Marshall, Braun Introduce Legislation to Hold CDC Accountable on Natural Immunity Research
(Washington, D.C., March 14, 2022) – U.S. Senators Roger Marshall, M.D. (KS) and Mike Braun (IN) introduced The Apply the Science Act, legislation that would require the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to evaluate how the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) values scientific evidence on COVID-19 infection-acquired and vaccine-acquired immunity. In addition, the GAO will review how CDC uses scientific evidence in resulting guidance and other public health documents.
“The American people deserve to know how the CDC develops guidance during a public health emergency, and we must leverage the GAO’s expertise and experience as a watchdog government agency,” said Senator Marshall. “I’m proud to partner with Senator Braun on legislation that will ensure federal, state, and local governments are making decisions based on unbiased scientific facts. Only then can we really learn to live with COVID-19 and not have it control our lives.”
“For too long, the effects of natural immunity for COVID have been disparaged and ignored,” said Senator Braun. “It’s due time for the federal government to Apply the Science and conduct a comprehensive study on the impact of natural immunity.”
The Apply the Science Act aims to hold CDC accountable with how it values immunity from prior infection and from vaccination. Specifically, the legislation would require GAO to conduct an evaluation on CDC to assess the current scientific understanding of the duration and effectiveness of COVID–19 immunity resulting from a prior infection, vaccination, or both, including any differences across population groups. In addition, GAO will evaluate the extent to which the CDC makes available the information it’s used to inform its policy decisions related to COVID-19 infection acquired immunity.
Finally, GAO will review the extent to which diagnostic tests that measure immune response can be better utilized in a comprehensive COVID-19 response, especially for high risk patient groups.
Senators Marshall and Braun worked collaboratively with the Senate HELP Committee to include an updated version of their legislation in the bipartisan PREVENT Pandemic Act. Their bill, along with other bills in the Committee package, is scheduled to be marked up on Tuesday, March 15, 2022.