pandemics

When planning began for the 2020 Annual Conference on Vaccinology Research sponsored by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19 had yet to emerge. Since then, the world has changed dramatically. There have been more than 1.8 million cases and more than 100,000 deaths due to COVID-19 in the U.S. alone since December 2019, with nearly 1,000 new deaths reported each day. COVID-19 has devastated economies across the globe, and here in the U.S., more than 36 million individuals have lost their jobs. Lives have been disrupted, and cultures have had to adapt. Meetings, weddings, and graduation ceremonies are now held virtually...
In January 2020, Research!America commissioned a survey seeking the opinions of Americans on federal support for current research efforts. When asked about the importance of elected officials at all levels listening to advice from scientists, a strong majority (90%) of respondents say that it is “somewhat important” or “very important”. These results are consistent with previous surveys asking the same question. In 2016, the last time this question was asked, 89% of respondents said it was “somewhat important” or “very important” for elected officials at all levels listening to advice from scientists with 58% saying “very important”, 4% more than in 2020, and 31% saying “somewhat important...
Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the ability to diagnose and test for the presence of the virus in patients has been of critical importance. However, the process and steps required in testing have not always been made clear or easy for non-experts to understand. Research!America has developed this resource to explain the scientific process behind a COVID-19 test. During a recent Research!America alliance member call, Scott Whitaker, President and CEO of AdvaMed discussed how diagnostic companies are developing and manufacturing both “front end” tests to detect whether a person currently has COVID-19 and serology tests to determine whether someone has ever had COVID-19 by...
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...
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...
Dear Research Advocate: Yesterday, President Obama tweeted about the effects of sequestration on medical research. From @barackobama, “The #sequester is slowing the pace of medical research, delaying the discovery of cures and treatments. Read more .” It is terrific that the president is helping drive increased attention to medical research. Our thanks to him and also to all who have joined our Memorial Day recess week of social media advocacy . The American Heart Association posted this great image to its Facebook page; we also thank Society for Neuroscience , BIO , The Endocrine Society , Melanoma Research Alliance , University of Maryland School of Medicine , CURE Epilepsy and UPenn...

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