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Trump Administration’s Efforts To Cut Funds, Redirect Priorities Of U.S. Health Agencies Put World At Risk

Business Day: Trump’s aim to shrink U.S.’s health puts the world at risk of epidemics
Wilmot James, visiting professor in (nonclinical) pediatrics and international affairs at Columbia University and special adviser to the Working Group on Global Health Security and Diplomacy

“…[T]he Trump administration seeks to vacate its global health leadership role and reduce all of its effort to a self-defeating nationalism by taking on merely a defensive posture, as evidenced by its budget proposals and the steady and certain preparations being made to place the U.S. on a war footing. … In 2014, when HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius launched the Global Health Security Agenda with a special appropriation injection of $1bn (to be spent over five years), additional funds to deal with health catastrophes were brought into the global health mix, most of it to be used to help developing countries strengthen their capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to pandemic disease outbreaks, which are increasing in incidence, severity, and scale. … A new professional discipline called health diplomacy emerged. … It is this capable machinery Trump wants to diminish. It is capable because key staff are subject matter experts — scientists — who support and enable generalist career diplomats, bringing two cultures together to take advantage of their complementary assets to fight disease outbreaks. To pull the CDC back from its global role and restrict its capabilities … would leave the world, and the U.S., dangerously exposed…” (1/18).

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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.