Alexander pushes for passage of pandemic planning law this year

A key Republican senator is seeking ideas for legislation to address future pandemics and says Congress should consider a measure this year.

Lamar Alexander, a Tennessean who is chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released a 40-page white paper on Tuesday with his recommendations.

The white paper outlines five areas Alexander says his committee should consider when drafting legislation. Those include how to accelerate research and development of tests, treatments and vaccines; improve disease surveillance; rebuild and sustain state and federal medical equipment stockpiles and improve supply surge capacity; bolster state and local health departments’ response capabilities; and strengthen federal agencies’ coordination.

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