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U.S. Congress Should Fully Fund Disease Prevention Efforts; Trump Should Immediately Appoint Qualified Science Adviser

The Hill: America can’t afford to cut money from its war against infectious diseases
Richard J. Kuhn, director of the Purdue Institute of Inflammation, Immunology, and Infectious Disease at Purdue University

“It’s true that an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure, and it’s a critical lesson for Washington to remember as it considers budgeting for those who are our first line of defense against infectious diseases. … Fully funding these efforts makes clear … that combating emerging threats is a national priority and that the United States is committed to leading the world in this arena. … [I]t is … troubling that the president does not yet have a science adviser who can inform him of the need for adequately resourced preparation for infectious diseases and emerging threats. Appointing a science adviser who recognizes the danger posed by emerging threats is a vital step for the president to take to keep Americans safe, and I implore him to make such a hire an immediate priority. Disease prevention and preparing for emerging threats are two areas that we simply cannot risk ending up in the endless partisan crossfire of Washington. Those drafting budget proposals should remember that, if nothing else, an ounce of prevention is a lot cheaper in the long run than scrambling to create a pound of cure” (6/7).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.