Dear Research Advocate, Welcome to our last letter of 2021. It's been a packed year; one marked by continued challenges along with strong doses of progress and opportunity. Washington is slowing down; it’s a time to gather our strength to face the year ahead with boldness and vigor. The House and Senate adjourned for the year without enacting Build Back Better legislation or completing this year’s appropriations. We ask you to join us as we continue to urge Congress to pass FY22 appropriations as soon as possible. Today is day 83 of operating under an outdated budget. Every day without a new budget stymies lifesaving medical and public health progress. Progress, Challenges: Even while we...
Dear Research Advocate, A year ago this week, the first COVID-19 vaccine was administered in the U.S. (outside of a clinical trial). Tragically, more than 800,000 individuals have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. alone, but an estimated 1.1 million lives in the U.S. have been saved because of the accelerated vaccination effort. The unprecedented feat of developing a vaccine in less than 12 months demonstrates the incredible power of research coupled with public health rigor and vigilance. We need more of both, without delay. Just the Facts: In pandemic response, the knowledge gained from real-time public health response and ongoing research (when that knowledge isn’t exploited for political or...
This piece reflects the opinions of the author. As of December 6, 2021, COVID-19 has taken nearly 800,000 in the U.S. Globally, over 5.25 million deaths have been reported to the WHO, with the true total likely surpassing that number by millions. The damage is striking. Economically, the pandemic destroyed 9.5 years of job growth and raised the unemployment rate to 14.8% , a high not seen in the U.S. since 1948. From 2019 to 2020 the United States’s GDP shrunk by nearly 3.5% , the largest decrease since 1946. The rate of reported anxiety/depressive disorders rose from 1 in 10 adults to 4 in 10 adults experiencing symptoms. Additionally, in the field of U.S. research and development, from...
Dear Research Advocate, “Medical research should never be partisan. It should never get caught up in culture wars or tribal disagreements,” said Francis Collins, MD, PhD, in an interview this week. As Dr. Collins prepares to complete his tenure as NIH Director, he’s sharing lessons learned and advice for the future on issues including science communication and health inequities. There’s another important conversation with Dr. Collins in JAMA. We are deeply honored that Dr. Collins will join us at our 2022 Advocacy Awards program on March 16 to receive the John Edward Porter Legacy Award, generously supported by Ann Lurie . It was announced today that Lawrence A. Tabak, DDS, PhD, a highly...
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken priority over nearly all other health crises. However, the opioid epidemic has raged on, concurrent with (and accelerated by) SARS-CoV-2. Despite a 44% decrease in the number of opioids prescribed over the past decade, drug overdose deaths have continued to rise. The most recent CDC data estimate more than 100,000 people a year in America are dying of drug overdose; 3 out of 4 of those deaths are attributed to opioids. The same data show that for the 12-month period beginning in March 2020 — when pandemic shutdowns began in the U.S. — drug overdose deaths from opioids rose 38%. Together, these statistics demonstrate the devastating impact of the COVID-19...
Dear Research Advocate, The emergence of the Omicron variant underscores the urgency of R&D funding, not only to assure the success of the fight against the constantly evolving SARS-Cov-2, but to prepare for the next pandemic and vanquish other health threats. In an essay in The New York Times , Ashish Jha, MD, MPH, Dean of the School of Public Health at Brown University, speaks to the importance of acting swiftly, not giving in to fear or indifference, and utilizing the tools we have built over the past few years. (Dr. Jha will be joining us for a special discussion on Monday; details below.) But it’s difficult to act swiftly when passage of FY22 funding is still on hold. On the Hill:...

Sidebar Quote

America’s economic destiny lies in innovation, technology, science and research.
The Honorable John E. Porter