U.S Sen. Alexander introduces legislation to better prepare country for next pandemic
While the coronavirus pandemic remains ongoing across the country, Tennessee U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander is looking ahead to the next pandemic with an act that better prepares the United States.
Legislation titled “Preparing for the Next Pandemic Act” seeks to ensure sufficient onshore manufacturing of tests, treatments, and vaccines through a 10 year, $5 billion investment. The bill also looks to invest in state and federal stockpiles of supplies through a 10 year, $10 billion plan, in hopes of avoiding shortages on PPE and critical medical care items, a problem the country has faced since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alexander is also making five recommendations for addressing future pandemics based on lessons learned from COVID-19 and pandemic planning:
*The first recommendation involves accelerating research and development for tests, treatments, and vaccines.
*The second recommendation looks to expand ability to detect, identify, model and track emerging infectious diseases through improved disease surveillance.
*The third recommendation eyes rebuilding and maintaining state and federal stock piles while improving medical supply surge capacity and distribution.
*The fourth recommendation asks for improvement of state and local capacity on responses to a pandemic.
*The fifth and final recommendation seeks to improve cooperation of federal agencies during a public health emergency.
The full bill can be read here.
Photo Courtesy: Lamar Alexander