Sending Office: Bera, Ami
Sent By:
Ryan.Uyehara@mail.house.gov

Support Global Health Security Funding in FY 2020

Deadline: Noon – Wednesday, March 27th

Current Signers: Connolly, Cohen, Meeks, Gabbard, Cicilline, Robin Kelly, Speier, Suozzi, Adam Smith, Sires, Wasserman Schultz, González-Colón, Payne, Dingell, Kuster, Susan Davis, Barbara Lee

Dear Colleague,

Please join us in supporting U.S. efforts to monitor, detect, and respond to emerging pandemic threats before they reach our shores.

As you know, in 2014, Congress appropriated $5 billion in funding to respond to the Ebola emergency. Approximately $1 billion was allocated to the CDC and USAID to help nations
prepare for and respond to future epidemics. These funds are used to train frontline healthworkers, establish disease surveillance networks, and build emergency operations centers. As the recent outbreak Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has
shown, these funds are more critical than ever. 

The letter urges strong support for these activities. We have made significant progress in helping nations develop their health infrastructure so that they’re prepared for the next epidemic. Withdrawing these funds would increase the likelihood that the
U.S. would again have to spend billions of dollars responding to the next epidemic and put our country at risk.  

Please join us in asking appropriators to fund our global health security efforts in FY 2020. If you have any questions, please contact Ryan Uyehara with Congressman Bera’s office at Ryan.Uyehara@mail.house.govThe
deadline to sign is noon March 27, 2018.

Sincerely,

Ami Bera, M.D.                            

Member of Congress

 

Brian Fitzpatrick

Member of Congress

 

The Honorable Rosa DeLauro                                  The Honorable Tom Cole

Chairwoman                                                              Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education,               Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education

and Related Agencies                                                and Related Agencies

U.S. House of Representatives                                  U.S. House of Representatives

 

The Honorable Nita Lowey                                       The Honorable Hal Rogers

Chairwoman                                                               Ranking Member

Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations,            Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations,

and Related Programs                                                and Related Programs

U.S. House of Representatives                                  U.S. House of Representatives

 

Dear Chairwomen DeLauro and Lowey and Ranking Members Cole and Rogers,

We write to thank you for your leadership on global health security, and urge you to continue to fully fund HHS, CDC and USAID activities that monitor, detect, and respond to pandemic threats before they reach our shores.

As you know, in Fiscal Year 2015, Congress appropriated $5.4 billion in emergency funding to help respond to the Ebola epidemic that killed over 11,000 people. Most of that money addressed the immediate epidemic in West Africa but around $1 billion was appropriated
to help developing countries detect and respond to infectious disease.

This funding has allowed the CDC and USAID to help build surveillance systems in host countries, train frontline health workers, laboratory technicians, and disease detectives to monitor, detect, and respond to dangerous new diseases, while also upgrading
outdated laboratories.

American leadership here has translated to concrete results. This past summer, U.S. assistance helped stop a dangerous outbreak, the ninth such outbreak, in the Democratic Republic of Congo in its tracks. In Cameroon, the CDC helped the government reduce
its response time in stopping outbreaks from eight weeks to just 24 hours.

But the recent and ongoing tenth Ebola outbreak in the DRC- which has taken over 500 lives and is now the 2nd largest to date- reflects the need for continued U.S. engagement in global health security. Indeed, most of the $1 billion appropriated
in FY2015, and which currently funds most of the U.S. government’s global health security activities, will expire or be spent down at the end of FY2019, creating a fiscal cliff that will significantly and negatively impact these critical activities. 

Now is not the time for the United States to retreat from its commitments to pandemic preparedness efforts or the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA). The Trump administration recently recommitted the United States to the GHSA through 2024. Congress should
continue its leadership in funding this commitment.

The United States has devoted enormous and commendable efforts in making our nation and the world a safer place from emerging infectious disease. We must continue those efforts. As one public health expert noted, withdrawing funding now would be like building
fire stations around the world without having trained firefighters to put out the fires. If these fires, or local outbreaks of disease, are not put out quickly, the global cost of an epidemic will be extremely high, as our response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak
showed. That should include robust funding in Fiscal Year 2020 that builds on our current efforts, as well as developing and maintaining new tools needed for emerging outbreaks.

In our interconnected world, we know that a dangerous pathogen can leap from a remote village to a major international city in the United States in under 48 hours. Capable and quick response closest to the source is critical in ensuring we stop diseases
before they spread.

We therefore request full funding for USAID’s global health security account and CDC’s Division of Global Health Protection account.

As members of Congress, we have no higher duty than ensuring the safety of our fellow Americans. We thank you in advance for considering our request and your help in advancing this solemn duty.

 

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Foreign Affairs, HealthCare

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