House passes Connolly-Chabot Global Health Security Act
The House of Representatives passed the FY21 National Defense Authorization Act, which included as an amendment the Global Health Security Act, legislation introduced by Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH).
The Global Health Security Act re-establishes the government-wide lead for pandemic response, establishes an Interagency Review Council charged with implementing U.S. commitments under the Global Health Security Agenda, and requires a global health security strategy.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic has showed us, diseases do not respect borders, and global health crises have immense security, economic, and humanitarian consequences,” said Connolly. “Unfortunately, as we’ve seen, almost 70% of the world’s nations are underprepared to manage or control outbreaks. By recognizing the critical role of U.S. leadership in international health security, enshrining U.S. global health security policy in statute, and ensuring that there is a permanent designated official responsible for coordinating these efforts in a strategic way, our legislation makes sure the United States is never again unable or unwilling to adequately respond to public health crises.”
“The Global Health Security Act provides a critical bipartisan endorsement to prioritize the U.S. government’s response to epidemics like the coronavirus,” said Chabot. “We need to take this opportunity to recommit to leadership on health security, as well as prepare ourselves for the next pandemic. Protecting our nation’s health must be seen as a national security priority.”
Reps. Connolly and Chabot penned an OpEd for The Hill in February on the need for this legislation. The House Foreign Affairs Committee passed the legislation in March.
Full text of the Global Health Security Act is available here.