WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and her colleagues on the HELP Committee passed bipartisan legislation to strengthen our public health and outbreak preparedness and response systems. Senator Baldwin successfully worked to incorporate a number of provisions in the PREVENT Pandemics Act, including efforts to strengthen our nation’s ability to identify new viral threats, bolster retention and recruitment of health care professionals focused on responding to public health emergencies, ensure our communities and frontline workers have high-quality and safe medical devices, and develop the medical countermeasures to combat future pandemics quickly.
“We need to take the lessons of our COVID response and make sure we are better prepared for the next public health crisis. That means investing in the recruitment and retention of the needed infectious disease health care workforce, ensuring everyone has access to high-quality medical supplies, and boosting our nation’s efforts to identify and track new pathogens,” said Senator Baldwin. “The PREVENT Pandemics Act takes bipartisan steps to strengthen our public health system and enhance our preparedness going forward.”
The bipartisan PREVENT Pandemics Act passed the HELP Committee today with support from Senator Baldwin.
The bipartisan PREVENT Pandemics Act includes the following reforms from Senator Baldwin:
- Tracking Pathogens Act: This legislation enhances the United States’ ability to prepare for future pandemics by strengthening our nation’s efforts to identify new viral threats through genetic surveillance and genomic sequencing. Through genomic sequencing, the United States has been able to identify, survey, and understand emerging variants of the novel coronavirus, as well as other pathogens. The entirety of this legislation was included in PREVENT Pandemics Act.
- Bolstering Infectious Outbreak (BIO) Preparedness Workforce Act: This bipartisan bill addresses retention and recruitment issues facing vital clinicians and public health professionals and better prepares the American health care system for future public health emergencies. The legislation would establish a new student loan repayment program for infectious disease (ID) clinicians and other public health preparedness and response professionals who work in health care settings. Senator Baldwin worked to include a version of this legislation in the PREVENT Pandemics Act
- The Medical Device Integrity Act: The bipartisan Medical Device Integrity Act boosts the Made in America economy and ensures our communities and frontline workers have high-quality medical devices, such as personal protective equipment, and help address counterfeit devices by giving the Food and Drug Administration the authority to request records and require that device manufacturers comply with these requests. The entirety of this legislation was included in PREVENT Pandemics Act.
- Disease X Act: Included in the PREVENT Pandemics Act is language adapted from Senator Baldwin’s Disease X Act related to collaboration among federal agencies to better understand the manufacturing needs associated with the development of medical countermeasures aimed at addressing families of viruses. Senator Baldwin is committed to continuing to work to advance this legislation, including through the Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations process.
An online version of this release is available here.