Dec 23, 2021 - Health

Biden signs bill authorizing funding for ALS research and treatment

President Joe Biden signs H.R. 3537, the Accelerating Access to Critical Therapies for ALS Act in the South Court Auditorium of the White House complex December 23, 2021 in Washington, DC.
President Biden signs H.R. 3537, the Accelerating Access to Critical Therapies for ALS Act, in the South Court Auditorium of the White House on Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Biden signed a bill Thursday funding research into neurodegenerative diseases like ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. 

Why it matters: The Accelerating Access to Critical Therapies for ALS Act ensures $100 million annually in federal funding from 2022-2026 to research cures for and the prevention and treatment of the progressive disease that affects cells in the brain and spinal cord.

What he's saying: "For too long there have been no survivors of ALS, but this bill can get us closer to changing that," Biden said.

  • He also praised Republicans and Democrats for coming together to pass the legislation. "When we act together, we get things done. And this is totally — totally, totally a bipartisan effort," Biden said.
  • Biden said the signing of the bill "truly represents the spirit of the season ... a season of hope and light, goodness and grace, and the power of unity in everyday Americans doing extraordinary things." 

Of note: The president signed a separate bill on Thursday banning imports from China's Xinjiang region and punishing the Chinese government for its genocide of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities.

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