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Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 10, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Ebola: U.S. has underfunded foreign aid, so should we be surprised by the outbreak?

Referring to the Ebola coverage in recent weeks, Dr. Francis Collins is quoted in “U.S. to spend $1B on Ebola response; Gates panel seeks better preparation” [Local News, Oct. 8] as pointing out the undeniable truth: “If one wants to be prepared, it costs money to do so. We have been shortchanging that for the past decade, at least in the U.S.”

How can we be surprised when our lack of care for the problems outside our borders results in controllable diseases spreading like wildfire? The fact is that the U.S. currently allocates 0.7 percent of our overall budget toward international development and humanitarian aid. In contrast, we allocate nearly 18 percent of our overall budget to our national defense programs.

Now that the Ebola epidemic in Africa has begun to spread to our shores, we are required to ask a familiar question: How do we defend ourselves against an enemy against whom we have not prepared?

Casey Hobbs, Seattle

Comments | More in Ebola | Topics: Africa, Casey Hobbs, disease

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