By Senator Bill Frist, MD, former Majority Leader, United State Senate, Dr. Harlan M. Krumholz, Harold H. Hines Professor of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, and David Beier, Chief of Domestic Policy, Vice President Al Gore
Every new era in American history demands new tools for economic progress and new definitions of infrastructure. The early 1800s century brought us canals, which opened westward commerce. The late 1800s brought us the transcontinental railroads and land grant colleges, which connected the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and democratized access to higher education. The 20th brought us the interstate highways, the space program and the Human Genome Project, which opened new frontiers for movement, exploration and science. The President’s American Jobs Plan has the potential to be a part of this arc.
Invest in Science for Economic Competitiveness & National Security
As the negotiations in Washington begin in earnest, we want to spotlight a vital piece of the Jobs Plan. Biden’s proposal commits $250 billion to build and strengthen the U.S. research enterprise, applying a framework of equity, diversity, and a focus on American goods and services. It invests hundreds of billions of dollars in research and development to create a healthier climate, better health and high-quality jobs. While not literal roads and bridges, these investments will promote a vibrant and just society. The program has the potential to make the US more competitive in a global market, especially against China, and better protected against biological and cyber threats of the future.
These investments aim to create a carbon neutral economy, expand broadband in underserved and rural communities, establish responsible and ethical civilian and defense uses for artificial intelligence, develop new medicines for the next pandemic and invest $50 billion in new technology spending at the National Science Foundation.
Rooted in the knowledge that science and innovation are the keys to the future, this piece of President Biden’s plan takes a holistic view of infrastructure: investing in human capital through education, training, and research. This includes a series of groundbreaking R & D projects that ensure a diverse set of scientists and investments in places like Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Unleashing the creativity and productivity of all Americans is as important as building…