Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), who drafted and helped secure passage of the PREVENT Pandemics Act into law last December, released the following statement in response to the White House announcing it is launching the Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response—which was created by Murray’s legislation to lead and coordinate an all-of-government response to address public health threats. The White House also announced Major General Paul Fredrichs will lead the new office.
“I’m glad to see my bipartisan PREVENT Pandemics Act being put into action so our nation is better prepared for the next threat like COVID. I worked hard to write and pass this legislation, because it was painfully clear to me our nation was not ready for a crisis like COVID, and I think it’s painfully clear to everyone we cannot afford to repeat the same mistakes.
“If we are going to keep families safe and communities supported during future health crises, we need to have a team in place, ready to go 24/7 to serve as mission control and coordinate an all-of-government response to pandemic threats. That’s why the bill I wrote with former Senator Burr established the new Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response, and I’m glad the White House is launching this critical office today and announcing the excellent selection of Major General Paul Fredrichs to lead it. This is important forward progress, and I am going to continue following closely to ensure my PREVENT Pandemics Act is implemented effectively and lives up to its name.”
Earlier this month, as Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Murray also worked to ensure the new office is fully funded in the Senate’s relevant draft funding bill, which was passed out of Committee in a unanimous vote.
Read more about the PREVENT Pandemics Act HERE.