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Dirksen Senate Office Building

Testifying in Congress During a Pandemic

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I testified before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions as part of a hearing titled “Shark Tank: New Tests for COVID-19.” Also testifying was Gary Disbrow (left), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Responses, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We started the hearing wearing masks. But due to some technical difficulties with the sound system, we removed them to elevate our voices, while maintaining good physical distancing. I then presented some of the inspiring efforts now underway to combat the novel coronavirus. That includes the recently launched Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) Initiative and its national technology development competition to increase our nation’s testing capacity. This “shark tank”-like competition is now encouraging science and engineering’s most inventive minds to develop rapid, easy-to-use technologies to test for the presence of SARS-CoV-2. The hearing was held on May 7, 2020 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. Credit: United States Senate


Speaking at Reception to Celebrate Medical Research

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Francis Collins speaking from podium

I enjoyed speaking at the reception for the 6th Annual Rally for Medical Research Hill Day in Washington, D.C. on September 12. The early evening reception, hosted by the American Association for Cancer Research and supported by the nearly 350 partnering organizations, brought together hundreds of people to celebrate the value of medical research. The reception took place in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Credit: Vera LaMarche