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Pandemic Preparedness

It has now been well over two years since the first confirmed American case of COVID-19. In the time since, we've seen over 80 million confirmed cases and surpassed 1 million deaths, while tens of millions of jobs and lives have been upended, and hundreds of thousands of businesses closed their doors only to never see them reopened. Yet, the frightening reality is that we as a nation are woefully unprepared for the next pandemic. We must not kid ourselves that COVID will be the only pandemic we may see in our lifetimes.

In this post-COVID world, our government must prepare for the next pandemic, to avoid the same loss we have witnessed in the past two years. Public health officials have a plan to prepare United States defenses, and in Congress, I am committing to taking a leading role in ensuring that these policies and recommendations are enacted. We must implement and fully fund President Biden’s proposed pandemic preparedness plan, which will increase the supply and stockpiles of masks, vaccines, and tests, ensure the CDC is held accountable, and address disparities in at-risk populations. We must also surveil diseases so we can stop the spread before it begins, and prepare a better system through which vaccines and therapeutics can be created, manufactured, and distributed to communities across America.

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