Select Subcommittee Democrats Seek Update on Biden Administration’s Pandemic Prevention and Preparedness Initiatives
Washington, D.C. (September 12, 2023)—This week, Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D., Ranking Member of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, led every Democratic Member of the Select Subcommittee in sending a letter to Xavier Becerra, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), requesting information on the Biden Administration’s ongoing efforts to prevent and prepare for future pandemics.
The Members are requesting information regarding the Administration’s progress in implementing key provisions Democrats passed in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 (CAA) to enhance biosafety, biosecurity, and public health infrastructure, as well as recommendations issued by the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) to reduce risks associated with research involving pathogens.
“Pandemic prevention and preparedness are vital to our nation’s public health, and Select Subcommittee Democrats stand ready to partner with you and your Administration colleagues in advancing these crucial objectives,” the Members wrote.
The CAA included several provisions to protect public health and improve the detection of emerging threats, including by growing the country’s public health workforce, securing domestic supply chains, strengthening coordination across government agencies, and bolstering the safety of biomedical research involving pathogens of pandemic potential.
At the direction of the Biden Administration, NSABB conducted a comprehensive evaluation of United States biosecurity policy frameworks for research with enhanced potential pandemic pathogens (ePPP) and Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC). In March 2023, NSABB released a series of recommendations to strengthen the United States government’s oversight of research that could pose biosafety and biosecurity risks.
Click here to read the full letter.