GAP Gets Behind Pandemic Preparing Pallone

Guarding Against Pandemics, a 501(c)(4) organization which is made up of scientific and political advocates—including those in biosecurity—has defined its solitary goal as being better prepared for the next pandemic, whenever that will be.  As the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the world, claiming 600,000 American lives, more than those lost in the Spanish Flu a century earlier, GAP wants the public to know the cause has a champion in Congressman Frank Pallone, a Democrat who has represented New Jersey’s 6th Congressional District since 1993.  Pallone captured re-election in 2020 by taking 61% of the vote, generally consistent with previous elections and demonstrating a solid mandate from the voters.

GAP has rolled out a “five-figure” ad buy in Pallone’s district, including a 30 second commercial to thank him and to raise awareness of the need for pandemic preparedness in the future.

“When COVID-19 hit, America wasn’t prepared,” the commercial says, “but now President Biden has a comprehensive plan to protect us from the next pandemic.”

GAP acknowledges that the next pandemic–an inevitability–requires the structures needed to roll out vaccines, guard the lives of American citizens, and protect the economy.  Frank Pallone has supported the allocation of $16 billion towards future pandemic preparedness, what GAP describes as “a down payment on America’s future” and urges viewers to call Congressman Pallone’s office to thank him for his efforts.

A White House statement referred to the future pandemic plan, saying, “Achieving these capabilities will require a systematic effort and shared vision for biological preparedness across our government.  Like any ambitious endeavor – whether the Apollo mission or the Human Genome Project that cracked the code of human genetics – transforming our nation’s pandemic preparedness will take serious, sustained commitment and ambitious accountability. And like those efforts, it is likely to yield benefits beyond the original mission – in this case advances in human health and providing tools that could overcome health inequities and ensure equitable access to innovative products.”

To do so, the president seeks to achieve five major points, including the improvement and expansion of available drugs, vaccines, and diagnostic equipment; ensuring situational awareness with respect to disease early warning and monitoring; strengthening the public health systems across the country and abroad, not ignoring the most at-risk communities; building up stockpiles of PPE and supply-related matters; and having an accountable oversight of mission management.

GAP cites a poll from Data For Progress which demonstrates broad bipartisan support for “critical investments” for pandemic preparedness, with 71% of Americans on board.

“While there has been massive public investment in responding to COVID-19, there has been almost no public investment targeted at protecting us from the next pandemic,” a statement from GAP said.  “COVID-19 has taken so many lives and cost so much money because we did not prepare for it. And while it is critical that we respond to this current pandemic, we must also prepare for the next one.”

To that end, GAP thanks Congressman Pallone for his part and is investing in the message to gain further support for preparedness.  Therein are the hopes that the disastrous COVID-19 pandemic will prove a hard lesson learned for the future and that history does not, in fact, repeat itself.
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