Adopting the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act Supports the Nation’s Health Security
(Washington, DC) – John Auerbach, president and CEO, of Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) today made the following statement regarding the congressional passage of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation (PAHPAI) Act.
“Trust for America’s Health applauds Congress for working in a bipartisan manner to pass important legislation to advance our nation’s health security. The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act shows that we are learning the lessons from recent disasters and disease outbreaks and addressing ongoing challenges. Passage of this legislation, was a top recommendation in TFAH’s recent report, Ready or Not: Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism.
During the Zika outbreak, it took about nine months to approve emergency supplemental funding. And recent severe weather showed that we are still not prepared for a worst-case scenario event. In this legislation, lawmakers try to address some of the gaps that these events exposed. The bill makes it easier to get money out more efficiently to address a public health emergency. It codifies the roles of federal agencies in managing important preparedness programs and ensures we are consistently improving the performance of awardees. It supports outbreak detection through workforce and strategy enhancements. It reauthorizes programs for research, development and stockpiling of medical countermeasures and seeks to speed the capability to deploy those products.
Public health and health care are at the frontlines in responding to health crises large and small. The fact that Congress passed this bill is acknowledgement that health security is national security.
Now, we call on Congress to give this legislation the teeth it needs by providing adequate funding for these critical public health programs.”
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Trust for America’s Health is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes optimal health for every person and community and makes the prevention of illness and injury a national priority. www.tfah.org. Twitter: @healthyamerica1