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Trump Administration Proposes Cuts to Public Health Preparedness

Operational readiness cannot be replaced by an influx of funding — at the time of an event.

by Eric Holdeman / February 13, 2020

Operational readiness is like fruit sitting in the sun on a very hot day — it is very perishable. It is one of my biggest laments about the life of an emergency manager (I would add a military leader also). For operational readiness, you need funding; you need people in place who are trained and experienced; you need plans that are co-developed that people and organizations are familiar with; you need the equipment that will allow you to be successful; and you need established relationships and trust with other organizations who you will need to partner with. 

All of the above and likely other elements, help with giving you a modicum of operational readiness for disasters or disease outbreaks. 

Public health in the United States has had its federal funding already whittled away over the last five to nine years. The surge in funding for public health that we saw after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 has slowly decreased over time. Now we see a potential new cut coming to the CDC — even while the nation and our local public health agencies are struggling to deal with the current coronavirus 2019-nCoV. See the article below.

Trump administration wants to cut funding from public health preparedness programs.

The CDC provides the expertise and information needed by state and local public health departments. Throwing more money at a new event at the time of the disease outbreak does little good. If you want operational readiness, you must continue to invest in it for the long haul. It can't be episodic. 

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