March 11, 2022

Cassidy, Hickenlooper Introduce The Modernizing Bio-Surveillance Capabilities and Epidemic Forecasting Act

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and John Hickenlooper (D-CO) today introduced the Modernizing Bio-Surveillance Capabilities and Epidemic Forecasting Act, a bill to require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to better track infectious diseases and enhance our epidemic forecasting capabilities to improve public health readiness and responses to future pandemics.

“We need to start working and preparing now to combat the next pandemic. Our bill allows federal agencies to better coordinate our response to public health crises and increase information sharing within health data systems,” said Dr. Cassidy.

“To prevent a full-blown pandemic or develop a vaccine, we must spot infectious diseases sooner,” said Senator Hickenlooper. “This bill will help us move faster and stop the next outbreak from becoming a pandemic.”

This bill provides $324 million in authorized appropriations to:

  • Require the CDC to focus on strategies to integrate lab and public health data systems, improve the collection and reporting of relevant aggregated, deidentified demographic data and improve exchange of health information to improve public health surveillance.
  • Require the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to include how the department plans to improve coordination and collaboration with other Federal departments, support testing, and implement lessons learned during this Public Health Emergency to address gaps in bio surveillance capabilities in an already required report to Congress.
  • Direct the CDC to continue disease outbreak analysis capabilities, and enhance prediction, modeling, and forecasting of potential public health emergencies.