All The Ways Trumps Budget Cuts Science Funding
From the EPA, to the NIH, and NASA, research is not a priority in the administrations fiscal blueprint.
President Trumps budget blueprint, released Thursday morning, is supposed to lay out the administration priorities, and science is clearly not among them. It deals sweeping cuts to science and health agency budgets, and, in some cases, targets specific programs championed by the Obama administration.
The administration will release a more detailed budget request later this year, and Congress will ultimately have to approve the federal budget. But in this opening bid, there is not much good news for scientists. This would be pretty devastating to the American science and technology enterprise, said Matt Hourihan, director of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences R& D Budget and Policy Program.
The National Institutes of Health, for example, gets a budget cut of 18 percent to $25.9 billion. The NIH funds much of the disease research at universities and hospitals and carries out its own research programs.
How the budget will affect the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is less clear. The blueprint asks to reform the CDC through a $500 million block-grant program, that will allow each state to decide how best to use the money. Notably, perhaps, given that epidemics are international in nature, it does not mention anything about funding the CDCs global work.
Trump’s Budget Cuts Millions In Funds To Hiv/aids Programs
In Trumps budget for fiscal year 2019, the administration proposed cutting millions of dollars for programs helping to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS in the U.S. The reductions included cutting $40 million from the Center for Disease Control and Preventions HIV/AIDS prevention programs, and $26 million from the federal housing program for people living with AIDS, among other cuts, according to nonprofit advocacy group The AIDS Institute.
The presidents budget is unlikely to pass Congress in its current form. Lawmakers will likely reject most cuts to HIV/AIDS programs, as they did last year, according to Carl Schmid, deputy executive director at The AIDS Institute.
Still, the document plays an important role in laying out the values and issues the administration cares about. For leading LGBTQ groups, the proposed cuts sent a message that the president doesnt care about queer Americans, who are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS.
While theres been significant progress in recent years to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS in the U.S., its still a challenge: Over 1 million Americans were living with HIV at the end of 2015, the latest data available, according to the CDC.
Budget Cuts Have Made The Us Less Ready For Coronavirus
As coronavirus continues to spread, the Trump administration has and imposed quarantines and travel restrictions. However, over the past three years the administration has weakened the offices in charge of preparing for and preventing this kind of outbreak.
Two years ago, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates warned that the world should be preparing for a pandemic in the same serious way it prepares for war. Gates, whose foundation has invested heavily in global health, suggested staging simulations, war games and preparedness exercises to simulate how diseases could spread and to identify the best response.
The Trump administration has done exactly the opposite: It has slashed funding for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its infectious disease research. For fiscal year 2020, Trump proposed cutting the CDC budget by US$1.3 billion, nearly 20% below the 2019 level.
As a specialist in budgeting, I recognize that there are many claims on public resources. But when it comes to public health, I believe it is vital to invest early in prevention. Starving the CDC of critical funding will make it far harder for the government to react quickly to a public health emergency.
As of Jan. 31, 2020, cases of 2019-nCoV had been confirmed in China and 25 other countries. CDC
CUTTING FUNDS AND STAFF
A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER
What Happened When Trump Tried To Stop Us Funding For The Communist Chinese Wuhan Lab
Dated: June 18, 2021
Listen to top scientists and editors from esteemed medical journals and you cant help but conclude there is such a thing as a scientific establishment. And its been as corrupted by politics and misinformation as many in politics and the media.
In my 2017 investigation into Fake Science, Dr. Marcia Angell, the first woman to serve as Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, explained why she says a large percentage of published studies are not to be believed.
I came to the New England Journal of Medicine in 1979, says Angell. Starting about then was when you saw the drug companies assert more and more control until finally they over the next couple of decades, they began to treat the researchers as hired hands. They would design the research themselves. You know you can do a lot of mischief in how you design a trial. Or we’ll test this drug and we’ll tell you whether it can be published or not, and so if it’s a positive study, it’s published if it’s a negative study, it’ll never see the light of day.”
That sentiment is shared by Dr. Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief of the British journal Lancet. In 2015, he wrote a scathing editorial saying, “Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue science has taken a turn towards darkness.
The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.
Dr. Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief, Lancet
Cdc Denies Democrats’ Claim Trump Slashed Funding To Anti
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pushed back on claims from Democratic lawmakers that President Trump slashed funding to the department’s anti-pandemic efforts.
Amid nationwide concern regarding the federal government’s ability to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blasted Trump late last month for drastic cuts to the global health division at CDC,” likely referring to a five-year, nearly $600 million supplemental package that ran out in September 2019.
“All of the warning lights are flashing bright red. We are staring down a potential pandemic, and the administration has no plan,” the New York Democrat said. “We have a crisis of coronavirus, and President Trump has no plan, no urgency, no understanding of the facts, or how to coordinate a response.”
Similarly, Sen. Chris Murphy claimed , “President Obama set up anti-pandemic programs in 47 vulnerable countries, as a way to protect against something just like coronavirus breaking out across the world.”
“Experts begged Trump to keep them open,” the Connecticut Democrat added. “He closed 37 of them.
The CDC, however, told independent, nonprofit website FactCheck.org last week that claims such as those from Schumer and Murphy are not true, insisting that the hypothetical cuts were not made because Congress later provided more funding for the global health programs before the one-time funding package dwindled.
