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WATCH: Health officials testify on lessons from COVID-19 and preparing for future pandemics

The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing June 23 on lessons learned from COVID-19 and preparing for future pandemics.

Watch the hearing in the video player above.

The committee heard from a number of doctors and health officials, including Utah Gov. Michael O. Leavitt, a former secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Tennessee Senator and HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander recently released a white paper outlining five recommendations for Congress to prepare for future pandemics based on lessons learned from COVID-19, as well as the past 20 years of pandemic planning.

They include:

  1. Accelerating research and development of tests, treatments and vaccines
  2. Expanding ability to detect, identify, model and track emerging infectious diseases
  3. Rebuilding and maintaining federal and state stockpiles and improving medical supply surge capacity and distribution
  4. Improving state and local capacity to respond to public health crises
  5. Improving coordination of federal agencies during a public health emergency

“Even with an event as significant as COVID-19, memories fade and attention moves quickly to the next crisis. That makes it imperative that Congress act on needed changes this year in order to better prepare for the next pandemic,” Alexander said in a statement outlining the recommendations.

READ MORE: ‘The system wasn’t designed to ramp up to millions.’ Here’s why U.S. is struggling with coronavirus testing

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