WASHINGTON, DC – Representative Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Nonproliferation, yesterday reintroduced H.R. 2118, the Securing America From Epidemics (SAFE) Act. The SAFE Act, which passed the House of Representatives in the 116th Congress, would authorize U.S. participation in the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a public-private partnership developing vaccines for coronavirus and other highly infectious pathogens.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown just how interconnected the global community is. In just months, the COVID-19 virus spread across the world, causing widespread human suffering while crippling the global economy,” said Representative Bera. “It is a national security and public health imperative that the United States lead on global health security to both defeat this pandemic, and to prepare for future deadly diseases. A critical institution that is helping lead the international fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is CEPI, which provided early funding for the successful Moderna vaccine, and also co-leads COVAX, the global effort to manufacture and equitably distribute a COVID-19 vaccine to communities across the world. The SAFE Act will allow the U.S. to be a full and active participant in CEPI. By working through organizations like CEPI to develop new vaccine technologies, we will help ensure the world is far more prepared for the next pandemic.”
“We have seen firsthand the widespread devastating effects of a global pandemic on our health, economy, and national security this past year. Unfortunately, this will not be the last contagious and deadly virus our world will battle and confront, which is why it is of the utmost importance our country continues to be a leader in global health,” said Representative Fitzpatrick. “The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) has been integral in our global fight to defeat COVID, providing funding for the Moderna vaccine and ensuring the manufacturing and equitable distribution of the vaccine across the world. Our bipartisan SAFE Act will enable us to continue as a participant in the CEPI and make certain our country and world are prepared for the next pandemic.”
Representative 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 and is a member of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security.
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