The global COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted our lives. In a matter of months, it has changed the way we work, the way we shop, and the way we interact with our families, friends, and neighbors. It has also had a devastating impact on public health, with deaths due to the virus exceeding 100,000 people in the U.S. alone, and long-term impairment among survivors.
Investment in medical research is imperative, not just in developing a vaccine for COVID-19, but for the development of treatments and cures for patients with cancer. For a joint virtual day of action on Friday, June 5, AACI and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) have drafted a letter for our associations' members to share with their representatives. The letter builds on AACI's previous request for increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in fiscal year (FY) 2021, with additional requests related to COVID-19.
Research labs across the country have been closed and operations have been severely impacted by COVID-19. To jumpstart critically important research, including clinical trials, we ask that Congress include at least $10 billion for the NIH in the next COVID-19 supplemental funding package. For FY 2021 appropriations, we are asking for $44.7 billion in NIH funding, which is a $3 billion increase from FY 2020. We are also asking for $6.9 billion in funding for the NCI, which will further the mission of the NCI to conduct and support cancer research across our nation.