What treasures we have in Olympia, and what an opportunity.
I was fortunate to listen to county health officer Dr. Diana Yu speak about tuberculosis recently. While we may think of TB as a disease of our grandparents’ era, it is still present and dangerous. One out of three people in the world carry the TB bacterium and any plane trip over six hours could potentially expose us.
Dr. Yu made an important connection: TB is a disease of poverty. People with access to good nutrition, housing and health care generally have no problem fighting it off.
The opportunity we have is now very concrete, and urgent.
A Washington legislator recently made clear the terrible consequences of the cuts planned to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Just one example: The proposed $450 million cut will mean over 58,000 HIV positive pregnant women will not get the medicine that can block mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Close to 8 million people have been treated because of the global fund, possibly the most successful multilateral development institution ever created. Will we let so many millions now suffer and die for a sudden emphasis on budget cutting?
This is not how I believe the budget should be balanced – not on the backs of the families of the most vulnerable.
It really does matter what you do, not just what you read. Let your representatives and senators know that you care about this.