Today, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) released the following statement after the Senate passed nearly $7.8 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations to respond to COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus:
“There is nothing more urgent than our nation’s ability to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies,” said Senator Burr. “Luckily, we have a framework in place that has put us in a better position than any other country to respond to a public health threat, like the coronavirus. This supplemental funding bill will build off this framework to increase our coordination efforts with state and local officials. It also supports the development and distribution of medical countermeasures, including tests, treatments, vaccines, and medical supplies to communities across the nation. I’m glad that Congress has passed this funding bill to ensure our public health officials, at all levels of government, have the resources and protection they need to continue to keep Americans safe.”
Senator Burr is the author of the bipartisan Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA), which created the modern framework for responding to pandemics and biothreats.
Earlier this week, Senator Burr urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to fully leverage the existing framework for its ongoing efforts to address the spread of the coronavirus. To watch Senator Burr’s exchange with CDC Principal Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat, click here.