In 2014, the United States of America and 30 other countries established the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA). The GHSA was established to help detect, respond to, and prevent infectious diseases. The GHSA works through four mechanisms: member action, action packages, task forces, and international cooperation and standard setting. Member action means that the countries that are a part of the GHSA agree to increase their abilities to detect, respond to, and prevent infectious diseases. Action packages are groups of experts that provide advice and help create plans for how countries can assist. Task forces perform specific projects as directed by the Steering Group. International cooperation and standard setting means that the GHSA hosts meetings to discuss the challenges they are facing and successes they are seeing in improving global health security.
The United States of America has already agreed to be a member and assist with the GHSA. Yet, the U.S. has not established any group to ensure that they are actually meeting their goals with the GHSA. That is where the Global Health Security Act comes in. The Global Health Security Act would establish a council to ensure that the tax dollars of the U.S. are truly being used effectively. This council would provide recommendations on goals, objectives, and productive implementation of policies, and it would review where the U.S. faces challenges with achieving the goals of the GHSA and where the U.S. succeeds in achieving those goals.
The Global Health Security Act is currently sitting in Congress. This bill is the most effective way to respond to and prevent future pandemics. Yet, as of June 16 of 2020, the bill only has 61 co-sponsors of the 435 members of the House of Representatives. Taxpayer dollars are already going toward the Global Health Security Agenda and it is time to ensure that those dollars are being used efficiently. It is time for representatives in Congress to realize the importance of preventing future pandemics and co-sponsor this bill.
Kassidy Grangier, Sellersburg