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Establishing Health Emergency Fund Could Allow U.S. To Respond Better To Disease Threats

New York Times: Hustling Dollars for Public Health
Editorial Board

“…[E]very time an emergency like [Zika] happens, public health officials must go begging bowl in hand to Congress for the funds to deal with it. … The obvious answer [to this problem] is to establish a permanent pool of money that federal health authorities can tap into quickly … Such a fund would allow agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to mobilize their resources to contain emerging threats like Zika and Ebola before they become large-scale problems. The money would be used for research, for vaccine development, and to prevent the spread of the disease in the United States and overseas. … [C]reating a system that is at once generous and disciplined by strong internal controls should be possible. … Without a less restricted fund, health officials fighting Zika have had to move money and scientists away from programs focused on other diseases, like Ebola, malaria, and dengue. Robbing existing programs is sure to hurt public health the longer it goes on” 6/2).

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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.