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Sens. Cruz, Coons, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Enhance Medical Partnerships with Israel, Lessen U.S. Dependence on China

WASHINGTON, D.C - U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with Sens. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today introduced the Expanding Medical Partnerships with Israel to Lessen Dependence on China Act, legislation to enhance partnerships between companies in the U.S. and Israel to develop innovative medical projects aimed at detecting, treating, and curing COVID-19 and lessen U.S. dependence on China for life-saving medications and treatments.

"Our dependence on China for life-saving medications and treatments is deeply problematic," Sen. Cruz said. "We're now seeing leaders of the Chinese Communist Party - in the midst of a public health crisis they allowed to go global and endanger millions - threaten to withhold life-saving medical supplies and medications from the United States. By expanding partnerships with Israel - an ally and a global leader in medicine - to develop coronavirus treatments, this legislation is a common sense step to address that threat."

"The United States and Israel are leaders in the medical technology industry, and our cooperation on health technologies to fight COVID-19 can help all Americans, Israelis, and the rest of the world fight this deadly disease," Sen. Coons said. "COVID-19 knows no borders, and this bipartisan bill underscores the importance of international collaboration in the face of a truly global pandemic."

"Over the last decade, the U.S. has outsourced to China several capabilities that are critical for our national security and the health of Americans, including pharmaceuticals and basic medicines. This has to stop," Sen. McSally said. "Bolstering our medical partnerships with Israel-a close American ally and global innovator in the health field-will not only reduce dependence on the Chinese government, but will also enhance our efforts to develop coronavirus treatments. This legislation is crucial to the safety and health of Americans."

"In order to tackle a global health crisis like the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. must work closely with our global allies in order to best protect lives," Sen. Rosen said. "This legislation will help us build upon our partnership with Israel in the pursuit of medical innovation, scientific breakthroughs, cutting-edge science, and medicine to benefit both our nations, and the world. I will continue working in Congress to protect the health and well-being of those in Nevada and across our country and to promote a strong U.S.-Israel relationship."

"The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the significant risk of overreliance on any one country for lifesaving medical products," Sen. Collins said. "We should redouble our efforts to work with friendly nations to diversify our medical supply chains. This bipartisan bill would strengthen our partnership with our ally Israel and combine our research and manufacturing efforts to develop new medications and medical products that will help fight COVID-19."

"A global pandemic requires a global response," Sen. Blumenthal said. "The United States should be working closely with Israel and other allies around the world to fight this deadly pandemic. We all benefit from research partnerships among the world's leading doctors and biomedical experts."

"Israel is a world leader in medical innovation whose doctors and scientists are inventing the cures of the future," Sen. Cotton said. "The United States must work with our closest allies like Israel to advance this groundbreaking research and break China's dangerous stranglehold on medical supplies."

"COVID is a global problem, and it will take a coordinated effort with U.S. allies to mount an effective response," Sen. Wyden said. "Israel is one of our closest allies, and a leader in medical research, so it is just common sense to continue to strengthen our partnership on critical cures and treatments."

Read the full text of the legislation here.