Washington, DC – On Tuesday, NCSD and jurisdictions received key details on cuts to STD Programs made as a result of the debt ceiling deal made between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the White House earlier this month. The deal claws back $400 million in critical public health workforce funds for funding for the local public health workers who fight infectious diseases, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs.) NCSD issued the following statement on the recission of $400 million in funding for Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS) that was appropriated as part of COVID-19 relief aid:
“The rescission of $400 million in STI public health workforce funding as part of the debt ceiling deal is a devastating blow to the fight against rising STI rates. When Congress established funding for Disease Intervention Specialists, they recognized the wisdom of building the public health workforce the nation needed to come back from an unprecedented pandemic, to prepare for future outbreaks, and to manage routine infections that can have dire consequences.”
“This decision has shaken the STI field to its core and seriously calls into question the forward progress we were making in the fight against rapidly rising STIs rates It also betrays the spirit of the whole-of-government response officials have committed to pursuing through their own freshly minted federal STI Implementation Plan, released last week by the Assistant Secretary for Health, Admiral Levine.”
“NCSD will continue to advocate for the resources this nation needs to combat the epidemic of sexually transmitted infections, including restoring rescinded funding. This will be an uphill battle, but it’s a battle the nation needs us to fight.”
About Disease Intervention Specialist Funding
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress allocated more than one billion dollars in funding to strengthen the public health workforce over a five-year period. Disease intervention specialists (DIS) are public health workers who do contact tracing, investigate disease outbreaks, and connect people to testing and treatment services. Three years into the five-year funding, $600 million has been invested to hire more than 3,000 community health workers who serve every state and local jurisdiction. During debt ceiling deal negotiations, Congress eliminated funding for the remaining two years, a total cut of $400 million and those 3,000 jobs.
About The National Coalition of STD Directors
The National Coalition of STD Directors is a national public health membership organization representing health department STD directors, their support staff, and community-based partners across 50 states, seven large cities, and eight U.S. territories. Our mission is to advance effective STD prevention programs and services across the country. NCSD does this as the voice of our membership. We provide leadership, build capacity, convene partners, and advocate. Go to ncsddc.org for more information.