POLITICS

Obama Emphasizes Malaria In State of the Union, But Not This Way Deadlier Disease

He highlighted malaria and HIV/AIDS instead, the other two diseases the Global Fund was established to fight.
In his State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday night, President Barack Obama failed to mention the White House's ne
In his State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday night, President Barack Obama failed to mention the White House's new plan to fight multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is the No. 1 infectious killer in the world.

President Barack Obama highlighted the U.S.'s ability to stop malaria and HIV/AIDS in tonight's State of the Union, but left out tuberculosis less than a month after proposing an ambitious White House plan to combat the world's top infectious killer.

The president promised to help countries "stop the next pandemic before it reaches our shores," but failed to promise any movement on the disease often called "airborne cancer." Tuberculosis kills over 1.5 million people a year, while HIV/AIDS kills 1.2 million and malaria around 1 million

The State of the Union comes just 21 days after the White House announced a long-awaited plan to combat tuberculosis and its more dangerous drug-resistant forms. 

For more on multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, read this special report from The Huffington Post.

The Obama administration has previously proposed cuts of up to 20 percent to funding to combat tuberculosis, but experts hoped the advent of his National Action Plan would mean a renewed focus on combating the dangerous disease. 

Before the State of the Union Tuesday, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), stressed the need for increased focus on the deadly disease.

"Well I think this plan is a really big deal ... it's something we've got to do internationally and it's very expensive if we don't do preventive care right."

"Too often Washington has failed to give TB the attention and the resources that it demands," Brown had said at the plan's launch last week. "Without funding, it's just another plan on the shelf."

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