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American Lung Association starts $25M initiative to fight coronavirus, prevent future pandemics

COVID-19 Action Initiative will fund coronavirus grants for preventive research, vaccines and other projects.

HOUSTON — Editor's Note: Above video shows what two doctors at UTMB Galveston are doing to help save the lives of coronavirus patients.

The American Lung Association is launching a $25 million initiative to end COVID-19 and defend against future respiratory virus pandemics. 

The COVID-19 Action Initiative will be used to expand the association’s ongoing respiratory research program, enhance key public health measures, and establish an advanced network to stop future respiratory virus pandemics.

“The association has always played a key role in managing respiratory viruses ranging from our work with influenza to funding basic research on understanding COVID-19,” American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer said. 

ALA plans to work with public and private entities to increase research collaboration and develop new vaccines, detection tests and treatment therapies.

The fund will help to expand COVID-19 research within the current clinical trials of the Airways Clinical Research Center Network

The organization said it will fund coronavirus awards and grants for preventive research, vaccines, antivirals and to advance future outbreak preparedness. And it wil provide ACRC pilot grants to evaluate the effect of COVID-19 on patients with chronic lung disease.

ALA is also raising funds to increase a research commitment, the Lung Association will allocate funds to education and advocacy to support public health against the current and future threats of COVID-19 and respiratory viruses.

“More than 36 million people in the U.S. suffer from lung disease, which places them at higher risk for experiencing complications of COVID-19, making it even more critical that we urgently work on reducing its impact,” Wimmer said. “Our Association was founded on the principle of using education, advocacy and research to eradicate tuberculosis, and we will use those same principles to ensure our nation can address today’s pandemic and is prepared for future lung infections like COVID-19.”