Home » Press Releases & Statements » Statement by Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley on the State of the Union Address

Statement by Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley on the State of the Union Address

We applaud President Biden’s focus on many critical public health and research priorities in last night’s State of the Union address, including COVID-19, cancer, opioid addiction, and mental health – all of which were identified as among America’s top health concerns in a recent survey commissioned by Research!America.

The Research!America alliance stands ready to work with the Administration to advance ARPA-H, a high risk, high reward medical innovation incubator modeled after DARPA. As President Biden said, “ARPA-H will have a singular purpose — to drive breakthroughs in cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and more.”

We are pleased to hear President Biden double-down on the Cancer Moonshot. Too many Americans are touched by the devastating impact of cancer. As the President indicated, there is much promise – through immunology, gene editing and other breakthroughs – for faster progress. Revolutionizing how we address cancer could pave the way for a “disease moonshot,” applying lessons learned to a host of other health concerns.

We also support the President’s focus on pandemic preparedness and the interconnectedness of global health. Viruses know no borders and can pose a threat to national and global security. It is imperative we treat pandemic preparedness as an urgent priority and take an offensive approach to potential threats through investing robustly in pandemic preparedness-related R&D.

We were gratified to hear the President call for completion of bipartisan competitiveness legislation, which would authorize significant funding for the National Science Foundation to support much-needed research. Job creation is essential to this nation’s ability to compete; R&D creates many jobs, drives innovation, underscores achievement of better health, and contributes mightily to prosperity and global leadership. 

We also agree with the President that we must invest a far greater amount of federal R&D relative to our GDP. Not only is it vital for U.S. global competitiveness, but necessary to confront the enormous challenges before us, including life-threatening disease, pandemics, and threats to our climate (for more, see a recent briefing paper on S&T investment by the Science & Technology Action Committee).

We urge the Administration to propose significant funding in its FY23 budget for the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other agencies with the expertise needed to confront deadly diseases, the ongoing threats of opioid addiction and mental health challenges, and to ensure we are better prepared for future pandemics.

Contact Tim Haynes, Senior Director of Communications, at 571-482-2737 or thaynes@researchamerica.org with press inquiries.

About Research!America

Research!America is a non-profit medical and health research advocacy alliance which advocates for science, discovery, and innovation to achieve better health for all. Visit www.researchamerica.org.