Trump Administration’s Budget Cuts Could Threaten U.S. Ability To Respond To Pandemics
The Conversation: How the Trump budget undercuts security risks posed by pandemics
Maureen Miller, professor at Columbia University Medical Center
“…The U.S. is a leading member of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), a growing international partnership created to respond to infectious disease threats. Yet the Trump budget slashes funding for the very agencies mandated to prevent pandemics. … While preventing pandemics is expensive, it’s infinitely cheaper than the costs of actual pandemics. … The closer we come to identifying where an outbreak will occur and which disease will be the likely culprit, the faster we can prioritize areas of highest risk. Targeted prevention strategies include developing diagnostics and vaccines in enough quantity to inoculate the population at immediate risk. Since outbreaks often happen in remote areas with limited health infrastructure, the ability to vaccinate and detect disease will involve health systems strengthening — again beginning with regions at highest risk of known outbreak potential. … We have the tools to provide a formidable, cost-effective first pass at pandemic prevention. It’s time to get the most bang for the buck we still have left — and to protect our national security on all fronts” (4/4).