Saturday, February 29, 2020

Bolded emphasis added

(UPDATE 3/20/20: Politifact appears to be claiming that Trump was unsuccessful in actually cutting this funding, and it was restored by Congress. The Politifact article is not directly responsive to this claim, however, just a general assessment of the budget. I'd like more information to get a definitive sense, although it's clear what Trump's intent was. I find the other Politifact claims diminishing Trump's culpability to be unpersuasive and even more vague.)


Feb. 1, 2018 article about a decision by Trump to cut Center for Disease Control funding:

Four years after the United States pledged to help the world fight infectious-disease epidemics such as Ebola, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is dramatically downsizing its epidemic prevention activities in 39 out of 49 countries because money is running out, U.S. government officials said.

The CDC programs, part of a global health security initiative, train front-line workers in outbreak detection and work to strengthen laboratory and emergency response systems in countries where disease risks are greatest. The goal is to stop future outbreaks at their source.

Most of the funding comes from a one-time, five-year emergency package that Congress approved to respond to the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa. About $600 million was awarded to the CDC to help countries prevent infectious-disease threats from becoming epidemics. That money is slated to run out by September 2019. Despite statements from President Trump and senior administration officials affirming the importance of controlling outbreaks, officials and global infectious-disease experts are not anticipating that the administration will budget additional resources....

The CDC plans to narrow its focus to 10 “priority countries,” starting in October 2019, the official said. They are India, Thailand and Vietnam in Asia; Jordan in the Middle East; Kenya, Uganda, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal in Africa; and Guatemala in Central America.

Countries where the CDC is planning to scale back include some of the world’s hot spots for emerging infectious disease, such as China, Pakistan, Haiti, Rwanda and Congo. Last year, when Congo experienced a potentially deadly Ebola outbreak in a remote, forested area, CDC-trained disease detectives and rapid responders helped contain it quickly....

If more funding becomes available in the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1, the CDC could resume work in China and Congo, as well as Ethiopia, Indonesia and Sierra Leone, another government official said, also speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss budget matters....

Global health organizations said critical momentum will be lost if epidemic prevention funding is reduced, leaving the world unprepared for the next outbreak. The risks of deadly and costly pandemic threats are higher than ever, especially in low- and middle-income countries with the weakest public health systems, experts say. A rapid response by a country can mean the difference between an isolated outbreak and a global catastrophe. In less than 36 hours, infectious disease and pathogens can travel from a remote village to major cities on any continent to become a global crisis.

On Monday, a coalition of global health organizations representing more than 200 groups and companies sent a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar asking the administration to reconsider the planned reductions to programs they described as essential to health and national security.

“Not only will CDC be forced to narrow its countries of operations, but the U.S. also stands to lose vital information about epidemic threats garnered on the ground through trusted relationships, real-time surveillance, and research,” wrote the coalition, which included the Global Health Security Agenda Consortium and the Global Health Council....

Without additional help, low-income countries are not going to be able to maintain laboratory networks to detect dangerous pathogens, Frieden said. “Either we help or hope we get lucky it isn’t an epidemic that travelers will catch or spread to our country,” Frieden said....

Officials at the CDC, the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Security Council pushed for more funding in the president's fiscal 2019 budget to be released this month. A senior government official said Thursday that the president's budget "will include details on global health security funding," but declined to elaborate.

UPDATE: nice catch in the comments by TransparencyCNP on how the high cost of medical care and inadequate insurance in the Trump Era is already hitting people for coronavirus issues, which can obviously affect people's willingness to seek treatment and prevent spreading the infection.

4 comments:

Entropic man said...

I wonder if anything ever was done?

Barton Paul Levenson said...

Trump is a genius at being a moron.

TransparencyCNP said...

ALEX AZAR, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, admitted Wednesday that a vaccine for the coronavirus might not be affordable for all Americans. “We can’t control that price,” Azar told Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., during a congressional hearing about the virus, which has been spreading throughout the world and is widely expected to become a serious public health issue in the United States.

After a wave of criticism from Democrats, Azar walked the comment back the next day, saying that he would ensure public access to a vaccine for the virus known as Covid-19 if one should be developed.
https://theintercept.com/2020/02/29/cronyism-and-conflicts-of-interest-in-trumps-coronavirus-task-force/

AN AMERICAN MAN who was evacuated by the State Department from Wuhan, China — where his father-in-law died of the coronavirus this month — was forced to pay $2,200 for the flight and billed by a San Diego hospital for the six days he and his daughter spent in mandatory quarantine there, following an order from the CDC.
...
Last month, a man in Miami who returned from a work trip to China feeling sick went to a hospital to be tested for coronavirus. The test came back negative, but his high-deductible health insurance provider told him he would have to pay at least $1,400, the Miami Herald reported, and provide three years of medical records to prove that the flu he got was not related to a preexisting condition. Without producing the records, he would owe $3,270 for getting tested.
https://theintercept.com/2020/02/28/american-evacuated-wuhan-us-billed-flight-mandatory-quarantine/

David B. Benson said...

:)