Home » Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter » This Isn’t a Drill

This Isn’t a Drill

Dear Research Advocate,

Our nation has already been operating for 48 days under a Continuing Resolution (CR) that flat-funds the government at FY21 levels — that’s 48 days too long. The current CR expires on December 3, only six legislative days away. We are hearing increasing concern on Capitol Hill that a full-year CR may be put into place. Under this drastic scenario, billions of dollars in expected, urgently needed FY22 research investment would evaporate.

This isn’t a drill, it’s the real thing. We must increase the volume now for completing the FY22 appropriations process. Use our new graphic on your social media channels; Tweet Congressional leaders; email or call (House | Senate) your representatives. Urge them to fight for our nation by finishing the budget and, in doing so, align with the future rather than the past!

Cures 2.0 Act: Two members of Congress who refuse to settle for the status quo are Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Fred Upton (R-MI). Earlier this week, they released the “Cures 2.0 Act,” highly anticipated legislation designed to overcome challenges and seize opportunities bearing on the speed and reach of medical and public health progress.

Among the many proposals incorporated into this important bipartisan legislation, the bill would invest $25 billion to shore up our nation’s COVID-19-weakened R&D capacity; advance ARPA-H; create incentives to develop antibiotics needed to outpace antimicrobial resistance; bolster pandemic preparedness; foster clinical trial diversity; and empower early diagnosis of rare diseases. Read our statement about the draft bill.

Be Part of #PHTYD: Each year on the Monday before Thanksgiving, Research!America joins with other health-focused organizations and individuals across the nation to thank our public health workforce for all they do to keep us healthy and safe. Use the resources below to make Monday, November 22, the biggest day of thanks yet for those whose 24/7 efforts make a huge difference in the lives of us all.

“If You’re Not Sure, Don’t Share”: This week, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy released a toolkit to help the public identify misleading health information, common misinformation tactics, and how to talk to family and loved ones about misinformation. We can all help get the Surgeon General’s points across by spreading the word within our own networks.

More on Combating Misinformation: We hope you’ll use and share Based on Science, a resource developed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. It’s just what it says: science-based answers to questions people are asking on a range of topics in the news. (Full disclosure: I’m a volunteer member of the Committee that oversees this project.)

Alliance Meetings: In case you missed it, watch a recorded special discussion with two of our 2022 Outstanding Achievement in Public Health Award honorees — Bill Novelli and Matt Myers — on the founding, success, and future of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. This engaging and insight-filled conversation was moderated by Research!America Board Member Georges C.Benjamin, MD.

On Tuesday, November 30, at 1 p.m. ET, join our next special discussion, when I will have the honor of speaking with another of our 2022 Outstanding Achievement in Public Health Award honorees, Vivian W. Pinn, MD, the inaugural director of the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health and a major force in the health equity movement.

We extend our thanks again to Johnson & Johnson for generous support of our Outstanding Achievement in Public Health Awards.

Great Opportunity to Honor Science Heroes: The Clinical Research Forum’s annual Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Awards honor major advances in clinical research “resulting from the nation’s investment in research to benefit the health and welfare of its citizens.” Hurry — nominations close tomorrow, November 19. (I hope you’ll also watch this affecting short video on the significance of clinical research, featuring Research!America Board Member Dr. Herb Pardes.)

Your Support Empowers the Fight for Faster Progress: We are so grateful to those of you who have responded to our annual giving campaign. For those who have not participated in the campaign, we want you to know how meaningful your donation would be.

The pandemic has revealed the power of research and medical innovation as never before. We are working to secure a dramatic increase in U.S. research investment, coupled with pro-science policies that empower our nation’s R&D and public health ecosystem to thrive. The potential for a new era of rapid-fire gains against deadly and debilitating diseases has never been greater. Let’s make it a reality, together. Please take a moment and make a gift to support our work.

Stay well, stay safe, and stay connected.


Mary Woolley