COVID-19 has replaced tuberculosis as the most lethal infectious disease. Yet people suffering with HIV/AIDS die from TB, this disgusting disease that has plagued mankind since before Egyptian times.
Since 2000, 63 million lives have been saved from the misery of tuberculosis. The world is not on track to reach goals set in 2018 by the U.S. and many others at the United Nations. The impact of COVID-19 has further undermined and reversed progress made in 1920.
The world could see an additional 6.3 million cases of TB and an additional 1.4 million deaths between now and 2025, setting the fight against TB back 10 years or more and worsening the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.The Biden-Harris administration should request that Congress provide a total of $1 billion for fiscal 2022 for USAID, assisting countries to roll out the first new antibiotics in 40 years. This would allow USAID to expand efforts as TB diagnostic networks are already being used for COVID-19 as well as TB. More funds could ensure adequate equipment and facilities leading to better control of both diseases.
Thankfully, our members of Congress, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young, are all concerned about these two killers and are working to address, not ignore, the need for both diseases to be eradicated.
— Mary Colleen Martin
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