As an economic superpower, the United States has a moral obligation to help bear the burden of supporting international health care in less wealthy nations.

The Global Fund is a large part of the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and since 2002, deaths from these diseases have been cut by one-third in countries where the Global Fund invests.

Medications to either cure or manage these diseases exist, and access to them should not be restricted by geography or social class. Education about transmission, early treatment, and prevention is the most effective way to work towards eradicating these diseases completely.

The success of programs such as the Global Fund highlights the importance of financial aid to developing countries. Our current administration has alluded to the new budget increasing military spending, while cutting appropriations for international assistance.

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Although we have pledged support of the Global Fund through fiscal year 2019, other programs regarding health care internationally are at risk. As we approach appropriations, I would implore U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst to consider the long-term financial ramifications of cutting funding for international development, and vote against such budget restrictions.

Lauren Jerew

Iowa City

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