Eshoo bill on biohazards passes and heads to Trump’s desk

Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto

By the Daily Post staff

A bill to strengthen the country’s defenses to biological, radiological and chemical attacks and pandemics, co-authored by Palo Alto Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, has been passed by the House and Senate, and now is headed to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.

“The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act” accelerates research into countermeasures with an eye toward improving the nation’s defense to biological, chemical, radiological or nuclear threats whether man-made, occurring through a natural disaster or infectious diseases.

The legislation focuses on the needs of special populations including children, people with disabilities, and seniors before and during a public health emergency.

“I applaud the House and Senate’s bipartisan commitment to strengthening our nation’s existing preparedness and response programs, and I look forward to the president signing this important bill into law,” Rep. Eshoo said in a statement.

The legislation “will ensure our health care professionals are trained to respond to possible pandemic outbreaks, prioritize the further development of our national stockpile of vaccines, medical equipment and diagnostics, and establish new advisory groups focused on protecting vulnerable populations such as senior citizens and people with disabilities during public health threats and emergencies,” co-author Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Indiana, said in a statement.

Eshoo and Brooks are co-founders of the Congressional Biodefense Caucus. The Caucus serves as a platform to educate Members of Congress and their staff on the very real threats our nation faces from a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attack or pandemic outbreak. It also aims to identify the existing gaps in our preparedness and response capabilities.

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