Last October, I wrote that a large pot of money, dedicated to protecting the world from infectious diseases, was about to run dry.
In December 2014, Congress appropriated $5.4 billion to fight the deal with the historic Ebola epidemic that was raging in West Africa. Most of that money went to quashing the epidemic directly, but around $1 billion was allocated to help developing countries improve their ability to detect and respond to infectious diseases. The logic is sound: It is far more efficient to invest money in helping countries contain diseases at the source, than to risk small outbreaks flaring up into large international disasters.
But the $1 billion pot, which was mostly divided between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and USAID, runs out in 2019—a fiscal cliff with disaster at its foot….