Levi says emergency preparedness progress eroding

According to a Huffington Post editorial written by Jeffrey Levi, the executive director of Trust for America's Health, the last 10 years of progress for emergency preparedness are now eroding due to budget cuts.  
In partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, TFAH released the "Ready or Not? Protecting the Public from Diseases, Disasters and Bioterrorism" report this month, which focuses on U.S. emergency preparedness in the future. This includes the impact that cuts have had so far and how proposed upcoming budgets and likely funding scenarios will affect programs in the future, Huffington Post reports.
"Over the past 10 years, the report has documented how preparedness had been on an upward trajectory," Levi said, according to Huffington Post. "While there were serious ongoing gaps, the progress in upgrading the system has been dramatic, as noted in past issues of "Ready or Not?". Unfortunately, the economic crisis has changed the story. Now, we're seeing a decade's worth of progress eroding in front of our eyes.  Some of the most elementary capabilities -- including the ability to identify and contain outbreaks, provide vaccines and medications during emergencies, and treat people during mass traumas -- are experiencing cuts in every state across the country."
Some of the major issues noted in the reported include the lack of a coordinated biosurveillance system, gaps in the ability to provide care for an influx of patients during mass trauma events, and gaps in the research, development and manufacturing of vaccines and antiviral medications.
"While we were still far from our goals, we were leaps and bounds beyond where we were in 2001," Levi said, according to Huffington Post. "Sadly, the track we're on now with the budget cuts may mean history could tragically repeat itself. When the next disaster strikes, we won't be ready."