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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC, Stakeholders Urge Swift Enactment of Funding for CDC Sequencing Program


    Christa Wagner, Manager, Government Relations

    The AAMC joined over 30 public health, research, patient advocacy, and industry groups in a Dec. 6 letter to House and Senate Appropriations Committee leaders urging swift enactment of the Senate’s proposed fiscal year (FY) 2022 funding level of $40 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advanced Molecular Detection (AMD) program.

    The letter was delivered following President Joe Biden’s Dec. 3 signing of a continuing resolution that extends government funding at FY 2021 levels through Feb. 18, 2022 [refer to Washington Highlights, Dec. 3].

    “AMD has played a critical role in the response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, from enabling the United States to sequence SARS-CoV-2 within one week of its initial detection in this country, to sequencing tens of thousands of samples each week to track viral variants,” the stakeholders wrote.

    “AMD gives us new tools to detect disease faster, identify outbreaks sooner, and protect people from emerging and evolving disease threats. Beyond viral surveillance, it informs vaccine development, helps to identify and track antimicrobial resistance and foodborne illness, and informs the development of diagnostics for new, existing, and emerging diseases… As we continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and other infectious threats, we must grow and sustain the base budget for this unique program,” they added.

    The Senate Appropriations Committee unveiled its proposed $40 million investment for the AMD program in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) draft bill on Oct. 18 [refer to Washington Highlights, Oct. 22]. The House of Representatives previously approved its FY 2022 Labor-HHS spending bill, which would provide $35 million for the CDC’s AMD program, on July 29 [refer to Washington Highlights, July 30].