ASM Applauds Passage of the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act
ASM Urges President Trump to Sign the Bill into Law Without Delay
Washington, DC - June 4, 2019 - The American Society for Microbiology applauds passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act (PAHPA) today, clearing it for the President’s signature. The United States must be prepared to rapidly respond to declared and potential public health emergencies, including infectious disease epidemics. PAHPA is critical to safeguarding our nation’s ability to respond in a timely and coordinated manner to future declared and potential public health threats.
ASM appreciates the strong and steadfast leadership of House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Ranking Member Greg Walden, Representatives Anna Eshoo and Susan Brooks, Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, Ranking Member Patty Murray and Senator Burr. Their commitment to passing this bill has ensured that in times of crisis, whether natural or man-made, the U.S. can move swiftly to protect the health of all Americans.
Enacting this legislation has been one of the society’s key legislative priorities, and ASM championed language, included in the final bill, that codifies the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (PACCARB). Given its focus on developing interdisciplinary approaches to antimicrobial resistance, PACCARB is essential to a federal response in public health emergencies that involve infectious diseases. PACCARB will also help sustain the One Health partnerships — the integration of human, animal, and environmental domains — that have been formed since its establishment.
“Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an immediate threat to public health and the economy,” said Stefano Bertuzzi, PhD, MPH, ASM Chief Executive Officer. “Our Society leaders have prioritized this important area in our policy and advocacy work, and we are proud to see the fruits of our labors in this bill. Detecting, preventing, and controlling AMR is central to PACCARB’s mission and is why ASM is pleased that the importance of PACCARB’s work has been appropriately recognized in this legislation.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year at least two million people in the United States become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result. Moreover, AMR infections result in an excess cost to our health care system of $20 billion per year. Infectious disease experts predict that by 2050, this number will dramatically increase to as many as 10 million people worldwide.
“We thank both the House and the Senate for passing this critical legislation and urge President Trump to sign it without delay,” said Bertuzzi.
The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of more than 32,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences.
ASM advances the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications and educational opportunities. It enhances laboratory capacity around the globe through training and resources. It provides a network for scientists in academia, industry and clinical settings. Additionally, ASM promotes a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences.