Armed with knowledge of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, local health leaders joined with Congresswoman Lori Trahan Monday during a roundtable discussion of a proposed renewal of a law to guard against future “public health emergencies involving chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear agents, as well as emerging infectious disease threats.”
Dr. Guy Fish, Greater Lawrence Family Health Center CEO and president, and Robin Hynds, Lawrence General Hospital executive vice president and chief operating officer, were part of a larger group that met with Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary Kate Walsh and Trahan, co-chair and co-founder of the Pandemic Preparedness Caucus.
“There is simply no excuse for us to get caught flat-footed by another pandemic like COVID-19. We must apply the lessons learned over the past three years to ensure we’re better prepared to prevent another infectious disease outbreak in the future–and that’s exactly what our conversation today was about,” said Trahan. She advocated for renewal of the Pandemics and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, a law that enables development and “efficient and rapid deployment” of medical products. The current law expires at the end of September.
“In the early days of COVID-19, there was no playbook guiding our pandemic response. In the three years since, we have learned a lot about multi-sector partnership, effective leadership and necessary preparedness measures,” said Walsh. “We must build on what we’ve learned to ensure that we are equipped to respond to any future disasters.”