CDC: $11 billion vs. Pentagon: $738 billion

From the time we started CODEPINK almost 20 years ago, we have been saying, “Fund Healthcare, Not Warfare.” Now we see the results of pouring 55% of our discretionary budget into the military—$738 billion— while allocating a mere 1.5% of that — $11 billion — to the Centers for Disease Control. Tell Congress to double the CDC’s budget by cutting money to the Pentagon.

Dear Supporters,

The coronavirus pandemic is sweeping across America, and our public health system is totally unprepared and underfunded. Meanwhile, our government keeps pouring more money into the military to wage endless wars. This week marks 17 years since the U.S. military has been in Iraq. Rather than putting all our energy into fighting coronavirus, the U.S. just carried out another round of senseless airstrikes in Iraq and is increasing tensions with Iran—a country wracked by coronavirus. If there was ever a time to bring our troops home, use diplomacy and work together to fight this tragic pandemic, it is now! Join us in telling Congress to double the CDC’s budget and free up billions to fight coronavirus by bringing our troops home from Iraq.

In 2018 the Trump administration disbanded its global health security team and in 2020 it cut the CDC's center for animal-to-human transmitted infectious diseases by 20 percent. As the CDC’s budget was being slashed, the U.S. military budget increased by $82 billion in 2020. We spend $738 billion on the Pentagon (even before the Trump administration, enormous military spending was the order of the day), while the CDC budget languishes with only $11 billion — 1.5% of what the military receives. Join us in telling Congress to double the CDC’s budget by bringing our troops home from Iraq and implementing other actions to reduce military spending.

Representative Ro Khanna isn’t holding back and neither should we. “We have underfunded our public health system for decades, directly leading to the mismanagement of the COVID-19 crisis. We need to step up and support our doctors + scientists so they can save lives,” he said Wednesday, March 11.

Out of concern for public health during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Peace Corps is bringing all its volunteer workers home. So why is the U.S. continuing to fight never-ending wars that have no military solution? Why do we continue to operate 800 U.S. military bases in 70 countries around the world at an estimated cost of $156 billion a year?

The Iraqi parliament voted overwhelmingly for U.S. troops to leave Iraq, the American public wants U.S. troops to leave Iraq, and if there was ever a time that the U.S. should be using all of its resources to care for its people at home, it is now! By pulling our troops out of Iraq, hundreds of millions of dollars could be moved to address coronavirus in the U.S. Contact Congress right now and tell them to double the budget for the CDC by cutting the Pentagon budget.

The coronavirus situation in Iran is dire: Infections are now over 14,500, there are over 850 deaths, and the virus is far from contained. Decades of U.S. war and interventions have devastated the Middle East, creating a tinderbox for the coronavirus pandemic. Now, more than ever, it is time for the world to come together to care for each other. Let’s start this at home by moving our budget from war to health care. Contact Congress now.

Towards peace,
Medea, Jodie, Ariel, Ann, Asia, Ayanni, Camille, Carley, Caty, Cody, Emily, Jodie, Kelsey, Leonardo, Makena, Medea, Michelle, Nancy, Paki, Teri, and Yousef

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