The CDC is launching the Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics (CFA), describing it as the "equivalent of the National Weather Service for infectious diseases." The new Center will seek to "enhance the nation's ability to use data, models, and analytics to enable timely, effective decision-making in response to public health threats for CDC" and its public health partners.
"CFA's goals are to improve outbreak response using infectious disease modeling and analytics and to provide support to leaders at the federal, state, and local levels," said the CDC in a press release on its website. "CFA will also develop a program to provide insights about infectious disease events to the public to inform individual decision making."
Twila Brase, RN and president/co-founder of Citizens' Council for Health Freedom, says the CDC already does this kind of work. She points out that's why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is called the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"This is just another place for them to ask for money for this particular section of the CDC," Brase argues, "but in its totality this is exactly what the CDC does and has been doing for decades. So, I just feel like it's a way to bring in more money and to do more meddling in the lives of the American people with that additional money."
Brase adds that forecasting is not something the CDC should be doing. In fact, she says forecasting of infectious disease outbreaks will just be "fomenting fear on a regular basis throughout the year."
According to the CDC, planning for the CFA began in August 2021, with the initial funding of $200 million coming from Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.