American medical research, a crown jewel of the world scientific community, faces a profound crisis in the age of COVID-19. Without policy changes by the federal government, the academic biomedical research sector could be hobbled for years to come and could lose its competitive edge to other nations.
Over the past six months, medical researchers have been battered by a triple blow. First, most clinical trials in the United States came to a halt to protect participants and staff from COVID-19 infection. Then, academic hospitals and medical centers, financially crippled by the pandemic, dramatically cut back on research funding. Finally, the Trump Administration stopped issuing visas to foreign scientists, cutting off a wellspring of talent on which American research teams depend.
“It is the most turbulent time for academic biomedical and clinical research you