ASM Leads Support Letter for House Tracking Pathogens Act
Dear Congressman Bera and Congressman Peters:
The undersigned organizations, institutions and companies representing a broad range of scientific, public health and clinical professionals, write to express our support for H.R.7152, the Tracking Pathogens Act. Significantly boosting U.S. genetic surveillance and viral sequencing is key to moving beyond the COVID-19 pandemic and effectively responding to future challenges not only associated with novel and evolving infectious diseases, but also seasonal threats, antimicrobial resistance and foodborne pathogens.
The emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 omicron variants underscores the need for sustained investments to bolster sequencing capacity to identify, track and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 strains. We are especially pleased that the bill builds on the work initiated under the American Rescue Plan by supporting and enhancing existing genomic sequencing and surveillance activities, supporting continued partnerships between public health entities and the broader academic research and clinical laboratory ecosystem and codifying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Centers of Excellence in Genomic Sequencing and Molecular Epidemiology. The bill also ensures this work can be sustained by setting forth a strong, multi-year funding authorization level of $175 million for the Advanced Molecular Detection (AMD) program at the CDC.
Since 2014, the AMD program has employed next generation sequencing (NGS) to bring the concept of precision medicine to bear for “precision public health.” AMD has given us new tools to detect disease faster, identify outbreaks sooner and protect people and the food supply from emerging and evolving disease threats. The Tracking Pathogens Act will ensure that this critical work can continue now and into the future.
We thank you for your leadership on this legislation, and we look forward to working with you and your colleagues to sustain robust pathogen genomic surveillance through CDC’s AMD program and its partnerships.
American Association for Clinical Chemistry
American Association of Bioanalysts
American Institute of Biological Sciences
American Medical Technologists
American Public Health Association
American Society for Clinical Pathology
American Society for Microbiology
American Society for Virology
American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Association for Molecular Pathology
Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology
Association of American Medical Colleges
Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health
Coalition for the Life Sciences
College of American Pathologists
HIV Medicine Association
Infectious Diseases Society of America
National Independent Laboratory Association
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
The Gerontological Society of America
The Jackson Laboratory
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Trust for America's Health
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health
UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine