CDC: Spending Cuts Would Threaten Public Health

WASHINGTON (February 22, 2013)-- Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says looming automatic budget cuts would make it harder to solve outbreaks, fight hospital infections and keep illnesses overseas from making their way to this country.

Frieden said Friday his agency will lose more than $300 million at a time when public health already is struggling to keep up with new germs.

"Our threats aren't getting cut but our ability to respond to them is,” he said.

Frieden said, for example that the cuts could constrain his agency's investigation of a worrisome tuberculosis outbreak in Los Angeles.

And he said the CDC would have to cut funding for state and local health departments, impairing their ability to spot early warning signs of outbreaks.

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