“How Trump’s global health budget endangers Americans” June 6, 2017 Please see complete article at Pandemics – global outbreaks of infectious diseases like the 1918 influenza that killed 40 million people and the 2009 H1N1 virus, which caused up to 203,000 fatalities – are among the greatest threats the world faces. But the Trump administration wants to cut more than US$2 billion in global health funding. As experts with diverse research and government experience, we argue that the U.S. must invest more in pandemic preparedness and on preventing outbreaks wherever they occur. The 26 percent reduction in these funds that President Donald Trump seeks would, we believe, devastate our already underequipped pandemic prevention and response system. In turn, that would undercut our ability to respond to future outbreaks. We recommended in our recent white paper that the U.S. centralize its leadership on biodefense – that is, its response to biological threats from naturally occurring emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, accidental releases or attacks. In addition, local authorities and community leaders should do more to counter the anti-vaccine movement, and the federal government should redouble its efforts to strengthen public health institutions in developing countries. Strengthening global health The best way to protect Americans at home from infectious disease is to contain outbreaks before they get here. The U.S. did that, barely, with Ebola between 2014 and 2016. That outbreak caused a humanitarian disaster in West Africa and brought about a significant scare in the U.S. without ever truly endangering the American public. The few cases that did occur in the United States were contained rapidly, preventing any sort of outbreak on American soil. According to former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden, the world was merely days away from a global catastrophe when the Ebola virus was finally contained in Lagos, Nigeria. Previous global health spending facilitated the rapid Nigerian response. ... Authors: Gerald W. Parker, DVM, PhD, Andrew Natsios, BA, MPA and Christine Crudo Blackburn, PhD Partners Texas A&M University provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US. View all partners Republish this article Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons license.