The announcement yesterday by President Obama that he will seek $1.8 billion in emergency funding to fight Zika shouldn’t have surprised anyone, argues Amanda Glassman in the Center for Global Development blog.
In fact, it could have been predicted years ago. Not the specific virus, of course, just the near-certainty that an emerging virus would require a massive US response, Glassman writes. From PEPFAR to the President’s Malaria Initiative, to the $5.4 billion aimed at Ebola last year, the US has become the global first-responder to major disease outbreaks. It “has the technical know-how, financial and logistical resources, and political support to act quickly and save lives,” she writes.
Pointing to an Institute of Medicine report that explained the importance of preparedness in global health security, Glassman argues against the ad hoc, crisis response funding and for thoughtful, strategic investment in public health systems.
Center for Global Development