As U.S. COVID Deaths Near 1 Million, Survivors Announce Support of the PREVENT Pandemics Act 

PREVENT Pandemics Act Will Investigate Pandemic Response, Ensure U.S. is Prepared for Future Outbreaks

WASHINGTON – COVID Survivors for Change (CSFC) and COVID-19 Loss Support for Family and Friends, nonpartisan networks representing a combined 20,000 COVID survivors nationwide, urged Congress to pass the Prepare for and Respond to Existing Viruses, Emerging New Threats, and Pandemics Act (PREVENT Pandemics Act) ahead of a committee hearing on the bill. COVID survivors are calling on the Senate Health, Education Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee to strengthen the Act’s COVID Task Force, including the following critical elements:

  • Center communities most impacted by the pandemic
  • Require the Task Force to investigate institutions with high COVID infection and death rates, including hospitals, nursing homes, and prisons
  • Adequately fund the Task Force
  • Empower committee members to subpoena witnesses

“When COVID-19 struck in the spring of 2020, my husband and so many other frontline workers and vulnerable members of our communities did not stand a chance,” said Pamela Addison, founder of Young Widows and Widowers of Covid-19, and a member of COVID Survivors for Change in New Jersey whose husband Martin worked in a hospital and died from COVID in April 2020. “Now we know the enormous risks involved in another pandemic. We must invest in understanding exactly what could be done differently, so we can ensure that the tragic loss of life caused by COVID-19 never happens again. One essential piece of this is a strong federal COVID Task Force.”

The PREVENT Pandemics Act, which will be taken up by the Senate HELP Committee on March 15, addresses factors that hindered the government response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The law would strengthen federal and state preparedness, improve public health response capacity, accelerate research, and combat shortage of lifesaving medical supplies. 

“After two years of living in a pandemic, I understand that people want to move on, but we have to also look back at what went wrong. How else can we prepare for the future?” said Sabila Khan, founder of COVID-19 Loss Support for Family and Friends and a member of COVID Survivors for Change. “This is not about assigning blame. It’s about protecting American lives. This Task Force will share the hard-won lessons of health experts, frontline communities, and survivors like me who are organizing for change. Our voice is essential to our nation’s future preparedness.”

Nearly 1 million Americans have died as a result of the pandemic, and millions more are still suffering from debilitating symptoms months, and in some cases years, after their COVID-19 diagnosis. The PREVENT Pandemics Act establishes a COVID-19 Task Force to examine the pandemic response at the state, local, and federal levels. Task Force members would be appointed by Congress and provide live-saving recommendations to the Administration and Congress.

“Nearly 1 million Americans have died from COVID-19, and too many of their deaths were largely preventable,” said Chris Kocher, executive director of COVID Survivors for Change. “Families affected by COVID-19, including the millions who still suffer from lingering symptoms, deserve answers and accountability from the lawmakers whom we elect and trust to protect us. We’ve waited nearly two years for lawmakers in Washington to set aside their differences and prioritize families impacted by this devastating virus. We are thankful Congress is moving toward ensuring that no one has to experience the horror of losing a loved one to COVID-19 again. By establishing a well resourced COVID Task Force with the right mission empowered to carry it out, this bill could be a gamechanger for future pandemic preparedness.” 

The PREVENT Pandemics Act has gained bipartisan support in the Senate over the last several weeks of bipartisan negotiations.

COVID Survivors for Change is a nationwide community of survivors fighting for a stronger pandemic response to save lives by supporting survivors, remembering those who have died, and advocating for public health measures to prevent future pandemics. We do this by offering trauma-informed resources and programs, sharing and amplifying survivor stories, and taking action to bring about legislative and cultural change. Our volunteers are active in all 50 states, have trained more than 700 COVID survivors on advocacy and self-care, and have provided more than 2,100 hours of support with mental health professionals. Learn more at, and follow us on Facebook at or on Twitter at @SurvivorsChange.