The case has called into question the ability of the CDC to respond to emergencies and the Department of Homeland Security has been unable to explain how the TB-infected man was able to simply drive into the United States on his return trip from Canada when “all border crossings had been given his name and told to hold him if he appeared.”
Think Progress explains all you need to know about this disturbing story.
… and tell ’em Big Mitch sent ya!
Bush has repeatedly proposed slashing the CDC’s budget:
– 2002: Proposed a $174 million cut.
– 2003: Proposed a $1 billion cut, with no new funding for preventive health divisions working on TB.
– 2004: Proposed an increase of “less than 1 per cent.”
– 2005: Proposed a $263 million cut, while simultaneously proposing a $270 million increase in abstinence education.
– 2006: Proposed a $500 million cut which would have slashed grants to state and local health departments like the Fulton County Health and Wellness Department involved in this week’s TB-scare.
– 2007: Proposed a $179 million cut, in addition to unspecified plans for more CDC “savings.”
– 2008: Proposed a $37 million cut, including “massive funding cuts in proven health protection programs.”
In a report submitted to the House Appropriations Committee earlier this year, CDC Director Julie Gerberding warned that a TB outbreak could result from the administration’s proposed cuts. She noted that “emerging plagues such as drug-resistant tuberculosis represent ‘urgent threats that have become more prominent in the dawn of the 21st century.’”
Additionally, Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, points out that the full scale of the “erosion of [CDC’s] traditional disease control activities has been ‘masked’ by infusions of cash earmarked for spending on bioterrorism and pandemic activities.”