APA joined more than 350 organizations for the September Rally for Medical Research. APA, a sponsor of the annual event, supported six psychological scientists who joined nearly 500 participants in attending more than 300 virtual meetings or conference calls with members of Congress. They also participated in the Virtual Reception to Celebrate Medical Research held the previous day and featured National Institutes of Health (NIH) director Francis Collins, MD, PhD. Congressional champions, including Reps. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Tom Cole, R-Okla., and Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., among others, made remarks.
Supporting the rally, APA Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Acting Chief Scientific Officer Jim Diaz-Granados, PhD, noted the immense and growing mental health ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic. “It is essential that we prepare for the long-term consequences of COVID-19. APA, in solidarity with other science organizations, urges Congress to provide the NIH with sustained, predictable funding to support the necessary research addressing the long-lasting implications of the collective trauma facing the population. Research supported by NIH has never been so critical to the recovery and success of our nation,” said Diaz-Granados.
The rally, established in 2013, has contributed to the momentum needed to keep NIH research a priority for Congress. The NIH’s budget has seen an $11.6 billion increase (39%) in funding since Fiscal Year (FY) 2016.
In their meetings, rally participants thanked members of Congress and their staff for providing five straight years of robust funding increases for the agency, including the $2.6 billion increase in FY 2020 funding. The community also thanked Congress for recognizing NIH’s vital role in addressing COVID-19.
Participants urged Congress to provide at least $44.7 billion ($3 billion increase) in funding to NIH’s base budget in FY 2021, funding that is essential to support “the opportunities for life-saving medical research we have today” and to maintain the momentum provided from previous investments in the agency. The groups also urged Congress to exempt NIH from the FY 2021 budget caps and to provide “at least $15.5 billion in emergency supplemental funding for NIH in the next COVID-19 relief package.” This funding would support research impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and provide support for ongoing COVID-19 research.
For more information, contact Angela L. Sharpe, MG.