Does the CDC Need More Funding?
October 15, 2014
With the Ebola crisis growing, some pundits are blaming the United States for failing to fund the fight against Ebola at sufficient levels. Just recently, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Americans that sequestration (spending cuts passed by Congress and signed by the president) was beginning to hurt, specifically citing the CDC and Ebola; the agency, said Clinton, lacks the resources that they once had.
But Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal says that Clinton's criticisms miss the mark. The CDC is funded at high levels, but it is the programs within the agency receiving federal dollars that lawmakers should scrutinize. Consider:
- The Prevention and Public Health Fund was created by Obamacare, sending $3 billion to the CDC over the last five years.
- However, a mere 6 percent of that $3 billion has gone towards epidemiology and laboratory capacity to protect the public from infectious disease.
- By comparison, the CDC's "community transformation grant program," which aims to support local farmers, increase access to grocery stores and improve sidewalk quality for walkers and bikers, received $517.3 million in funding over the same time period.
Jindal contends the community transformation efforts are ones better undertaken by private charities or local governments. The federal government's job is to protect the safety of its citizens, he says, insisting that the CDC has not suffered from a lack of funding but from "misplaced priorities for that funding."
Source: Bobby Jindal, "The Facts About Ebola Funding," Politico, October 12, 2014.
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