Bera-Led Securing America From Epidemics (SAFE) Act Passes House Foreign Affairs Committee
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed Congressman Ami Bera’s (D-CA) Securing America From Epidemics (SAFE) Act, which would authorize U.S. participation in the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a public-private partnership developing vaccines for coronavirus and other highly infectious pathogens.
“I’m honored that the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed the SAFE Act. It is critically important that we join international efforts to defeat COVID-19,” said Rep. Bera, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation. “The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations is helping to lead those efforts by funding several vaccine candidates. I believe in American ingenuity but we need to take a portfolio approach to vaccine development. There’s no guarantee that a U.S. backed vaccine will be developed first and or be effective for all Americans. By joining CEPI, we will help ensure that we have access to vaccines the international community is developing. We also know that until this virus is defeated around the world, we will not be safe here at home. Our world and our economies are simply too interconnected”
The SAFE Act was also included in Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, which passed the House of Representatives in May 2020.
Rep. Bera has been a leader in Congress on global health security and the COVID-19 pandemic. He chaired the first congressional hearing on the coronavirus on Feb. 5th, sounded the alarm after the Trump Administration disbanded the global health security office in the National Security Council in 2018, and is a member on the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security, which in November 2019 made a series of recommendations to prevent pandemics.