Not all heroes wear capes—some wear lab coats

April 16, 2020
It’s Thursday. Today, we look at how America’s biotech industry is tackling both the coronavirus and climate change—and why large-scale global action is possible on both, in about 770 words, just under 4 minutes.
BIO

It’s Thursday. Today, we look at how America’s biotech industry is tackling both the coronavirus and climate change—and why large-scale global action is possible on both, in about 770 words, just under 4 minutes.

Not all heroes wear capes—some wear lab coats

 
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That’s the message from BIO President & CEO Jim Greenwood in an op-ed for the Milken Institute about why we need to support America’s life sciences industry right now. 

We all must do our part to protect our colleagues and slow the transmission of this deadly virus – just like Merck’s Dr. Ali is doing in London.  

At the same time, the world is looking to biotech’s scientists and researchers to develop the diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines urgently needed to eradicate COVID-19, says Jim.

BIO is ensuring our industry has the resources, tools, and best practices it needs to move forward as safely as possible:

And while it’s all-hands-on-deck to tackle COVID-19, we also remain steadfast in our commitment to research and develop new medicines to prevent, treat, and cure disease in all forms, he explains.

Jim’s Judgment: In these trying times, the public is counting on America’s brilliant and dedicated researchers to discover new treatments that will stop the spread of the novel coronavirus and treat those who have been affected. On behalf of the men and women we represent, both the biopharmaceutical industry and BIO accept the challenge, and we won’t rest until this global health threat is eradicated. – BIO President & CEO Jim Greenwood

Read the op-ed on the Milken Institute's website—and share on social media, tagging @IAmBiotech and @JimGreenwood.

 

More Health Care News: 

Axios: Coronavirus vaccines could be ready sooner than expected, says Dr. Fauci
“Anthony Fauci told CBS News Wednesday it's ‘possible to shave a couple of months off’ his earlier projection that it would take 12-18 months until a novel coronavirus vaccine would be widely available. But he cautioned he didn't want to over-promise and it's ‘premature’ to discuss vaccine trials' data ‘except to say there have been no glitches.’” 

STAT: Scientists tap CRISPR’s search-and-detect skills to create a rapid COVID-19 test
“The test takes roughly 40 minutes, compared with four to six hours for traditional PCR-based COVID-19 tests, which are currently being used. But the test also appears to produce false-negatives slightly more often than existing coronavirus tests.” 

The Washington Post: Chaotic search for coronavirus treatments undermines efforts, experts say
“Researchers working around-the-clock describe a lack of a centralized national strategy, overlapping efforts, an array of small-scale trials that will not lead to definitive answers and no standards for how to prioritize efforts, what data to collect or how to share it to get to answers faster.”

 
 
 
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Coronavirus shows global response to climate change is possible

The global response to the coronavirus has been unprecedented—and after we slow the spread and develop a vaccine to mitigate it, we need the same kind of global response to tackle climate change, writes BIO’s Cornelia Poku in a blog post.

Despite greater awareness about climate change, “countries have still not been able to band together and take sweeping collective action to stop or slow the impacts,” she writes

But if we don’t, we not only harm the planet, but also put ourselves at greater risk of another pandemic. There’s a clear link between climate change and zoonotic diseases like SARS, MERS, Zika, Ebola, and now, COVID-19—and a high probability new zoonotic diseases will emerge as the earth gets hotter.

But as we’ve learned through the coronavirus crisis, action on a large scale is possible and can happen swiftly. 

And we can learn from the biotech industry, and how it’s tackling both the coronavirus and climate change, as she explains. 

Read the whole thing to learn how.

 

More Agriculture & Environment News: 

POLITICO: Too much meat, hungry Americans: Tough choices in food supply
“It also illustrates the conflicting challenges of keeping employees on the front lines in close quarters healthy while keeping food flowing to grocery stores, food banks and other distributors.” 

South China Morning Post: Economic havoc wreaked by coronavirus has likely throttled US-China trade deal, experts say
“China’s high debt levels and likely GDP contraction will make it nearly impossible for Beijing to fulfill its buying commitments.”

 
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President Trump’s Thursday: Lots of calls today—G7 leaders, members of the House and Senate, and Governors. Meanwhile, Speaker Pelosi says Trump’s plan to stop funding WHO “violates the same federal spending laws as the Ukraine aid freeze that partly prompted his impeachment,” reports POLITICO. The Coronavirus Task Force is scheduled to hold a press briefing at 5 PM ET. 

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: Coronavirus recess until at least May 4, though work continues remotely. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin continues to talk with House Democrats about the next phase of relief, while Senate Democrats are seeking $30 billion for national coronavirus testing.

 
 
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