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Study Fears Bioterrorism Threats Increase with Budget Cuts

Looking back at 2011, besides government gridlock, government-wide budget cuts have been a recurring theme.

From the Pentagon to NASA, government agencies and entities have felt the constraints and have had to rethink their strategies in order to adapt for the future.

A looming question for some is how budget cuts will affect the nation’s ability to combat potential national health crisises. A report titled, “Ready or Not? Protecting the Public from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism,” produced by Trust for America’s Health and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, says recent budget cuts may prove detrimental to public health in times of emergency.

The report says in the last year, 40 states and the District of Colombia have cut state public health funds. Including D.C., 29 states are cutting their health budgets for the second year in the row and 15 of those states for the third year in a row.

In addition, RWJF reported that federal funds set aside for training, technology and emergencies have decreased by 38 percent between fiscal year 2005 and 2012 (adjusted for inflation) and show no signs of slowing down.

The report also said:

  • 24 states are at risk of losing support of career field officers specializing in areas including outbreak investigation and disease surveillance

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