Senate Committee Releases Draft of Bipartisan Pandemic Preparedness Bill, Seeks Feedback
On January 25, Senate leadership from the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) released a draft of the PREVENT Pandemics Act, a new piece of bipartisan legislation aimed at strengthening public health and pandemic preparedness responses, including research responses to COVID-19. The draft, which was jointly released by HELP Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC), is currently structured in five parts: strengthening federal and state preparedness; improving public health preparedness and response capacity; accelerating research and countermeasure discovery; modernizing the supply chain for vital medical products; and enhancing development and combating shortages of medical products. In a press release announcing the draft, Murray and Burr state that they are looking at opportunities to add other provisions to the bill in Committee mark up within the next few weeks, some of which may support research at the proposed Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), improve laboratory security, and other provisions. Community feedback on the draft may be submitted to the Committee through February 4. More information is available on the HELP Committee website.