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U.S. Congress, Trump Administration Should Invest In Public Health Emergency Response Fund

The Hill: Congress, learn from Zika and Ebola — Update U.S. emergency fund
Jeff Schlegelmilch, deputy director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute

“The public health community has been closely watching proposals for a badly needed public health emergency response fund. Such a fund would jump-start the response efforts in the event of a public health disaster and avoid the political wrangling and partisan gridlock that delayed the response to Zika virus. … In order for a meaningful fund to be created it needs to address complex questions about its purpose, triggers for use, funding levels, and be the product of a deliberative process that includes the various stakeholders who will be affected by it. … [A]n emergency fund needs to provide the fiscal resources to respond to a disaster that affects the public’s health, without drawing from preparedness resources and other life-saving public health activities. … The importance of creating such a fund cannot be overstated, but it should also not be oversimplified. … [I]t will ultimately be up to Congress and the Trump administration to invest the time and political capital to make it happen” (6/6).

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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.