Press Releases

Hickenlooper, Cassidy Introduce Bill to Strengthen Surveillance and Forecasting of Pandemic-Causing Viruses

Mar 11, 2022

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Bill Cassidy introduced the Modernizing Biosurveillance Capabilities and Epidemic Forecasting Act, a bipartisan bill to modernize and codify current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) programs that focus on surveillance and forecasting of pandemic-causing viruses.

“To prevent a full-blown pandemic or develop a vaccine, we must spot infectious diseases sooner,” said Senator Hickenlooper. “This bill will help us move faster and stop the next outbreak from becoming a pandemic.”

“We need to start working and preparing now to combat the next pandemic. Our bill allows federal agencies to better coordinate our response to public health crises and increase information sharing within health data systems,” saidDr. Cassidy

Specifically, the bill provides $324 million in federal funding to:

  • Modernize biosurveillance capabilities and infectious disease data collection and reporting.
  • Updates Health and Human Services’ strategy and implementation plan to:
    • Improve collaboration among relevant federal departments
    • Implement lessons learned during the pandemic
    • Identify ways to improve disease detection and the speed and accuracy of data reporting
    • Strengthen coordination with public health officials, labs, and others
  • Codifies current activities at CDC related to the analysis, modeling, and forecasting of infectious diseases outbreaks.

In addition to the Modernizing Biosurveillance Capabilities and Epidemic Forecasting Act, Hickenlooper recently introduced the Early Countermeasure Discovery Act, bipartisan legislation to improve the research and development of preventative medical countermeasures for pathogens with pandemic potential before they actually cause one. Both bills will be included in next week’s hearing in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to consider the PREVENT Pandemics Act, a package of legislation focused on pandemic preparedness.

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