News Releases

Murray: “We know diseases aren’t stopped by borders or wishful thinking—they are stopped by medical discoveries, by the hard work of public health experts, and by global collaboration to quickly identify and stop emerging threats.” 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee, released the following statement on the increased funding for medical research, public health preparedness, and global health security which she fought to include in the end-of-year spending bill which passed the Senate today.

“This pandemic has underscored just how important it is we make sustained investments to keep our country and the world prepared for whatever public health threats may emerge. We know diseases aren’t stopped by borders or wishful thinking—they are stopped by medical discoveries, by the hard work of public health experts, and by global collaboration to quickly identify and stop emerging threats.

“I’m glad we were able to increase funding for programs that are critical to these efforts for the year ahead. However, the work of ensuring we are prepared for public health emergencies is never done. Public health infrastructure saves lives—and the better funded and prepared our public health system is before a crisis, the more lives it will be able to save during one. That’s why I’m also going to continue pushing to pass a bill that provides dedicated, annual funding to build our public health infrastructure.”

Senator Murray also continues to push for dedicated, annual funding to build the nation’s public health infrastructure, as she outlined earlier this year when she released the Public Health Infrastructure Saves Lives Act.

The Fiscal Year 2021 bill includes the following:

Medical Research: The bill provides $42.9 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including $404 million from the 21st Century Cures Act, representing an increase of $1.25 billion over the fiscal year 2020 level and $4.12 billion more than the President’s request. It provides an additional $300 million for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias research, $3.12 billion in all to find treatments and cures for these devastating conditions.  It also includes increases of $60 million for the next phase of the BRAIN Initiative and a funding increase of no less than 1.5 percent for every NIH Institute and Center to support investments that advance science and speed the development of new therapies, diagnostics and preventive measures, improving the health of all Americans. As in fiscal year 2020, the bill provides $225 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Non-recurring Expenses Fund to support improvements to NIH’s Bethesda campus. Finally, the agreement directs NIH to require its grantees to notify it when key personnel are removed for concerns of harassment, an essential step toward addressing the findings of the 2018 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report on sexual harassment in academia.

Infectious Diseases: The bill includes $596.7 million, a $35 million increase, for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to support advanced efforts to develop vaccines, diagnostics, drugs, and therapeutics to minimize serious threats of infectious diseases.  The bill also includes $770 million, a $35 million increase, for Project Bioshield to speed the research, development, acquisition, and availability of medical countermeasures to improve preparedness for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.  Finally, the bill also includes $287 million, a $27 million increase, for pandemic influenza preparedness to improve the effectiveness, production, and supply of influenza vaccines and therapeutics to combat seasonal epidemics and pandemics.

Immunization and Respiratory Diseases: The bill provides $201 million, a $25 million increase, for influenza planning and response to support CDC’s efforts to expand vaccine effectiveness monitoring and evaluation, enhance virus characterization, increase genomic testing of influenza viruses, and increase influenza vaccine use by removing barriers to vaccination and promoting vaccination coverage.  Improvements in the development and delivery of seasonal influenza vaccine are critical to the nation’s ability to prepare for and respond to a potential influenza pandemic. 

Public Health Emergency Preparedness: The bill includes $695 million, a $20 million increase, to enhance support to State and local health departments in developing and maintaining capable, flexible, and adaptable public health systems to rapidly respond in an emergency.

Global Health Security: The bill provides $193 million, a $20 million increase, for Global Health Security to support CDC’s efforts to strengthen the capacities of developing countries to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats and outbreaks around the globe.  This funding will allow CDC to continue to build a long-term, sustainable foundation that maintains the agency’s capacity to address contagious disease threats where they occur.

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