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With CDC Activities Halted, Protection Against Disease Outbreaks Diminished During Shutdown

In a National Journal opinion piece, staff correspondent Brian Resnick examines the CDC’s role in infectious disease monitoring, writing, “The CDC provides disease-tracking services that no other agency or private entity does. The CDC is the agency that makes the judgment call about what flu vaccines to distribute across the nation. Without the CDC, we have no real-time tracking of disease outbreaks. It monitors high-security labs that do tests on deadly pathogens like anthrax. It collaborates across international borders to stop outbreaks.” He interviews Gregory Poland, an infectious disease expert at the Mayo Clinic, about the implications of the government shutdown and how these activities will be affected. According to the transcript, Poland discusses how “the country’s protection against disease outbreaks [is] diminished during the shutdown,” as well as how the shutdown impacts operations at the Mayo Clinic (10/15).

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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.