CDC Office Director Ali Khan: Continued budget cuts damage readiness initiatives

The director of the Public Health Preparedness and Response Office at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently said the department's move to cut funding from medical-readiness initiatives is damaging.

Director Ali Khan said the proposed cuts to the budget would continue to undermine already "stagnant" initiatives, according to National Journal.

"We used to have a $1 billion public health preparedness program, [and] that is almost two-thirds to one-half that size at this point," Khan said, National Journal reports. "With every new cut, that's fewer people at the state and local health departments, and fewer supports for public health systems that are keeping people safe from daily threats."

Khan said the budget already is divided between so many agencies, and once-increased capabilities have crumbled after multiple rounds of budget cuts. He said the government has spent more than $9 billion since 2002 to shore up medical response capacity across the nation, according to National Journal.

The proposed budget for 2015 includes a $28 million cut to the Public Health Emergency Preparedness grant initiative. Health and Human Services has portioned $617 million in the upcoming budget for the initiative, National Journal reports.

Other proposed cuts involve reducing funding for the Strategic National Stockpile by $8 million.

Khan became director in August 2010, following a number of positions at the CDC and the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious diseases.