I’m proud to have helped lead the bipartisan reauthorization of the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act (PAHPA) this Congress. PAHPA forms one of the critical pillars of our nation’s biodefense strategy and helped create much of the infrastructure our nation is currently using to respond to COVID-19.
PAHPA authorized appropriations to improve bioterrorism and other public health emergency preparedness and response activities. Among other things, it established a new Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) within the Department of Health and Human Services(HHS); provided new authorities for a number of programs, including the creation of the Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority (BARDA) within HHS for the advanced research and development of medical countermeasures; and called for the establishment of a National Health Security Strategy.
BARDA was created through PAHPA to provide industry partners with funding and technical assistance in the advanced research and development of MCMs for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats, pandemic influenza and other emerging infectious diseases (EID). It works in conjunction with the Strategic National Stockpile to ensure our nation has the resources it needs to respond rapidly and save American lives in the event of a national emergency.
PAHPA and the infrastructure it created including ASPR, BARDA and the Strategic National Stockpile are critical pieces that helped propel the United States to be the best-prepared nation on Earth, as evidenced by the 2019 John Hopkins Global Health Preparedness Study.