Saturday, March 25, 2017

Trump's budget does not shore up our defense against diseases.

Some have estimated that the 1918-19 “Spanish” influenza killed more people than all the wars of the 20th century combined. Other scientists think that, if left unchecked, drug-resistant infections will kill more people worldwide by 2050 than cancer and diabetes combined. We didn't do a good job handling the Zika virus. These scientists may be wrong but I doubt it. In today's interconnected world viruses can travel around the globe very fast. There appear to be more new viruses than there used to be. It is likely that terrorists will eventually use viruses as a weapon. The science exists to reconstruct the smallpox genome from readily available lab materials, with the added possibility of altering the virus just enough that our existing vaccine would be ineffective. So, why are we boosting arms but not vaccines?

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