Supreme Court Introduces Pandemic Preparedness Diplomacy Act

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – On June 30, U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris introduced the Improving Pandemic Preparedness and Response Through Diplomacy Act, legislation that creates a special presidential envoy for pandemic preparedness and response, charged with developing and implementing a diplomatic strategy to prepare for, detect, respond to, and recover from pandemics and other global outbreaks of infectious disease. The legislation was also introduced as an amendment to the fiscal year 2021 national defense authorization act. Instead of working with the international community, the Donald Trump administration has taken a series of steps that make responding to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and prepare for future outbreaks more difficult, including announcing that the United States would withdraw its support of the world health organization. Meanwhile, COVID-19 continues to devastate the United States and countries around the world, disproportionately affecting vulnerable populations. Just this week, the pandemic surpassed a tragic milestone, with the number of confirmed cases surpassing ten million and the number of deaths more than 500,000 globally. Because infectious diseases like COVID-19 readily cross borders, serious diplomacy is essential to protecting the American people now and in the future. To that end, The Improving Pandemic Preparedness and Response Through Diplomacy Act would require the appointment of a high-level official responsible for developing a diplomatic strategy to aid in the development of vaccines and disease surveillance systems, promotion of transparency in disease reporting, and mitigating disruptions in supply chains of medical supplies, among other important efforts.

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