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U.S. President Trump’s Budget Blueprint, Obamacare Repeal Legislation Could Cut Funding To Programs Meant To Protect Americans From Infectious Disease Threats

The Atlantic: The Tiny Trump Budget Cut That Could Blind America to the Next Zika
“…[W]ith [U.S. President Trump’s] budget threatening to carve large gaping gashes into the flank of American science, it’s easy to lose sight of the damage that even small nicks can inflict. Consider the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) program. It’s a little-known, unglamorous, and modest fund. But it’s also vital for America’s ability to respond to infectious diseases, and especially to unforeseen emergencies like Ebola, Zika, or whatever else is coming next. If the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act goes ahead, the ELC’s budget will be cut in half…” (Yong, 3/18).

New York Times: Trump Plan Eliminates a Global Sentinel Against Disease, Experts Warn
“…The federal budget to stop [infectious disease] threats is infinitely smaller than the Pentagon’s, and the Trump administration’s proposed cuts to the National Institutes of Health, and particularly its plan to eliminate the Fogarty International Center at the NIH, would, global health experts say, make America vulnerable again. The Fogarty center, based in Bethesda, Md., was one of the few specific trims in President Trump’s ‘skinny budget.’ It is an odd target: Eliminating it would save only $69 million. The administration did not explain why it was picked, leaving scientists to surmise that it was because the center’s grants pay American doctors to train foreign ones. Mr. Trump has a well-known ‘America First’ bent…” (McNeil, 3/17).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.