05/10/2018 

The Infectious Diseases Society of America, the HIV Medicine Association the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America call on Congress to reject legislative attempts, including House Resolution 3 introduced Wednesday evening, that advance the Trump administration’s rescissions package. The resolution and the administration proposal both undercut future budget deals, thus endangering critical investments in public health, treatment and biomedical research programs, including activities to combat infectious diseases.

HR 3 mirrors the administration’s proposal by rescinding $7 billion in budget authority for the State Children’s Health Program. Such a cut would dramatically reduce resources available to House and Senate appropriators as they determine funding for vital health programs, including infectious disease and HIV domestic and global programs at the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the State Department, and USAID.

HR 3 also follows the administration’s proposal to rescind $252 million of USAID funding for combating Ebola and other emerging infectious disease threats through the Global Health Security Agenda. This is deeply concerning to the members of IDSA, HIVMA, PIDS and SHEA. The most recent outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, announced by the World Health Organization on the same day, highlights the shortsightedness of the proposal, as well as the urgency of efforts to build capacities to detect, prevent, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks where they originate.

Congress recognized this priority by directing part of the remaining emergency funding allocated in response to the 2013-to-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa to global health security programs in the omnibus funding bill for fiscal year 2018. The funding supports surveillance, laboratory capacity, and public health workforce strengthening in countries with limited public health resources. It is essential to averting future devastating outbreak impacts like those caused by the Ebola crisis across three West African countries, and to protecting the health of Americans at home and abroad. Funding for global health security strengthening activities is available through September 2019 – the administration’s attempt to rescind remaining funding would impact the ability of USAID to stop outbreaks at their source.

HR 3 also would undermine efforts to combat the critical and growing global health threat of antimicrobial resistance, with cuts to funding that supports health provider training to prevent health care associated infections and expanded surveillance of drug-resistant bacteria. In addition, a proposed $148 million rescission of funds allocated to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service at the Department of Agriculture threatens efforts to address disease outbreaks from re-emerging diseases, including the avian influenza.
Ultimately the outcomes of the rescission package announced by the administration Tuesday and echoed in HR 3 will not be savings, but added costs, when the effects of infectious diseases abroad, and failures to stop them at their source, come home.

Contact: IDSA: Jennifer Morales This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
PCI Public Relations (312) 558-1770 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Paul Auwaerter, MD, MBA, President IDSA
Melanie Thompson, MD, Chair HIVMA
Paul Spearman, MD, FPIDS, President PIDS
Keith Kaye, MD, MPH, FSHEA