Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020, the Senate health committee will hold a hearing with non-governmental expert witnesses on how the federal government, states, and health care providers should prepare for another wave of COVID-19 Coronavirus and future pandemics, based on lessons learned from COVID-19 Coronavirus and the past 20 years of pandemic planning.
On Tuesday, June 9th, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) released “Preparing for the Next Pandemic” — a white paper with five recommendations.
- Tests, Treatments, and Vaccines – Accelerate Research and Development
- Disease Surveillance – Expand Ability to Detect, Identify, Model, and Track Emerging Infectious Diseases
- Stockpiles, Distribution, and Surges – Rebuild and Maintain Federal and State Stockpiles and Improve Medical Supply Surge Capacity and Distribution
- Public Health Capabilities – Improve State and Local Capacity to Respond
- Who Is on the Flagpole? – Improve Coordination of Federal Agencies During a Public Health Emergency
“The five recommendations outlined above, along with a series of questions at the end of this white paper, are intended to elicit recommendations that Congress can consider and act on this year,” Alexander said. “I am inviting comments, responses, and any additional recommendations for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to consider. This feedback will be shared with my colleagues, both Democrat and Republican.”
Read the full white paper including a foreword by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist here.
Please be advised
The committee is working with the Sergeant at Arms, Rules Committee, Office of Attending Physician and Press Galleries on health and safety protocols. In an effort to maintain social distancing protocols in the hearing room, only senators, witnesses and limited staff will be permitted to enter the hearing room. Arrangements are being made for pooled press coverage of the hearing, and more information will be available at a later time. The hearing will be simulcast on the committee website for the public and members of the press.