Mary Woolley

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...
Dear Research Advocate, Partnering with the National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI), Research!America commissioned a survey released this week finding that not only do Americans strongly support organ and tissue donation for research, they believe it is important to encourage more people to donate for both medical and research purposes. Respondents admire those who donate for research as well as for transplant. We may be at an important inflection point with more research made possible because more people will donate. Speaking of surveys, the AAAS Annual Meeting last week was jam-packed with programs about how the public trusts (or mostly trusts) science and appreciates scientific...
Dear Research Advocate, The President released his proposed budget for FY21 earlier this week, kicking off the federal budget season. The President’s budget is a statement of priorities, even if it has no force of law (it’s the Congress that is charged in the Constitution with the ‘power of the purse’), and it rightly gets considerable attention. We think it’s deeply damaging for our nation that a higher priority isn’t being placed on science. Among the counterproductive proposals in the budget is a more than 7% cut to NIH and a double-digit cut to the CDC. Our colleague Jenny was quoted in Bloomberg Government as noting that, as underscored by the coronavirus outbreak, “the most important...
Dear Research Advocate, We were pleased to hear President Trump, in his State of the Union address (SOTU) earlier this week, highlight the importance of progress against health threats. Specifically he referenced mental health challenges, Alzheimer’s disease, kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, the opioid epidemic, childhood cancer, and the current coronavirus outbreak. What we didn’t hear, unfortunately, is that the President will grow federal funding for research. Nor did we hear him speak of plans to assure U.S. leadership in the global R&D arena, giving it the priority merited by its strategic significance. The President’s references during the SOTU to dramatically lowering prescription drug...
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...

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Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.
Abraham Lincoln