WASHINGTON, D.C., July 31, 2020 — The American Heart Association, the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke, released the following statement in support of the FY 2021 Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education Appropriations bill:
“As we continue to fight COVID-19, we need real investments in cardiovascular disease (CVD) research, prevention and surveillance. Patients with CVD are more likely to be killed by the virus than those without, risk higher rates of cardiac arrest and are more likely to be hospitalized. This underscores the need for dedicated funding in these essential research areas, and we are grateful for the funding provided in this legislative package. High rates of severe disease and death from COVID-19 among people of color have added urgency to our ongoing efforts to strengthen the public health infrastructure and improve disease surveillance data collection.
“We are pleased to see increases for priority programs including $5.5 billion for the National Institutes of Health, $264 million for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and $197 million for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. We also strongly support the increase of $9.23 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including a $3 million increase for its Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, a $2 million increase for WISEWOMAN, a $10 million increase for its Office on Smoking and Health and $450 million in additional funds to modernize public health data surveillance systems at the federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal level.
“Emergency funding in this bill is essential to support biomedical research that has been disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and more is needed. We recommend an additional $2 billion in emergency bridge funding to ensure the critical research supported by non-profit organizations, voluntary health associations, science societies and foundations can quickly resume once researchers return to their labs. The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the grant-making abilities of these non-governmental organizations and we believe additional emergency funds are essential to preserve research underway that falls outside of NIH funding.
“The additional support for research, prevention, and the public health infrastructure in this bill will be a huge help in combating CVD as America’s most costly and prevalent disease and we urge passage of this bill.”
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
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