Opinion Pieces Discuss U.S. Disease Outbreak Preparedness, Response

USA TODAY: Daschle and Klain: We’re not ready for next Zika virus
Tom Daschle, former U.S. Senate majority leader and member of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense, and Ron Klain, former White House Ebola response coordinator

“…Combating biological threats — either naturally occurring like Ebola or Zika, or deliberate, like anthrax or smallpox — requires a coordinated response. We urge the next administration to start planning for biosecurity risks from day one, and to replace the current ‘governing by crisis’ response cycle with a more permanent and resilient approach. … The next administration must organize and prioritize biodefense and preparedness. This will require strong leadership and a sense of urgency, as well as the recognition that dedicating modest resources today will help avoid costly emergency spending tomorrow. Given what we know now, there is no excuse for not being ready when — not if — the next biological threat occurs” (4/26).

The Hill: A fiscally responsible path to fighting Zika
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), serving on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee

“…[T]he president continues to portray Congress as the only thing holding the United States back from a [Zika] recovery effort. This is a mischaracterization of the facts. … Congress stands ready to support the reallocation of [Ebola and other] resources to address the health and safety concerns of Zika. … Transferring … idle funds is a viable option toward fighting Zika in a fiscally responsible way. … [O]ur government can play a unique role in addressing the Zika outbreak. … An effective and responsible path already exists, and it involves transferring existing, unobligated funds toward Zika control so that the medical community can access the resources it needs…” (4/26).

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