ASM Commends Senate for Advancing RISE Act

Sept. 17, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stark reminder of the critical importance of supporting scientific research. The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) commends the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee for advancing the Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act, which would provide much-needed support to federally funded researchers whose work has been disrupted. ASM especially thanks Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) for their leadership in sponsoring this legislation.

Microbiologists, including those in clinical laboratories, are on the front lines of helping our nation address the unprecedented challenges SARS-COV-2 has presented to our society, our healthcare system and our economy. However, as a result of the pandemic, many researchers, students, post-docs and laboratory personnel have been forced to close facilities as a result of quarantine requirements and their work has been suspended. This has implications not only for the research workforce, but also on the process of scientific discovery—recently released data from the Council on Governmental Relations show research output has dropped between 20 - 40% in the past 6 months with a potential impact in the tens of billions of dollars across the research enterprise. Science cannot be turned on and off like a faucet but rather, ramping back up after a closure can takes months to years to accomplish.  

Federally funded research is essential to our nation’s public health, and supporting the RISE Act is a step in the right direction. We urge Senate leadership to bring this legislation to the floor for consideration as soon as possible.

Author: ASM Advocacy

ASM Advocacy
ASM Advocacy is making it easy and providing opportunities for members to advocate for evidence-based scientific policy.