Connolly-Chabot Reintroduce Global Health Security Act
Legislation to promote global health security
Washington, January 21, 2021
Tags: Health Care
Today, Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, and Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH), a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, reintroduced the Global Health Security Act. The legislation, which passed the House in September 2020, reaffirms the United States’ commitment to promoting global health security and is crucial to combatting the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The legislation is cosponsored by 55 members of the House.
The Global Health Security Act seeks to address two main issues – that U.S. global health security staffing and activities are largely reliant on an executive order and not specifically supported in law, and that the U.S. needs a permanent designated official responsible for coordinating the interagency response to a global health security emergency. These issues are particularly urgent in light of the threat posed by the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the globe.
“More than 400,000 Americans and two million people across the world have died from the Coronavirus. Disease knows no borders, and this pandemic must be a wakeup call for Congress that the federal government must have a coordinated strategy with empowered leaders to prepare for future pandemics,” said Rep. Gerald E. Connolly and Rep. Steve Chabot. “By recognizing the critical role of U.S. leadership in international health security, enshrining U.S. global health security policy in statute, and ensuring that there is a permanent designated official responsible for coordinating these efforts in a strategic way, our legislation makes sure the United States is never caught off guard by future public health crises.”
Republican and Democratic presidents alike have recognized the critical importance of global health security – from President Obama’s role in launching the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) to President Trump’s National Security Strategy and National Biodefense Strategy. The Global Health Security Act codifies U.S. investments in the ability to prepare for and respond to public health threats and reduce or prevent their spread across borders. In particular, this bill bolsters U.S. commitments under the Global Health Security Agenda, which is a multilateral initiative to build countries’ capacity to manage infectious disease threats and elevate heath security as a global priority.
Connolly and Chabot penned an OpEd for The Hill on the need to pass this legislation in February 2020. The legislation is cosponsored by Reps. Chabot, Fitzpatrick, Larsen, Wagner, Bera, Bass, Beatty, Beyer, Blunt Rochester, Brownley, Cartwright, Case, Casten, Cicilline, Cleaver, Cole, Cooper, Costa, Dean, DeFazio, Deutch, Espaillat, Frankel, Gonzalez, Hastings, Hayes, Houlahan, Jackson Lee, Keating, Khanna, Kilmer, Langevin, Levin (D-MI), Lieu, Lynch, Malinowski, Maloney, McGovern, Meng, Norton, Phillips, Rush, Sanchez, Sewell, Sherman, Sires, Soto, Spanberger, Suozzi, Titus, Tonko, Trahan, Trone, Watson Coleman, Wexton, and Wilson (SC).