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U.S. Unprepared For Disease Outbreaks, Experts, Study Say

TIME: The World Is Not Ready for the Next Pandemic
“…[E]ven as the scientific and international communities have begun to take the threat of pandemics more seriously, global health experts — including Bill Gates, World Health Organization Director Dr. Margaret Chan, and former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, to name just a few — warn that nowhere near enough is being done to prepare, leaving the U.S. scarily exposed. That’s because the system for responding to infectious disease is broken. … Since President Donald Trump took office, key government positions remain unfilled, including a new director for the CDC. The budget the president proposed in March would have slashed critical funding … Make no mistake: for all our high-tech isolation units, top-tier doctors, and world-class scientists, the U.S. health care system is not ready for the stresses of a major pandemic. … If Trump is serious about protecting Americans, global health critics contend, he must embrace the soft power of pandemic preparation…” (Walsh, 5/4).

U.S. News & World Report: If a Pandemic Hits, the U.S. Isn’t Ready
“The threat of a global pandemic is growing at a time when the U.S. government is not adequately prepared to respond to one, according to a recent study. Misinformation about vaccines, the absence of a clear plan for coordination among federal agencies such as the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Defense Department, and a need to improve public awareness about the threat posed by a biologic outbreak are among the factors that make the possibility of large and deadly pandemics increasingly likely, according to the study from Texas A&M University’s Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs…” (Shinkman, 5/4).

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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.