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Friday, April 16th, 2021

Reps. Stefanik, Crow introduce bill to clarify biodefense strategy

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U.S. Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Jason Crow (D-CO) introduced a bill on May 22 that would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to clarify the national biodefense strategy and implementation plan.

The bill, called the RASPP Act (H.B. 6966), follows a Government Accountability Office report that outlined several challenges and issues that could limit the long-term implementation of the strategy.

“The COVID-19 crisis has illuminated the need for a comprehensive and clear biodefense strategy so that our nation is better prepared for future public health threats,” Stefanik said. “This bipartisan bill directs the Secretary of HHS to clarify our national prevention strategy for public health issues like COVID-19 and other biodefense threats. Congress must prioritize a whole of government approach to ensure our nation not only has prevention plans but that there are implementation strategies for these plans in place. I will continue to advocate for a national strategy to fight COVID-19 and other public health threats and to equip our healthcare workers on the front lines.”

Crow, a former U.S. Army Ranger, said preparation is key both on the battlefield and in this fight against the pandemic.

“The federal government must take the same approach. This effort will help ensure we take a whole-of-government approach and make necessary changes to improve our country’s biodefense management,” Crow said.