Donovan Joins Congressional Lyme Disease Caucus
Washington, DC – February 5, 2018….Congressman Dan Donovan (NY-11) announced today that he joined the Congressional Lyme Disease Caucus, chaired by Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-4) and Rep. Collin Peterson (MN-7). The bipartisan group of lawmakers works together on policies to improve research, treatment, and awareness of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. The caucus has successfully advocated for Lyme research funding through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program and actively works with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the issue. Congressman Donovan joined the caucus after numerous meetings and conversations with Staten Island resident Bob Sabatino, a local Lyme disease advocate.
Congressman Donovan said, “Tick-borne diseases are only getting worse in our community. The medical field has a lot of work to do, but they need lawmakers to deliver the required resources and right policies. I thank Bob Sabatino for working with me so diligently, and I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues in the Lyme disease caucus to deliver solutions to this growing health crisis.”
Bob Sabatino, Founder of Lyme Society, Inc., said, "We are very pleased that Congressman Donovan (NY-11) has decided to join the Lyme Disease Caucus. His previous advocacy, including his work to help pass the 21st Century Cures Act, which established the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group, has already given new hope to patients. We look forward to seeing more strides being made in the coming years.”
According to data from the CDC, Richmond County and Kings County had a combined total of 115 reported Lyme disease cases from 2000-2003. That number grew to 1,541 reported cases between 2013 and 2016.
Joining the caucus is Congressman Donovan’s latest action to help experts and federal agencies combat tick-borne diseases. In late 2016, with Donovan’s support, Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act, which mandated a Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Working Group at the CDC.
In August of 2017, Congressman Donovan and Assemblyman Ron Castorina called attention to a startling number of severe tick-borne diseases apparently traceable to a South Shore park. He also cosponsored legislation creating a pilot program at the CDC to establish a tick identification initiative.
In November of 2017, together with Rep. John Faso (NY-19), Donovan cosponsored the Lyme Disease Research Stamp Act. The legislation creates a semipostal stamp whose proceeds go to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for Lyme disease research.