For Immediate Release: October 10, 2013
Trust for America’s Health Statement on the “Mini-continuing Resolution” to fund the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Fails to Adequately Protect the Health of Americans
Washington, D.C. October 10, 2013– The following is a statement from Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) on the “mini-continuing resolution” to fund the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“The Trust for America’s Health opposes the “mini-continuing resolution” to fund CDC because it doesn’t address our nation’s crucial public health needs and services in a comprehensive way. While it is encouraging that there is an acknowledgement of the importance of CDC, it is naïve to think that piecemeal support can adequately protect the nation’s health.
As critical as CDC is, it does not operate in a vacuum. All of the Department of Health and Human Services’ agencies – including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) – as well as the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, and others play a vital role every day in protecting the nation’s health.
There is no crystal ball to predict the next big outbreak – whether it may be Salmonella or SARS-like – and without the systems in place to detect, diagnose and respond to threats, we’re leaving Americans at unnecessary risk. We’ve already seen negative results of the shutdown, with delays in the identification and gaps in the response to the recent multistate Salmonella outbreak in chicken. Last week, 30 CDC workers were recalled to help investigate this outbreak, but an effective response requires a broader network of experts at CDC, FDA and the USDA along with coordination with state and local agencies.
Partial solutions and locking in sequester cuts are inadequate and insufficient to guarantee the safety of Americans and ensure everyone can be as healthy as they want. The current situation leaves Americans without the information they need to protect themselves and their families. TFAH urges Congress to move expeditiously to fund all government agencies."
Trust for America's Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. For more information, visit www.healthyamericans.org.