The Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated in a vivid and tragic way how unprepared we are for new diseases of this type, even though there were warnings for years from medical and scientific experts that we would be hit by one of them in coming years.
However, in the future the U.S. could have vaccines, therapies, and other medical countermeasures ready in case of disease outbreaks under a bill introduced last week in the Senate.
According to Bloomberg News, “the bill, by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), would provide $2 billion to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority over four years, starting in fiscal 2022, to create a “Disease X” program aimed at developing responses to unknown viral threats.
“There’s currently no sustained funding, program, or strategy dedicated to medical countermeasures for previously unidentified infectious diseases.
“’Infectious disease outbreaks now occur three times more often than they did 40 years ago. The next pandemic, driven by an unknown Disease X, will come,’” Baldwin said in a statement. “’We must invest in the development of novel antivirals, vaccines, and diagnostics for unknown threats now so that we are better prepared to control the spread than we were at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.’”
As we all know, seniors have been particularly hit hard by the Covid so this new bill is welcomed.