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Senate Passes Murray-Burr PREVENT Pandemics Act

Omnibus includes Murray-Burr bill to strengthen nation’s public health and pandemic preparedness systems


Senator Murray spoke at length about the need to pass the bill on the Senate floor earlier this month


Murray: “There have been many painful lessons to learn from this pandemic, and today, by passing my bipartisan PREVENT Pandemics Act, the Senate showed the American people we are committed to acting on them.”


(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), released the following statement on the Senate’s passage of an omnibus, which includes legislation she crafted with HELP Ranking Member Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) to strengthen the nation’s public health and medical preparedness and response systems—the Prepare for and Respond to Existing Viruses, Emerging New Threats, and Pandemics Act (PREVENT Pandemics Act).


“Time after time over the last few years, we saw how our response to this pandemic could have, and should have, been better. There have been many painful lessons to learn from this pandemic, and today, by passing my bipartisan PREVENT Pandemics Act, the Senate showed the American people we are committed to acting on them in a bipartisan way.

“Senator Burr and I have worked hard over the past two years to craft, and pass, the PREVENT Pandemics Act because we know how hard this pandemic has been for families and how important it is we are never in a situation like this again. Our legislation includes a broad set of common sense solutions to strengthen our public health and medical preparedness and response systems from top to bottom based on what worked, and what didn’t, in our COVID response. The PREVENT Pandemics Act strengthens medical supply chains, bolsters biomedical research, enhances FDA’s review processes, modernizes data collection, establishes a ‘mission control’ for pandemics, works to address health inequities in our public health system, and more.


“There is more work to do to build the strong public health system Americans deserve, but this bill represents tremendous, bipartisan progress and shows Congress is taking this challenge seriously. I look forward to President Biden signing this bill into law, and continuing to work with my colleagues to pass much-needed public health investments—and other policies to make sure we are better prepared for whatever public health threat we face next.”


The omnibus includes provisions Senator Murray championed in the PREVENT Pandemics Act to:

  • Improve strategy and coordination among our public health preparedness agencies;
  • Strengthen the supply chain and government stockpiles of medical products, such as masks, drugs, vaccines, and tests;
  • Ensure the CDC’s accountability and leadership by requiring a Senate-confirmed CDC Director and an agency-wide strategic plan;
  • Improve our capabilities to detect and monitor emerging infectious diseases and other threats, including through updates to public health data—to quickly provide comprehensive, actionable insight during public health emergencies;
  • Enhance the development and review of tests, treatments, and vaccines, and mitigate critical shortages of medical products;
  • Address disparities which make public health emergencies harder on at-risk populations and communities;
  • Revitalize the public and community health workforce;
  • Authorize the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) to accelerate innovation in health and medicine by investing in novel, broadly applicable, high-risk, high-reward research projects;
  • Accelerate biomedical research to develop medical countermeasures for pandemic threats and faster test development;
  • Ensure continued access to mental health and substance use disorder services during public health emergency responses.


A section-by-section of the health policies Senator Murray worked to pass in the omnibus, including the PREVENT Pandemics Act, is available HERE.


Full text of the FY23 Omnibus Appropriations bill is available HERE.