(a) In general
The Secretary shall—
(A) ensure the development and implementation of a national strategy to address vector-borne diseases, including tick-borne diseases, that—
(i) identifies and assesses gaps and any unnecessary duplication in federally-funded programs; and
(ii) identifies strategic goals to address such diseases and appropriate benchmarks to measure progress toward achieving such goals; and
(B) update such strategy, as appropriate; and
(2) coordinate programs and activities, including related to data collection, research, and the development of diagnostics, treatments, vaccines, and other related activities, to address vector-borne diseases, including tick-borne diseases, across the Department of Health and Human Services and with other Federal agencies or departments, as appropriate.
In carrying out subsection (a)(1), the Secretary shall consult with the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group established under section 284s of this title and other individuals, as appropriate, such as—
(1) epidemiologists with experience in vector-borne diseases;
(2) representatives of patient advocacy and research organizations that focus on vector-borne diseases, including such organizations that have demonstrated experience in related research, public health, data collection, or patient access to care;
(3) health information technology experts or other information management specialists;
(4) clinicians, entomologists, vector management professionals, public health professionals, and others with expertise in vector-borne diseases; and
(5) researchers, including researchers with experience conducting translational research.
(c) Centers of excellence
The Secretary, in coordination with the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shall award grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements to institutions of higher education for the establishment or continued support of regional centers of excellence in vector-borne diseases to address vector-borne diseases, including tick-borne diseases, by—
(1) facilitating collaboration between academia and public health organizations for public health surveillance, prevention, and response activities related to vector-borne diseases, including tick-borne diseases;
(2) providing training for public health entomologists and other health care professionals, as appropriate, to address vector-borne diseases, including tick-borne diseases;
(3) conducting research to develop and validate prevention and control tools and methods, including evidence-based and innovative, evidence-informed tools and methods to anticipate and respond to disease outbreaks; or
(4) preparing for and responding to outbreaks of vector-borne diseases, including tick-borne diseases.
To be eligible to receive a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement under subsection (c), an entity shall submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require, including a description of how the entity will conduct the activities described in such subsection.
(1) Program summary
An entity receiving an award under subsection (c) shall, not later than one year after receiving such award, and annually thereafter, submit to the Secretary a summary of programs and activities funded under the award.
(2) Progress report
Not later than 4 years after December 20, 2019, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives, a report on the progress made in addressing vector-borne diseases, including tick-borne diseases, through activities carried out under this section.
(f) Authorization of appropriations
For the purpose of carrying out this section, there are authorized to be appropriated $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2021 through 2025.