Listed below are statements from government officials on LYME and related issues. Those marked (none) have either not yet been contacted or have not responded to inquires. All government officials are encouraged to submit their position on LYME disease. If you have a response from a government official and would like to share such, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Governor Andrew Cuomo (none)
US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (email response)
September 30, 2016
Thank you for writing to me about Lyme and tick-borne diseases and your support for the Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Prevention, Education, and Research Act (S. 1503). I am very concerned about this public health threat, and I agree that there is an urgent need for a strong federal response to Lyme and tick-borne diseases.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States. In 2014, Lyme disease was the fifth most common nationally notifiable disease, and 96 percent of reported cases occurred in just fourteen states, including New York. In 2014, state health departments and the District of Columbia reported over 33,000 confirmed or probable cases of Lyme disease to the CDC, including 3,736 cases in New York. However, the CDC estimates that the total number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease each year is likely ten times the number of reported cases. In addition to Lyme disease, there are thirteen tick-borne diseases spread by nine species of tick in the United States.
The public health threat of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases demands a strong and coordinated federal response. To help achieve this goal, I am an original cosponsor of the Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Prevention, Education, and Research Act (S. 1503). This legislation would establish a Tick-Borne Diseases Advisory Committee within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to bring together patients, advocates, researchers, medical professionals, and government officials to facilitate interagency coordination, identify opportunities for collaboration, and ensure that a broad spectrum of scientific viewpoints are represented in public health policy decisions. In addition, the bill requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the advisory committee, to support activities to strengthen disease surveillance and reporting, develop better diagnostic tools, increase public and physician education related to Lyme disease, explore the development of a safe and effective vaccine, and prepare regular reports to Congress on the progress of efforts to combat these devastating diseases.
As an original co-sponsor of the Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Prevention, Education, and Research Act, I sent a letter in February 2016 to the leadership of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions urging them to pass the bill through their committee so that it can come to the Senate Floor for a vote. In March 2016, I wrote to my colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee requesting that they provide sufficient funding in the upcoming fiscal year to support the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ work related to Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases. To better educate Congressional staff on Lyme disease and the Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Prevention, Education, and Research Act, I co-hosted a briefing in April 2016 along with my colleagues Sens. Blumenthal and Ayotte. I will continue to work with my colleagues and advocate for passage of this important legislation to ensure that the United States takes a strong and coordinated approach to combatting Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.
Thank you again for writing to express your concerns, and I hope that you keep in touch with my office regarding future legislation. For more information on this and other important issues, please visit my website at http://gillibrand.senate.gov and sign up for my e-newsletter.
US Senator Chuck Shumer (email response)
State Senator Joe Griffo (none)
US REP: ELISE STEFANIK (none)
US REP: RICHARD HANNA (none)
NYS Assemblywoman: Claudia Tenney (none)
NYS Assemblyman Marc W. Butler (none)