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Trump budget could put health at risk in the US and worldwide

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ALBERT GONZALEZ FARRAN / AFP / Getty Images

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Pandemics are a growing health concern in the United States and abroad. But as global health specialists are ramping up efforts to prevent them, funding may be slipping away.

President Trump's proposed budget would eliminate the National Institutes of Health's Fogarty International Center, a key player in the fight against diseases worldwide.

According to a USA Today column by Michele Barry, Director of the Center for Innovation in Global Health and a Stanford Health Policy affiliate, and David Yach, a former cabinet director at the World Health Organization, Fogarty's global health research benefits the United States along with other countries. The center has produced insights into Alzheimer's research, is looking into the genetics of obesity and diabetes, and has started developing early warning systems for pandemics.

But its most important accomplishment, according to Barry and Yach, is training scientists in more than 100 low- and middle-income countries. These experts have emerged as leaders in their own countries and around the world.

Their contributions have not only improved health but have influenced the World Health Organization and leading global health donors.

Said Barry and Yach, "To eliminate the Fogarty Center now would undermine progress, erode trust in America’s leadership in global health, and increase the risk of a devastating and preventable epidemic in the U.S. Keeping Fogarty would preserve health, both of Americans and populations all over the world."

Read the full article.