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U.S. Response To Public Health Crises, Including Zika, ‘Fragmented, Underfunded’

The Conversation: U.S. response to Zika: Fragmented and uneven
Scott L. Greer, associate professor at the University of Michigan

“…[W]ho is in charge during a public health crisis [in the U.S.]? Formally, a wide variety of local governments under the aegis of states. But because public health in the U.S. is fragmented and often underfunded, the federal government’s money and expertise give it a great deal of influence to shape responses. … Pressure is mounting on Congress to act. Three-quarters of the public in a Kaiser Family Foundation survey think it is an issue that needs to be addressed when Congress returns from recess on Sept. 6. … Fear of Zika might start to overcome partisanship, but there is no guarantee that will happen before Nov. 8. … Looking at Washington might make us glad that all does not depend on federal politics. But that is not so comforting when we consider the funding and capacity of local and state governments in the areas, particularly along the Gulf Coast, that are most endangered…” (9/5).

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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.