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Trump Seeks To Cut Nih Cdc Budgets Some Medicare Spending
Kerry Dooley Young
The Trump administration on Monday argued for cutting spending for a federal agency at the forefront of the efforts to combat the coronavirus, while also seeking to slow spending in certain parts of the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
President Donald Trump presented his fiscal 2021 request to Congress for refilling the coffers of federal agencies. In any administration, an annual budget serves only as a political blueprint, as the White House document itself makes no changes in federal spending.
In Trump’s case, several of his requests for agencies within the Department of Health & Human Services run counter to recent budget trends. Republicans and Democrats in Congress have worked together in recent years to increase budgets for major federal health agencies.
But Trump asked Congress to cut annual budget authority for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases by $430 million to $5.446 billion for fiscal 2021.
In contrast, Congress has raised the annual budget for NIAID, a key agency in combating the coronavirus, from $5.545 billion in fiscal 2019 to $5.876 billion in fiscal 2020, which began in October, according to an HHS summary of Trump’s request.
For the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , which is central to the battle against the coronavirus, Trump proposed a drop in discretionary funding to $5.627 billion. In contrast, Congress raised this CDC budget from $6.544 billion in fiscal 2019 to $6.917 in fiscal 2020.
Budget Would Thwart Progress
A few medical groups on Monday quickly criticized Trump’s proposals.
“In a time where our nation continues to face significant public health challenges including 2019 novel coronavirus, climate change, gun violence and costly chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer the administration should be investing more resources in better health, not cutting federal health budgets,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, executive director of the American Public Health Association, in a statement.
David J. Skorton, MD, chief executive and president of the Association of American Medical Colleges also urged increased investment in fighting disease.
“We must continue the bipartisan budget trajectory set forth by Congress over the last several years, not reverse course,” Skorton said in a statement.
Trump’s proposed cuts in medical research “would thwart scientific progress on strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat, and cure medical conditions that affect countless patients nationwide,” he said.
In total, the new 2021 appropriations for HHS would fall by $9.46 billion to $85.667 billion under Trump’s proposal. Appropriations, also called discretionary budget authority, represents the operating budgets for federal agencies. These are decided through annual spending bills.
Congress has separate sets of laws for handling payments the federal government makes through Medicare and Medicaid. These are known as mandatory spending.
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A Clear And Present Danger
There is no wall high enough to keep virulent pathogens from crossing national borders, and when they emerge there is a potential for widespread illness and death. Containing the first major Ebola epidemic in 2014-2016, which killed 11,000 people in West Africa, required an enormous global effort. Only 11 patients were treated for Ebola in the U.S., but that was because President Obama took the threat seriously, appointing an âEbola czarâ to coordinate U.S. preparedness and assistance.
Now that the White House has evicted the NSCâs global health security experts, it is not clear who in the Trump administration will be responsible for coordinating U.S. efforts in the event of a global pandemic.
The new coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, China, has already spread to 25 countries. The CDC has confirmed that person-to-person transmission has occurred in the U.S. It will take a large-scale effort to contain this outbreak, and battling the virus requires money.
Although the Gates Foundation and other charities give away billions of dollars to promote public health, such gifts are no substitute for the kind of specific, targeted scientific research into emerging diseases that the CDC and other federal agencies are uniquely designed to conduct. Fighting epidemics also requires planning to prepare and coordinate with hospitals, medical professionals, pharmacies, airlines, local government and the general public, which also requires funding.
Trump Administration Balks At Funding For Testing And Cdc In Virus Relief Bill
Senate Republicans were infuriated after the Trump administration objected to provisions in a draft proposal, including allocating $25 billion to testing and contact tracing.
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WASHINGTON The Trump administration has balked at providing billions of dollars to fund coronavirus testing and shore up federal health agencies as the virus surges across the country, complicating efforts to reach agreement on the next round of pandemic aid.
Senate Republicans had drafted a proposal that would allocate $25 billion in grants to states for conducting testing and contact tracing, as well as about $10 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and about $15 billion for the National Institutes of Health, according to a person familiar with the tentative plans, who cautioned that the final dollar figures remained in flux. They had also proposed providing $5.5 billion to the State Department and $20 billion to the Pentagon to help counter the virus outbreak and potentially distribute a vaccine at home and abroad.
But in talks over the weekend, administration officials instead pushed to zero out the funding for testing and for the nations top health agencies, and to cut the Pentagon funding to $5 billion, according to another person familiar with the discussions. The people asked for anonymity to disclose private details of the talks, which were first reported by The Washington Post.
Katie Rogers and Alan Rappeport contributed reporting.
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Team Trump Pushes Congress To Cut Funds For Virus Testing Cdc
Exactly one month ago today, Donald Trump spoke to a modest crowd of supporters in Tulsa, where he added a rhetorical flourish to his routine criticism against coronavirus testing. “Testing is a double-edged sword,” the president said, adding, “When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases, so I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please.'”
White House officials quickly insisted that Trump was simply kidding — the remarks were “made in jest,” Kayleigh McEnany insisted yesterday — though the president himself argued to reporters that he was quite sincere.
To be sure, there’s little to suggest the administration took deliberate steps to “slow the testing down” at Trump’s behest, but the president’s incessant arguments against testing have brought the White House to a truly bizarre place. The Washington Postreported over the weekend:
The Trump administration is trying to block billions of dollars for states to conduct testing and contact tracing in the upcoming coronavirus relief bill, people involved in the talks said Saturday. The administration is also trying to block billions of dollars that GOP senators want to allocate for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and billions more for the Pentagon and State Department to address the pandemic at home and abroad, the people said.
Four months later, however, Team Trump has apparently returned to its pre-COVID-19 position.
Watch this space.