Why is Trump cutting CDC funding as coronavirus threat grows? Pat Leahy wants to know.
“The coronavirus strain threatening us today is believed to have emerged from a bat, and potentially passed through another animal, before infecting humans in a live-animal market. Such animal markets, which in China and many other countries include bats, rats, birds, porcupines, and other animals infected with viruses, are sources of protein for hungry humans, but also serve as breeding grounds for zoonotic diseases.
Scientists estimate that there are more than 1.6 million unknown viral disease species in mammalian and avian populations, of which an estimated 600,000 to 850,000 have the potential to infect humans. And as we saw during SARS, Ebola, and MERS, and are now seeing once again, infectious disease outbreaks threaten not only human health but also cause economic harm and social upheaval. We should all be asking whether we – the United States and the international community – are doing enough to combat and prepare for this known and escalating threat. It seems obvious that we are not.
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