Skip directly to content

Combating Rising Tuberculosis in New York

As unbelievable as it sounds in 2018, despite being preventable and curable Tuberculosis (TB) is on the rise in New York City for the first time in 25 years. Cases of drug-resistant TB, which are much more difficult and costly to treat, are increasing as well. This resurgence of TB is a direct result of years of underinvestment in New York's TB response.

TAG, along with many of our partners, are so alarmed by TB's recent rise—especially since it disproportionately affects the most vulnerable: people with weakened immune systems, people living in crowded environments, and immigrant communities—that we're going to track all of our activities to educate people about, and hopefully reverse, this very disturbing trend.

Letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Deputy Mayor Dr. Herminia Palacio, and Commissioner Nisha Agarwal
May 22
– TAG sent this letter, which expresses our disappointment regarding the Mayor's office lack of leadership the growing TB crisis –  which is a direct result of inadequate funding. We also requested that they meet with community groups prior to the City budget completion.

May 14 – TAG and other advocates joined Council Member and Health Committee Chair Mark Levine and Council Member and Immigration Committee Chair Carlos Menchaca in calling for increased funding for TB from the NYC budget; media coverage is the last section on this page.

"The United Nations' Back Yard: TB Elimination in New York State and the U.S."
April 3 – In the Spring issue of TAGline TAG Deputy Executive Director - TB Program, Erica Lessem, discusses how the incidence of TB is on the rise in New York City, but funding to fight the disease has decreased considerably.

Erica Lessem's Testimony Before New York City Health Committee Preliminary Budget Hearing
March 20
– Lessem delivered this testimony in person before the committee

Letter to New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio and Other Elected Officials
March 19 – Twenty organizations and a number of individuals endorsed this letter to Mayor Bill DeBlasio, City Council members, Borough presidents, the Comptroller, and Public Advocate, urging then to restore and increase funding for New York City's TB response.

Erica Lessem's Testimony Before New York City Hospital Committee Preliminary Budget Hearing
March 15 – Lessem delivered this testimony in person before the committee.

TAG and Partners' Brief, "Tuberculosis in New York City: A Growing Threat"
March 12 – Brief to New York City officials that discusses the impact of funding cuts.


MEDIA COVERAGE

May 21 – Council Steps Up Pressure on Mayor to Boost Funding to Test for TB

May 15 – Pol calls for increase in city spending for tuberculosis tests as disease spikes

May 14 – Press release from Council Member Mark Levine's office

May 14 – Piden más fondos para combatir tuberculosis en Nueva York

March 23 – New York Daily News: Tuberculosis Could Come Back

March 22 Huffington Post: U.S. Tuberculosis Cases Are the Lowest in Years, But It's Still a Threat

March 22DailyMail.com: Panic as TB is on the rise in New York for the first time since the early 1990s

March 22Science Speaks: Global ID News: U.S. Tuberculosis cases drop, but still far exceed numbers set to reach elimination goals

March 22 – New York Community Groups Call on City, State, Federal Actors to Increase Funding for Tuberculosis
Press release in which TAG, along with seven other organizations, call on New York City, New York State, and federal officials to restore funding for TB.