Commentary: Changing of the Guard
When I woke up Wednesday morning (01/06/10) to learn that Senator Dodd would not seek reelection for the Senate, it felt like I was kicked in the stomach. One of our strongest Lyme proponents in Washington is not seeking reelection for his senate seat.
For years now, he has worked diligently with various Lyme organizations like “Time for Lyme” in Greenwich, CT, and the Lyme Disease Association. His efforts have helped bring awareness of this epidemic to the CDC and countless others. He is also responsible for several Health related legislative efforts including:
- Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Prevention, Education and Research Act of 2009
The bill would require that the Secretary of Health and Human Services establish a Tick-Borne Diseases Advisory Committee within the Office of the Secretary to address tick-borne diseases with other Federal agencies and private organizations.
- The Lyme and Tick-borne Disease Prevention, Education and Research Act of 2007
Would create an Advisory Committee to better fight Lyme disease, and would provide $20 million per year for research, education, prevention, and treatment of this often debilitating disease.
- U.S. Senate bill to establish funding for Lyme disease research, education and prevention of 2003
Not having this strong veteran advocate in Washington fighting on our behalf is a major loss. But as we have seen in the past, politicians have had even greater successes in retirement.
Fortunately, Attorney General Blumenthal, another Lyme advocate, announced that he intends to run for Senator Dodd’s seat.
Having both Senator Dodd and Attorney General Blumenthal was a powerful duo. Between them we have made major strides. But, it has been a long and devastating decade, so I am remaining optimistic about the future.