116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
This July 4, the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine permitted us to once again eat hot dogs and watch fireworks with loved ones. However, as we put away our masks, it is critical that we do not neglect the pandemic and other health crises still raging globally.
Africa carries 23 percent of the global disease burden but only accounts for 1 percent of global health expenditure. Children from low-income countries are 100 times more likely to die from an infectious disease. No matter how successful we are in fighting health crises at home, insufficient health care abroad prevents complete eradication. Pandemics do not have borders, so to invest in the prevention of health crises abroad is to invest in the health of Americans. COVID-19 should serve as a wake-up call for Congress that the federal government needs a coordinated strategy to prepare for future outbreaks.
The U.S. needs to take the lead and invest in global responses to prevent future pandemics. On June 28, the Global Health Security Act (H.R. 391) passed the House of Representatives. This bill increases the U.S. government’s efforts to support epidemic and pandemic preparedness and prevent threats of infectious disease outbreaks. Rep. Ashley Hinson was one of 112 members of the House who voted “Nay” on H.R. 391. As the bill is set to enter the Senate, I urge Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley to vote in support of this lifesaving legislation.