Public Health Funding
The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark illustration of what can happen when the public health system is not adequately funded but infectious disease is just one of the public health challenges the country faces. More than half of all Americans live with at least one chronic disease. Deaths of despair, those associated with alcohol, drugs or suicide, are also continuing to increase. In addition, the threat from droughts, floods, wildfires and other weather-related events is also on the rise.
Despite these threats, federal funding for public health is less today than it was a decade ago. This persistent underfunding of the country’s public health system has led to serious gaps in our readiness to respond to disease outbreaks, natural disasters and other health emergencies.