WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives today passed Rep. Ami Bera’s (D-CA) Securing America From Epidemics (SAFE) Act. The SAFE Act would authorize United States participation in the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a public-private partnership developing vaccines for coronavirus and other highly infectious pathogens.
“Defeating the COVID-19 virus will be a monumental task and will require a coordinated international effort,” said Rep. Bera, M.D., Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation. “The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations is helping to lead those efforts by funding several promising vaccine candidates both at home and abroad, including providing an early and critical investment for Moderna, who announced this week that their vaccine was 94.5% effective.
Rep. Bera continued “Coronavirus will not be the last contagious and deadly pathogen the world confronts. CEPI’s work began before COVID-19 and it will continue long after. By joining CEPI, we will help ensure that the United States and the world are better prepared for the next deadly disease, and can stop it before it’s able to cause damage on the scale of COVID-19.
The United States has a long and proud history on global health security. Our decades worth of smart and strategic investments in global health programs have helped lead the international fight against diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and eradicated smallpox. Now, more than ever, the U.S. must lead on global health. I’m glad the House of Representatives passed my SAFE Act to support the international efforts necessary to defeat this virus and prepare for future ones.”
The SAFE Act passed out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in July 2020 and was also included in Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act which passed the House of Representatives in May 2020. Click here to read the legislation.
Rep. Bera has been a leader in Congress on global health security and the COVID-19 pandemic. 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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