Quigley Pandemic Prevention Initiatives Included in National Defense Authorization Act
U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) secured key priorities for Chicago in the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), passed today by the House of Representatives. Critically, the bill included two amendments from Quigley based on his Preventing Future Pandemics Act, which will ensure that future zoonotic epidemics can be stopped before they start.
“We must prevent the next pandemic from ever emerging at all. Our economy, our physical and mental well-being, and our very livelihoods depend on it,” said Quigley. “The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted not only our individual health but also the safety of our entire nation. By including key components of the Preventing Future Pandemics Act in the NDAA, we protect our military from threats posed by a global health crisis. The next pandemic can be stopped, and this is a vital first step.”
COVID-19 is just the latest in a long line of zoonotic epidemics such as SARS, MERS, Ebola, HIV/AIDS, and many others that initially emerged from contact with wildlife. By taking steps to shut down commercial wildlife markets, end the trade in live wildlife for human consumption, build international coalitions to reduce the demand for wildlife as food, and deploy attachés to disrupt illegal wildlife trafficking abroad, Quigley’s provisions can help prevent new zoonotic viruses from emerging.
“Taking up these key elements of the Preventing Future Pandemics Act under the National Defense Authorization Act demonstrates yet again the sheer severity and scope of zoonotic disease impacts on our country,” said Sara Amundson, president of Humane Society Legislative Fund. “COVID-19 has not only hit our everyday lives, but also those of military support personnel and troops, with a significant impact on our nation's military readiness. For so many important reasons, we must take the necessary steps to prevent this kind of outbreak from ever happening again. We thank Representatives Quigley, Upton, Khanna and Fitzpatrick for their vision and tenacity for moving this absolutely critical legislation forward.”
In addition to Quigley’s pandemic prevention language, the FY22 NDAA:
- Authorizes $500 million for the relocation of Afghan Special Immigrant Visas and at-risk Afghans
- Criminalizes violent extremism under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and establishes an Office of Countering Extremism to ensure that that extremism finds no place within the Department of Defense
- Includes a $15/hour minimum wage for DOD service and construction contractors who power our defense industrial base
- Makes significant changes to the process for reporting and prosecuting allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment