVID-19 : In January 2020, the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Washington state. The days since then have been unprecedented in global history. The medical and research community, including so many of our alliance members, have taken on the incredible challenge of beating back the novel coronavirus, not just on the front lines in hospitals, but in laboratories across the world working to understand the virus to protect public health. Webinar Explores COVID-19 Vaccines and Treatment : As the COVID-19 pandemic surpasses one million cases in the...
Dear Research Advocate, Yesterday, we hosted a very popular webinar, Understanding the Landscape of COVID-19 Vaccine and Treatment R&D , featuring former FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan, Director of the Duke-Margolis Health Policy Center; Stefano Bertuzzi, CEO of the American Society for Microbiology; and former CDC Director Julie Gerberding, Executive Vice President and Chief Patient Officer, Strategic Communications, Global Public Policy and Population Health at Merck. All three are working tirelessly to combat COVID-19. In speaking about current public-private research efforts, Dr. Gerberding emphasized: “This is the time we need the most openness, the most transparency, and the...
Dear Research Advocate, This past Monday, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield was our guest for the first of two alliance member calls this week, stressing the roles we all have to play: “I think this is an all-of-the nation response, not just an all-government response…. There’s no doubt we're going to learn a lot of lessons. But, I am 100 percent confident when we get to the other side, we're going to be so much stronger.” We are grateful to Director Redfield for spending time with us. Read more here . Innovation is key : Dr. Redfield repeatedly called for innovation: “I look forward to the innovation that we’re going to see from many of [Research!America’s] members to improve the tools we...
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...

Pages