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Kaine Applauds Committee Passage of PREVENT Pandemics Act, Including Part of his Long COVID Bill

Following Kaine’s urging, legislation also includes updates to modernize our nation’s public health data infrastructure and promote access to medical countermeasures to emerging threats

 For Kaine’s remarks on the package after the Committee vote, click here

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, applauded HELP Committee passage of the bipartisan Prepare for and Respond to Existing Viruses, Emerging New Threats, and Pandemics Act (PREVENT Pandemics Act), which would strengthen our nation’s public health and medical preparedness and response systems in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Provisions from two bills Kaine introduced were included in this package: the Comprehensive Access to Resources and Education (CARE) for Long COVID Act to help people living with long-term COVID-19 symptoms, and the Promoting Access to Critical Countermeasures by Ensuring Specimen Samples (ACCESS) to Diagnostics Act to promote access to lifesaving products — including diagnostic tests, vaccines, and therapeutics — which can be mobilized against emerging infectious diseases. The PREVENT Pandemics Act also includes a provision Kaine pushed for that would modernize our nation’s public health data infrastructure.

“The last couple of years have been incredibly challenging. We must take the lessons learned over the past two years and improve our preparedness for and response to future public health threats,” said Senator Kaine. “The PREVENT Pandemics Act builds on my work to better understand long COVID, increase easy access to lifesaving products, and strengthen our public health data systems. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure we are prepared for emerging health threats.”

The PREVENT Pandemics Act would improve state and federal public health preparedness; accelerate countermeasure research; and strengthen the development and supply chain for vital medical products.

The PREVENT Pandemics Act includes the following provisions from Kaine’s bills:

From the CARE for Long COVID Act:

  • Directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to work with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to identify and develop high quality tools and strategies to care for individuals experiencing long COVID; and
  • Requires annual reports to Congress regarding research conducted or supported and that such reports are made publically available.

From the Promoting ACCESS to Diagnostics Act:

  • Directs HHS to publicize policies and procedures to support research and development of medical countermeasures, such as tests; and
  • Requires HHS to issue guidance for public and private sector entities’ quick access to specimen samples to ensure a greater supply of diagnostic tests and other countermeasures.

Senator Kaine also pushed to include a provision to support public health data availability and data modernization.

 Click here for the text of the legislation.

Senator Kaine would like to thank his Health Policy Advisor Samantha Koehler for her hard work on this important piece of legislation.