Representative Paul Gosar Introduces H.R. 8897 FIREBREAK Act

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Washington, December 9, 2020 | Jessica Lycos (202-379-6385) | comments

WASHINGTON D.C. - Today, U.S. Representative Paul Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after introducing The Future Innovations Regarding Essential Biodefense Responses Equipment and Knowledge (FIREBREAK) Act:

“The men and women of our Armed Forces have been at the forefront of this pandemic. The FIREBREAK Act will give our military the tools that they need to stay safe during a future pandemic and will also provide a rapidly developed response needed to prevent economic shutdown and save human lives. As Westerners, we know the crucial role that firebreaks play in containing wildfires. Containing the spread of pandemics should be no different,” said Congressman Paul Gosar.

Background: The FIREBREAK Act would direct the Secretary of Defense to carry out a program for the development of rapid and cost-effective countermeasures to pandemics. This legislation would continue the work of DARPA’s Pandemic Prevention Platform (P3). DARPA’s P3 program supports military readiness and stability through the pursuit of novel methods to dramatically accelerate discovery, integration, pre-clinical testing, and manufacturing of countermeasures against infectious diseases. This program confronts the reality that Department of Defense personnel are often among the first exposed to outbreaks of diseases with pandemic potential around the world, such as our troops stationed in the Pacific when the current pandemic emerged. Making the P3 program permanent will ensure that we are prepared to defend our troops against any disease.

The term “firebreak” is used by DARPA to describe a rapid epidemic response capability that would allow enough time for vaccine development, for those who choose to take it, and deployment against future pandemics. The FIREBREAK Act would provide additional biological protection to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. The research and products facilitated by this program will provide domestic security, which will make our communities safe and keep case numbers low to prevent economic shutdowns. In doing so, we can protect our small businesses and keep our families safe.

A copy of the bill text can be read HERE.

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