Research!America is urging Congress to modify the budget caps and increase funding for health agencies for FY21 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The letter from President and CEO Mary Woolley follows:
“Dear Chairman Shelby, Chair Lowey, Vice Chairman Leahy, and Ranking Member Granger:
“On behalf of the Research!America alliance, please know how sincerely grateful we are for your bipartisan efforts to mitigate the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Your determination to advance the Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations process is an important facet of those efforts, and we deeply appreciate your leadership and commitment.
“In that context, we fully support the strategy of modifying the FY21 budget caps in a manner that enables our nation to end the COVID-19 threat and dramatically build out our public health threat preparedness and response capabilities. COVID-19 is a warning our nation must heed, knowing that the next threat could follow directly on the heels of COVID-19.
“Further, we firmly believe that FY21 funding should respond to what we as a nation are witnessing in real time: research-driven medical and public health progress conveys value to society that profoundly exceeds our investment in it.
“It is not only imperative to ramp up COVID-19 related funding for NIH, CDC, FDA, AHRQ, NSF, BARDA and our nation’s other research and public health agencies; it is imperative to assign a higher funding priority to the day-in-and-day-out efforts of these agencies to combat deadly and debilitating health threats and to ensuring our nation’s research ecosystem can emerge from COVID-19 stronger than ever.
“By modifying the budget caps and prioritizing funding for the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, Congress can begin to empower a future in which emerging health threats like COVID-19 cannot blindside our nation, and longstanding health threats like Alzheimer’s and cancer cannot rob Americans and populations across the globe of hope, independence and time.
“Thank you again for your considered leadership, and please thank your respective staff members for their hard work in support of your efforts.”