ASM and the CDC Coalition Urge Increased Prevention Funding

Dear Chairwoman DeLauro, Chairman Blunt and Ranking Members Cole and Murray:

The undersigned 225 members of the CDC Coalition and other supporting state and national organizations urge you to provide at least $7.8 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s programs in the FY 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. We believe that Congress should prioritize funding for all of the activities and programs supported by CDC which are essential to protect the health of the American people. We are grateful for the important increases provided for CDC programs in FY 2019 and we urge Congress to continue efforts to build upon these investments to strengthen all of CDC’s programs. We also urge your continued support of the Prevention and Public Health Fund which currently makes up more than 10 percent of CDC’s budget and provides funding for critical public health and prevention activities.
The CDC Coalition is a nonpartisan coalition of organizations committed to strengthening our nation’s public health infrastructure and prevention programs. Our mission is to ensure that health promotion and disease prevention are given top priority in federal funding, to support a funding level for CDC that enables it to carry out its prevention mission and to assure an adequate translation of new research into effective state and local programs. Coalition member groups represent millions of public health workers, researchers, clinicians, educators and citizens served by CDC programs.
CDC serves as the command center for the nation’s public health defense system against emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. From aiding in the surveillance, detection and prevention of the Zika virus to playing a lead role in the control of Ebola in West Africa and the current outbreak in the Republic of the Congo to monitoring and investigating disease outbreaks in the U.S., to pandemic flu preparedness, CDC is the nation’s – and the world’s – expert resource and response center, coordinating communications and action and serving as the laboratory reference center. States, communities and the international community rely on CDC for accurate information and direction in a crisis or outbreak.
CDC is faced with unprecedented challenges and responsibilities ranging from combating the opioid, tobacco and obesity epidemics to emergency preparedness and chronic disease prevention. CDC funds programs for injury control and violence prevention; global health security; health promotion in schools and workplaces; the prevention of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, lung disease and other chronic diseases; tobacco prevention and control; nutrition and physical activity; immunizations; HIV/AIDS prevention; environmental health, including the prevention of childhood lead poisoning; oral health; reducing health disparities; preventing infant mortality and birth defects; preventing antimicrobial resistance; preventing prescription drug overdose; improving the health and quality of life of individuals with disabilities; vision and eye health and public health research and health statistics. It is notable that more than 70 percent of CDC’s budget supports public health and prevention activities by state and local health organizations and agencies, national public health partners and academic institutions.
In addition to ensuring a strong public health infrastructure and protecting Americans from public health threats and emergencies, CDC programs are crucial to reducing health care costs and improving health. Despite the progress CDC has made to meet these needs, the agency’s programs have been woefully underfunded. We urge you to support a funding level of at least $7.8 billion for CDC’s programs in FY 2020.

Sincerely, 

[list of Coalition partners]

Cc: House Appropriations Committee
Senate Appropriations Committee