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Rep. Schrader Urges Swift Passage of Bipartisan Pandemic Prevention Legislation

 


For Immediate Release

April 15, 2020

Contact: Larkin Parker, 202-225-5711

 

Rep. Schrader Urges Swift Passage of Bipartisan Pandemic Prevention Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) led a letter to House of Representatives leadership urging inclusion of their bipartisan Advancing Emergency Preparedness Through One Health Act of 2019, HR 3771, in next Coronavirus response bill. Both Representatives are veterinarians and co-chairs of the Veterinary Medicine Caucus.

“This bipartisan legislation will dramatically strengthen our country’s coordinated responses to zoonotic diseases,” said Rep. Kurt Schrader. “The health of humans is deeply connected to animal and environmental health. The United States must be better prepared for the next pandemic and this legislation will help ensure that we are. I am hopeful that this critical legislation will be included in the next Coronavirus response and recovery bill.”

Previously, President George W. Bush and industry leaders like Bill Gates have forewarned that our government needs to be proactive in preparing for the next pandemic,” said Rep. Ted Yoho. “We failed. It’s time to act. The transmission of disease from animals to humans is common, and, as we are currently experiencing with COVID-19, can have devastating effects on the global population and economy. Now, more than ever, the One Health Framework is vital to coordinate federal activities around zoonotic disease prevention, preparation, and response. I am honored to join fellow large animal veterinarian, Rep. Kurt Schrader and concerned colleagues in a bipartisan effort to ask that congressional leadership incorporate our commonsense legislation into the next coronavirus response bill.”

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates how closely animal health, public health and the environment are linked. As Congress considers the needs of public health infrastructure in light of the coronavirus, AVMA supports the creation of a national framework that would coordinate zoonotic disease preparedness and response,” said Dr. John Howe, AVMA President. We applaud the bipartisan Advancing Emergency Preparedness through One Health Act of 2019 sponsored by veterinarian Reps. Kurt Schrader and Ted Yoho that would direct the federal government to create a national One Health Framework for coordinated federal activities under the One Health Program.”

The global COVID-19 pandemic that has gripped the world is a stunning example of why this legislation is so critically important,” said Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) Chief Executive Officer. “We simply cannot take a fragmented approach to solving the public health and food security threats emerging at the intersection of humans, animals and the environment. The veterinary medical profession has long understood that an integrated One Health approach is absolutely essential and that’s what this legislation will address. By increasing cooperation among the different agencies and secretariats involved in health and agriculture, we can leverage their strengths and make them more effective. There is no more powerful reminder of the urgency of doing this now than the epic struggle we face today.”

The Advancing Emergency Preparedness through One Health Act of 2019 would require the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Environmental Protection Agency, and other related agencies to create a national One Health Framework to coordinate all federal activities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to zoonotic disease outbreaks. Federal activities must be coordinated and well-funded so that we can prevent zoonotic outbreaks and respond to them quickly.

 

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