Reps. Yoho and Schrader Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to Improve Public Health Preparedness
Washington, D.C. - Today, Reps. Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) introduced the bipartisan Advancing Emergency Preparedness Through One Health Act. This legislation would improve public health preparedness in the event of an emergency by helping federal agencies implement a “One Health” approach. The One Health concept recognizes that the health of people is connected to the health of animals and the environment.
“Coordination between government agencies is essential to address, analyze, and eliminate zoonotic outbreaks. As one of three veterinarians in the Congress, I am honored to join Rep. Kurt Schrader in the bipartisan effort to better prepare and prevent human and animal health emergencies,” said Rep. Ted Yoho, one of three veterinarians currently serving in the United States Congress. “The Advancing Emergency Preparedness Through One Health Act is a commonsense, bicameral effort to safeguard against the potentially devastating disease outbreaks between animals and humans.”
“As veterinarians, we are uniquely able to recognize the connections between animal and human health, “said Rep. Kurt Schrader, one of three veterinarians currently serving in the United States Congress. “Diseases like rabies, salmonella, West Nile Virus, and avian flu are all examples of diseases that are seen in animals before humans and can be fatal in both. Improving coordination and communication between veterinarians who work with animals every day and federal agencies who can respond to health outbreaks would no doubt have lifesaving consequences.”
Studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that six out of ten infectious diseases were seen in animals before humans. This legislation would significantly improve coordination between veterinarians and doctors by requiring the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to implement a One Health model.
"The Infectious Diseases Society of America is pleased to endorse the Advancing Emergency Preparedness Through One Health Act, said Dr. Cindy Sears, President of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. “Humans, animals, and the environment interact more than ever before, and a One Health approach is necessary to develop effective solutions to many infectious disease threats. IDSA greatly appreciates that this bill aims to ensure our nation has the necessary workforce, coordination, and expertise to address disease threats in human or animal populations."
“Veterinarians work on the front lines of disease outbreaks and know firsthand the importance of One Health, and how animal health, public health, and the environment are all connected. We’re grateful to Representatives Schrader and Yoho for their work to advance our capabilities in this area and help us better prepare for and prevent disease outbreaks that can affect humans and animals alike,” said Dr. John de Jong, President of the American Veterinary Medical Association.