Press Room

Government Shutdown Puts Nation’s Health at Risk

ARLINGTON, VA (Jan. 22, 2018)—Michael Fraser, executive director of ASTHO, issued the following statement on the federal government shutdown:

“We are deeply disappointed that Congress and the Administration have failed to fund the federal government. This inaction means that 50 percent of HHS staff will be furloughed, which in turn will compromise public health professionals’ ability to rapidly respond to outbreaks, detect diseases, and provide the necessary support to state and territorial health departments.

Health promotion and disease prevention activities require support from a robust federal, state, and local workforce and sustained funding. The longer the federal government is shut down, the more harmful the consequences. We strongly urge Congress and the Administration to develop a long-term budget solution so we can continue our mission with certainty and in partnership with our federal partners to improve the health and wellbeing for all.”


ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and freely associated states, and the District of Columbia, as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in public health practice.