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Dear Chair Murray and Ranking Member Burr:

The undersigned organizations, institutions, and companies representing a broad range of scientific, public health, and clinical professionals, write to express our support for S. 3534, the Tracking Pathogens Act, and thank you for incorporating this bill text into Title II, Section 212 of the PREVENT Pandemics Act discussion draft under consideration in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Significantly boosting U.S. genetic surveillance and viral sequencing is key to moving beyond the COVID- 19 pandemic and effectively responding to future challenges not only associated with novel and evolving infectious diseases, but also seasonal threats, antimicrobial resistance and foodborne pathogens.

The emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant underscores the need for sustained investments to bolster sequencing capacity to identify, track, and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 strains. We are especially pleased that the bill builds on the work initiated under the American Rescue Plan by supporting and enhancing existing genomic sequencing and surveillance activities, supporting continued partnerships between public health entities and the broader academic research and clinical laboratory ecosystem, and codifying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Centers of Excellence in Genomic Sequencing and Molecular Epidemiology. The bill also ensures this work can be sustained by setting forth a strong, multi-year funding authorization level of $175 million for the Advanced Molecular Detection (AMD) program at the CDC. This investment, which will ensure that we are far better prepared for future outbreaks, is long overdue.

Since 2014, the AMD program has employed next generation sequencing (NGS) to bring the concept of precision medicine to bear for “precision public health.” AMD has given us new tools to detect disease faster, identify outbreaks sooner, and protect people and the food supply from emerging and evolving disease threats. The Tracking Pathogens Act will ensure that this critical work can continue now and into the future.

We thank you for your leadership and support for Senator Baldwin’s and Senator Cassidy’s Tracking Pathogens Act, an important provision of the HELP Committee’s bipartisan PREVENT Pandemics Act discussion draft. We look forward to working with you and your colleagues to sustain robust pathogen genomic surveillance through CDC’s AMD program and its partnerships.



American Association for Clinical Chemistry

American Association of Bioanalysts

American Institute of Biological Sciences

American Medical Technologists

American Public Health Association

American Society for Clinical Pathology

American Society for Microbiology

American Society for Virology

American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology

Association of American Medical Colleges

Association of Molecular Pathology

Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health Biophysical Society

Clear Labs

Coalition for the Life Sciences

College of American Pathologists

Emory University

Gingko Bioworks


HIV Medicine Association


Infectious Diseases Society of America


National Independent Laboratory Association

Pacific Biosciences


Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America

The Gerontological Society of America

The Jackson Laboratory

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Trust for America's Health

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health

UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine