In 2019, the $1 billion in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funding designated by Congress for fighting global illness, such as Ebola, will run out. According to an article from The Atlantic. the loss of CDC funding will leave the world incredibly vulnerable to a devastating pandemic.

The $1 billion pot was divided among the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and USAID back in 2014 to aid 49 countries with serious outbreaks. Only ten of those countries will have funding retained, leaving the other 39 without a safety net.

Politics and Pandemic Peril

Just last April, the Washington Examiner reported that under the Trump administration CDC funding dropped by $580 million since 2010. It was in 2010 that then President Barack Obama enacted the Affordable Care Act, which included a preventive-care fund.

White House Senior Director for Global Health Security, Tim Ziemer, said “Distance alone no longer provides protection from disease outbreaks. We recognize that the cost of failing to control outbreaks and losing lives is far greater than the cost of prevention.”

Prescription for Chaos

These funding cuts are not the first of the CDC’s woes. The organization found itself at the center of controversy recently when director Brenda Fitzgerald stepped down after buying tobacco stock, creating a conflict of interest since the CDC promotes non-smoking.

The scandal also comes at the height of one of the most fatal flu seasons of the last ten years, sadly claiming around 18 children per week. CDC’s press officer, Kristen Norlund, recently said that it is possible to get the flu twice in one season because one would be sick with two different strains.  

Linda Venczel, Global Director of Security at global health nonprofit PATH, said that without the appropriate funding to cover microbial virus prevention and treatment across the world, “Things will unravel pretty quickly.”

Only $150 million of the initial $1 billion pot is left. It’s projected to run out by September of next year.