Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA) has introduced two laws that would improve the way the United States prepares for pandemics.
The two bills would treat pandemics as threats to national security
Representative Swalwell’s office detailed the legislation in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA:
TheNational Security Council Modernization Act of 2021it would give the Secretary of Health and Human Services a seat on the National Security Council (NSC), while strengthening the council against the possibility of presidential politicization. TheBiosafety Information Optimization for Defense (BIO Defense) Act of 2021It would strengthen the National Biodefense Strategy (NBS) so that we can better prepare and respond, as well as combat health misinformation.
TheBIO Defense Lawwould enhance the NBS, a bipartisan plan enacted in 2016 as part of theNational Defense Authorization Law,formalizing a National Biodefense Directorate that includes the Vice President and the department secretaries. This entity should meet regularly, hire staff, and establish uniform data collection methods so that it can continually update the NBS to address national security risks posed by pandemics.
Importantly, the bill would require the Directorate to develop a national strategy to combat misinformation in biodefense to ensure that our federal government is prepared to provide the best available public health information to the American people quickly and effectively in a timely manner. crisis. US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy declared on Thursday that pandemic disinformation is “an urgent threat to public health.”
Eric Swalwell’s legislation would protect the lives of Americans
Representative Swalwell said: “The COVID-19 pandemic showed us that public health misinformation, particularly on social media, can jeopardize America’s response to biological threats, unnecessarily putting people in danger. Knowledge is power during a pandemic, and the government must actively promote fact-based information, while actively discrediting and preventing the spread of lies, whether deliberate or panic-induced, to save lives. “
As we fight to overcome the current pandemic, it is important that lawmakers learn the lessons of COVID-19 and ensure that the United States is better prepared for the next pandemic.
The Biden administration is fighting the pandemic and vaccine misinformation spread by Republicans, conservative media, conspiracy theorists and others on social media.
If Swalwell’s legislation were signed into law, there is no question that it would save lives. Pandemics are a national security problem, and the United States needs to be better prepared.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor, who is the White House press group and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a BA in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, specializing in social reform movements.
Professional Memberships and Awards
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Political Science Association