The AAMC joined more than 300 public health and health organizations in a Feb. 12 letter urging congressional leaders to include significant, long-term investments in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support the nation’s public health infrastructure and workforce.
The letter recommended that Congress provide long-term investments of an additional $4.5 billion in annual funding for the CDC to address chronic underfunding of the public health enterprise. The funds would support “state, local, tribal, and territorial core public health infrastructure to modernize the nation’s public health system, rebuild the workforce, and promote healthier communities.”
“The U.S. has followed a pattern of underfunding of vital public health services, followed by a crisis, a quick infusion of cash, and then dwindling investments over time. This pattern is placing American lives at risk,” stated the letter, in reference to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and previous public health threats.
“[S]hort-term, supplemental funding does not allow public health to recruit and retain the expert workforce needed for protecting the nation against emerging threats, such as surging levels of chronic disease, the substance misuse and suicide epidemics, infectious diseases, injuries, natural disasters and environmental hazards. We urge you to act now to prevent and prepare for the next pandemic,” the letter concluded.