(DailyDig.com) – The CDC is aiming to increase the monitoring of travelers with various viruses, expanding the surveillance policies instituted during the pandemic. The CDC wants to collect samples from international travelers with viruses. The expanded monitoring will begin this November and will likely continue for the foreseeable future.
The program encompasses seven different United States airports across the country, including airports located in New York City and Los Angeles. The goal of the CDC is to monitor popular airports used in international travel and increase surveillance to prevent another widespread epidemic. The CDC also claims the expanded disease monitoring measures will aid health experts in identifying new strains or mutated viruses earlier and allow for quick intervention by medical authorities.
According to the CDC, the measure is a response to the higher daily infection rates from the past year, which remain above viral rates from before the pandemic. The increased monitoring policy is receiving heavy scrutiny from certain Americans, who feel the increased monitoring of international travelers is an intrusion on privacy.
The CDC began the monitoring in 2021, during the height of the international pandemic. According to Dr. Cindy Friedman, who heads the traveler monitoring program, the policy originated from a desire to identify which countries were more likely to have travelers infected with viral infections and provide a basis for controlling the increasing viral infection rate. The program requires an international traveler to consent for testing, with the samples being compared to the other travelers on the same flight to determine the likelihood of infection spreading from other nations.
Republicans widely oppose CDC policies, with certain House Republicans proposing a slash to the CDC’s budget. The proposed budget cut relates to a Trump-era policy aimed at ending the spread of HIV amongst the American public and would reduce the CDC’s budget by over one billion dollars. Officials from the CDC claim the proposed budget cut is a mistake despite the measure being unlikely to pass into law.
With the expanded disease surveillance beginning, House Republicans are likely considering additional policies to limit the CDC’s authority.
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