(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) today joined Reps. Jared Huffman (CA-02), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), and Diana DeGette (CO-01) in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services urging the agency to prioritize science and public health by waiving the restrictions on research with human fetal tissue, which are preventing federally-funded scientists from advancing important studies to potentially prevent, treat, or cure the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The members wrote, “You have repeatedly stated that your agency is doing everything you can to develop vaccines and treatments for the novel coronavirus. However, in June 2019 your agency banned all intramural research using human fetal tissue and placed new restrictions on extramural research, including review by an ethics panel that still has yet to be set up. As a result, scientists at the National Institute of Health (NIH) and across the country have been stopped from pursuing promising biomedical research into conditions and diseases that affect millions because it involves the use of human fetal tissue—including coronavirus research.”

The letter was also signed by Ted Deutch (FL-22), Lois Frankel (FL-21), Jesús G. “Chuy” Garcia (IL-04), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Pramilla Jayapal (WA-07), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Mark Pocan (WI-02), and Jackie Speier (CA-14).

The full letter can be found here.