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COVID-19 Relief Package Will Help Prevent Future Pandemics from Wildlife-Diseases

Package Includes Grants to Strengthen Air Quality Monitoring, National Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The COVID-19 relief bill the U.S. Senate passed today makes $105 million in critical and prudent investments in efforts to help prevent future pandemics originating from wildlife diseases. The National Wildlife Federation urged the House to swiftly re-pass the bill, which also includes significant new investments in environmental justice grants and increased funding for national service. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare why we must prevent wildlife diseases from becoming future global pandemics,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “The Biden Administration’s COVID-19 recovery package makes strategic investments in preventing the next global pandemic while also investing in public health programs and economic-recovery efforts. The House should swiftly re-pass this bill and deliver for hardworking Americans and frontline communities hit the hardest by the ongoing pandemic.”

Like more than half of all infectious diseases in people, the global COVID-19 pandemic started after a coronavirus made the leap from wildlife to people in late 2019. The National Wildlife Federation has worked for the past year to highlight the need to invest in domestic and international wildlife disease-monitoring programs to prevent future pandemics.

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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

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