Preparing for the next pandemic
Throughout my career in the military, I confronted a range of dynamic challenges that taught me how to respond to and plan for crisis situations. From serving on the ground in Iraq to navigating the high seas of the Persian Gulf to advising the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon and being part of the Navy’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, I learned key lessons that I should be applied to confronting the current crisis and planning for the next one.
Scientists are already warning that the next pandemic could be worse.
We have to prepare now.
This begins by conducting in depth after action analysis and lessons learned of our government’s response followed by long term operational planning to ensure we are prepared for the next crisis.
In Congress, I will be a champion of long-term policy planning and actions required to prepare our country to respond to the next crisis.
- Conduct in-depth after action analysis of our government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic to inform policy planning for the next crisis.
- Pass funding to establish a national stockpile of PPE that can be disbursed quickly to health workers and regular Americans.
- Increase funding for prototype pathogen research that can help us readily develop vaccines for a future pandemic.
- Re-examine the FDA’s approval guidelines so we can ensure vaccines and treatments for a future pandemic causing disease can go from development to use as fast as possible.
- Invest in vaccine manufacturing infrastructure and supply chains so we will have the capacity to scale up future vaccine production in a pandemic situation.
- Invest in surge capacity now for our current healthcare infrastructure to ensure we always have enough hospital beds.
- Enhance the scope for dual use research of concern regulation to include all potential pathogens and methodologies regardless if they are private or publicly funded.
- Direct an agency separate from NIH to oversee and coordinate biorisk regulations.