May 12, 2020
ASTRO has joined 120 organizations in signing a letter to congressional leadership urging the inclusion of at least $2 billion of bridge funding in future COVID-19 relief legislation to assure the future viability of stalled research projects supported by non-profit organizations, voluntary health associations, science societies, and foundations. The organizations detail their role as the fourth largest contributor for U.S. medical and health research and development expenditures, investing at least $6-7 billion each year. Their investments help advance biomedical research and disease knowledge, translate biomedical research into novel therapies, and support scientists to ensure a robust scientific workforce. With the decreases in revenue that these organizations are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their ability to fund research has been severely impacted. Consequently, ongoing research and clinical trials have been brought to a stand-still. With costs associated with resuming this research being unbudgeted expenses and not prioritized due to current economic burden, many important research projects may be abandoned. This will cause a gap in progress and in the research workforce for years to come. By providing the recommended emergency funding, Congress can ensure that the economic impacts of this pandemic do not further cripple the progress of American innovation.