Dr. Tom Frieden will step down as head of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Inauguration Day. That's standard practice when a new president takes power.
WABE’s Amy Kiley spoke with Frieden about his time with the CDC and the future of the institution. He started by addressing concerns that a new administration might reduce funding for the CDC or change its priorities.
- A significant chunk of the CDC’s budget comes from the Affordable Care Act, but Frieden says that money goes to programs that have bipartisan support. He thinks that support will remain even if Republicans repeal and replace the healthcare law.
- Frieden says the slow movement from Congress to fund programs for the Zika virus shows the U.S. should have an emergency response fund and plan in place for future emergencies of this nature.
- Frieden says the Zika virus is much better contained as he leaves his post, but pregnant women should still be cautious about travel to certain regions.
- Further investment in global health security should be a priority to help keep Americans at home safe, Frieden says.