06.24.19

President Signs Into Law Senator Burr’s Legislation to Defend Nation from Pandemics and Bioterrorism

Today, President Trump signed into law the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act, legislation introduced by Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Bob Casey (D-PA).  The legislation is a reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA), authored by Senator Burr and first enacted in 2006.

“Whether it’s a disease outbreak, natural disaster, or biological attack, it’s essential our nation is prepared to address the ever-growing variety of public health threats and challenges of the 21st century,” said Senator Burr. “This legislation ensures our nation is constantly vigilant against these threats and is ready to respond with innovative countermeasures. I would like to especially thank Senator Casey, our Senate colleagues and the President for prioritizing the policies and programs that keep families across the nation safe.”

“I am pleased that the President has signed this legislation into law,” said Senator Casey. “The number of public health emergencies in recent years – from outbreaks of Zika and Ebola virus and ongoing threats from multidrug-resistant pathogens, to natural disasters such as wildfires and flooding – reminds us on a nearly daily basis of the importance of a strong and well-coordinated public health system. National leadership and funding that strengthens state and local response is essential to all our safety. The improvements made in this bill are based off of lessons learned and are the crucial next step that must be taken to advance the security of Pennsylvanians and Americans.”

Background:

Senators Richard Burr and Edward Kennedy (D-MA) spearheaded the original Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA), which was enacted in 2006.  This legislation was reauthorized in 2013 to establish and maintain a framework to prepare for and respond to public health threats that may result in a public health emergency.  

In May, Senators Burr and Casey introduced the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act (PAHPAI), which reauthorizes PAHPA and builds upon its existing framework to update these programs to address 21st century threats.

PAHPAI unanimously passed the Senate on May 16, 2019. You can find a section-by-section here.