Going Viral

Due to a lack of funds, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is scaling back their international activities, according to The Washington Post. Expecting to reduce their efforts in 39 of the 49 countries in which is currently operating, the CDC is expecting that funds will run out in September 2019.

Originally funded as part of a $600 million award from Congress following the 2014 Ebola outbreaks in West Africa, the goal of these international programs has been to train front-line healthcare workers to detect outbreaks, and to improve laboratory and emergency response efforts in regions most subject to disease risks. With the CDC not expecting renewal of funding, efforts are instead being narrowed to ten nations, for continued support past the September 2019 date. These nations are expected to be India, Thailand, Vietnam, Jordan, Kenya, Uganda, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, and Guatemala, which will mean a scaling back of resources in infectious disease hot spots like China, Pakistan, Haiti, Rwanda, and Congo.

Former CRC director and current head of Resolve to Save Lives Tom Frieden observed of the international activities to The Washington Post, "This is the front line against terrible organisms. Like terrorism, you can't fight it just within our borders. You've got to fight epidemic diseases where they emerge. . . Either we help or hope we get lucky it isn't an epidemic that travelers will catch or spread to our country."