Protect CDC so CDC can Protect Us

The administration today released its fiscal year 2018 proposed budget. I took particular note of the jaw-dropping budget cuts proposed for health agencies, including the 17 percent cut to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) budget. Trust for America’s Health notes that these cuts would impact nearly all areas of CDC, from infectious to chronic diseases, environmental contaminants, exposure to tobacco and much more.

The CDC Foundation is not a lobbying organization. We do not lobby on behalf of organizations or legislation—that’s not our role. Instead, our role is to connect CDC to the philanthropic and private sectors to advance the agency’s life-saving work. In this capacity, we believe it is important for us to highlight the essential role CDC plays in America’s health, safety and security.

I believe today’s budget proposal places significant limits on CDC’s ability to protect America’s health and safety, including critical work CDC supports at both the local and state levels. This proposed budget also limits domestic and international emergency preparedness work to protect our nation.

CDC is fortunate to have a workforce that is incredibly dedicated and talented. Still, it’s difficult for me to believe CDC can be strong and protect us all without being well-resourced to do its job. While the CDC Foundation works to find external support for certain CDC activities, it is essential to understand that although philanthropic and private sector support can extend and complement government investments it cannot supplant much-needed government funding.

I’m hopeful that in negotiations CDC’s budget will be restored. As a nation, we must protect CDC so that CDC can protect us all.

Judy Monroe, MD, is president and CEO of the CDC Foundation.