Advocacy Update: Top Things to Know This Week

August 15, 2023

OMB requests supplemental appropriations to address three sets of critical needs for emergency funding 

On August 10, the Director of the United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Shalanda Young, in a letter to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy stated that the Administration is transmitting a supplemental funding request to the Congress to address three sets of critical needs for emergency funding as part of a potential short-term continuing resolution for the first quarter of FY 2024. In particular, the Administration is requesting supplemental security, economic, and humanitarian assistance funding that would support Ukraine, support communities as they recover from disasters, and reduce the influx of illicit drugs crossing the border.

White House launches Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy

On July 21, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the creation of the Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy (OPPR) to lead and coordinate Federal government efforts to prepare for and respond to future threats. Major General (ret) Paul Friedrichs will serve as the inaugural Director of OPPR and Principal Advisor on Pandemic Preparedness and Response as of August 7, 2023.

State Department launches Bureau of Global Health Security and Diplomacy

On August 1, the State Department announced the launch of a new Bureau of Global Health Security and Diplomacy to fortify the global health security architecture to effectively prevent, detect, control, and respond to infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS. Ambassador-at-Large Dr. John N. Nkengasong, will lead the bureau, serving as Ambassador-at-Large, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, and Senior Bureau Official for Global Health Security and Diplomacy.

PEPFAR launches new initiative to reduce mother-to-child HIV transmission

On August 1, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) announced its intention, subject to the availability of appropriated funds and completion of congressional notification procedures, to launch the Safe Births, Healthy Babies Initiative in 2024. The two-year $40 million PEPFAR effort aims to accelerate progress to eliminate mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) in PEPFAR-supported high HIV-burden countries.

Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo selected to lead NIAID

On August 2, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) named Jeanne M. Marrazzo, M.D., as director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). In this role, Dr. Marrazzo will oversee NIAID’s budget of $6.3 billion, which supports research to advance the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of infectious, immunologic and allergic diseases. Dr. Marrazzo is currently the director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and is expected to begin her role as NIAID Director in the fall. 

Legislation introduced to abolish USAID

On August 1, U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01) introduced a proposal to abolish the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for pushing radical, leftist ideology abroad, instead of engaging in diplomacy and creating international relations consistent with American values. The legislation is co-sponsored by Reps. Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Eli Crane (AZ-02), Paul Gosar (AZ-09), Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA-14), and Anna Paulina Luna (FL-13). The full text of Congressman Gaetz’s bill can be found here.

KFF releases factsheet on the U.S. government and global health security

On July 25, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) released a factsheet on the U.S. government and global health security and noted that the U.S. government has supported global health security work for more than two decades and is the single largest government donor to such efforts. In addition, historically, U.S. funding for global health security has waxed and waned over time, with spikes in funding driven almost entirely by specific disease events, often through emergency spending measures.