A new report by Iowa Starting Line details how Senator Joni Ernst rejected warnings from disease prevention experts and voted to eliminate $1 billion in funding for the CDC’s Prevention and Public Health Fund – which would have left the CDC in far worse shape to prevent emerging crises including coronavirus.

The report comes as Ernst faces criticism for hosting a swanky cigar reception at the same time the administration was addressing the nation on their plan to combat the coronavirus, which has begun to spread into the United States. While Senate Democrats have shown leadership in requesting $8.5 billion to combat coronavirus, over three times the amount the White House put forward, Ernst has refused to stand up to her party leaders and fight for the resources necessary.

Read below on how Senator Ernst recklessly voted to handicap the CDC and set back prevention efforts against global disease:

Iowa Starting Line: Ernst-Supported ACA Repeal Bill Also Slashed CDC Funding

By: Elizabeth Meyer

February 28, 2020

  • “Republicans were roundly criticized in 2017 for attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement health care system waiting in the wings, but amid the concerns over insurance coverage, a key piece of the bill was less well-known.”
  • “In addition to removing insurance protections for millions of Americans, the American Health Care Act of 2017 also called for the elimination of the $1 billion Prevention and Public Health Fund, a program utilized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to stop disease outbreaks, fund immunizations and other preventative health care measures.”
  • “This piece of the bill faced criticism at the time, with the CDC warning it could “cripple officials’ ability to detect, prevent and respond to health threats including pandemic flu,” but is especially relevant now as the Trump Administration is accused of under preparing for the spread of Covid-19, also known as the coronavirus, in the United States.”
  • “Though the American Health Care Act failed to pass the Senate, Iowa Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley were among the 49 Republicans who voted in favor of the bill.”
  • “On Thursday, The Center for Public Integrity posted to Twitter an invitation to a “cigar reception” to support Ernst’s reelection campaign, held at the same time President Donald Trump was addressing the nation about the coronavirus.”
  • “Ernst did not address the coronavirus or the administration’s response in a 23-minute tele-town hall she held Thursday night on Facebook.”

Read the full article here.