CDC to award $613 million in grants to fight terrorism

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that it will award $613 million in grants to states and cities as part of the Public Health Emergency Preparedness cooperative agreement.

An additional $49 million will be awarded in grants partly designated to boost epidemiology and laboratory capacity at state health departments nationwide, according to CIDRAP News.

The PHEP funding is a portion of preparedness allocations that Congress began distributing in response to the terrorist attacks of 2001. The total amounts have been in decline in recent years, with last year seeing the disbursement of $698 million.

According to the CDC, this year’s grants are being provided to improve public health preparedness for lab testing, surveillance and epidemiologic investigation, community preparedness, countermeasure dispensing, emergency operations coordination, and emergency public information and warnings.

The grants are being awarded to states based on their overall population. This year’s awards range from $5.17 million each for South Dakota and Wyoming to $41.7 million for California, CIDRAP News reports.

The reduction in PHEP grants reflects the fiscal year 2011 budget deal agreed upon in April, which cuts the CDC’s overall budget by $750 million, according to Laura Segal, public affairs director for Trust America’s Health.

"Those cuts mean lots of losses of trained public health workers and capacity all over the country," Segal said, CIDRAP News reports. "We've already seen about 15 percent of the local public health workforce lost in the past couple of years...It's having a real impact."