Lowey Statement on Measles Outbreak and Proposed CDC Funding Increase
Congresswoman urges all parents to vaccinate their children
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, issued this statement regarding the fiscal year 2020 Labor-Health and Human Services-Education spending bill that includes increases in federal funding to address disease outbreaks like the measles outbreak in New York and obstacles to vaccinations:
“The measles vaccine is safe and effective and for decades has been used to prevent the spread of this terrible disease. We must trust our doctors and public health officials. Like them, I strongly urge all parents who might have previously decided against vaccinating their children to reconsider.
“This week, the number of measles cases reported in the United States surpassed the highest outbreak since the disease was eradicated nearly two decades ago. More than 200 of the 700 cases nationwide are in my district, in Rockland County.
“My office has been in contact with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) which is working hard with New York State and local officials and community groups to prevent the further spread of this disease and correct dangerous inaccuracies surrounding vaccination.
“As Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, I am pleased that this week the Committee introduced the fiscal year 2020 spending bill for the Department of Health and Human Services, which includes funding and provisions for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to address outbreaks and assist public health officials in responding to public health threats, such as measles. The bill includes $650 million, an increase of $39 million, for immunization programs and a provision directing CDC to address obstacles to vaccinations such as access, hesitancy, and misinformation. In addition, the bill includes $100 million for the first year of a multi-year effort to support the modernization of public health data surveillance at CDC, allowing the agency to more quickly get information on outbreaks, the scope of epidemics, and foodborne illness, so that public health officials can rapidly respond and stop a threat before it becomes an outbreak.
“I will continue to work with the CDC and on the House Appropriations Committee to help prevent the spread of measles both at home and abroad.”