- Testimony of
Robert M. Califf, M.D., MACC
Chairs McMorris Rodgers and Guthrie, Ranking Members Pallone and Eshoo, and distinguished members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify before you to discuss the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s or the Agency’s) efforts to prepare for the 2023 reauthorization of the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had to overcome real challenges while responding to the once-in-a-century COVID-19 pandemic and other recent emergencies, including the infant formula shortage, mpox, and Hurricanes Ian and Fiona. Similar challenges in the future will be even harder to effectively address without appropriate additional authorities, flexibilities, and funding as requested in the FY 2024 President’s Budget. Together, the proposals my colleagues and I will discuss today will help bridge key gaps and barriers to enable a robust and timely response to future emergencies—by enhancing early detection; safe, effective, and accessible Medical Countermeasures and other supplies; response and health system capacity; and recovery and other supports. These proposals complement the discretionary funding and $20 billion mandatory funding requested across HHS public health agencies to prepare for biological threats.
The last three years of the COVID-19 pandemic underscore the need to continue to optimize our preparedness and response capabilities. The Agency’s continued preparedness for, and capabilities to respond to, public health emergencies and disease threats such as COVID-19, mpox, respiratory syncytial virus, and pandemic influenza have been strengthened by Congress’ support of our work. Our efforts are in close coordination and collaboration with our partners, both within HHS and across the federal government, to help facilitate the development, authorization, licensure, approval, clearance, and availability of critical, safe, and effective medical products and help ensure the continuity of the food supply to address current and future public health threats. We look forward to continuing work with you this Congress to ensure future readiness.