September 17, 2001 - CDC Funding for FY 2002

As you mark up the Fiscal Year 2002 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill, the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) urges your support for an additional $120 million in FY 2002 to enable the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to fully implement the goals in its strategic plan to combat emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. The ASM also urges the Subcommittee to provide $25 million in new funding for antimicrobial resistance activities and programs conducted by the CDC's National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

Infectious diseases remain one of the leading cause of death in the United States with five of the top ten killers related to infection (pneumonia, AIDS, chronic liver disease, chronic obstructive lung disease and cancer). As new and reemerging infectious diseases continue to threaten national and global health systems, the NCID's comprehensive plan, "Preventing Infectious Disease: A Strategy for the 21st Century," would expand programs to detect and prevent emerging pathogens, strengthen communication among government health agencies, and integrate laboratory science with epidemiology.

Released in January of this year, the federal interagency "Action Plan to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance" calls for surveillance, prevention and control, research, and product development, to reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics. New funding is needed for CDC to achieve actions outlined in the Plan such as developing and implementing procedures for monitoring patterns of antimicrobial drug use, conducting a public health education campaign to promote appropriate antibiotic use, and other prevention and control measures.

The ASM also recommends an additional $175 million in FY 2002, for CDC's urgent buildings and physical infrastructure needs, including the construction of the emerging infectious disease laboratory, and a $100 million increase for CDC to continue and expand activities related to bioterrorism preparedness and response. The use of biological weapons would result in a public health emergency for which the country is not prepared. Increased funding is needed to develop public health programs for surveillance, stockpiling of medicinals, laboratory identification of threat agents and the training of medical and scientific personnel.

The ASM, representing over 42,000 scientists and health professionals in the microbiological sciences appreciates your continued support for the CDC and its important role in protecting public health, safety and national security.