Pres. Jimmy Carter hopes to push disease eradication with Trump administration

President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday he hopes to continue pushing the U.S. under President-elect Donald Trump to stay committed to disease eradication.

Carter and Rosalynn Carter plan to attend the inauguration.

During a press conference Wednesday at The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, Carter said disease eradication programs, like the ones The Carter Center helps lead, depend on money from government agencies, such as USAID, and from other countries and private donors.

Carter said he uses his influence to encourage governments and donors across the world to stay involved, including the U.S.

“Of course, [disease eradication efforts] are dependent on USAID, and I’ll be meeting with President-elect Trump and also with his new secretary of state, who is in charge of USAID, just to let them know what we are doing,” Carter said.

Maintaining political will at home and abroad is key to alleviate the suffering of millions, he said earlier in an interview.

Carter was at the museum and library to talk about the opening of a new exhibit, “Countdown to Zero,” about the world’s efforts to eradicate a number of diseases.   

When The Carter Center targeted Guinea worm as on that could be eradicated in the 1980’s there were 3.5 million cases in 21 countries. Carter announced Wednesday that there are now only three countries where the disease remains, down from four last year. There were 25 reported cases in 2016 in remote villages in Ethiopia, Chad and South Sudan.

He told the House of Lords in London last year that his prayer was that he live long enough to see the last case of Guinea worm. During an exclusive interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he said the cancer that he was treated for has not reappeared.

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