Vox Reports On Shuttering Of USAID Predict Program To Research, Track Infectious Diseases
Vox: A crucial federal program tracking dangerous diseases is shutting down
“…Ever since the 2005 H5N1 bird flu scare, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has run a project to track and research these diseases, called Predict. At a cost of $207 million during its existence, the program has collected more than 100,000 samples and found nearly 1,000 novel viruses, including a new Ebola virus. But on Friday, the New York Times reported that the U.S. government is shutting down the program. According to its former director Dennis Carroll, the program enjoyed enthusiastic support under Bush and Obama, but ‘things got complicated’ in the last few years until the program ‘essentially collapsed.’ Some aspects of the program — it’s unclear which — will be continued under different auspices in other departments of the government. But the core program — working with local researchers around the world to collect samples and better understand viruses in animals — is over…” (Piper, 10/29).