Obama Team Launches Global Partnership Aimed at Battling Pandemics

To stop epidemics such as the swine flu, there has to be a global commitment to reporting and responding to outbreaks, the White House says.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 31: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks about his plans to help America's long-term unemployed during an event in the East Room of the White House January 31, 2014 in Washington, DC. During the event Obama signed a memorandum directing the federal government not to discriminate against long-term unemployed job seekers. 
Getty Images
Clara Ritger
Feb. 13, 2014, 4:05 a.m.

The U.S. is launch­ing a world­wide ef­fort to pre­vent, de­tect, and re­spond to the out­break of in­fec­tious dis­eases.

Health and Hu­man Ser­vices Sec­ret­ary Kath­leen Se­beli­us joined Lisa Monaco, as­sist­ant to the pres­id­ent for home­land se­cur­ity and coun­terter­ror­ism, to an­nounce the Glob­al Health Se­cur­ity Agenda, an ef­fort of 26 na­tions and three in­ter­na­tion­al or­gan­iz­a­tions to stop loss of life, avert ser­i­ous eco­nom­ic con­sequences as­so­ci­ated with mass in­fec­tion, and block bi­o­ter­ror threats.

“We know that out­breaks any­where in the world are only a plane ride away,” said Laura Hol­gate, seni­or dir­ect­or at the Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Coun­cil.

Thursday’s an­nounce­ment from the White House mir­rors the ef­forts of the the World Health Or­gan­iz­a­tion, which set out In­ter­na­tion­al Health Reg­u­la­tions in 2005 in an ef­fort to cre­ate a glob­al re­port­ing and re­sponse sys­tem for pub­lic health risks. Less than one in five coun­tries ad­heres to WHO stand­ards, and Hol­gate said they’re “put­ting polit­ic­al high­lights” on it.

“The U.S. is put­ting re­sources to­ward this and oth­ers should do the same,” she said.

Roughly $40 mil­lion will come out of ex­ist­ing U.S. re­sources to sup­port the ef­forts in 2014 of 10 low- and middle-in­come coun­tries that are work­ing to meet the In­ter­na­tion­al Health Reg­u­la­tions laid out by WHO, ac­cord­ing to Tom Frieden, dir­ect­or of the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion. In 2015, Frieden ad­ded, the pres­id­ent plans to al­loc­ate $45 mil­lion to the CDC for the ex­pli­cit pur­pose of glob­al health se­cur­ity.

There’s already prom­ising res­ults in one of the pi­lot pro­grams the U.S. has launched, ac­cord­ing to Frieden. The CDC worked with Uganda — a coun­try that has dealt with nu­mer­ous out­breaks, in­clud­ing Ebola and chol­era — to trans­port samples from po­ten­tially in­fec­tious pa­tients for re­mote test­ing, and used text mes­saging to track the cases. The CDC has already meas­ured im­prove­ments in lab test­ing and in­ter­op­er­a­bil­lity of in­form­a­tion and man­age­ment sys­tems in Uganda.

The goal of the world­wide ef­fort is “to slow the spread of an­ti­mi­cro­bi­al res­ist­ance, es­tab­lish na­tion­al bi­o­se­c­ur­ity sys­tems, re­duce zo­onot­ic dis­ease trans­mis­sion, in­crease routine im­mun­iz­a­tion, es­tab­lish and strengthen na­tion­al in­fec­tious dis­ease sur­veil­lance and labor­at­ory sys­tems, and de­vel­op real-time elec­tron­ic re­port­ing sys­tems and emer­gency op­er­a­tions cen­ters,” ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease.

The White House plans to meet with the na­tions com­mit­ted to its health agenda to meas­ure pro­gress this fall.

What We're Following See More »
WILL APPEAR TOGETHER TOMORROW
As Expected, Clinton Goes with Kaine
8 hours ago
THE LATEST
SO MUCH FOR THE RATINGS BUMP
Convention Ratings Same as 2012
15 hours ago
THE LATEST
8,000 DOCUMENTS
Wikileaks Releases Trove of DNC Docs
16 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Wikileaks published more than 8,000 documents purportedly taken from the Democratic National Committee Friday, just days before the start of the party's convention in Philadelphia. The documents included briefings on off-the-record fundraisers and candid photographs."

Source:
YES, WE KAINE?
Clinton Announcing VP Pick Today
19 hours ago
THE LATEST

Hillary Clinton "is widely expected to announce her choice" of vice president "in an email to supporters while on a campaign swing in Florida on Friday afternoon." The consensus: it'll be Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, although Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are also said to be in the running.

Source:
EARLY BUMP FOR TRUMP?
New Round of Polls Show a Tight Race
23 hours ago
THE LATEST
  • A Rasmussen Reports poll shows Donald Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton, 43%-42%, the fourth week in a row he's led the poll (one of the few poll in which he's led consistently of late).
  • A Reuters/Ipsos survey shows Clinton leading 40%-36%. In a four-way race, she maintains her four-point lead, 39%-35%, with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein pulling 7% and 3%, respectively.
  • And the LA Times/USC daily tracking poll shows a dead heat, with Trump ahead by about half a percentage point.
×