A concerning outlook on diseases

Most people around the world, especially Americans, often tend to take advantage of the fact that they don’t have to worry about any serious disease coming in and wiping them out. Agencies like the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organization) work tirelessly to protect not only Americans from outbreaks, but people around the globe. For context, WHO has declared four public health emergencies in the past decade – two in the past two years alone – and has responded to over a thousand outbreaks across the globe. Many agencies around the world worked to stop the spread of those diseases and did a heck of a job doing it. The proof? That you’re still standing here, and never had to worry about contracting these diseases.

Agencies like the CDC and WHO should be revered for their work in protecting the world’s population the best they can from epidemics coming in and killing scores of people. These agencies are vital in protecting people, and they need funding from wealthy countries to continue to stop the spread of horrific diseases.

It probably comes as no surprise that the U.S. is a major funder in keeping the world healthy through these agencies. However, the Trump Administration has made life even harder and more concerning for these groups. Trump’s 2019 proposed budget cuts funding from the CDC by 20 percent, from 7.2 billion to 5.7 billion. To anyone who doesn’t realize how bad this can be, take a look at the list of eight diseases WHO released, and one particularly freighting disease: Disease X. The X stands for unknown.

People who work at the CDC and WHO have absolutely no idea where the next epidemic disease will come from or what it will be, and most importantly, no idea how to stop or prevent it. So much of the work they do is preventing the spread of diseases when an outbreak happens, and it is vital that work has a functioning budget. That money helps “world preparedness” for when new disease outbreaks inevitably happen, as nations are often left scrambling to find money to put into containing the disease.

Trump loves to sit on top of his high horse and preach “America First,” and in terms of global pandemics, that won’t work. Diseases don’t care who you are, where you come from, or how much power or money you have. It shouldn’t be that America stopped the pandemic, but instead, it should be that we as a human race protected one another from a disease that could kill anyone.

If you want to take the narcissistic approach, then by all means take it. Keeping these agencies well-funded, and well prepared, keeps diseases off American soil. We’ve seen the effects of Zika, the effects of Ebola, and yes, we don’t want people infected with those diseases in America. Stopping diseases from even spreading in the first place is the best plan of action, and isolating our country and defunding resources that play a particularly large role could be disastrous for the human race. So next time you take for granted your lifestyle that is free from disease, thank the people who work to keep diseases from getting to you.

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Dalton is a staff writer for The Lorian.

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