The start of the new administration and new Congress is an opportunity to come together to end the pandemic and rebuild the economy in a way that’s more resilient, more dynamic, and more inclusive.
But there’s no time to waste—and how we approach the next 100 days will set the course.
BIO released 100 Days of Innovation, which outlines six priorities for the next few months. Read our topline recommendations below, or dive deeper.
1. Ensure a speedy transition and an expedited Senate confirmation process for agency leadership critical to advancing public health, nutrition, and environmental goals.
Already, BIO has called for quick confirmation of key appointees, including Tom Vilsack for Agriculture Secretary, Michael Regan for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, and Katherine Tai for U.S. Trade Representative.
2. Reengage as a leader on the world stage, including rejoining the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Paris Climate Accords.
Check! The Biden administration recommitted to WHO and the Paris Climate Accords on Day One, and BIO applauded the decision to join the COVAX Facility and ACT Accelerator.
(Read what else to expect during the Biden administration’s first 100 days.)
3. Develop and approve more vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics to prevent and treat COVID-19.
Just one year after the world’s first lockdown, the biotech industry has launched more than 800 R&D programs targeting the coronavirus—with U.S.-based companies leading this innovation.
Read our specific recommendations for what we need to do to continue this trajectory.
4. Promote robust and equitable patient access to COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.
As we’ve explained, we cannot defeat this crisis without equitable access to science—both in the United States and around the world.
It's critical we ensure access to and coverage of COVID-related vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics.
We need a coordinated and well-funded national campaign to build vaccine confidence and facilitate vaccination, particularly in minority communities and among essential workers. (BIO’s leading the way with COVIDVaccineFacts.org.)
Given COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on communities of color, we also need inclusion of minority groups in clinical trials—for COVID-19 and beyond.
5. Better prepare for future infectious disease outbreaks.
Around 60% of viruses found in humans originated in animals—including SARS-CoV-2, which scientists believe originated in bats.
This is why we need investment in emerging infectious disease preparedness and R&D as well as a “One Health” approach across the government.
6. Drive economic revival and resiliency through adoption of advanced biotechnology solutions.
Biotech is developing breakthrough solutions to address climate change and nutrition—from low-carbon fuels, to biobased plastics and chemicals, to gene editing techniques that allow us to ensure our food is more sustainable and resilient in the face of climate threats.
But there are six specific things we need to do to grow the bioeconomy—and in turn, the American economy.
President Biden took "sweeping" action on climate and the bioeconomy with several executive orders. They include a climate change order focused on optimizing federal programs to encourage the adoption of climate-smart ag practices to reduce carbon and create new sources of income and jobs for rural Americans. The executive orders also focus on rebuilding infrastructure and advancing conservation, prioritizing environmental justice, streamlining permits for renewable energy, and ending fossil fuel subsidies—and the important role bioproducts and sustainable fuels play in this effort.
Dr. Michelle’s Diagnosis: Science—and scientific solutions—are the way out of this pandemic and developing solutions for climate change. We remain committed to ushering in new waves of biomedical innovation and working with federal, state, and local partners to defeat the coronavirus and position ourselves for a stronger and more resilient future. – BIO President and CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath
We’ll be reviewing our progress and next steps during the BIO Digital Convention in June.
Dive deeper into our 100 days blueprint.
More Health Care News:
Biopharma Dive: Lilly allies with Vir, GSK as coronavirus variants raise concerns
“Eli Lilly, Vir Biotechnology, and GlaxoSmithKline will team up in an unusual alliance to evaluate two of their COVID-19 antibody drugs together as a combination treatment.”
GatesNotes: The year global health went local
In their annual letter, Bill and Melinda Gates “write about two areas we see as essential to building that better future: prioritizing equity and getting ready for the next pandemic.”
The Washington Post: Millions earmarked for public health emergencies were used to pay for unrelated projects, inspector general says
“Staff called the agency the ‘bank of BARDA’ and said research and development funds were regularly tapped for unrelated projects, including salaries and the removal of office furniture, the report finds.”
More Agriculture and Environment News:
Fast Company: This startup wants to make gluten-free bread tasty—and peanuts less dangerous
“Ukko, the company, uses artificial intelligence to figure out which proteins in gluten are triggering the immune system. Then it uses CRISPR Cas-9, a genetic editing technique, to remove the problem.”