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Letter to the Editor

Support TB research Editor, The Sun:

As a recent article about U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie’s “opioid bill” suggests, it’s crucial to have our legislators work to keep our communities safe and healthy. In this spirit, I am writing to raise awareness about a disease that has deadly consequences with the hope that community members and our representatives support measures to fund prevention and treatment efforts. Tuberculosis (TB) is a deadly infectious disease that primarily affects the lungs. While, in the United States, TB is often considered a disease of the past, worldwide, TB is the leading infectious killer, responsible for even more deaths than HIV/AIDS.

Because TB does not seem like an imminent threat to the vast majority of people in the United States, the disease does not garner much attention. We often neglect TB’s worldwide prevalence and the duty we have in helping to end it. Globally, more than 1.5 million people die of TB annually, despite the fact that it is preventable and often very curable.

It is essential that our federal government’s budget reflects the value of human life. Currently, two versions of the federal budget entail different amounts of funding set aside for TB. The House has proposed a $302 million dollars, while the Senate has suggested $275 million.

At $27 million more, the Senate’s plan has the potential to prevent thousands more unnecessary deaths.

In the words of Dr. Paul Farmer, one of the foremost experts on the human cost of infectious diseases, “The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.” We must fight the idea that some lives matter less. Please call your representatives to advocate for the House’s proposed TB research budget:

Senator Rand Paul: (859) 219-2239

Senator Mitch McConnell: (859) 224-8286

Congressman Andy Barr: (202) 225-4706

Natalie Hagan

Centre College

WCHS Class of 2016

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