The United States’ top infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci on Tuesday called for sustained government support for Filipino scientists as he recognized their contributions to medicine science.
Lauding their work in the global fight against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and tuberculosis (TB), Fauci said support from Philippine authorities is key to making sure local researchers remain competitive.
“This support is the necessary foundation to attract funding from outside the country... It is also an essential element for economic vitality and growth," he said during the National Academy of Science and Technology's (NAST) annual scientific meeting.
As director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Fauci rose to worldwide popularity as he remained a steadfast advocate of evidence-based pandemic response throughout the country's tumultuous fight against COVID-19.
Noting the capabilities of "talented Filipino scientists", Fauci said support for research institutions is even more pivotal, as biomedical research is fundamental to pandemic preparedness and effective outbreak response.
“Among the important lessons we have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is that sustained biomedical research is essential to global well-being, as manifested by the successful development of effective vaccines against SARS-CoV-2,” he said.
The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine for example, the country's national reference lab for infectious diseases which NIAID earlier dubbed as a “center of excellence", should get continued assistance, said Fauci.
“Hopefully, this institution and others will continue to receive Philippine government support so that they remain competitive for both funding and talent,” he said.