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Congressman Don Young Leads House Colleagues on Effort to Strengthen Medical Supply Chain and Streamline COVID-19 Vaccine Development

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Washington, March 24, 2020 | comments

Washington, D.C. – Today, Alaska Congressman Don Young and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) led a bipartisan group of over 40 House colleagues on a letter to Vice President Mike Pence, urging the establishment of two temporary task forces to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. One to expedite the development of COVID-19 vaccines and ensure any expedited treatment programs, including those developed under compassionate use, are available in rural and urban regions, and a second to address severe medical supply shortages in Alaska and across the country.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact Americans and our economy in very real terms that citizens across our country can feel,” said Congressman Don Young. “Time is of the essence, and we must do more to turn the tide in this pandemic. Medical supply shortages and bureaucratic red tape threaten not only Americans’ access to necessary medical equipment, but may also be making the development of COVID-19 vaccines more difficult. We must ensure that the COVID-19 response is handled by two streamlined and collaborative task forces within the federal government; one to focus on the development of treatment, and another to ensure that the medical supply chain is fully functional so that doctors have the equipment they need. I am grateful to Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester for her steadfast partnership on this important issue, and I look forward to continuing to work with her and others to end this destructive health crisis.”

“Working with members of your Administration, Congress is working to pass legislation that would inject funding into curtailing this pandemic, in part to ensure Americans can be tested and treated for COVID-19 and to enable a robust and adequate public health and economic response to mitigate the health, social, and economic damage caused by this virus,” wrote the Members. “We need to do more to protect Americans during this crisis.  With such enormous costs, we cannot afford any delays because of medical supply shortages or barriers to finding safe and effective vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments for this disease.  We believe coordinating task forces focused on the following issues should be a priority and will further advance efforts to end the pandemic.”

The full text of the letter can be found below or here

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