This morning, the President awarded the Presidential Unit Citation to a group of professionals from the U.S. Public Health Service—acknowledging their extraordinary heroism on the front lines of our successful effort to combat the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
Our ability to lead an effective global response—one that turned the tide of the epidemic—was ultimately a matter of resources.
And the fact is that right now, the House and Senate Republican budgets shortchange our country on the resources we need to effectively prepare for, respond to, and recover from future public health emergencies.
It’s yet another example of the mindless cuts forced by sequestration. And, it could mean a less-effective response to an outbreak on the scale of last year's Ebola outbreak — but also to a host of other potential disasters, such as an anthrax attack.
So as you hear a lot of talk in the news about a potential government shutdown, make sure you understand exactly what's at stake in the broader budget debate.
Here's exactly what the current Republican budget proposals would mean to our nation's (and our global) public health, and our ability to respond effectively to disasters:
As we look back at the government's aggressive response to the Ebola outbreak, and commend those who helped spearhead it, we can see that it's also irresponsible to shortchange the profoundly important work of responding to public health emergencies.