A Blast from the Past: CDC Funding
Looking back to a story from 2018.
Via WaPo from February 2018: CDC to cut by 80 percent efforts to prevent global disease outbreak.
Two weeks ago, the CDC began notifying staffers and officials abroad about its plan to downsize these activities, because officials assume there will be “no new resources,” said a senior government officialspeaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss budget matters. Notice is being given now to CDC country directors “as the very first phase of a transition,” the official said. There is a need for “forward planning,” the official said, to accommodate longer advance notice for staffers and for leases and property agreements. The downsizing decision was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
The CDC plans to narrow its focus to 10 “priority countries,” starting in October 2019, the official said. They are India, Thailand and Vietnam in Asia; Jordan in the Middle East; Kenya, Uganda, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal in Africa; and Guatemala in Central America.
Countries where the CDC is planning to scale back include some of the world’s hot spots for emerging infectious disease, such as China, Pakistan, Haiti, Rwanda and Congo. Last year, when Congo experienced a potentially deadly Ebola outbreak in a remote, forested area, CDC-trained disease detectives and rapid responders helped contain it quickly.
Now, in fairness, the monies in question were initially the result of emergency spending linked to Ebola.
However, the Ebola outbreak (among other threats from disease) should have led the US government (i.e., the Trump administration) to consider finding a means to continue said funding.
On Monday, a coalition of global health organizations representing more than 200 groups and companies sent a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar asking the administration to reconsider the planned reductions to programs they described as essential to health and national security.
“Not only will CDC be forced to narrow its countries of operations, but the U.S. also stands to lose vital information about epidemic threats garnered on the ground through trusted relationships, real-time surveillance, and research,” wrote the coalition, which included the Global Health Security Agenda Consortium and the Global Health Council.