(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin along with Representatives David Trone and Jamie Raskin (all D-Md.) applauded the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) decision to approve the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick to return to full operational capacity. This clearance will allow USAMRIID to resume conducting their full scope of research on infectious diseases during this crucial time.
“USAMRIID conducts vital research on the spread and containment of infectious diseases. As we continue to battle the coronavirus outbreak, ensuring their ability to work at full capacity is more important now than ever. We fought hard to restore funding withheld from USAMRIID by the Defense Department and to ensure they had the resources necessary to receive CDC approval and get back up to full operational status. We will continue working to support USAMRIID’s crucial mission,” said Senator Van Hollen.
“The capabilities of USAMRIID are unique and their work has long supported our national security and public health. During the current COVID-19 outbreak, it is a relief to have USAMRIID fully operational, and it should quickly receive the funding and resources needed to tackle COVID-19 and other threats to our nation,” said Senator Cardin.
“The highly skilled workforce at Fort Detrick has been invaluable during the novel coronavirus outbreak, immediately stepping into action to use their world-renowned capabilities to fight COVID-19,” said Congressman David Trone. “The coronavirus outbreak only emphasizes the absolute necessity to fully fund USAMRIID and the work of the scientist and staff in a sustained model for years to come.”
“The scientists and researchers at Fort Detrick have been on the frontlines of our nation’s battle with the coronavirus pandemic and I feel a tremendous sense of relief knowing that USAMRIID is returning to its full operational capacity,” said Congressman Raskin. “As the spread of COVID-19 has made all too apparent, the study of infectious diseases needs to remain a central pillar of our national security strategy and we must all do our part to ensure that USAMRIID has the resources needed to keep our country safe.”
Per USAMRIID, since 1969, the Institute has served as the Department of Defense (DoD)’s lead laboratory for medical biological defense research. USAMRIID protects the warfighter from biological threats and investigates disease outbreaks and threats to public health. Research conducted at USAMRIID leads to therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics, and information that benefit both military personnel and civilians. USAMRIID is currently providing assistance in the response to the coronavirus outbreak as part of the DoD’s Global Emerging Infectious Surveillance program. USAMRIID is also duplicating samples of the coronavirus for vaccine development and sending reagents to detect for coronavirus to DoD labs worldwide. USAMRIID also provided critical research in the fight against Ebola, and its efforts are still being used in the treatment and containment of that disease.