U.S. Congress Should Approve Measures for Public Health Emergency Funding

Scientific American: Robust Emergency Fund Needed to Respond to Future Disease Outbreaks
Editorial Board

“…[T]he U.S. is woefully unprepared to meet [the] threat [of disease outbreaks] because it does not set aside money to beat back an outbreak before it can spread. … A mechanism is already in place to deal with natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods. … Creating a similar ‘rainy day’ fund — and providing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with permission to use it in advance — could save lives and money, both at home and overseas. … Legislators from both the Democratic and Republican parties have recognized the problem and are trying to do something about it. … But introducing legislation (or making a vague promise in the president’s budget) does not help if Congress fails to pass it. Lawmakers need to follow through by approving [the Public Health Emergency Response and Accountability Act and/or a proposal for a one-time appropriation of $5 billion for emergency health] for the president to sign to ensure that the money will be there when the next public health emergency strikes” (July 2017).