Brenda Fitzgerald, then the Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner, left, on Oct. 16, 2014, in Atlanta. (David Tulis/Associated Press)

The July 8 Politics & the Nation article “Trump administration names Georgia health official as new CDC director” pointed out the challenges the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director, Brenda Fitzgerald, will face, not the least of which is resisting proposed budget reductions.

It is well-recognized that the best protection for American lives in the face of the next big epidemic (which will surely happen) is early surveillance, detection and response — before it reaches the United States. This rationale is why the United States is a co-sponsor of and is financing the Global Health Security Agenda, and why it funds emergency preparedness domestically and abroad. Prevention and preparedness yield among the highest returns on government investment, based on experience.

Maintaining or, better yet, increasing investments would reduce future burdens on our health-care system and health-care professionals and, ultimately, the cost of health-care insurance. In short, prevent now or pay much more later in public funds and, most important, in human suffering.

Richard Seifman, Washington

The writer is a board member of the National Physicians Alliance and technical review panel active member of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.