WASHINGTON, DC – Representative Ami Bera, M.D. (CA-07) yesterday sent a letter to House leadership outlining critical actions Congress and the Administration should take to halt the spread of and ultimately defeat COVID-19 in the United States and abroad.
“We cannot return to normal without the implementation of a national testing strategy that ensures all Americans who need a diagnostic test receive a test and that we are utilizing widespread serologic testing to determine who has had coronavirus,” said Rep. Bera. “We also need a COVID Response Corps to conduct widespread testing and contact tracing. Without it, we leave our nation at risk for new waves of the virus.”
Bera is urging future COVID-19 legislation include provisions to:
- Develop a national testing strategy, including ensuring states continue to have enough testing supplies
- Establish a COVID-19 Response Corps to conduct contract tracing and other public health activities
Rep. Bera last week urged the Administration to create a national testing strategy to address shortfalls in COVID-19 testing. He also penned a bipartisan op-ed encouraging the U.S. to establish a COVID-19 Response Corps with a trained, deployable workforce to address the urgent needs of the national COVID-19 response.
Congressman Bera today also called for additional resources to combat the virus internationally.
“Diseases know no borders. Even if the U.S. is able to contain COVID-19 here at home, we risk continued outbreaks if we are not able to contain it elsewhere. First and foremost, that means building on USAID and CDC activities to strengthen the ability of countries to prevent, detect, and respond to coronavirus. But it also means thinking creatively about how to cooperate with other countries to ensure we are resourcing both prevention and response and vaccine efforts, through organizations like CEPI. Finally, we cannot forget that coronavirus originated in animals. We should support programs like PREDICT, implemented by universities like UC Davis here in the Sacramento area.”
Rep. Bera has been a leader in Congress on global health security. He chaired the first congressional hearing on the coronavirus on Feb. 5th, sounded the alarm after the Trump Administration disbanded the global health security office in the National Security Council in 2018, and is a member on the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security, which in November 2019 made a series of recommendations to prevent pandemics.
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