Build Back Better framework will help public health departments modernize data systems, develop lab capacity, build their workforce, communicate about vaccines, address health inequities, and more
Support for federal preparedness work will help develop tests, vaccines, treatments and shore up national stockpiles of critical medical equipment
Senator Murray: “We know all too well how steps like these can save lives when crisis strikes.”
Murray has championed pandemic preparedness as HELP Committee Chair
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement regarding the investments in pandemic preparedness and public health included in the Build Back Better framework.
“When this pandemic hit, our public health system was underfunded, our nation was unprepared, and our families paid the price. If we want to keep families safe when the next public health crisis strikes, we need to learn the lesson and prepare now. Build Back Better will rebuild our public health system by helping public health departments across the country modernize data systems, develop our public health workforce, expand lab capacity, communicate about vaccines, address health inequities, and more. It will also improve our pandemic preparedness by supporting development of tests, vaccines, and treatments, and making sure our national stockpile is ready with key medical supplies.
“We know all too well how steps like these can save lives when crisis strikes, that’s why I fought to include public health and preparedness priorities in this bill. And I’m going to keep fighting to make sure we fully end the cycle of crisis and complacency in our public health system.”
The Build Back Better framework includes $7 billion to support core public health infrastructure across the country. These investments will help rebuild the nation’s public health system and allow local health departments to modernize their data systems, train and retain public health workers, expand lab capacity, communicate about public health issues like vaccines, address health inequities, and more.
It also provides support for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) which will help with other preparedness efforts, including sequencing viruses, developing tests, treatments, and vaccines, and shoring up the federal Strategic National Stockpile which provides critical medical supplies like syringes, ventilators, and personal protective equipment.
Senator Murray has been consistently pressing for investments in public health and preparedness. She has chaired HELP Committee hearings looking at how a lack of sustained investment left the U.S. public health system unprepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, and how important it is to end the cycle of crisis and complacency in public health funding. She has also introduced legislation to provide sustained, annual investments in public health, secured increased investments in public health in Democrats’ FY22 funding proposal, and continues to work with Senator Burr on a bipartisan bill to build the nation’s preparedness and public health infrastructure.